Pope Francis leads a mass for the opening of the synod on the family on Sunday at St Peter’s basilica in Vatican. Photograph: AFP

‘As a woman, to know not one women will have a vote (at the Synod) is terrible’

Thinking anew: the Ven Gordon Linney. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

The churches are ‘hugely out of touch’ with ordinary people, says Gordon Linney, clergyman and author of ‘Thinking Anew: Faith in (...)

Rev Gordon Linney  with his new book titled ‘Thinking Anew – Faith in a World of Change and Doubt’: Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said the book’s title was “an agenda for the future of all our churches today”. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Archbishop of Dublin received letters from people unsettled, ‘even angry at change’

A woman hugs a baby wrapped in an emergency blanket as refugees and migrants arrive on the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey on October 1st, 2015. Photograph: Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images

Prelates seek reform of direct provision for asylum seekers to avoid two-tier system

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin – along with  Catholic primate Archbishop Eamon Martin –  will represent the Irish Church at the Synod of Bishops in Rome which begins next weekend. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Catholic bishops to issue special document on assisting asylum seekers and migrants

Pope Francis: a papal visit to Ireland  in 2018  is thought more probable than just possible.  Photograph: Reuters

World Meeting of Families in Dublin second ‘coup’ for Archbishop Diarmuid Martin

Pope Francis on board the papal plane. Photograph: Tony Gentile/AFP/Getty Images

Speculation mounting that Pope Francis may visit Ireland after announcement of event

Property developer Johnny Ronan. File  photograph: Collins

Irish organisation says property developer’s use of phrase is ‘beyond comprehension’

Armagh Minister Rev Christina Bradley.

A ‘clamping down and closing in on freedom of speech’, says second Presbyterian minister

People at a site in Calais, France, dubbed the New Jungle, where some 3,000  have set up camp, September 21st, 2015. Most of them wish to reach  England. Photograph: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

Blanchardstown Islamic Centre volunteers bring two vans of donations to Calais camp

 Minister for Health Leo Varadkar. File Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Labour’s Alex White says Independents have ‘superficial’ attraction to electorate

Celebrations in the court yard at Dublin Castleduring the results of the Referendum on Marriage Equality.Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Rev Christina Bradley now accepts marriage is between ‘one man and one woman’

Syrian refugee children play in Victoria Square, central Athens, Greece, September 21st, 2015.  Hundreds of migrants and refugees are sleeping rough in the square. Photograph: Paul Hanna/Reuters

‘As an integral part of parish life in Ireland, Catholic schools would not be found wanting’

The Bishop of Kilmore Leo O’Reilly requested that his fellow bishops set up a commission to look at the ordination of married men and female deacons. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Association of Catholics in Ireland says in 10 years many parishes won’t have resident priest

Philippine environmental activists march during a protest at the Human Rights Commission office in Manila on September 22nd, 2015. The activists are calling for an investigation into the top 50 investor-owned fossil fuel companies over climate change impacts upon people and their livelihoods. Photograph: Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images

Major slowdown in global emissions ‘the most that can be hoped for’ over five years

Sir Bob Geldof and Jeanne Marine photographed earlier this month at  The Royal Opera House in London. Photograph: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Bono, Richard Branson, Demi Moore and Marianne Faithful among guests at wedding in France

The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) should expand its role beyond being a voice of reform and become an agent of reform in the church, its annual general meeting was told. The meeting “recognised that having a Pope who shares much of the vision of the ACP challenges the ACP to move beyond its ‘voice in the wilderness’ role to the more complex process work of bridge building across the church.”

Organisation should move beyond its ‘voice in the wilderness’ role, meeting told

Fr Brendan Hoban  of the Association of Catholic Priests warned that bringing in priests from abroad could “empty our emptying churches in a decade”. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Priests not like footballers who can be transferred for a fee, says Fr Brendan Hoban

People were interviewed at Bolero in Malawi and Monze in Zambia, where Christianity and traditional beliefs co-exist. How the  holding of multiple belief systems influences these communities in producing food and adapting to changing climate was assessed. File photograph: Trevor Snapp/Bloomberg

African communities’ food production assessed in context of beliefs and climate change

Friends and family carry the remains Seamus Wright to his funeral Mass in St Agnes’  Church  in Belfast on Tuesday. The inset is a picture of Seamus Wright which was placed on his coffin. Photograph: Reuters

Mourners told it took 16 years to locate remains after IRA had admitted responsibility

White doves are released following the funeral of Kevin McKee at St Peter’s Cathedral in Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Mourners told body recovery was a part of Northern Ireland peace process that was working

Clongowes Wood, Co Kildare: one of the country’s more prominent Jesuit schools. Photograph: Frank Miller

Review of 43 congregations finds that while familiar patterns still emerge, there is strong leadership and commitment to safegua(...)

