Catholic church: ‘Good Riddance or Good Influence?’

Three-day conference to examine role of Catholicism in pluralist Ireland

Whether the Catholic Church has any role in an increasingly pluralist Ireland will be discussed at a three-day international conference in Trinity College Dublin next week.

Speakers at the 'Good Riddance or Good Influence?' conference will include: UK literary critic Pro Terry Eagleton who will argue against pluralism; the outspoken supporter of refugee's rights Archbishop of Munich and Freising Cardinal Reinhard Marx; Prof William T Cavanaugh of Notre Dame University in the US, who will look at the Church's place in a consumer society; and editor of international Catholic weekly the Tablet, Catherine Pepinster, who will discuss the Catholic Church and British Government domestic policies.

There will also be lectures from social theorist Hans Joas, digital expert Sim D'Hertefelt, as well as Fáinche Ryan and Siobhán Garrigan from Trinity's Loyola Institute, which is hosting the event.

Event organiser Dr Cornelius Casey of the Loyola Institute, asked: "How pluralist are we really? Syrian migrants are flooding into Europe and large parts of Europe are firing up barriers to keep them out."

Similarly, in the public sphere an influential view today is that “the only way to proceed is to drain out all the distinctive religious traditions, and find a common denominator language” which “is all fine, but it is the opposite of pluralism,” he said.

“If I’m a Muslim, if I’m a Catholic, if I’m a Lutheran, I will have things to say that come from those traditions. Isn’t there is a danger that people coming from a religious perspective get written off, or simply don’t get listened to?

“Such issues need to be thrashed out and thought through and that’s the very point of this conference,” he said.

Further details can be found here.

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry is Religious Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times