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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Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London