Shaykh Umar Al-Qadri, imam of the Al-Mustafa Islamic Centre, says gay people “will be able to adopt children. These children will be brought up without either a father or a mother.” Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Imam of Dublin Islamic centre says approval will open door to new definitions of marriage

Emese Berki and Ann Buckley, both from Cork, at the official opening of the dlr Lexicon library and cultural centre. Picture Jason Clarke Photography.

Controversial dlr Lexicon library is officially opened

The meeting of Catholic Priests’ Associations and Reform Groups called on bishops in their respective countries to “courageously and publicly” support the vision and programme of Pope Francis for the church. Photograph: EPA

Fr Tony Flannery calls on Irish bishops to ‘put their shoulders behind Francis’

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin. Catholic bishops have not made any decision on whether priests should decline to perform civil aspects of weddings if marriage is extended to same-sex couples following the May 22nd referendum. File photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin spokeswoman says they will ‘cross bridges when they come’

A screengrab from a video posted on the Balbriggan and surrounding areas against water charges Facebook page showing an anti-water charge protester injured during a demonstration outside Fingal county hall in Swords, Co Dublin.

Frequently targeted local authority has spent €33,000 on security over past two years

A meeting between a working group of the Vatican’s Commission for the Protection of Minors and its chairman Cardinal Seán O’Malley, about the controversial appointment of a Chilean bishop, went “very well”, Dublin survivor Marie Collins has said. Photograph: Reuters

Protection Commission concerned about implications for future bishop appointments

In a word


Fr Tony Flannery: will host the Catholic Church reform event. He has been forbidden by the Vatican to exercise his ministry as a priest following articles he wrote for the Redemptorists’ Reality magazine. Photograph: Alan Betson

Redemptorist priest Fr Tony Flannery to host four-day church reform conference

Shaykh Umar Al-Qadri from the Al Mustafa Islamic Centre, Dublin. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Shaykh Umar Al-Qadri calls for more meetings between religious groups

‘St Augustine  also taught that virginity was the higher way of life and best route to spiritual perfection. This view of marriage was reflected in the lack of any formal liturgy for marriage in the early church, even though it had such liturgies to celebrate the Eucharist, Baptism, and Confirmation.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Patsy McGarry: ‘Marriage did not have much status in the early church’

Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease is a truly terrifying predicament. In Patsy McGarry's book it is, probably, the third-worst diseas(...)

Students evacuated from Moi University during a terrorist siege gather together in Garissa on Friday to be transported to their home regions. Photograph: Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty

Fr Patrick Devine says ‘this is murder on a scale that horrifies the whole world’

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said he could not celebrate the light of Christ without thinking of those students in Kenya who were singled out one by one to be killed because of their Christian identity.

‘Sadly, the Cross of Good Friday continues to cast a long shadow in our world’

What’s it like to join a pilgrimage group? Good fun, as Religious Affairs Correspondent Patsy McGarry discovers

Rabbi Zalman Lent, leader of the Jewish community of Dublin (left), and Dr Ali Selim of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland at the Three Faiths Forum of Ireland, involving members of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities  at the Mansion House. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Story told of miracle, survival, slavery, plagues, recalcitrant humans and retribution

 The Way of the Cross ceremony in  Phoenix Park led by the archbishop of Dublin Rev Diarmuid Martin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Prelate addresses hundreds in ecumencial gathering

The Stations of the Cross will take place in various spots in the south east – starting with a litany in Waterford Church of Ireland cathedral at 7.30am.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Unique Good Friday event in south-east sees railway enthusiast bishop take to the tracks

Sculptor Tim Schmalz with his ‘Homeless Jesus’ bronze. The sculpture is due to arrive in Dublin on Good Friday and will be installed on the grounds of Christ Church Cathedral a week later. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Bronze will be installed on Christ Church Cathedral grounds a week later