‘Pope Francis’s first visit outside Rome was to the island of Lampedusa, which has long been a European arrival point for African migrants, 20,000 of whom have drowned trying to get there this past 20 years.’  Photograph: Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

This pope called on every Catholic parish and religious community in Europe to take in a migrant family each

In a word . . . sorry

Bishop of Cloyne William Crean. File photograph: Catholic Communications Office/PA Wire

Official disagreed with prelate’s inaction over defrocked priest who continued to say Mass

Archbishop of Armagh Eamon Martin:  “The life of every human person is equally valuable.” Photograph: The Irish Times

Catholic primate Eamon Martin says ‘future of humanity does not lie in a culture of death’

A mural at Dalymount Park, home of Bohemians FC.

People urged to gather at Famine memorials in Dublin and throughout the island

‘Last April, as the small group began their commemorative march to Dublin, it was reported that as many as 700 migrants had drowned off the Libyan coast in the Mediterranean.’ Above: Ciara Blanch from Tallaght welcomes the Famine re-enactment walk from Roscommon to Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Hungarian refugees in the 1950s complained bitterly about their treatment and soon the vast majority had left Ireland to be reset(...)

Sabina Higgins (third from left) with Bruk Hiwet (left) and Nati Yohannes (right) of the Makush art gallery Addis Ababa,  Ethopiaid executive director Liam Barnard and Harriet and Martin Andrews, who run the Hamlin fistula hospital in Addis Ababa. Photograph: Alan Betson

All proceeds in aid of Hamlin fistula hospital in Addis Ababa

Former bishop of Kerry Bill Murphy (above) was assaulted by a drunken passenger on a train last month.  File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Ex-bishop of Kerry Bill Murphy assaulted in link to alleged handling of child sex abuse

Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick. File photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill /The Irish Times.

‘Anyone listening to their conscience now can’t but feel challenged by what we are witnessing’

Senator Mary Moran: she called on the congregation “to sit down and listen to the people and their priests – to communicate”

Senator Mary Moran says those who went to headquarters of Dominicans in Tallaght met with ‘negativity and disdain’

In a word ... crisis

 Fr Brendan Hoban. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Catholic parishes ‘have no intention of handing over their local school to anyone’

Archbishop Charles Brown: ‘We need to avoid the caricature that the only thing the Catholic Church has to speak about is abortion, gay marriage and contraception.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

Relations between Ireland and the Vatican have ‘improved immensely’

 Papal Nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown believes relations between Ireland and the Vatican are now “quite good and immensely improved from four years ago”. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

In his first Irish interview, the nuncio talks about the Catholic Church’s response to sexual abuse allegations and other challeng(...)

A talk to be given at a community centre in Cloyne diocese   by Fr Tony Flannery (above), who holds liberal views on women priests, homosexuality and contraception,  has been cancelled. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Cleric has liberal views on women priests, homosexuality and contraception

The moving statue at Ballinspittle, Co Cork in 1985. File photograph: Jack McManus/The Irish Times

Statues were said to have moved at 30 Irish locations in 1985

The Church of Ireland said being homeless “has a serious negative effect on children and their futures”. Photograph: Getty Images

Church commission critical of ‘scandal . . . in one of the richest countries in the world’

Police officers  attempt to contain disturbances along the controversial Ardoyne flashpoint area on July 13th, 2015 in Belfast. Photograph:   Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

‘Last month was a reminder of the dark underbelly that can accompany Orange marches and which the Order allows off the leash when (...)

Fr Tony Flannery, who in 2012 was suspended from public ministry by the Vatican, celebrated Mass in a Co Galway family home last week. Photograph: Alan Betson.

