President Michael D Higgins refused an invitation from the five main Christian churches to attend the  Armagh  service. Photograph: Maxwells

Move is a display of difference with the President, say some Government sources

Only a younger person would lament their own beauty.
In a Word . . . Beauty

Surely one of the great aesthetic pleasures is beholding the body beautiful

President Michael D  Higgins said last week that in March he had made known his concerns about the title of the event. Photograph: Maxwells/PA Wire

Donaldson claims President has ‘little or no interest’ in shared future with unionism

Irish President Michael D Higgins. Photograph: Maxwells/PA Wire

Invitations to ‘controversial’ NI centenary event in Armagh to be sent today

Queen Elizabeth and Michael D Higgins at Windsor Castle in 2014. Photograph: Justin Tallis/WPA Pool/Getty

Disclosure that queen to attend branded an ‘error of judgment’ from security perspective

In a Word: Songs

The major cause of death in country songs is a broken heart

The invitation sent to Michael D Higgins said the service next month would be ‘of Christian worship hosted, organised and led by the leaders of the Church of Ireland, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian and Methodist Churches and the Irish Council of Churches’. Photograph:  Filippo Monteforte/AFP via Getty

Attendance of Higgins at event would have been ‘very special’ – Archbishop Martin

Thousands of people from Donegal and Mayo protested in Dublin in June in support of a 100% redress scheme for homes and other buildings affected by blocks defective due to the mineral mica. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Bishops in west ‘gravely concerned’ at plight of families affected by building defects

Fr Tony Flannery accused Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary (pictured above) of lacking ‘ordinary human compassion’. Photograph: James Forde

Attempts made to resolve ‘sad situation... declined’, he says

President Michael D Higgins at the Quirinal Palace in Rome as part of his four-day visit to the Italian capital. Photograph: Maxwells/PA Wire

Donaldson says many may reach conclusion decision not to attend is based on politics

Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

‘Model whereby a public attends Mass once a week is not what the Church is about’, he says

Trócaire called on the Government ‘to uphold Ireland’s reputation as a leader in international development’.  Photograph: Kim Haughton

Ireland’s overseas aid ‘saves lives’, says chief executive Caoimhe de Barra

Bishop Michael Router said national media coverage highlighted the serious intimidating behaviour connected to  ongoing drugs related criminal activity in the Border area.

Support network provided assistance to more than 250 families in region last year

There are now 29 parishes with a single priest in Cloyne. Photograph: iStock

Were it not for retired priests the overall effect would be much more obvious

Former president Mary McAleese: ‘Many of us are in growing despair of our Church’s inability to turn a critical spotlight on itself while shining a critical spotlight on the world at large.’ Photograph: iStock

Authority based on ‘fictitious baptismal promises made by non-sentient babies’, says former president

Size matters?
In a Word . . . Sex

The first hint of sex in Ireland was just before Pope John Paul arrived in 1979

The Very Rev William Morton, dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin: ‘Singing is very much part of the tradition.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne

‘They have spoken about increased numbers at services, but nothing about singing’

At the launch of Ireland and the Magdalene Laundries: A Campaign for Justice, Authors of Ireland and the Magdalene Laundries: A Campaign for Justice (from left) Maeve O’Rourke, Claire McGettrick, James M. Smith and Katherine O’Donnell. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw for The Irish Times

Burials, exhumations and cremations of former Magdalene women ‘deeply troubling’

 Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral Dr William Morton marks the completion of the building works at the cathedral. Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan

Dean of cathedral says undertaking will secure building for ‘generations to come’

The Bons Secours Sisters were ‘dedicated to the service of the sick, the poor and the needy,’ said Archbishop Farrell who made no explicit reference to the order’s involvement in the Mother and Baby Home at Tuam. File photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

No explicit reference made to congregation’s role in running Tuam Mother and Baby Home

The former Artane Industrial School, now St David’s, which was run by the Christian Brothers. Photograph: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Many properties transferred to trusts set up shortly before publication of Ryan Report

Archbishop Eamon Martin will ‘consider its content carefully’. Photograph: Tom Honan

Primate to discuss Darragh O’Brien’s letter at bishops’ meeting next month

Forever rolling: Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards. Photograph: Cewzan Grayson/PA Wire
In a Word ... longevity

