Category: Opinion

Great to see religious leaders with some chutzpah

Notebook Fr Conor McDonough   It was heartening to see last week Californian politicians withdrawing legislation that would undermine the Seal of Confession. The bill was opposed by a large, well organised and committed campaign of lay Catholics, but the public face of the campaign was Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles [pictured]. He’s a…

A shortage of priests? The answer is obvious…
I heard yet another sermon last Sunday in which the priest, speaking about the need for evangelisation, lamented the current shortage of priestly vocations. His sermon was well-constructed – this was in the Dublin diocese – and he spoke well, but he was old, and there was a perceptible note of weariness in his voice. He…
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The challenge of taking arms against a sea of pollution
The View   Stewardship of the environment is a key Catholic value. Sometimes it is frustratingly hard to implement this value as families and individuals. I am sure that most of us were horrified by the recently published photos of Little Skellig island in Kerry. Gannets are plucking from the sea plastic debris, such as…
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A missed opportunity to change the climate

John 
McGuirk   An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was at pains last week to distance himself from reports that he was being considered for the top job in the European Union – President of the Commission. Amid reports that he was in line to replace Jean-Claude Juncker, both the Taoiseach and his party seemed very eager…

New Vatican document displays simplified Curia

Letter from Rome Elise Harris   A preliminary outline of Pope Francis’ coming apostolic constitution on the Roman Curia reveals the merger of several more departments and an increased emphasis on the presence of laity as part of a reform hinged on decentralisation and synodality and fuelled by evangelisation. Tentatively titled Praedicate Evangelium, a draft of the…

Are mixed marriages permissible?

Questions of Faith   While 100 years ago it would have been strange and unconventional for a Catholic to marry someone of another religion, today the practice is becoming more and more common. Catholics can certainly celebrate a valid sacramental marriage with a partner of a different Christian denomination, although this practice requires permission from…

Needed: specific kinds of saints

Simone Weil once commented that it’s not enough today to be merely a saint; rather “we must have the saintliness demanded by the present moment”. She’s surely right on that second premise; we need saints whose virtues speak to the times. What kind of saint is needed today? Someone who can show us how we…

Benedictine oasis of calm is my Isle of hope

The Notebook Fr Bernard Healy   I try to visit the Isle of Wight for a few days every year. I sometimes joke that with its faded Victorian seaside resorts, relaxed way of life and quaint country villages that it’s a chance to take a short holiday in the 1950s. However, when I visit, I’m…

We need inquiry into democratic distortion

Dear Editor, Your coverage of Google and Youtube’s interference with last year’s abortion referendum process (IC 4/7/2019) raises grave questions about Irish democracy and its susceptibility to the caprices and biases of multinational tech corporations. Yes, it is true that it was not simply pro-life organisations and terms that were affected by manual tinkering with…