 Executive director of One in Four Maeve Lewis. The agency, which helps survivors of child sexual abuse, has appealed for donations.    File photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Agency for child sexual abuse survivors has had to turn people away due to lack of funds

Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh (right) and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin pictured earlier this month at the Columba Centre, Maynooth.  For Holy Thursday Chrism Masses they respectively discussed the difficulty of being Christian, and the Pope Francis’s unpopularity. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

Not everyone likes Pope Francis, says Archbishop

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin: will celebrate the annual Holy Thursday chrism Mass in the Pro- Cathedral at 10am on Thursday.   Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Litany of Northern Ireland-related dead to be read in Dublin on Good Friday for 15th time

Sally O’Neill (left) and Anne Enright in Honduras. Photo David Stephenson

O’Neill has served for almost 40 years in some of the most troubled regions of world

Sadism was around long before Fifty Shades of Grey

Candles for the victims of Germanwings Airbus fight sit on a table during a church service at the altar at the cathedral Notre Dame du Bourg  in Digne-les-Bains, France. Photgraph:  Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

Head of journalists’ union in Ireland also calls for a Government commission on media

The President’s Initiative: President Michael D Higgins delivering the keynote Address, at The President of Ireland’s Ethics Initiative National Seminar , at Aras an Uachtaráin, Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

President says inequalities could have serious consequences for peaceful co-existence

Fr Brendan Hoban, from the Association of Catholic Priests. The association has decided not to take a position on the forthcoming same-sex marriage referendum. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Association of Catholic Priests urges clergy to avoid directing same-sex marriage vote

Ireland’s faith leaders met at a meal organised by the Jewish Representative Council of Ireland  to discuss religious turmoil across the globe. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Representatives from major religious groups discuss global turmoil

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin is not calling for a ‘conscience clause’ in the forthcoming same-sex marriage referendum, but says that a serious discussion is needed on the position of Christians troubled by the issue if the referendum passes. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Archbishop says discussion needed on position of Christians if same-sex marriage referendum passes

In a word ... age

 Dr Ali Selim, Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland, Dr Brendan Leahy, Bishop of Limerick, and Rabbi Zalman Lent, leader of the Jewish community of Dublin, at the Three Faiths Forum of Ireland event in the Mansion House last night. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Rabbi Zalman Lent says of an estimated 1,763 major wars in history, just 173 ‘are classified as being fought over religious differ(...)

Mary Aikenhead founded the Sisters of Charity in 1816.

Founded St Vincent’s hospital in Dublin

 Bishop Kevin Doran: ‘I’m conscious that whatever the situation, some people were hurt by either what I said or what they thought I had said and I very much regret that.’ Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Many Christians live ‘a sort of de-facto atheism’, says Archbishop Martin

“I believe Maíria Cahill. I believe Mr McGahon. I believe there are questions to be answered and Sinn Féin are in a position to answer those and Gerry Adams in particular is,” the Taoiseach said.

Adams criticises Taoiseach’s remarks over SF leader’s handling of abuse allegations

In a word... Ides

Fr Pierre Pepper is carried aloft after defeating Jared Madden during his amateur boxing match in  Banagher in Co Offaly.  The fight  raised proceeds for charity. Photo: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

Priest ‘slaughters’ opponent in mother-of-all charity fights

Also on the programme former president of Ireland Mary McAleese says that while she likes Pope Francis she feels he just doesn’t get women – “there’s a blind side here.” Photograph: The Irish Times

‘He was almost hated by some Jesuits’ Argentinean biographer tells programme

‘Irish Times’ editor Kevin O’Sullivan, with former editors Geraldine Kennedy and Conor Brady at the launch ‘The Irish Times 150 Years of Influence’, in the National Library. Photograph: Alan Betson

New book a ‘truly remarkable account of our past and positioning within Irish society’

Historian and Irish Times columnist Diarmaid Ferriter  at the launch of his new book  A Nation and Not A Rabble: The Irish Revolution 1913-1923. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Historian and ‘Irish Times’ columnist warns against ‘shameless celebrations’ of Ireland’s past