The Rolling Stones are a musical phenomenon – and a physiological outrage

Head curator  Brendan Rooney, director  Sean Rainbird and curator Donal Maguire at the launch of the National Gallery’s newest exhibition, Jack B Yeats: Painting & Memory. Photograph: Alan Betson

Show that marks 150th anniversary of artist’s birth will see gallery at 60% capacity

Robbie Robinson (81), founder of super-pirate station Sunshine Radio in Dublin,  died on Tuesday in Lanzarote. Photograph: Sheelagh O’Donnell

Robinson came to Dublin in 1980 where he and the late Chris Carey set up the station

The two public hospitals and one private hospital owned by the Sisters of Charity through the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group were worth €434 million in 2017, according to documents filed at the Companies Registration Office. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Net assets of one religious congregation found to be more than €1 billion in 2009

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

‘Catholic social teaching recognises housing is a universal human right,’ says spokesman

Trees burn during the French Fire in the Sequoia National Forest, California, US, last week.  The Archbishop of Dublin has issued a warning on climate change. Photograph:  Patrick T Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Dermot Farrell says ‘God now calls us to work for the good of the planet’

Broadcaster and journalist Rodney Rice who has died following a short illness. He was 76. Photograph: The Irish Times

Colleagues commend his knowledge, intellect and fairness: ‘qualities a great broadcaster needs’

In a Word...misery

One of the great conundrums of theology is ‘the problem of suffering’. It will always be with us

Around 60 per cent of participants said they were having mental health difficulties while in prison.

Well-resourced repatriation system ‘urgently required’, says Catholic Church agency

Covid vaccine sceptic, Cardinal Raymond Burke has been taken off a ventilator and moved out of intensive care in a US hospital, according to a spokesman. File picture: Getty

Cardinal Burke had questioned need for variety of anti-Covid measures

The funeral cortège of  Anthony Flynn as it passed the Inner City Helping Homeless office on Amiens Street in Dublin on Tuesday. Photograph: Tom Honan

‘He took his shoes off and gave them to a bloke that was lying on a cardboard box’

Athletic, from Latin athleticus, Greek athletikos.

To my joy, increased levels of exercise is linked to heart issues

The unfolding crisis in Afghanistan ‘presents Ireland with another opportunity’. Photograph: Mohammad Javadzadeh/AFP

Taking in more refugees should be ‘policy priority’ and process should be speeded up

A still from a video by the Ad Council shows Pope Francis urging people to get vaccinated against Covid-19. Photograph: Ad Council via The New York Times

Pontiff says getting the vaccine is ‘an act of love’ and a way to promote the common good

Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys announced latest round of funding under the Rural Future Digital Innovation Programme on Thursday. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Kerry main beneficiary of new funding in Rural Future Digital Innovation Programme

Soraya Afzali said her main aim at the moment is to help persuade the Government to allow emergency visas for Afghan people currently trying to flee that country. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

People ‘don’t know what is going to happen’ or what form government is going to take

In Dublin people of no religion in 2016 made up 48% of those in the 24 to 29 age group. File photograph: Getty

According to 2016 census people of no religion comprised more than 10% of population

Cardinal Raymond Burke: ‘I was raised in an Irish Catholic family which had a keen sense of the moral law.’ File photograph: Getty

Prelate receiving treatment in Wisconsin where ‘doctors encouraged by his progress’

Evidence of Christian belief in Ireland today ‘has for all intents and purposes vanished,’ Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Dermot Farrell has said. Photograph: iStock

Reduced numbers may afford an opportunity ‘to reimagine the institutional Church’

Fr Seán McDonagh, co-founder of Association of Catholic Priests. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Climate change has been at centre of Pope Francis’s ministry, says Fr Seán McDonagh

Was this unexpected reserve  my new, post-pandemic normal?
In a Word... Normal

The new normal seems much the same as the old one. And I am glad

A spokeswoman for Elphin diocese saidt he sacrament of Confirmation takes place from mid-August to early October and all parishes are free to postpone previously scheduled dates. Photograph: iStock

Several bishops give permission for sacraments to be celebrated in August

Cardinal Raymond Burke claimed that Covid-19 was being used “by certain forces, inimical to families and to the freedom of nations, to advance their evil agenda”.  Photograph: Franco Origlia/Getty Image

Irish-American Raymond Burke (73) queried necessity for social distancing and spoke of ‘Wuhan virus’

The Archbishop of Dublin has advised Catholics against going around with ‘a funeral face’, a ‘sourpuss’ or ‘a grimace that would stop a clock’. Photograph: iStock

