Pope Francis: seen by many as separate from the institution he leads, and which he himself struggles to reform. Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters

Vatican photograph from 2007 captures church past and questions its future

So much of our youth was wasted on slight philosophies offering shallow answers to overwhelming questions

June Dillon, Dr Andrew O’Regan, Dr Siobhán Crowley, Dr Kirsten Fuller, Dr Brendan Crowley,  Dr Marie O’Donovan and Dr John Monaghan of the Medical Alliance for the Eighth.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Medical anti-abortion group says proposed regime ‘has nothing to do with healthcare’

Msgr Joseph Murphy: Head of  protocol office at Vatican’s Secretariat of State

‘A great personal honour’ for Msgr Joseph Murphy – Bishop of Cloyne William Crean

Pope Francis with Cardinal Kevin Farrell, second from left, Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, right, and a group of families from Ireland, at the Vatican on Wednesday. Photograph: Andrew Medichini/AP Photo

Pontiff (81) has kept his European visits short and many of his trips were just for one day

Cardinal Keith O’Brien: recused himself from the 2013 Vatican conclave that elected Pope Francis.

High-profile prelate opted to resign following damaging allegations concerning seminarians

Pope Francis in Rome,  March 19th. Photograph: EPA/Fabio Frustaci

Conservative elements ready to obstruct compassionate approach of Pope Francis

Father Malachy Finnegan: when he was at Stroud treatment centre for sex offenders he  was parish priest at Clonduff/Hilltown near Newry and president of the local GAA club, where he looked after the juvenile football teams

During therapy sessions for sex offenders, Finnegan insisted: ‘I’ve done nothing wrong’

She then asked my name and, shocked, said ‘I can’t call you that. It’s a girl’s name’

Musicians Neil Martin and Christy Moore were among those to carry the coffin of uilleann piper Liam O’Flynn at his funeral in Kill, Co Kildare.  . Photograph: Alan Betson

Uileann piper ‘bristled’ at being called a purist, funeral told

Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin Denis Nulty is  to visit the parish in Co Laois where  Fr Malachy Finnegan was a curate  in the early 1950s.  File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Allegations of sexual and physical abuse made later against Fr Malachy Finnegan

Former President Mary McAleese addressing the Voices of Faith conference in Rome. Photograph: Patsy McGarry

Misogyny very strong in the Church despite the PR words involved, says Fr Kevin Hegarty

Fr Malachy Finnegan: the late president of St Colman’s College, Newry. Photograph: Pacemaker Belfast

‘I’m still shaking today when I think of that monster’

A choose life section has been added to the www.catholicbishops.ie website

Atheists claim Catholic website and newsletter overtly campaign for specific outcome

Clement Leneghan, who has joined his sister former president Mary McAleese in calling for  an independent inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse at St Colman’s College Newry Co Down.

Adults in St Colman’s College and diocese knew about claims, Clement Leneghan says

What can you say to a mother whose only child has been killed in an accident at 20?

Cpl Patrick Gallagher from Derrintogher, Co Mayo, of the US Marines was shot dead while on patrol in Da Nang on March 30th, 1967.

Patrick ‘Bob’ Gallagher was awarded Navy Cross for saving lives of three comrades

Former president Mary McAleese addressing the ‘Voices of Faith’ conference in Rome last week. Photograph: Patsy McGarry

Ex-president said her sibling only recently revealed he was abused by Fr Malachy Finnegan

Dr John McAreavey will remains Bishop of Dromore until Pope Francis accepts his resignation. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Resignation yet to be accepted by Pope and has no validity until then

The Islamic Cultural Centre in Clonskeagh, Dublin. Auditors have repeatedly pointed out that the making of cash loans to staff which are not recorded by the centre’s payroll section raised taxation issues. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Concern expressed over record-keeping and period cash is being held at Dublin centre

The Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland in Clonskeagh Dublin. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Official Ireland turns to ICCI to acknowledge the State’s growing Muslim community

President Micheal D Higgins and his wife Sabina at the exhibition in the Islamic Cultural Centre in Clonskeagh yesterday at the opening of exhibitions for Neighbourhood Week with  Dr Nooh Al-Kaddo, right. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Dr al-Kaddo confirmed Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s foundation has headquarters at centre

Pope Francis: there have been no significant changes in church teaching or discipline since he was elected – and it is now hard to see any taking place under him. Photograph: Franco Origlia/Getty

He has appalled the Catholic right, disappointed liberals and delivered little real change

‘That’s where Caesar was assassinated 2,062 years ago next March 15th. On the Ides of March’

Former president Mary McAleese addressing the ‘Voices of Faith’ conference in Rome on Thursday. Photograph: Patsy McGarry

Archbishop of Dublin says comments by former president reflect his own views

Former president Mary McAleese addressing the Voices of Faith conference in Rome. Photograph: Patsy McGarry

Ireland ‘seeing the final dismantling of patriarchal, misogynistic empire’

The Catholic Church ‘has long since been a primary global carrier of the virus of misogyny,’ former president Mary McAleese has said. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Ex-president says if church speaks to women as equals ‘we will not be a mystery’ any longer

Former Irish president Mary McAleese: “In terms of the pastoral needs in Ireland, [the pope]  needs to go to Newry.” Photograph:  Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Ex-president says ban on women priests ‘codology dressed up as theology’

Bishop David O’Connell speaking in the original version of a video promoting the World Meeting of Families 2018.