Martin Sheen endorses US event at which banned priest will speak prior to pope’s visit

Dr Martin McAleese: “They couldn’t say that ‘you don’t understand’. I knew their streets, their pubs, their clubs, their schools, their churches”

Visit of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth highlight of McAleese presidency

Dubliner Ray O’Donnell, organist at Galway Cathedral. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Known locally as ‘Taj Miceál’, its landmark green dome towers over the city skyline

In excess of 600 Orangemen in Fermanagh, a third of the order’s membership there, took part in the survey, as did a further 161 members of the public. Photograph: The Irish Times

Grand Orange Lodge survey reveals that almost 74% would not attend a GAA match

Catholic  Iraqis attend Mass. Christians “face persecution in over 100 countries”. Photograph: Reuters/Ali Jarekji

Bells to be rung at noon in parishes all over Ireland in solidarity with persecuted

 Cardinal Timothy Dolan with the papal nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown, and Bishop of Meath Michael Smith. Photograph:  John Mc Elroy

Over 150,000 pilgrims from Ireland and abroad expected to attend over the nine days

A child is rescued from an overloaded boat in the Mediterranean by the crew of the LÉ Niamh. Photograph: Irish Naval Service

Migrants taken from overloaded vessel 115km northwest of Tripoli

In a Word . . . ugly

Abuse survivor Marie Collins:  “My priority was always accountability – if there’s no accountability, it’s all a waste of time.” Photograph: Frank Miller

Abuse survivor invited to join Vatican Commission for the Protection of Minors last year

A drumming performance at “the best undiscovered festival in Ireland” - we’re not telling you where it’s on. Probably.

‘Best undiscovered festival in Ireland’ plans to stay that way, but read on if you must

Ann Fell is consoled by family and friends at the funeral of her husband, Charlie, at St Alphonsus and Columba Church in Ballybrack/Killiney. Photograph: Sara Freund

Funeral of Irish Times columnist told he was ‘inspirational’ in final lecture

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Spokesman confirms move after parishioners express concern

 Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, addresses  Catholics at St Patrick’s Cathedral, New York City, in   February  2013.  File photograph: John Moore/Getty Images

Transatlantic flight from US to Ireland West Airport Knock a first for Aer Lingus

Crowds gathered in the courtyard at Dublin Castle, for the results of the same-sex marriage referendum. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Timetable follows Court of Appeal’s dismissal of challenges to referendum result

Dr Ali Selim:  said many Muslims in Ireland “were not aware of the demonstration”, which had “come out of the blue”. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Absence of representatives of larger mosques also due to lack of consultation in advance

The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said he regrets saying the church needed a “reality check” following the marriage equality referendum. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Historians should look at religious roots of 1916 leaders’ thinking, he said

 Dr Umar Al-Qadri: ‘If you will remain silent you will let them come into the mosque and you will let them speak to the youth . . . They will spread the cancer of extremism to the Muslim youth.’  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council launches document against radicalisation at O’Connell Street protest

Patrick Anderson McQuaid, Derek Leinster and Noleen Belton, members of the Bethany Survivors Group, at the burial site of children from the Bethany Home in Harold’s Cross, Dublin.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Commission to focus on 14 homes, with report to be completed by 2018

At the Aoife Beary fundraiser at Wesley Club were from left Jennifer Geraghty, Carla Canniffe,  the American Ambassador to Ireland Kevin O’Malley  James Doherty Trisha Doherty, Lucy Geraghty and Eimear O Hoherty. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

‘The more support that we can give them the better,’ US Ambassador Kevin O’Malley

The protest will highlight that Islam is a religion of peace and show that all Muslims in Ireland condemn terrorism. Photograph: Irish Muslim Peace & Integration Council

’Not in Our Name’ protest takes place at 1pm in Dublin on Sunday

Statue of St Teresa, Avila, Castile and Leon, Spain. Photograph: Getty Images

Event commemorates saint born 500 years ago, relic to arrive in Galway on Saturday

Lightning strikes near Cologne’s famed Catholic cathedral – more than 200,000 Germans left the Catholic Church last year. Photograph: Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

Record numbers renouncing their Christianity attributed to changes in the tax system

An Garda Síochána failed in its duty to investigate allegations of child sexual abuse made by two women against a priest in the Cloyne diocese, the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) has found. Photograph : Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times.

Gsoc says taking action against two members would be moot, as both now retired

Rev Dr William O’Neill, who  had been author of Presbyterian Notes for The Irish Times since 1960.  Photograph: Sara Freund/The Irish Times

Author of Presbyterian Notes for ‘The Irish Times’ since 1960 finishes writing career

Police officers and paramedics attend to a girl who was trapped underneath a car at Ardoyne in Belfast. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

One officer had ear severed by block, another could have lost finger when bitten at NI parade

Police line up in front of Loyalist protesters on the Crumlin Road in Belfast. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA.

