Pope Francis offered words of encouragement to Rome’s priests this week, assuring them that recent and current scandals cannot overcome the Church’s holiness and urging them to keep their vocations alive through love of God.   The Pope made his remarks at a meeting with diocesan clergy in the Basilica of St John Lateran, the…

Vatican plans diplomatic drive for peace The Vaticanís new secretary of state plans to use the Churchís vast global diplomatic network to build peace.   Archbishop Pietro Parolin (pictured) said Pope Francis has already injected a new impetus into the Vaticanís Secretariat of State structure and given a new push for Church-led diplomacy.   The…

79 In percentage terms the number of US Catholics who view Pope Francis favourably, according to research conducted by the Pew Research Centre.   Just 4% of Catholics in America say they have an unfavourable view of the first Latin American Pope, while 17% express no opinion or say they have not heard enough about…

The president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has said the Catholic Health Association’s acceptance of rules governing women’s access to contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act was “less than helpful” to the bishops’ effort to seek changes in the mandate. “We have not, ourselves as bishops, been able to arrive at…

Before the papal election Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio hadn’t given a thought to what name he would choose if he was elected Pope. The very idea hadn’t even entered his mind. Even immediately after his election he still hadn’t thought what name to choose. Then a good friend of his, Cardinal Claudio Hummes, Archbishop Emeritus of Sao…

Dear Editor, Despite his political manoeuvring, one suspects that President Barak Obama intends to bomb Syria. It is amazing that the West does not learn from the results of its military intervention in Iraq, Afganistan and Libya. In the case of Iraq these results have been catastrophic. The proposal that it should intervene in the fratricidal…

Dear Editor, Did you notice the ambiguity on page 4 in your September 12 headline, “Police patrol threatened Catholic schools”. When I first read the headline, I read it as saying that police patrols had gone to Catholic schools so as to attack them. But, when I read the article, it was clear that the police…

On Sunday, September 1 nearly 80 pilgrims set off from the St Laurence Pastoral Area (Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, St John’s, Sacred Heart, Ss Joseph, Benildus and Mary, Killea, Crooke and Faithlegg) in the Diocese of Waterford & Lismore on pilgrimage to the Ardmore Monastic site to mark the Year of Faith.   First stop…

Last Saturday saw the Mayo International Choral Festival reach new heights as the 2014 syllabus was officially launched from the top of Croagh Patrick. Climbers representing Castlebar Parish Choir, Cill Aodáin Choral Society, Cór Mhaigh Eo, Mayo Male Voice Choir, the Moy Singers and Westport Choral Society became ‘musical mountaineers’ for the day and hit…