One of Education Minister Richard Bruton’s proposals – in removing what is called the “baptism barrier” from faith schools – is to base schools more on a neighbourhood model, so that a child has an entitlement to attend the nearest school to her home. Sounds so basic and sensible, doesn’t it? A child goes...

The people of Northern Ireland have been through a very difficult time. For over 50 years (indeed longer) they have hoped for a better future and their hopes have appeared to be realised from time to time over the decades. Yet time and again, they have seen the collapse of all that they have aspired to in terms of good governance and a safe...

“Bruton set to pledge end of school ‘baptism barrier’”, read the headline in one newspaper on Monday. It was typical of the headlines in a number of news outlets. Reading those headlines you could be forgiven for thinking that Education Minister, Richard Bruton, has decided to altogether abolish the right of Catholic...

Recently a man came to me, asking for help. He carried some deep wounds, not physical wounds, but emotional wounds to his soul. What surprised me initially was that, while he was deeply wounded, he had not been severely traumatised either in childhood or adulthood. He seemed to have just had to absorb the normal bumps and bruises that...

When Cardinal Raymond Burke wrote in April that Pope Francis’ post-synodal exhortation on the family did not change Church teaching, he was predictably condemned by those who had been casting aspersions on the document released just three days earlier. “This is nothing less than a betrayal from one who should have offered hope,...

When it comes to education policy, Fine Gael seems to have adopted the policy of diversion as the best form of defence.In seeking to ban parish-owned schools from prioritising Catholic children when the school is over-subscribed, the party is caving in to a small vocal lobby which really aims to try and push religious faith from public view....

In a recent perceptive letter Jesuit theologian Fr Gerry O’Hanlon took up the issue of the so-called ‘dialogue of the deaf’ between secularists and religious believers in Ireland. “At a time,” Fr O’Hanlon wrote, “when our society is crying out for a concerted approach to the deep problems of inequality and...

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