Many years ago, Percy French wrote a song about the West Clare Railway which, though it may not have been fast or comfortable, seems to have been a ki(...)

The education of children with no religious belief is a problem for parents. It straddles the rural-urban divide – city schools under the patronage of(...)

‘John Bosco was well ahead of his time in his attitude to corporal punishment.’ Photograph: Getty Images

The Second Vatican Council and Pope Paul VI’s encyclical, Populorum Progressio (On the Development of Peoples), gave particular impetus to what might (...)

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

A group of lay Catholics has called for the Church to revise its teaching on contraception and access to the sacraments for those in second relationsh(...)

Marriage and the church

A chara, – “Marriage was the last resort of weak Christians. As a consequence the early church placed a low value on the family”, writes Patsy McGarry(...)

Archbishop of Dublin John Charles McQuaid: at the end of the second Vatican Council, he said: “You may have been worried by talk of changes to come. Allow me to reassure you: no change will worry the tranquillity of your Christian lives.”

The second Vatican Council closed 50 years ago this year, having begun in October 1962. One of the major changes it ushered in was the saying of the M(...)

Veteran reporter and commentator on Catholic Church affairs Desmond Fisher died in Dublin on Tuesday aged 94.

Veteran reporter and commentator on Catholic Church affairs Desmond Fisher died in Dublin on Tuesday aged 94. A contributor to this newspaper’s Rite a(...)

‘They are uplifted by some signs of hope among US bishops –  for instance the Archbishop of Boston Cardinal Seán O’Malley (above), in a recent television interview, stating that the Vatican investigation of the US women religious was a “disaster”.’ Photograph: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

I have recently returned from an 18-city speaking tour in the US, organised by the network of Church Reform movements. They impressed me. Their commit(...)

Pope Francis  kisses Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I after they signed a joint statement at St George church, the principal Greek Orthodox cathedral, in Istanbul on November 30th, 2014. Photograph: Filippo Monteforte/Reuters

Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew 1 took another step down the long road to Catholic-Orthodox unity when they prayed together in the G(...)

Pope Francis waves to the faithful at the end of a Mass for the beatification of Pope Paul VI in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican. Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters

Pope Francis has formally closed the Synod on the Family with a special Mass on the steps of St Peter’s during which he also beatified Pope Paul VI. P(...)