The challenge of taking arms against a sea of pollution
The View   Stewardship of the environment is a key Catholic value. Sometimes it is frustratingly hard to implement this value as families and individuals. I am sure that most of us were horrified by the recently published photos of Little Skellig island in Kerry. Gannets are plucking from the sea plastic debris, such as…
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Leo Varadkar wrong on ‘individual tragedy’ abortion
There are many tragic aspects to the recent abortion in Holles Street of a healthy baby misdiagnosed with a life-limiting condition, but one thing was sure. Leo Varadkar is entirely wrong when he described it as an “individual tragedy”. It was not an individual tragedy. It was a systemic failure caused firstly, by legalising abortion…
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A chance to boost real Catholic Church marriage preparation
The View   The upcoming referendum proposing the relaxation of the Constitutional divorce provisions is likely to be passed. It should act as a spur for the Catholic Church to reconsider its attitude to marriage on two fronts: whether it will continue to act as a solemniser for civil marriages and whether the current approach…
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Rethinking our relationship with the animal kingdom
The View   In recent times, there has been a media frenzy about Tiger Roll, the brave little horse that won the Aintree Grand National for the second time. But the fact that a horse died at the Grand National, the Willie Mullins-trained Up For Review, has received far less coverage. The horse was seen…
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When Faith bears unpredictable fruit
The View   There are billboards for Hozier’s new album, Wasteland, Baby!, all over the place. In a Guardian Question and Answer session the singer (Andrew Hozier-Byrne) revealed that he has Seamus Heaney’s last words tattooed on his arm. Seamus Heaney had texted ‘noli timere’ which means, “do not be afraid”, to his wife, Marie,…
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Christians and Muslims: forging an honest peace
The View   The Pope’s recent visit to the United Arab Emirates highlighted the issue of relations with Islam. It has been a recurring theme of this pontificate. It was also a major concern of Pope Benedict, although he was unfairly caricatured as anti-Islamic after his much mis-quoted Regensberg Address in 2006. Far from attacking…
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What’s so irresistible about gossiping?
The View   Two recent incidents nudged my conscience. The first was a young woman who told me that something from one of my talks had lingered with her and she had tried to implement it. The topic mentioned was moral licensing, in the sense of feeling that I am such a good Christian that…
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Young Catholics urgently need to know fullness of Church teaching
The View   Being Catholic means being neither right-wing nor left-wing. It means embracing the social teaching on the Church on major issues and using prudential judgement in less important areas. There is a growing phenomenon of young men and some young women who tend to be right-wing economically but also to oppose abortion. Let’s…
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Making space for a healthy economy
If you are fed up of seeing advertisements for mince pies and other Christmas items in budget German supermarket chains since September, I have a suggestion. Take a stand against commercialism and start planning your Bright Friday event now for November 23. Bright Friday is the brainchild of Martina Lehane Sheehan. She dreamt it up…
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The valuable art of being alone without experiencing loneliness
The View   The BBC is making a series of programmes about loneliness as a result of a study involving 55,000 people that it conducted. The findings are somewhat counter-intuitive. Young people are lonelier than older people. Some 40% of respondents aged between 16 and 24 years old said they experience loneliness often or very…
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