Category: Comment & Analysis

Bishop Boyce in the dock

It’s ironic that a secularist is seeking to use the criminal law to prevent free speech, writes Rory Fitzgerald A remarkable story emerged this week: The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is considering prosecuting Bishop Philip Boyce of Raphoe for inciting hatred against secularists. This offence can carry a penalty of up to two years…

Find ways to emphasise the historical positives

  Minister Alan Shatter has justifiably called attention to the horrible historical phenomenon known as The Holocaust – the cruel genocide by Nazi Germany against Jews as well so many other minorities – when he was opening an exhibition at the Department of Justice. Minister Shatter took the opportunity to criticise Irish neutrality during World…

Ecumenism cuts both ways

The Dean of St Patrick’s Anglican Cathedral, Rev. Robert MacCarthy has criticised the Catholic Church for its ”lack of ecumenism” in his final sermon before retiring. Oh, yes, see how these Christians love one another! Lack of ecumenism is often something of a hazard. Consider the Armenian and Greek priests who came to blows over…

The Irish Republic: mine, yours or ours

People who use the phrase ‘Ireland is a republic’ need to be clear on what they mean by the word, writes Fr Alan Hilliard   Shopping in the local shop many years ago left little room for choice. A tin of beans meant that you got whatever brand of beans was on the shelf. There…

Finding a middle ground

A gay reader shares some uncomfortable questions aroundthe Church and a gay lifestyle.     As a practising gay Catholic (practising both my faith and my sexual orientation) one gets used, not entirely comfortably, to coping with ambiguity. The Catholic Church could never be described as a welcoming place for gay Catholics; this is despite…

Alpha – an effective tool of evangelisation

  Paddy Monaghan describes how theAlpha course is growing in Ireland   Pope Benedict XVI, announcing the forthcoming Synod on New Evangelisation, stated that ”the Church exists to evangelise”. But how do we evangelise? The Alpha course is certainly one way. It is a 10-week course on the basic truths of Christianity. It brings people…

The true drivers of education

  What is the heart of education? One photograph, over the past week, said it all for me. It was the picture of more than 50 parents camping out for up to two days to get their daughters into the Presentation Secondary School in Tralee, Co. Kerry. The all-girls’ school is clearly such a beacon…