Losing our religion?


A chara, – It is disingenuous of Kenneth Harper (April 12th) to claim to know what consultations took place in households throughout the country on the night the 2016 census forms were filled out. This is purely conjecture.

As the person filling out the form, I consulted with my wife. As a parent, I filled in the religion in which my children are being brought up. Until they are old enough to decide for themselves they are therefore Catholics.

Had I given them a choice I am sure they would claim to be worshippers of Liverpool FC. While the results of the census will be good news for some and bad news for others, they are facts – and the fact is that in 2016, 78 per cent of the Irish population declared themselves to be Catholic. – Is mise,



Co Carlow.

Sir, – In response to Kenneth Harper (April 12th), one could equally make the claim that the numbers for those declaring no religion was overstated, as those parents would include their children in this category also.

In fact, the census results can be viewed as “good news ”, for both categories. For, non-believers, based on the increase. And for religious people, based on the still very high percentage declaring, in spite of the extremely bad press, justified and unjustified, in recent years.

This all assumes you value the “numbers game”. For example, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI asserted that numbers were not a valid criteria in assessing religious integrity. – Yours, etc,



Co Meath.