Category: Opinion

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…

Realigning Church-State relations

This year will be a time when the relationship between Church and State will have to find a new equilibrium following the rupture of 2011 which culminated in the Government’s decision to downgrade the State’s relationship with the Holy See. The publication of the Cloyne Report provoked considerable anger particularly because of the fact that…

Grow up, Olivia! – Mary Kenny

That much-admired broadcaster, Olivia O’Leary, has been telling us how she will celebrate the faith side of Christmas: not attending a ‘Roman Catholic Church’, because she gave all that up two years ago, but at St Patrick’s Anglican Cathedral in Dublin, where the carols are wonderful, and the lessons uplifting, and she can feel her…

Making Christmas sweeter

Paul Dunphy describes the effects of life-changing gifts to the developing world   Since Oxfam launched the Unwrapped range of Christmas gifts, Irish people have truly embraced the spirit of Christmas and given more than 125,000 life-changing gifts to people in need. These gifts have helped improve the lives of more than 500,000 people in…