Peter Stanford

Peter Stanford is a writer, editor, and presenter. He was formerly Editor of The Catholic Herald, and a regular contributor to the New Statesman.

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Canonised: Pope John Paul II

You don't have to be a saint to be a saint

You don't have to be all that saintly to be a saint, as even Catholic clerics attest. But then, argues Peter Stanford canonisation has long been more about politics than purity

Polls have indicated many priests would be in favour of allowing marriage within the priesthood

Why Pope Francis should allow priests to wed

Among the select group of old friends back in Argentina whom Pope Francis rings regularly from Rome was, until her recent death, Clelia Podesta. In 1972 she had married his former colleague, Bishop Jeronimo Podesta, causing the couple to be abandoned by every other leading figure in a Catholic hierarchy that sticks rigidly to the line that priests must remain celibate. But not by Pope Francis.

Ten more commandments: How to save the Anglican church

Twenty years ago, Anglicans believed its first female priests would reignite the Church of England. It never happened. Amid private infighting, public apathy and a resurgent Vatican, Peter Stanford draws up a rescue plan

The Pope's first year: Have we created a Fantasy Francis for ourselves?

Peter Stanford warns that, despite the hope for change invested in him, this Pope is a conservative at heart

Mini & Me, By Michael Cooper. Ziji, £11.99

It was one of those Cathy Come Home TV moments: 38 years ago, Franc Roddam's Inside Story documentary followed the fate in the care system of a baby-faced, articulate, compelling 11-year-old arsonist, Michael "Mini" Cooper. The programme touched a public nerve and prompted a national debate about how we dealt with youngsters whose parents weren't up to the job.

Why are there so few British-born Jewish players in England's top flight?

While Jews are twice as likely as the general public to be devout football fans, there's not been a British-born Jewish player in England's top flight for four decades

17 September 2013: The wreckage of Italy's Costa Concordia cruise ship which begins to emerge from water near the harbour of Giglio Porto.

The Concordia saga has shown Italy at its very best - and its worst

The triumph that has been achieved off the Tuscan coast is not a one-off

Jimmy: a Legacy of Peace, By Margaret Mizen with Justin Butcher

We live in vengeful times where perpetrators of crime face increasingly punitive sentences, without real consideration as to whether they prevent reoffending. Easy for me to note this illogicality, since neither I nor anyone close to me has been a victim of a serious crime. Margaret Mizen, by contrast, has not been spared. So it makes her commitment to understanding why those in our prisons offend all the more powerful.

How to read a graveyard: Travels among the dead of the Somme

The war graves of the Somme are a familiar sight. But look closely at the headstones, says Peter Stanford, and it is possible to decode hidden histories of the 20th century

Shame on the leaders of the Catholic Church for their sweeping campaign against gay marriage

The one message that echoed this week is that to be Catholic is to be anti-gay. Once this whole dispute over gay marriage has subsided, that is the message that will endure

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Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
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In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
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Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
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Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
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Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
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Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
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