The Tablet

Last updated
The Tablet
EditorBrendan Walsh
Categories Catholicism
FrequencyWeekly (except Christmas)
Total circulation
18,772 (publisher's statement)
First issue16 May 1840
CompanyTablet Publishing Company
Country United Kingdom
Language English
ISSN 0039-8837

The Tablet is a Catholic international weekly review published in London. [1] It was edited by Catherine Pepinster until January 2017. [2] Brendan Walsh, previously literary editor and then acting editor, was appointed editor in July 2017. [3]

Catholic Church Christian church led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's "oldest continuously functioning international institution", it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Catherine Pepinster is an English editor, historian, commentator and writer with a focus on theology, Catholic and Anglican ecumenism, church history, and religion and politics. She was the first female editor of The Tablet in the newspaper's 176-year history. In 2017 she published the book The Keys and the Kingdom: The British and the Papacy from John Paul II to Francis.



The Tablet was launched in 1840 by a Quaker convert to Catholicism, Frederick Lucas, 10 years before the restoration of the Catholic hierarchy in England and Wales. It is the oldest surviving weekly journal in Britain. [4]

Frederick Lucas was a British religious polemicist and founder of The Tablet. His brother Samuel Lucas was a newspaper editor and abolitionist.

<i>Universalis Ecclesiae</i>

Universalis Ecclesiae is the incipit of the papal bull of 29 September 1850 by which Pope Pius IX recreated the Roman Catholic diocesan hierarchy in England, which had been extinguished with the death of the last Marian bishop in the reign of Elizabeth I. New names were given to the dioceses, as the old ones were in use by the Church of England. The bull aroused considerable anti-Catholic feeling among English Protestants.

Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW) is the episcopal conference of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales.

For the first 28 years of its life, The Tablet was owned by lay Catholics. Following the death of Lucas in 1855, it was purchased by John Edward Wallis, a Catholic barrister of the Inner Temple. Wallis continued as owner and editor until resigning and putting the newspaper up for sale in 1868.

Inner Temple one of the four Inns of Court in London, England

The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, commonly known as Inner Temple, is one of the four Inns of Court in London. To be called to the Bar and practise as a barrister in England and Wales, an individual must belong to one of these Inns. It is located in the wider Temple area of the capital, near the Royal Courts of Justice, and within the City of London.

In 1868, the Rev. Herbert Vaughan (who was later made a cardinal), who had founded the only British Catholic missionary society, the Mill Hill Missionaries, [5] purchased the journal just before the First Vatican Council, which defined papal infallibility. At his death he bequeathed the journal to the Archbishops of Westminster, the profits to be divided between Westminster Cathedral and the Mill Hill Missionaries.[ citation needed ]The Tablet was owned by successive Archbishops of Westminster for 67 years. In 1935, Archbishop (later Cardinal) Arthur Hinsley sold the journal to a group of Catholic laymen. In 1976 ownership passed to the Tablet Trust, a registered charity. [6]

Herbert Vaughan Catholic cardinal

Herbert Alfred Henry Vaughan (1832–1903) was an English prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Westminster from 1892 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1893. He was the founder in 1866 of St Joseph's Foreign Missionary College, known as Mill Hill Missionaries. He also founded the Catholic Truth Society. In 1871 Vaughan led a group of priests to the United States to form a mission society whose purpose was to minister to freedmen. In 1893 the society reorganized to form the US-based St. Joseph Society of the Sacred Heart, known as the Josephite Fathers. Vaughan also founded St. Bede's College, Manchester. As Archbishop of Westminster, he led the capital campaign and construction of Westminster Cathedral.

First Vatican Council synod

The First Vatican Council was convoked by Pope Pius IX on 29 June 1868, after a period of planning and preparation that began on 6 December 1864. This, the twentieth ecumenical council of the Catholic Church, held three centuries after the Council of Trent, opened on 8 December 1869 and adjourned on 20 October 1870. Unlike the five earlier general councils held in Rome, which met in the Lateran Basilica and are known as Lateran councils, it met in the Vatican Basilica, hence its name. Its best-known decision is its definition of papal infallibility.

Papal infallibility

Papal infallibility is a dogma of the Catholic Church that states that, in virtue of the promise of Jesus to Peter, the Pope is preserved from the possibility of error "when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church." "Infallibility means more than exemption from actual error; it means exemption from the possibility of error;..."