Minister for Education and Skills Jan O’Sullivan has published the draft General Scheme for a Retention of Records Bill. Photograph: Eric Luke

Records will not be available to public for 75 years

In a statement at the conclusion of their spring meeting in Maynooth, Catholic Bishops said “over one million people smoke cigarettes on the island of Ireland” and the new law “is to be welcomed notwithstanding the pressure exerted by corporate lobbying or legal threats regarding this matter”. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Catholic bishops express disappointment that alcohol at sporting events continues

Happy days: Christine Buckley with American playwright Sam Shepard at Trinity College Dublin in 2012 where both received honorary degrees. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Congregation hears gathering honours the ‘work of one who did what was right and just’

 Fr Brendan Hoban   of the Association of Catholic Priests.  “Haranguing them into voting No in the referendum, regardless of the substance of the arguments . . . will have the effect of driving more and more of them out of the church. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Analysis: Priests express fears opposition to Yes vote could damage church

The Sacred Hour [First version] (1907) by Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler. The image replaced one depicting Man Ray’s Venus Restored on the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture  after an outcry. Photograph via Pontifical Council for Culture’s website

Man Ray’s Venus Restored had been used to advertise assembly on women’s culture

 Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh (right) and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin pictured  at the Columba Centre in Maynooth on Tuesday where they held a press conference on the Catholic Church’ stance on the forthcoming same sex marriage referendum. Photograph: Collins

‘Unfortunate phrase’ used saying people with children not necessarily parents

Fr Iggy O’Donovan: “It is possible to have deep and passionately-held convictions without seeking to have those convictions imposed by the State on fellow citizens who do not share them.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne.

Priest says stance of bishops, Iona Institute and fundamentalists damaging church

Geraldine Branagan, Phil Coulter and Eamonn Campbell at the funeral at Mount Jerome, Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Balladeer was ‘effervescent . . . bubbling over with good humour’

I like old things; the older, the deeper the attachment, writes Patsy McGarry

In a word...


Alliance for the Defence of the Family and Marriage asserts that voting for same-sex marriage “is like voting for Islamic State-style sharia law”. Photograph: Thinkstock

Adfam claims same-sex couples more prone to cancer and more likely to abuse children

Seán McCann:  died suddenly but peacefully at his Dublin home

Hailed by Con Houlihan as ‘a brilliant features editor’

Northern Ireland’s First Minister and DUP leader Peter Robinson (second right) with (from left)  Dr Nicola Brady, research co-ordinator, Council For Justice and Peace;  Bishop Noel Treanor; Deirdre O’Rawe, regional director of Accord Catholic Marriage Care Service NI; the DUP’s Paul Givan MLA and the DUP’s Jonathan Bell during a meeting on February 24th, 2015,  to discuss the Freedom of Conscience Amendment Bill. Photograph: Jonathan Porter/Press Eye/PA Wire

Bill seeks accommodation between rights linked to discrimination and religious freedom

 The Catholic Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran has said: “Part of the challenge for us as a society, of course, is that we (and that includes many practising Catholics) have to a greater or lesser extent given up on the idea that sexual intercourse and an openness to procreation are essentially linked. That makes it more difficult to get our heads around why there might be any problem about changing the meaning of marriage.” File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Yes side ‘not actually looking for marriage equality’ says Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran

Pope Francis (above) has dismissed convicted abuser James Donaghy, a priest of Down and Connor diocese in Northern Ireland, from the clerical state. Photograph: Max Rossi/Reuters

James Donaghy not permitted to function as priest ‘under any circumstance, public or private’

A screengrab from the Irish Catholic Bishop’s Conference website which issued an advising statement to priests on electoral material in churches this week. Photograph:

Churches and schools ‘not appropriate places’ for purely electoral material

In a word


This beautifully written book traces the origins of Irish aid to the developing world through the story of the Fr Aengus Finucane (...)

