Category: Opinion

The grim truths behind clerical child abuse

Marie Keenan’s new book on abuse raises some challenging questions, writes Phil Garland ”One bad event is followed by another”: this comment is on the opening page of the introduction of this extremely detailed and scholarly work by Dr Marie Keenan on clerical child sexual abuse. There are many State reports, books and media coverage…

What I learned from Tim

Sr Deirdre Mullan reflects on her experience of humanity when visiting a maximum security prison   I first met Tim, in a high-security US prison in 1999. He was 29 years old and was one of 2.3 million men and women housed in prisons throughout the United States – the highest rate of incarceration in…

Catholic schools are under major threat

Parents must stand up for religious education, writes Rik Van Nieuwenhove The proposals of the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism, set up by the Minister for Education, if implemented, will have a devastating effect on the Catholic identity of primary schools throughout Ireland. An advisory group, headed by Professor Coolahan, is preparing a report for…

Changes in family life

Changes in family life A new study of Irish family life has disclosed how family patterns have changed over the years, with more couples co-habiting, more children born out of wedlock, and almost one child in five growing up with a single parent. We should never have too rigid an attitude to family structure in…

From crisis to co-operation

Co-operatives are often the children of crisis, writes Fr Dermot McKenna The United Nations (UN) has declared this coming year, 2012, the Year of the Co-operatives. This is a very exciting development for all those involved in the co-op movement. Despite the fact that co-operatives are widespread in many countries of the world, they tend…

Praying so as not to lose heart

Praying   One of the reasons we need to pray is so that we don’t lose heart. We all do sometimes. We lose heart whenever frustration, tiredness, fear and helplessness in the face of life’s humiliations conspire together to paralyse our energies, deaden our resiliency, drain our courage and leave us feeling weak in depression.…

Trouble beyond the terraces

  Is Scotland unwilling to face its sectarianism, asks Paul Keenan Next week, the Scottish parliament will vote on the proposed offensive behaviour at football and threatening communications (Scotland) bill, following a month-long debate on the best legislative response to the issue of sectarianism in the country. Backed by the majority Scottish National Party, which…

Seeds of disharmony

  Is it wise to genetically tamper with the crops we grow, asks Prof. William Reville It is quite likely that Roundup is the herbicide that is best known to readers of this column. Roundup is widely used worldwide in agriculture and gardening to control weeds. But weeds are far from helpless in the face…

Problematic missal changes hinder future

  Problematic missal changes hinder future   The new translation of the Missal is symptomatic of a wider shift away from collegiality in the Church, writes Fr John Mannion What we have been given in the new translation of the Roman Missal is an awkward, Latinised English in the name of ‘renewal’. This is very…

Where to for Irish Catholicism in 2012?

Eamon Maher   The year 2011 continued the painful decline of the Catholic Church in Ireland. The publication of the Cloyne Report was followed by an unprecedented attack on the Vatican by the newly elected Taoiseach — and practicing Catholic — Enda Kenny. For the leader of the Fine Gael party to claim that the…