From 1936 to 1967, the review was edited by Douglas Woodruff, formerly of The Times , a historian and reputed wit whose hero was Hilaire Belloc. [7] His wide range of contacts and his knowledge of international affairs made the paper, it was said,[ who? ] essential reading in embassies around the world. He restored the fortunes of The Tablet, which had declined steeply. For many years (1938–1961) he was assisted by Michael Derrick, who after the Second World War was often acting editor. Woodruff was followed as editor by the publisher and, like Woodruff, part-owner Tom Burns, who served from 1967 to 1982. Burns, a conservative in his political views, was a progressive on church matters, firmly in favour of the Vatican II church reforms. A watershed came in 1968, when The Tablet took an editorial stance at odds with Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae vitae , which restated the traditional teaching against artificial contraception. Burns was followed by the BBC producer John Wilkins, who had been Burns's assistant from 1967 to 1971. Under his editorship the journal's political stance was seen as centre-left. The paper continued to have a distinctive voice, consistently advocating further changes in the church's post-Vatican II life and doctrine. Circulation climbed steadily throughout Wilkins's 21-year tenure. He retired at the end of 2003. Catherine Pepinster, formerly executive editor of The Independent on Sunday , became the first female editor of The Tablet in 2004. [8] She said that "the journal will continue to provide a forum for 'progressive, but responsible Catholic thinking, a place where orthodoxy is at home but ideas are welcome'." [4] In 2012 ITV journalist Julie Etchingham became the review's first guest editor, leading a special issue on the CAFOD charity. [9] On succeeding Catherine Pepinster as editor on 12 July 2017, Brendan Walsh said: 'I will do all I can to cherish and protect its values and the quality of its journalism.' [3]

<i>The Times</i> British daily compact newspaper owned by News UK

The Times is a British daily national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register, adopting its current name on 1 January 1788. The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers, since 1981 a subsidiary of News UK, itself wholly owned by News Corp. The Times and The Sunday Times do not share editorial staff, were founded independently, and have only had common ownership since 1967.

Hilaire Belloc writer

Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc was an Anglo-French writer and historian. He was one of the most prolific writers in England during the early twentieth century. He was known as a writer, orator, poet, sailor, satirist, man of letters, soldier and political activist. His Catholic faith had a strong impact on his works. He was President of the Oxford Union and later MP for Salford from 1906 to 1910. He was a noted disputant, with a number of long-running feuds, but also widely regarded as a humane and sympathetic man. Belloc became a naturalised British subject in 1902, while retaining his French citizenship.

John Michael Derrick was the son of the artist, illustrator and cartoonist Thomas Derrick, and older brother of the writer Christopher Derrick. He was a leading figure in Roman Catholic journalism in mid-20th-century England.

Contributors to The Tablet have included Popes Benedict XVI and Paul VI (while cardinals), the novelists Evelyn Waugh and Graham Greene, Mark Lawson, Francine Stock, Peter Hennessy, Henry Wansbrough and Bernard Green. [4]

Pope leader of the Catholic Church

The pope, also known as the supreme pontiff, is the Bishop of Rome and ex officio leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. Since 1929, the pope has also been head of state of Vatican City, a city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. The current pope is Francis, who was elected on 13 March 2013, succeeding Benedict XVI.

Pope Benedict XVI 265th Pope of the Catholic Church

Pope Benedict XVI, also known as the Pope emeritus, served as head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 2005 until his resignation in 2013. Benedict's election as pope occurred in the 2005 papal conclave that followed the death of Pope John Paul II. Benedict chose to be known by the title "Pope Emeritus" upon his resignation.

Pope Paul VI Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 1963 to 1978

Pope Saint Paul VI was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 21 June 1963 to his death in 1978. Succeeding John XXIII, he continued the Second Vatican Council which he closed in 1965, implementing its numerous reforms, and fostered improved ecumenical relations with Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches, which resulted in many historic meetings and agreements. Montini served in the Holy See's Secretariat of State from 1922 to 1954. While in the Secretariat of State, Montini and Domenico Tardini were considered as the closest and most influential advisors of Pius XII, who in 1954 named him Archbishop of Milan, the largest Italian diocese. Montini later became the Secretary of the Italian Bishops' Conference. John XXIII elevated him to the College of Cardinals in 1958, and after the death of John XXIII, Montini was considered one of his most likely successors.

Notes and references

  1. Bell, Matthew (12 September 2010). "'There's nothing weird about being a Catholic and a liberal', says 'Tablet' editor". The Independent . UK. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  2. "Thanksgiving service for The Tablet's 175th birthday". BBC News . 16 May 2015. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  3. 1 2 "The Tablet appoints Brendan Walsh as editor". Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  4. 1 2 3 "About us", The Tablet website, archived at 11 November 2013
  5. Miranda, Salvador. "The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church: Vaughan, Herbert". Florida International University Libraries. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  6. Charity Commission. The Tablet Trust, registered charity no. 271537.
  7. Gilley, Sheridan (2012). "The Making and Unmaking of the English Catholic Intellectual Community, 1910-1950". Cercles (Revue pluridisciplinaire du monde anglophone). ISSN   1292-8968 . Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  8. The Independent, March 20, 2006. Archived April 9, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  9. "CAFOD's 50th Anniversary: Special Edition of The Tablet". CAFOD. 28 November 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2013.

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