Nuns in Ireland have been so stereotyped in Irish public debate that they have been reduced to the role of the villain in an old-fashioned Hammer horror movie.The archetype of this villainous nun is the character played by Geraldine McEwan in The Magdalene Sisters, which Irish TV channels love to air. As played by McEwan the head nun, Sr Bridget,...

Eugene DuffyThe role of religion and the time allocated to it in the primary school curriculum continues to be a point of controversy in many quarters. At the Government level, the Minister, Mr Richard Bruton, continues the approach of his predecessors in attempting to curtail the influence of religion on the primary school system. He...

The former abbot of Glenstal, Fr Mark Patrick Hederman, has suggested that the Church’s teachings on sexuality need to be dramatically modernised, and he has provided a list for this agenda including celibacy and the subjugation of women. Any campaigner for change needs to beware of taking too broad a brush to an agenda. I love those...

The heart has its reasons, says Pascal, and sometimes those reasons have a long history.Recently I signed a card for a friend, a devout Baptist, who was raised to have a suspicion of Roman Catholics. It’s something he still struggles with; but, don’t we all! History eventually infects our DNA. Who of us is entirely free from suspicion...

Fr Vincent SherlockIt’s good, I suppose, to be on the back page of a newspaper without being in the obituary or ‘items for sale’ sections!There’s a lot of talk about ‘low morale’ these days. It may well be across the board, but quite often this crops up at diocesan gatherings of priests or maybe in some quieter...

The latest proposal from the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) will make it very difficult for patrons and boards of management of Catholic primary schools to fulfill their legal and statutory obligation to uphold their schools’ ethos.  The 1998 Education Act states that primary school boards “shall uphold, and...

Believers and non-believers alike have been arguing about the Resurrection since the day Jesus rose. What really happened? How was he raised from the dead? Did an actual dead body really come back to life and step out of the grave or was the Resurrection a monumental life-changing event inside the consciousness of Jesus’ followers? Or was...

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