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…

Finding stillness in a busy world

The View   T.S. Eliot is one of my favourite poets, and I particularly love parts of the ‘Four Quartets’, although I don’t pretend to understand fully his work. ‘Burnt Norton’, the first of the ‘Four Quartets’, contains references to summer and autumn, but for some reason, I often think of parts of it as…

Irish human rights groups should campaign for the rights of the disabled, not for their termination

The View   In a significant development, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee) has challenged its sister body, the Committee on Human Rights. Or perhaps the latter should instead be called the Committee on Human Rights for some, because it has been pushing a ‘right’ to abortion on…