Words of welcome for gay people from Cork-born bishop removed from promo clip

An expectant mother “needs and deserves the care and support of everyone around her”, the bishops said.

Spring meeting statement says removing unborn’s right to life would be ‘shocking step’

David O’Connell speaking in the original version of a video promoting the World Meeting of Families 2018.

Bishop’s words of support pulled from promotion for World Meeting of Families 2018

Bishop John McAreavey: “Hold in your prayers those who have been abused.” Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Dr John McAreavey defended by nephew amid claims of ‘vindictive’ media campaign

When she returned to Dublin she wrote a ‘Syrian love letter to Ballaghaderreen’

Brazilian woman Ione Porto arrives for her wedding to Glenn Cooper in Monkstown, Dublin.

Second couple tie the knot in hotel after church’s insurance company advises against opening

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone: “LGBTI families, like all families, should be celebrated and not excluded – that’s the message that should be coming not just from the World Meeting of Families, but from all who believe in justice, equality and fairness.” File photograph: Getty Images

Minister hopes event ‘will not be used... for remarks which exclude, isolate or hurt any family’

John McAreavey has resigned as Bishop of Dromore with immediate effect. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

People in Dromore diocese concerned that cleric said funeral Mass for alleged abuser

Bishop of Dromore John McAreavey has said he “would not be an obstacle” to   Co Down parents worried about this year’s Confirmation. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Further abuse claims about Fr Malachy Finnegan at whose funeral bishop officiated

I recommend Dan Brown’s daft ‘Angels and Demons’ for one reason only – Rome – it is a homage to the city. And slaughter!

Maynooth University has become the first Irish University to install high tech Energy Pods which will allow students to take 20 minute naps to help keep their energy levels up during a busy day at college. Photograph: The Irish Times

EnergyPods to enable students take 20-minute snooze in bid to maintain energy levels

In a Word . . . Cheat

I began to cheat at my local supermarket when I discovered I had drawers full of these so-called ‘re-usable’ heavy duty plastic sh(...)

The plaque in the sacristy of the Vatican’s Pauline Chapel, completed at a cost of €9 million in 2009. Photograph: Patsy McGarry

Irish companies approached for financial help required to pass ethical test

Vice-chair Maureen O’Sullivan TD and  chairman Brendan Smith TD during a report launch  of the Irish Aid Programme by the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade and Defence at Leinster House, Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Brendan Smith TD: ‘Vital that Ireland continues to keep aid promises to partner countries’

President Michael D Higgins  at the Béal na Bláth commemoration in   2016. Speaking of the upcoming anniversaries, he said: “We will need to display courage and honesty as we seek to speak the truth of the period, and in recognising that, during the War of Independence, and particularly during the Civil War, no single side had the monopoly of either atrocity or virtue.” Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

President’s second term would cover anniversary of War of Independence and Civil War

In general the Tusla audit found that the congregations had made substantial improvements in adhering to and implementing child abuse management guidelines.  Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Tusla review finds ‘a clear shift in attitudes and culture within the congregations’

Marie Collins, former member of the Vatican Commission for the Protection of Minors, said:  “I saw the Vatican up close, and its resistance, the lack of priority [on clerical child sex abuse], lack of transparency, and the absolutely misleading statements issued.” File photograph: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

Marie Collins fears working groups set up to address care of survivors may be scrapped

Atheist Ireland also want the religion question  moved elsewhere in the census form, “well away from questions on ethnicity, culture, or language”.

Atheist Ireland says writing in faith affiliation gives more accurate picture

Dr Ali Selim of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

The Muslim academic on media controversies and integration in Ireland

In a Word . . . Perfect

He had told the woman on the train he intended proposing to her sister when Mayo won the All-Ireland last September . . .

Ifrah Ahmed, Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri and Dr Chris Fitzpatrick at the Al-Mustafa Islamic Centre  in Dublin., Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Leading obstetrician calls on religious leaders to support FGM ban

Pope Frances has been invited to attend the women’s conference on March 8th.

