The National Car Test (NCT) is all about safety. That’s why there are so many different ways to fail. It could be the lights, the brakes, the steering or the tyres. If any one of those is defective, then the car is defective. There’s no point in trying to tell the tester that two out of three is a good score and, after all, the lights and the...

In the lull between Christmas and New Year, a kind of lethargy or torpor can set in.  Maybe we have eaten too much, or the accumulated sleep deficit of the previous year has caught up on us.  Or we may be reeling from family tensions, which the enforced closeness of Christmas has highlighted. In my own case, when I look back at the year...

One of the weirder aspects of the Irish media’s treatment of Christianity is that, on Christmas Eve, the writ that runs on all but one of the other 365 days of the year does not seem to apply. On Christmas Eve and Good Friday, something odd happens to the way Christianity is represented in the mainstream of our public conversation.  For the...

The document Dei Verbum, the Word of God, is one of two dogmatic constitutions issued by the Second Vatican Council, the other being Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. Dei Verbum is one of the most authoritative and important documents of the Council. Its purpose is to spell out the Church’s understanding of the nature of...

In a little-reported move at the weekend, Pope Benedict XVI promulgated a set of new Church laws to govern how Catholic charities operate. More than anything else, the document is aimed at ensuring that there is no blurring between how Catholic charities act in practice and Church teaching. For example, there is a provision that Catholic...

There has been growing concern in recent years that the current process for Christian initiation is not best practice. At the International Eucharistic Congress 2012 Theology Symposium, Cardinal Marc Ouellet called for “a deeper reflection on the theology of Christian initiation, and on the relationship of the three sacraments that constitute this...

Who, at the beginning of the Second Vatican Council in 1962, could have predicted that the press would one day be the multi-billion dollar grossing industry that is has become? Could anybody have foreseen the incredible reach of the technological age of computers and digital media? Could the internet, as we know it today, have been more than a...

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