Senator Ivana Backik, Senator David Norris, Bryan Lucey head of the newly formed King’s Inns’ Gay and Lesbian Straight Alliance, Patrick Treacy SC, and Dr. John Murray from the Iona Institute before the start of the Kings Inns marriage referendum debate. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Debate takes place in King’s Inns as Taoiseach sets May 22nd as date for referendum

Senator Ivana Bacik; Senator David Norris; Bryan Lucey, the head of the newly formed King’s Inns Gay, Lesbian, Straight Alliance; Patrick Treacy SC; and Dr John Murray from the Iona Institute meet before the start of the King’s Inns marriage referendum debate. Photograph: Alan Betson

Event was organised by King’s Inns Gay, Lesbian, Straight Alliance

 Minister for Education and Skills Jan O’Sullivan. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan does not intend to change teacher-pupil ratios

Bishop Éamonn Walsh: he suggested that the money saved might be donated to a hospices that  help people with addiction issues. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Abstinence ‘gives the body a rest and makes economic sense’ says Dublin’s auxiliary bishop

Archbishop Charles Brown runs into the prayer vigil  against the “display on the website of the Vatican-based Pontifical Council for Culture

Vigil at Dublin nunciature over depiction of women – a bound torso – on pontifical website

Fr Peter McVerry  will speak at the colloquium at Castlecoote House in Co Roscommon. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

‘Ethics in Crisis’ conference to take place near Roscommon town

Dr Fatima Hamroush at the Institute of International and European Affairs. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

‘Actual power is in the hands of the militias’

Archbishop Charles Brown: has overseen the appointment of 10 new bishops to Ireland’s 26 dioceses, with potentially five more to come this year. Photograph: Alan Betson

Ireland could see the appointment of 15 bishops since the papal nuncio’s arrival

Brendan Butler, We Are Church Ireland, Archdeacon Gordon Linney, and Canon Mark Gardner, at the launch of Faith in Marriage Equality, outside the Civil Registry Office, in Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

Marriage predates Christian church, says retired Archdeacon of Dublin Gordon Linney

In a word


Fr Des Hillary: Worked with Columban missionaries in Lima, Peru. He remained there until 2012 when he returned to Killalow diocese as as parish priest of Nenagh

Fr Des Hillary elevated to post with responsibility for day-to-day running of diocese

Peter Sutherland: “Enormously proud to be the president of this globally respected organisation.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Vatican approves appointment to International Catholic Migration Commission

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said: “The failure of any single Church organisation to implement the common norms casts a shadow over the credibility of the entire safeguarding efforts of the Catholic Church.” File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Archbishop of Dublin appalled at delays over guidelines by some religious congregations

Statements from religious orders  follow publication on Tuesday of a review of religious congregations by the Catholic Church’s child protection body, the National Board for Safeguarding Children. File photograph: William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

Orders provide firm assurances on future child protection after NBSC review

Teresa Devlin CEO of the National Board for the Safeguarding  Children. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

‘For some practice did not improve until 2013’

Pope Francis: had been speaking at a general audience when he said it was okay to smack children to discipline them. Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

‘Correct without humiliating’ is the right way

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: Will attend the meeting which is part of the dialogue with churches, faith communities and non-confessional bodies set up in February 2007. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Lobby organisation to advocate for secular constitution and education system

In a word


  A new book will raise funds for the Irish Hospice Foundation. Sons + Fathers will contain an introduction by Colm Toibín and  contributions by Bill Clinton,Gabriel Byrne, Daniel Day Lewis, Colin Farrell, Bono and all members of U2. Photograph: Eric Luke / THE IRISH TIMES

Stars to contribute to project about fathers and sons to raise funds for the Irish Hospice Foundation

Fr Alphonsus Cullinan has been appointed the new Bishop of Waterford and Lismore by Pope Francis. Photograph: John Mc Elroy.

