On September 17, 1963, C.S. Lewis wrote to his friend Sr Penelope Lawson, of the Anglican Community of St Mary the Virgin: “If you die first, and if ‘prison visiting’ is allowed, come down and look me up in Purgatory.” As it turned out, Sr Penelope lived to the ripe old age of 87, and passed into eternity in 1977. But Lewis...

Standing on a gantry high above the studio floor, the true working nature of an RTÉ studio programme becomes immediately clear.The Irish Catholic is perched beyond the glare of the multiple lighting rigs which illuminate the clear demarcation below, between what the everyday viewer gets to see – something akin to a colourful oasis of calm...

Few if any of the 1,500 delegates attending this week-end’s Down and Connor Living Church Congress can recount as remarkable a faith journey as that of Brett Lockhart QC. And there may be few in the Waterfront Hall, Belfast Congress venue who can match or surpass the top barrister in talking up the Church or display such knowledge of...

"Despite their condemnation of violence, the Churches were not seen as neutral and above the fray. They were seen as part of the problem. This made it very difficult for them to be seen as part of the solution.” That was John Brewer, Professor of Post-Conflict Studies, one of the foremost sociologists of religion, conflict and...

This coming weekend Archbishop Diarmuid Martin will celebrate a Mass in the Pro Cathedral in Dublin with the anniversary of 10 years of the establishment of the Dublin Diocese Child Protection Service in late 2003. This is not a celebration but it will acknowledge and thank the people who are helping to protect children from abuse.In late 2002 I...

In his Newry study Bishop John McAreavey of Dromore holds an A4 page containing nine key points from Pope Francis’ now famous interview with Antonio Spadaro, SJ, of La Civiltà Cattolica, the Italian Jesuit journal.It is heavily highlighted in different colours and the bishop would cite it again and again in the course of a lengthy interview...

Dom Mark-Ephrem Nolan, OSB, Conventual Prior or Superior of the Benedictine Monastery of the Holy Cross outside Rostrevor, Co. Down will never forget the day he saw a British soldier for the first time in his native Belfast.It was 1969, the Troubles had just erupted and 10-year-old Mark was out shopping with his mother, Josephine and his two...

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