Dermot Farrell says ‘sourpuss’ Christians ‘harm the mission and witness of the church’

As he caught the swirls of ice-cream, the young man turned and shouted at me, ‘Flake’

Co-founder of the Association of Catholic Priests Fr Tony Flannery says bishops missed an opportunity to ‘relocate’ the preparation for sacraments from schools to parishes so ceremonies would be for only those who ‘really want it’. File photograph: iStock

Archbishop Dermot Farrell says many have concluded the ‘guidelines are discriminatory’

A spokesman for the Catholic bishops, said last week there was no centralised policy or approach to Communions and Confirmations. File photograph: Getty

Prelates accused by priests of ‘lining up with anti-vaxers’ and ignoring Covid-19 advice

 The former deputy group news editor at Independent Newspapers Dave Halloran has died.

Tributes pour in for former deputy group news editor after sudden death

Fr Noel Barber. Photograph: Jimmy McCormack

Jesuit was appointed Belvedere’s headmaster in 1973

  Belvedere College on Great Denmark Street in Dublin: the order said the late Fr Joseph Marmion, who died in 2000, abused boys while he was on the teaching staff in the 1970s. Photograph: Laura Hutton

Order contacted Garda 25 years after receiving first allegations against Fr Marmion

The bubonic plague is believed to be the most fatal pandemic in human history

The Jesuits said the sexual abuse of pupils at the Dublin school in the 1970s was a shameful chapter in the order’s history. Photograph: Laura Hutton / The Irish Times

The order said the late Fr Joseph Marmion, who died in 2000, abused boys while he was on the teaching staff in the 1970s

Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary: “Religion as a countercultural force has today become marginalised.” Photograph: James Forde

News and information organs serving ‘questionable ends’ to ‘reshape our values’

A deterioration of the GAA language set in last year as match attendance was stopped

Shaykh Umar al-Qadri, who led the Eid al-Adha event in Croke Park last year. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Over twice as many people can attend next week as pandemic restrictions are relaxed

Summer camps like  this rugby one at at Clondalkin RFC in Dublin will still be permitted but there is some surprise that indoor ones have prohibited and anger over the lack of notice.  Photograph: Matt Browne/ Sportsfile

‘We just happened to hear it on the radio, that’s how we found out about it’

President Michael D Higgins inspecting the 27 Infantry Battalion at Collins Barracks, Dublin, during the National Day of Commemoration. Photograph: Tom Honan

‘In particular we remember those who died in the War of Independence and subsequent conflict on this island’, said Taoiseach

The Vatican contends that Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu gave €600,000 to a charity run by his brother in Sardinia. File photograph: Getty

A trial before the Vatican’s criminal tribunal begins this month, those charged include four former Vatican officials and Cardinal(...)

Tomorrow marks the centenary of the truce that ended the Irish War of Independence

Parish Priest Fr Richard Gibbons said ‘once we can safely gather again at Knock Shrine, a full programme will be announced’. File photograph: Keith Heneghan

Appeal for priests to help with extended, month-long Croagh Patrick pilgrimage

‘Death’ has died a death, having been overtaken by a ‘passing’ trend

From left: Rev Rebecca Guildea; Rev David Mungavin, Rector of Greystones; Dr Margaret Kennedy; and Archbishop Michael Jackson

Dr Margaret Kennedy recognised for service to ‘survivors of Church-related sexual abuse’

‘First Holy Communion and Confirmation ceremonies are to be deferred until further notice’.

Varadkar rejects claims that in an ‘off-the-cuff’ remark he had cancelled the ceremonies

An artist’s impression of the proposed Narrow Water bridge at Carlingford Lough.

‘The Narrow Water Bridge will now be delivered upon,’ says Taoiseach

Fine Gael councillor Ted Leddy has apologised for past tweets. File photograph: Collins Courts

Varadkar constituency ally Ted Leddy acknowledges posts as ‘insensitive’

Following examination by paramedics it was decided the two girls should go to hospital. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Two girls taken to hospital after being pulled out to sea in an inflatable dinghy

Archbishop Dermot Farrell of Dublin: ‘What we do in the coming months and years, how we live through this time of challenge and opportunity, will define who we really are as a people of faith.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

Taskforce to prepare proposals on spiritual and pastoral renewal by end of summer

Irish media for a long time did a medium job – at best – of holding power to account

Archbishop Dermot Farrell presides as the remains of Cardinal Paul Cullen are reinterred at the Pro-Cathedral crypt in Dublin.