Opening speaker will be former president Mary McAleese who was barred by Vatican

Warren O’Connor was killed in January 2010 in north Dublin. Photograph: PA

Gary Watson charged following his extradition from UK over Warren O’Connor murder

In a word . . . Easter

Is it about time we reviewed the timing?

Minister for Communications Denis Naughten:  has accused health authorities of trying to replicate the past in Roscommon by closing another care facility, this time in Castlerea. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Closure of Castlerea Alzheimer’s disease care facility is ‘absolute disgrace’, says Minister

Bishop John McAreavey (pictured): Actions of Malachy Finnegan were ‘abhorrent, inexcusable and indefensible’

Bishop of Dromore John McAreavey said victims’ testimony made him realise decision ‘was the wrong one’

Fr Patrick Banville said he had “made it abundantly clear that for Confirmation families, participation in Sunday Eucharist is not optional, it’s absolutely essential”

Public meeting called in Enniscorthy to discuss parents’ absence from Sunday Eucharist

Bishop Brendan Leahy said any conversation around the upcoming referendum ‘is not easy for people’. File photograph: Arthur Ellis

‘In our public commentary at the moment we are often forgetting the unborn baby’

Pope Paul VI began the practice of papal travel outside of Italy, and was successful in improving ecumenical relations with Protestant and Orthodox churches. Photograph: Getty Images

First miracle took place in California in the 90s while second took place in Italy in 2014

Marie Collins, a former member of the Pope’s sex-abuse commission, hands a letter to Cardinal Seán O’Malley detailing the abuse of Juan Carlos Cruz and a cover-up by Chilean church authorities, at the Domus Santa Marta on April 12th, 2015. Photograph: Catherine Bonnet via AP

February 16th ‘ Worldwide Day of Prayer for Survivors and Victims of sexual abuse’

Marie Collins handing the letter detailing victims’ complaints of a sex abuse cover up in Chile to Cardinal Seán O’Malley on April 12th 2015.

Marie Collins gave a letter to Francis’ envoy, contradicting statement of pontiff

Church of Ireland Archbishop Michael Jackson says unrestricted access to abortion in the first 12 weeks is “not an ethical position we can accept”. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

All four main Churches in Ireland now oppose 12-week proposal

President Higgins said people are now standing ‘at a highly critical juncture in world history’. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

President says those who use the drugs ‘at root of killings’ must take responsibility for actions

 (L to R) Det  Supt Declan Daly and Assistant Garda Commissioner John O’Driscoll during a media briefing on  Operation Ketch at the Serious Crime Operations at  Harcourt Square,  Dublin.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Thousands of images of child exploitation seized at homes in 12 counties across Ireland

In a word . . . Phone

Another chasm in the generational divide of our time

Pope John Paul II holds the hand of Irish President Mary McAleese during their meeting in  2003 in the Vatican. File Photograph:  Arturo Mari-Vatican Pool/Getty Images

Call on Government to withhold assistance for papal visit unless LGBT assurances given

Pope Francis and  Cardinal Kevin Farrell. Photograph: diocese of Dallas

Cardinal and bishop were members of controversial Legionaries of Christ

Former Irish president Mary McAleese and her husband Martin. File photograph: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Event organisers respond by inviting ex-president to be keynote speaker

 Niamh Uí Bhriain, of Save the 8th Campaign, including new Disability Voices for Life group, at the launch of national billboard message in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Taoiseach ‘being cynical’ as most politicians ‘shift their position for political reasons’

Pope Francis: LifeSiteNews has  accused Ireland’s Catholic bishops of “using Pope Francis’s teachings on marriage and family to promote homosexual couples as a new form of ‘family’.” Photograph: Getty Images

US website said booklet contained ‘promotion of homosexual relationships as a form of family’

“One of the more commonly noted characteristics of those who engage in child abuse and paedophilia is a lack of remorse.” File photograph: Getty Images

Rite&Reason: Society needs restrictions on perpetual abusers once they get out of jail

Disability Voices for Life will join the Save the 8th Campaign at a press conference in Dublin on Tuesday morning. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

New ‘Disability Voices for Life’ group to be launched in Dublin on Tuesday

Rabbi Zalman Lent,  and Dr Ali Selim. Photograph: Dave Meehan

All churches and faiths abhor abortion but most agree it can be the lesser evil

Bishop Kevin Doran: has urged people to contact their politicians and “make clear to them that you want them to defend the right to life of the unborn”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Abortion ‘has nothing to do with healthcare’ and is the ‘final frontier’ for society to cross

Matthew Horan (26), used Skype, Snapchat, Instagram and Kik, an anonymous instant messaging application, to send and receive child porn images from six identified child users in Ireland and nine unknown users around the world. File photograph: The Herald

Girl describes in impact statement how she felt ‘ashamed, scared and alone’ at age of 10