Had been teacher and entertainer before studying for priesthood

Visiting at St James’s Hospital in Dublin has been severely restricted due to an outbreak of flu. Photograph: Alan Betson

In the interest of safety friends and family are requested to defer all non-essential visits

A World War II veteran places a flower on the memorial wall during a commemoration service in the former concentration camp Bergen-Belsen in northern Germany. Photograph: Getty Images

Hilde Michnia alleged to have been involved in forcing prisoners on death march

In a word


Membership is encouraged to vote

Stephen Fry: ‘Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?’ Photograph: Ian West/PA Wire

Comedian regards Jesus as a ‘very good soul’ but ‘a lot of things he says are nonsense...twee’

The man’s body was found in a house at Glendhu Road in Cabra, Dublin.

House in Cabra remains sealed off after discovery

Protestors in Pakistan react to 	‘blasphemous’ Charlie Hebdo cartoons. An international coalition has just launched the End Blasphemy Laws campaign, aimed at ending legislation against criticising or ridiculing religion worldwide. Photograph: Faisal Kareem/EPA

Group represents 200 organisations and is the first to focus on laws on insulting religion

In a video telling the story of Irish nuns and brothers, Br Kevin Crowley, of the Capuchin Day Centre,  explains his vocation. File photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times.

Recording, yet to be launched, gives insight into the lives of members of the church

A new Vatican document says women aged between 20 and 50 rarely go to Mass, opt for a religious wedding less often and in general express “a certain diffidence toward the formative abilities of religious men”. Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters

Church must open its door to ‘full collaboration’ with skills of women

The authors of the study on mixed-marriage patterns in Ireland 100 years ago say they could have been used to anticipate future violence and civil conflict

New study finds that mixed marriages were vert rare prior to first World War

The provision of a Health Amendment Act (HAA) 1996 Card was recommended by Mr Justice John Quirke, who prepared a compensation scheme for the Magdalene  women.  Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Group says judge’s recommendation on HAA card not included in Bill coming before Dáil

Catholic primate Archbishop Eamon Martin has said no young person should be turned away from a Catholic school based on the results of an entrance exam. Photograph: PA

Archbishop Martin: ‘We must always be alert to inequalities in our educational system’

Fr Michael Cleary: Dublin priest Fr Arthur O’Neill, in a newsletter last June, described media revelations that Fr Cleary had children as ‘exasperating’ and unproven. Photograph: Frank Miller/ The Irish Times

Band found success with ‘mixture of populist politics and Christianity’

“Food security, gender equality, dignity - these are core, universal values that are valid for any society across the globe,” President Michael D Higgins has said. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

2015 ‘a seminal year for future of human development’ due to talks of key importance

In a word . . . Turner

Patsy McGarry

 We Are Church (Ireland) said the Constitution does not define marriage as between a man and a woman. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Group says adoption and surrogacy are not part of referendum

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has asked Dublin’s Catholics to take part in parish discussions on the family in advance of a Vatican synod on the subject  in October. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Archbishop announces parish discussions in Dublin ahead of Vatican synod in October

Cardinal Timothy Dolan: Noted that Knock airport “was built specifically to welcome pilgrims to Knock shrine . . . Monsignor James Horan, I’m sure, would be very proud.” Photograph: The Irish Times

Cardinal Timothy Dolan: ‘It is an honour for me to open Ireland’s national public novena’

The entrance to  the former  Magdalene laundry on Stanhope Street, Dublin.   The Redress for Women Resident in Certain Institutions Bill, published last month, proposes survivors of the laundries be entitled to GP care, prescription medicines, nursing and home-help as well as dental, ophthalmic, aural, counselling, chiropody and physiotherapy services provided by the HSE. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Advocates for women say Bill is unacceptable paring back of redress package promises

In a word


In a word



Playwright and author Aodhan Madden has died aged 67.

Dublin-born author was twice a winner of the Oz Whitehead Award for drama

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