Category: Comment & Analysis

Through the eyes of the apostles

  The View John Waters   When I was a child, in the manner of children everywhere, I would express my identity as: John Waters, Main Street, Castlerea, Co. Roscommon, Ireland, Europe, The World, The Milky Way, The Universe. Now, all the time, the pressure is on me to live in a smaller and smaller…

Church needs to take radical steps

To mark Christian Unity Week, Dean Robert MacCarthy offers a remedy to current woes   This is winter time for the Church and unlike the climate it is not soon going to be succeeded by spring and summer. The evidence of sexual abuses in America and Europe has triggered a worldwide decline in the Roman…

Change in the seminary

  Are reforms at Maynooth for the better or a return to the sort of rigid seminary life of yesteryear, asks David Quinn   Last week, this newspaper reported changes that are being undertaken at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, in the wake of the Apostolic Visitation conducted on behalf of the Pope by Cardinal-designate Timothy…

The truth in a haunting equation

In her novel, Final Payments, Mary Gordon articulates an equation that has long influenced Christian spirituality, both for good and for bad. Her heroine, Isabel, is a young woman within whom a strong Catholic background, an overly-strict father, and a natural depth of soul conspire together to leave her overly-reticent and overly-reflective, looking at life…

What Maggie Thatcher owed to Methodism

With the box-office success of the movie The Iron Lady — Meryl Streep’s portrait of Margaret Thatcher — the career of the former British prime minister is being re-assessed on all sides. Maggie Thatcher always elicited strong emotions: people loved her or hated her. She is often heralded as the leader who revived capitalism, rescuing…

The trial of a Catholic politician in America

Republican candidate Rick Santorum’s Catholicism is making him ‘fair game’ for biased detractors, writes David Quinn   Rick Santorum is the American politician who rose to prominence last week because he did well in the first stage of the race to become the Republican party’s presidential candidate in November’s presidential election. Santorum is a Catholic…

Irish volunteers supporting orphans in Africa

  Denis Buckley describes some of the work of Humanitarian Volunteers in Kenya   Have you ever considered volunteering for a short period in Africa? The support of volunteers from Ireland has now become crucial to the survival of many small projects. The collapse of the Celtic Tiger and the global credit crunch has had…

What to look for in 2012

  This year will present a number of issues of concern, write David Quinn   The year ahead looks set to be an extremely important one. Quite apart from the economy, several issues of great importance to Catholics and Christians more generally will be decided as well. For example, by the end of 2012 it…

Books that found me in 2011

Since time is always at a premium, I try to be selective in what I read. As well, I like to keep my diet wide, reading novels, books on spirituality, theological treatises, biographies and essays on psychological and anthropological issues. How do I select a book? I read reviews, get tips from colleagues, receive books…

Rebuilding from the ruins

Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley on the 2002 Boston sex-abuse scandal and what Ireland might learn   A decade ago, the Boston clergy sexual abuse crisis engulfed the archdiocese. Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley was named Archbishop of Boston in 2003. He replaced Cardinal Bernard Law, who resigned in 2002. In 2010, when the Church in Ireland…