First Minister of NI says it is vital that those involved in riots are ‘held accountable’

Police attend to an injured girl, after rolling the car off her, which had driven into a crowd of people outside Ardoyne in north Belfast. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Girl hit by car while one officer needed 12 stitches for bite wound in violent protests

Loyalists break through a police barrier as they are prevented from progressing on the return journey towards the controversial Ardoyne flashpoint the Twelfth of July parade on July 13, 2015 in Belfast. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Orangemen prevented from parading past flashpoint Ardoyne shops in north Belfast

Protestant members of the Orange Order pass the Ardoyne shops in north Belfast on their way to the main parade. Photograph:  Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Boisterous youth chime with more sedate older couples on Orange day out in Belfast

Carmel McDonnell Byrne - far left in a composite photo of her family.

‘In July 1965, my mother abandoned eight children and our lives changed forever’

Breifne Earley who has won the world cycle race and is due to return to his native Co Leitrim on Saturday.

Breifne Earley, who made journey to raise suicide awareness, will end trip in Leitrim

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys will  launch online the entire collection of Catholic parish register microfilms with Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Almost 300 years of parish registers to be made available by National Library of Ireland

 Fr Tony Flannery said on his website: “We are told that Jesus had four brothers, and an indefinite number of sisters. This does not fit with the church’s need to present Jesus as the Son of God, conceived in a way that is different from other humans, and Mary as the perpetual virgin. So the scholars turned the brothers and sisters into cousins!”

Fr Tony Flannery says scholars turned Jesus’s siblings into cousins to fit church’s view

Men gather at the Anwar-i-Madina Mosque on Talbot Street, Dublin to eat after fasting and praying during Ramadan. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons.

Ramadan in June involves fasting for 20 hours a day: no food, water, smoking or sex

In a word... sex

In 1975, Cardinal Seán Brady conducted canonical investigations into allegations by two teenage boys of abuse by Fr Brendan Smyth. Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Retired Catholic primate’s role in looking into Brendan Smyth allegations unclear

Climate justice conference told that State ‘sheltering behind intransigent countries’

Mary Robinson: “The latest science makes it clear that the world needs to reach zero carbon emissions globally by 2050 to maximise chances of staying below 2 degrees and to make 1.5 degrees feasible.” Photograph: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Former president says planet on track to be 4 degrees warmer than pre-industrial levels

Ethiopian pianist and composer Girma Yifrashewa: he says his recital at Farmleigh in Dublin on Wednesday evening will be “very, very special” for him, “very spiritual”.

‘I’ve become someone, from nowhere, through people with big hearts’

People commemorate the Battle of Waterloo at the site in Belgium 200 years after the fact on June 18th, 2015. Seated at centre is a man playing Napoleon Bonaparte.  Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Battle concluded brutalising war, head of Church of Ireland tells Evensong service

International aid agencies and environmental groups have hailed Pope Francis’s “game-changing” message on the need to protect the environment and tackle climate change. Photograph: Maurizio Brambatti.

UN special envoy Mary Robinson says encyclical shows matter is ‘moral issue of our time’

 Cardinal Seán Brady. A brother, sister and their  cousin have appealed against the High Court dismissal of their action against the cardinal.  File  photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Cardinal Brady being sued in personal capacity following role in 1975 inquiry

The Association of Catholics in Ireland said full membership of the church should be extended to those in second relationships. Photograph: Getty Images

Call for significant lay involvement at Synod on the Family in Rome

Bishop Leo O’Reilly is to explore the possibility of having married men as priests and the appointment of women as deacons. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Bishop O’Reilly to discuss allowing priests to marry and appointing female deacons

RTÉ’s The Sunday Game Live presenter Michael Lyster (left) with football panellists Joe Brolly, Colm O’Rourke and Pat Spillane in studio in Croke Park.

Sports broadcaster to have pacemaker fitted after wife used CPR to save his life

Martin tells abuse survivor ‘you’ve touched our hearts, and our hearts are wobbly’

Several of Ireland’s Catholic bishops may be subject to investigation by the new Vatican tribunal announced this week by Pope Francis (above). The tribunal will hold bishops to account where it is claimed they failed to protect children from sexual abuse by priests. Photograph: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

Some bishops faced criticism over handling of clerical child sex abuse claims

 Chris De Burgh performs during the humanist funeral service for Paolo Tullio at Trinity College Dublin, June 11th, 2015. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Humanist ceremony held in crowded Examination Hall at Trinity College Dublin

“If he (a bishop) doesn’t have the right attitude to abuse, or if he doesn’t deal with a case properly and it means a child is not kept safe, then he will have to answer to his own higher authority as well as to civil authority,” said abuse survivor Marie Collins. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Tribunal will hold bishops to account for covering up child sex abuse allegations

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