Where a queue was a pilgrimage…

‘A pilgrimage’ – that was one of the most frequent descriptions of the vast queue, miles long, formed by the public filing past Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin before her funeral. And pilgrimage has another dimension that is both practical and symbolic” Pilgrimage is primarily religious in nature and its main purpose is to achieve holiness and…

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Peterson: why young men seek out his message

It’s cheering to see that Garth Brooks has, once again, had such a popular and rapturous reception in Ireland. Country and western music is a meaningful genre of ballad, lyric and narrative, reaching into human experience just as deeply as great opera. Its roots, moreover, are Irish, or at least partly Irish, the hillbilly notes…

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The family that eats together stays together

‘Decline of traditional family revealed,’ ran the headline in The Times of London last week, describing an official report on the structure of the modern family. The report, led by Dame Rachel de Souza, the English children’s commissioner, found that almost a quarter of British families are headed by a lone parent. And 44% of…

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A lesson in marriage mismatch…

It’s just gone 25 years since the tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and it was interesting to see, in one of the television documentaries shown about her life, a statuette of Jesus on her desk: she had draped a set rosary beads around the figurine. Marking the anniversary, her biographer Andrew Morton has…

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Have four children and never pay tax again

When my son Ed visited Hungary recently, the first thing that greeted him at the airport was a large billboard with a picture of two parents with three children, bearing the slogan “Hungary Welcomes Families”. Indeed, that is the policy of Viktor Orban, Hungary’s Prime Minister. Orban is much criticised in western Europe, but his…

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Rushdie – how it began

When the news broke about the shocking, homicidal attack on the author Salman Rushdie in New York state, my mind went back to early 1989, soon after his controversial book The Satanic Verses was published. London It was, as I recall, a Sunday afternoon, and we were taking our ease in our London flat in…

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The redemptive powers in our midst

I attended a funeral last week, which is not, in itself, an unusual event among my demographic. But this funeral was an illumination, for me, of the redemptive powers that are in our midst. She remembered him being great fun, telling her bedtime stories, singing Irish ballads and Wagnerian opera” The deceased was Heather Iandolo, aged…

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A moment of change for the trans ideology?

Anyone with a sense of compassion can feel sympathy for a person with gender dysmorphia – someone who strongly believes that they were ‘born into the wrong body’, and feels driven to change their gender. There are numerous cases in Ireland, north and south, of transgender people who have undergone such a transition. Agree Not…

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Abuse and cultural assimilation are not the same thing

Pope Francis is absolutely right to carry out his ‘penitential pilgrimage’ to Canada and unreservedly apologise for abuse, cruelty and mistreatment which First Nation children suffered in Canadian government institutions run by the Catholic Church. Wherever abuse, whether sexual or physical, has occurred, it should be named, investigated and the victims given full entitlements to…

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