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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Faith renewed and spirits lifted by the World Meeting of Families

The View   Although the scandals in the US concerning criminal sexual abuse by clergy cast a grey and dispiriting shadow over the World Meeting of Families, there were still many uplifting and inspiring aspects to it. I know that thousands of prayers have been offered by faithful Catholics in the hope that the Church…

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Time’s up for the death penalty

The View   During St John Paul’s pontificate, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) was amended regarding the death penalty. Capital punishment was hedged about with so many conditions that the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity were considered to be “very rare, if not practically non-existent”. In…

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Ruffini’s appointment harks back 
to the greatest ‘yes’ ever proffered

The View   The appointment of Paolo Ruffini as head of the Vatican Dicastery for Communications should be an occasion for rejoicing, as the respected 62-year-old journalist is the first layperson to be appointed as prefect of a Vatican department. The historic nature of the appointment may be overshadowed because the post has not gone…

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We must find the 30,000 young people who voted ‘No’ and re-build from there

The View   The referendum defeat poses significant questions, not just for the pro-life movement, but for the Church. While abortion is not just a Catholic issue and some of the most active retain campaigners were atheists and agnostics, belief in the sanctity of life is a core value for Catholicism. Although I am completely sure…

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Marinating in media manipulation

The View   Anyone with the slightest concern for democracy in our country should be worried by Google’s decision to ban all online advertisements for both sides two and a half weeks before the Referendum. Banning foreign ads is one thing. Giant corporate entities with no accountability deciding what Irish voters can hear and see…

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The secret of loyal opposition

The View   The role of the loyal critic is a vital one in the Church. Many times in its history, the Church has lost its way and been recalled to it through the action of the Holy Spirit working through women and men. President emeritus Mary McAleese clearly sees herself as part of that…