The principle of freedom of conscience is as important as majority decision-making. Photograph: Getty Images

The relationship of church and state in education is under renewed scrutiny. Plans to create more diversity in patronage have fallen flat, and prom(...)

Generations of students for the priesthood were taught the principle of double effect, which goes back to St Thomas Aquinas. Photograph: Reuters

James Mackey reminded readers recently, on these pages, of a distinction taught to generations of clerical and medical students in Ireland, between ca(...)

Archbishop Eamon Martin with Cardinal Seán Brady. “We can address ethical disagreement by consulting the faith of citizens, as Archbishop Martin recommends. Alternatively, we could rely on the moral experience of women as the primary source on which to base an ethics of family planning or abortion.”  Photograph: David Sleator

The current debate about abortion is fundamentally an ethical disagreement and, second, a political disagreement about how a State should legis(...)