Pope Benedict XVI never failed to surprise – from the day he was elected after a short conclave right up to the announcement of his decision to relinquish the Petrine office, the first Pope to do so since Gregory XII abdicated in 1415 in order to bring the Great Western Schism to an end. The scholar Pope surprised the world’s thinkers with his...

Nothing becomes Pope Benedict XVI, they tell us, as the manner of his going. This from the very people who have sought, for the past eight years, to distort or, failing that, ignore his every word. Now, adding absurdity to insult, they tell us that he has done nothing except resign. On the contrary, in a thousand years, when every single person...

As the dust settles and we finally have some time to catch our breath in the wake of Pope Benedict’s shock resignation, we are slowly coming to terms with the fact that the Catholic Church will soon have a new leader. However, perhaps that news has somewhat overshadowed the shakeup of the Church here in Ireland under papal nuncio, Archbishop...

The timing and suddenness of Pope Benedict’s resignation was a great surprise, but not the fact of it. The Pope had hinted at it on a number of occasions and last year there was considerable speculation that he would retire then. Nonetheless, it is 600 years since a Pope resigned and so the announcement was very big news. How should we assess his...

Trish O’Brien, Tuam Diocesan Youth Director:“For me the greatest hope I would have is that the new Pope will embrace the journey young people find themselves on in the 21st Century. I hope the new Pope will be somebody that young people can see themselves in, someone who not only hears their voice but is able to respond to that voice. I hope that...

Priests are necessary to the Catholic Church. Without them, Catholics would not have access to many of the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, Confession, and the Anointing of the Sick. Following the Decree on the Nature of the Priesthood which we dealt with last week, the Vatican II Fathers, recognising the great significance of priests,...

Earlier this month a second survey of parental demand for greater choice was rolled out by the Department of Education. For one month parents in certain areas will have the opportunity to express their views on the issue of patronage of schools in their locality. This follows an earlier pilot survey on primary school patronage conducted in...

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