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,...

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...

It’s being suggested in a much-discussed new book by Kevin Meagher that one of the solutions to current political problems is – a united Ireland.In A United Ireland – Why Unification is Inevitable and How it Will Come About, the author, English but with Irish roots, suggests that it’s simply the most practical and sensible...

It is 10 years since the Irish bishops made their last ad limina visit to Rome. It will take place from January 15-25. Literally, an ad limina apostolorum means ‘to the threshold of the Apostles’. It is a pilgrimage to the tombs of Ss Peter and Paul but it is also an opportunity to meet with the Pope and senior officials at the...

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