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A migrant camp near the port of El Chaparral in the border city of Tijuana, Mexico 8


Melanie McDonagh’s Notebook ‘The Churches have got only so much moral capital; squandering it is a waste’ / 7

REGULARS Word from the Cloisters 16 Puzzles 16 Letters 17 The Living Spirit 18

CONTENTS 24 APRIL 2021 // VOL 275 NO. 9399


4 / How to elect a pope

A church historian fears a future conclave run according to the current rules is open to catastrophe and he urges Pope Francis to make reforms / BY ALBERTO MELLONI

6 / Testament of faith

The values of Shirley Williams, one of the most inspiring women in public life since the Second World War, were rooted in her Catholic faith / BY CATHERINE PEPINSTER

8 / South of the border

Immigration reform is a defining issue for Joe Biden’s presidenc y, yet the heart of the crisis lies not in the US but in Central America / BY MARTHA PSKOWSKI

11 / To love and to serve A Catholic head teacher explains why children get a better education at a good comprehensive than at a private school / BY MAGGIE FERGUSSON

13 / Battle of the sex educators A relationships and sex education programme has sparked protests and revealed tensions in the Church over its teaching on sexuality / BY ANNABEL MILLER

14 / The teachers who inspired me The Tottenham MP remembers Mary Shepherd, an inner city teacher in the 1970s, and Brenda Pinder, the first to make him believe he could excel / BY DAVID LAMMY


25 / The Church in the World / News briefing 26 / African prelate challenges ‘foreign’ ideas

28 / View from Rome 29 / News from Britain and Ireland / News briefing

30 / Ireland makes going to Mass a crime



Mark Hudson Nuclear Folly: A New History of the Cuban Missile Crisis SERHII PLOKHY

Marcus Tanner Failures of State: The Inside Story of Britain’s Battle with Coronavirus JONATHAN CA LVERT AND GEORGE ARBUTHNOTT

Lindsay Duguid Monica Jones, Philip Larkin and Me: Her Life and Long Loves JOHN SUTHERLAND


Music Mary and Sophie Bevan ALEXANDRA COGHLAN

Radio In the Studio D.J. TAYLOR

Theatre Lights Up MARK LAWSON

Television Lucy, the Human Chimp LUCY LETHBRIDGE

24 APRIL 2021 | THE TABLET | 3

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