Gardaí  have issued a strong warning to parents and children about dangers that can face them on the internet. Photograph: Mark Steadman/Rollingnews.ie

Never arrange to meet any person on the internet, Matthew Horan case investigators warn

He described as praiseworthy “those institutional and legal initiatives aimed at developing regulations for curbing the phenomenon.”  Photograph: Reuters

Journalists, as ‘protectors of news’, must be truthful and opposed to falsehoods

No action on abuse inquiry recommendations for victims until new executive set up

The Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps in Poland were liberated by Soviet forces on January 27th, 1945. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Event takes place annually on Sunday closest to liberation of Auschwitz by Soviets in 1945

President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina greet Kutloano Pheko, charge d’affaire for the Embassy of Lesotho, and his children Riaz and Lumka at Áras an Uachtaráin. Photograph: Alan Betson

General election of 1918 ‘a key point in Irish history’ as it provided mandate for first Dáil

The Freedom of Roscommon is to be conferred on New York-based artist, author, doctor, art critic and academic Brian O’Doherty (89) who grew up in Ballaghaderreen

Ballaghaderren-born Booker-shortlisted author best known at home as Patrick Ireland

A bed-capacity review says  occupancy rates are running at close to 100%   across the hospital system, posing a legitimate risk to patient safety

Government-commissioned report advises the current health system is not fit for purpose

Many of the residents of the Rosalie unit at Áras Naomh Chaolain in Castlerea suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Photograph: Getty

Minister in 2015 said ‘there were “no plans to close it and there will be no such plans’

Fr James Good: was suspended from carrying out his priestly faculties almost 50 years ago for publicly opposing “Humanae Vitae”. Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Fr James Good paid a spiritual price for being against papal encyclical of 1968

Léan Kennedy with her dog, Higgins: “You’re really relying on your wits to know when it’s safe to cross.”

‘They feel they have no way of knowing when it is safe to cross over the tram line’

We ‘indomitable Irishry’ seem ‘devastated’ all the time

The 2016 census found that 399,815 people in Ireland lived alone. Image: iStock.

Fianna Fáil senator praises creation of job by Theresa May but psychologist opposes idea

Rev Dr Trevor Morrow attending the Oireachtas health committee hearings on the abortion issue. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Recommendations ‘undermine assurances’ abortion will not be introduced for disability

An international study found  the number of involuntary admissions to psychiatric care in Ireland had risen from 46.5 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2013 to 52.6 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2016.

‘Austerity measures and lack of clear policy guidance has resulted in very little progress’

Fianna Fáil’s spokeswoman on disability called on Tusla to ‘get its act together’ regarding  services for children with disabilities.

Foster carer in ‘Molly’ case says HSE, Tusla left her ‘financially, emotionally and physically drained’

The information card issued to members of the Association of Catholic Priests

Kildare and Leighlin diocesan priests rebuke suggestion to ‘prepare for worst’ if called

 Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy at a conference about safeguarding children in Limerick city. Photograph: Keith Wiseman

To relax would be ‘a profound error which would compound the historical failures’, conference hears

Brendan Ogle, left, at the launch of the Home Sweet Home emergency housing plan  in 2017. Mr Ogle issued defamation proceedings against RTÉ last year. Photograph: Eric Luke

RTÉ’s John Kilraine has begun legal action over Facebook post by Unite’s Brendan Ogle

Prof John Monaghan: he first became involved with the SVP in 1985 in Leixlip, Co Dublin, and from then to 2010 remained an active member locally. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Retired lecturer at Trinity College Dublin was the society’s national vice-president

More than 60 per cent of the Catholic dioceses on the island of Ireland presented no financial information on their websites at all. Photograph: Getty

Lay Catholic lobby group criticises church’s lack of financial transparency

In a word . . . Gimp

I interviewed Donal McCann once, and approached with nervous uncertainty

The Rally for Life anti-abortion demonstration in Dublin in 2013. Photograph: Alan Betson

Anti-abortion and pro-choice activists will create a bear pit ahead of referendum

Al Porter: Resigned last November from Today FM where he had presented a lunchtime show.  Photograph: Brian McEvoy

‘May heads on plates be off the menu in 2018,’ says Catholic Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin was the principal celebrant at Mass for World Day of Peace in the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook Dublin on Monday. Photograph: John McElroy

Diarmuid Martin praises gardaí, Defence Forces and Naval Service at new year Mass

Pope Francis exchanges Christmas greetings with Vatican employees on Thursday. Photograph: Gregorio Borgia/AP

Abortion referendum, pope’s visit and new bishop appointments will dominate 2018

Msgr John Delaney who won €500,000 in the Euro Millions Plus draw.

Priest with links to Kennedy clan lands €500,000 lottery win

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