Category: Comment & Analysis

The Church as a pioneering ethical leader

Confronted with eye-watering technological developments Catholics have an important role to play, writes David Mullins   On May 3, 1983, some 247 Catholic bishops of the United States gathered in Chicago to issue their pastoral letter on war and peace and the use of nuclear technology. The immediate context was the ongoing nuclear arms race…

Click here to subscribe

Open church is a symbol

As I left Mass last weekend, one of the parishioners came after me to say – “There will be no more Mass now for four weeks.” Actually, it could be longer. In Kent, where I am presently sequestered (and sequestered is the word), the authorities are talking about compelling all older people to remain in…

Click here to subscribe

When goodwill goes viral on a cruise ship

Notebook   During almost 34 years of priesthood I have had many memorable experiences, some of them very sad and heart-breaking, many very joyful and inspirational. Two weeks ago, I had one of the most memorable and certainly most uplifting ‘pastoral assignments’ ever! Over a year ago, I was approached by a lady in the…

Click here to subscribe

The week I became a threat to Ireland

On Sunday, I had the rare privilege of being denounced in the opinion pages of no less an organ of official Irish conventional wisdom than the Sunday Times. “Politics,” announced Justine McCarthy, “needs more Kate O’Connell’s to defend us from the John McGuirk’s”. Last week, by happy coincidence, I celebrated my 36th birthday. That is, it turns…

Click here to subscribe

St Patrick in the North

So, do many people celebrate St Patrick’s day in Northern Ireland?” I asked the cabbie on the drive into town from Belfast Airport. “It depends,” he answered carefully. “It depends on what sections of the community you’re talking about, so it does.” It’s usually a mistake to get into a conversation with a taxi-driver on…

Click here to subscribe