Cardinal Paul Cullen considered the chief architect of Catholic Church in Ireland

The rainbow Pride flag was raised along with the Tricolour outside  the Church of the Assumption in Ballyfermot. File image: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Ballyfermot priest forced to remove flag after complaints to Archdiocese and ‘foul’ social media campaign

The annual Reek Sunday pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick, cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will take place on four days of every week in July. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Reek Sunday event is usually marked on last Sunday in July, but this year will be different

The more types of trauma a person experiences, the lower their life expectancy, the GP told the committee. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Poverty and childhood trauma among main causes of homelessness, says expert GP

Ms Cunningham said members were “severely tested” by protests in Dublin .Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Some restrictions ‘impacted disproportionately on some sections of society,’ ICCL says

A file photograph of the  National Board for Safeguarding Children’s chairman John Morgan and chief executive Teresa Devlin. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.

National Board for Safeguarding Children received 134 abuse allegations in year to March 31st

A rainbow Pride flag and a Tricolour flown at the Our Lady of the Assumption parish in Ballyfermot have been removed on the advice of the Dublin Catholic archdiocese. Photograph: Facebook/Ballyfermot Assumption Parish.

Archdiocese informed priest that certain flags to be flown on ‘special occasions only’ such as confirmations

Mayor of Waterford Cllr Damien Geoghegan pictured earlier this month raising one of the flags that was later burned. Photograph: Waterford City and County Council

Recent activity had a damaging effect, particularly on young people, Minister said

Msgr Basil O’Sullivan: ‘I wanted to be a priest, and it was more important to be a priest than where you were sent.’  File photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

Msgr O’Sullivan says 1996 shooting in local school is ‘burned’ in everyone’s memories

In a Word...

...Harp. Patsy McGarry

At the conclusion of their summer meeting on Wednesday evening, the Catholic bishops also repeated their committment to more diverse patronage in Irish schools which would reflect “the reality of the increasingly diverse society in our country.” Photograph: iStock

Catholic leaders affirm committment to greater diversity of schools’ patronage

 Woodturning at Louth Community Men’s Sheds, in Dundalk. File photograph: The Irish Times

Isolation takes toll during pandemic, according to report from men’s sheds association

Archbishop of Dublin Dermot Farrell is patron of Lacken national school at Blessington, Co Wicklow. File photograph:  John McElroy

LGBT+ issue: Decision follows objections by parents who feel programme does not fit with State’s stance

The Sean Ross Abbey in Roscrea, Co Tipperary, which was Mother and Baby home operated by the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary from 1930 to 1970. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Ministers to consider new proposal to examine testimonies ‘through a human rights lens’

Empowered women will soon set about eliminating us. And who could blame them?

The head of the now-dissolved Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes Yvonne Murphy wrote to the chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Children Kathleen Funchion on Friday declining the invite to appear. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Findings could be ‘put in peril’ by rush to judgment by committee members, says commission head

 Archbishop Dermot Farrell said that the Church in Dublin “needed to evolve... We do know that a radical renewal is required.” File photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Archbishop says it is time ‘to build new models of ministry’ in time of ‘crisis’

The recently deceased US astronaut Michael Collins has a Roscommon backstory

  Defence Forces chief of staff, Vice-Admiral Mark Mellett, said the State must invest in its ‘defenders’. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Navy staff shortages forced State to request support from EU agency to patrol waters

 British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds, who married at the weekend, were both baptised Catholics as children and though the British prime minister was later confirmed as a member of the Church of England, canon lawyers say once you are baptised Catholic you remain a Catholic. File photograph: Will Oliver/EPA

Marriages in ‘non-Catholic churches, beaches, before Elvis impersonators’ considered invalid

 Britain’s prime minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie Johnson in the garden of 10 Downing Street, London after their wedding on Saturday. Photograph:  Rebecca Fulton/10 Downing Street/AFP

First two marriages of Britain’s first Catholic prime minister not seen as valid by Church

The service is free and involves a network of counsellors in Ireland and abroad which provides essential therapy to those who have suffered such abuse. Photograph: iStock

‘Endeavours to empower survivors to reclaim and rebuild their lives’, says Bishop

In a Word. . .

. . . Sibling

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