Joan Smith: I'll take no lectures on ethics from Ratzinger

The child-abuse scandal engulfing the Catholic church has shocked even its most ardent followers. Yet the Pope, who can barely bring himself to apologise for it, dares to lecture us on the state of our morals.

A historic day, a stirring appeal, but can the Pope escape the abuse scandal?

Benedict XVI's long-awaited state visit began with pomp and passion – and a quiet expression of regret

Pope praises UK as a 'force for good'

Pope Benedict XVI praised the UK as a "force for good" today as thousands of people turned out to greet him on the first day of his historic visit.

Full text of the Pope's homily

This was the homily the Pope delivered at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow today:

Papal convoy greeted by crowds

Crowds of well-wishers gathered on the streets of the Scottish capital today as a motorcade whisked Pope Benedict XVI through the city centre on his way to meet the Queen.

Heretics to heroes: how Rome went mainstream

When Lord Patten of Barnes was brought in by the Government earlier this year to streamline the organisation of the Pope's visit, he called on fellow Catholics to embrace the notion that Britain was no longer a place rife with anti-Catholicism.

Policy differences 'not hurting support for Pope'

Support for the Pope among British Roman Catholics remains high despite most disagreeing with their Church's stance on controversial issues, a survey indicated today.

Trail of the unexpected: Mustafapasa

A remote town in Cappadocia hides its history behind ruined façades.

Book Of A Lifetime: A Catechism Of Christian Doctrine

I still know the Catechism by heart, having learned it at the age of five. The fundamentals of Christian doctrine were instilled into our impressionable young minds, to be repeated until they were as familiar as the alphabet. Its 370 injunctions are now branded into my very bones, like letters through a stick of rock.

Monk massacre film reopens old wounds

Hollywood may have abandoned the Western as a movie genre but the spirit of John Ford rides again this week – on an improbable subject in an unlikely place.

Rearing carp: Dinner's in the pond

Why stop at growing vegetables in your back garden when you can rear some tasty carp to go with them? Clare Hargreaves thinks she may be hooked

Leading article: Ice, ice babies?

Did last winter's unusual froideur lead to more amour in the bedroom? There has been speculation that the savagely cold temperatures of earlier this year are going to result in a mini baby boom this autumn.

Lance Price: He didn't have to tell us about his drinking – but he did

Reading Tony Blair's memoirs, there are a few episodes that have me scratching my head and thinking, "Is that really how it was?" For example, in the early years he tells us that "the broad framework on the economy, never mind anything else, was set by me" – i.e. that Gordon was the engine driver but Tony built the train and decided which direction the tracks should go in. But it certainly didn't feel like that inside 10 Downing Street as we struggled day in, day out, to work out what the Chancellor planned to do in his next Budget.

Montenegro: High times for Balkan hikers

A new walking holiday explores the mountains that loom over Montenegro's fast-developing coastline.

Chester: Races, Romans and the River Dee

Make some history of your own with a visit to this captivating Cheshire city, says Lucy Gilmore
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?