Covid-19 ‘has cruelly restricted our capacity to draw close to families who are bereaved’, Archbishop Eamon Martin has said. File photograph: Tom Honan

‘Millions of people across the country are gathering virtually for Mass each week’

Redemptoristine nuns at their Monastery of St Alphonsus in Drumcondra. The nuns are video-streaming mass from the monastery to counter the Covid-19 movement restrictions. Photograph by Crispin Rodwell

Coronavirus pandemic brings Redemptoristine Sisters closer to the public

The Chinese ambassador said the HSE “has done a very great job in securing such a large amount of PPE in such a short time”. Photograph: Getty Images

Ambassador says Chinese suppliers are working with HSE to make sure unsatisfatory items will be replaced by ‘suitable’ ones

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin: “We owe a great deal to those who bear the responsibility of leadership at this moment, especially in the front line.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Restrictions placing ‘great strain’ on clergy still in active ministry, archbishop says

A theatre in the private Beacon Hospital in Dublin. A consultant has warned that the temporary nationalisation of such facilities could lead to deaths of people reliant on private health services. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Prof Michael O’Keefe says temporary nationalisation during pandemic could lead to deaths

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said  on Sunday that the past week had seen the nation ‘working hard, together, by staying at home to flatten the curve’ of coronavirus cases. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins.

HSE says it plans to double the number of Covid-19 tests carried out each day to 4,500

Disgraceful behaviour and probably immoral – I do it all the time

Cardinal Charles Bo: “When the virus first emerged, the authorities in China suppressed the news,” he said. Photograph:  Andreas Solaro/AFP via Getty Images

‘We must not be afraid to hold this regime to account,’ writes Cardinal Charles Bo

Above, Fr Paddy Stanley saying Mass in St Brendan’s Church, Coolock. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

No public holy week or Easter ceremonies in cathedrals or churches due to coronavirus

Sé O’Hanlon (78), who does a 2km circuit from his home, says he has not been stopped by gardaí on his bike yet. ‘I wear sunglasses.’

Sé O’Hanlon wants exceptions to 2km exercise restrictions for some over 70s

File photograph: iStock

Significant numbers of Irish Catholic priests cocooned in their homes as they are over 70

People wearing facemasks in Dublin’s city centre due to Covid-19. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Older people seen out in shops, believing they are exception to stay at home message

Brendan and Breda Butler safely indoors in their home in Malahide, Co Dublin: they will take refuge in reading. Photograph: Tom Honan

In their 70s, Dublin couple Brendan and Breda Butler feel hemmed in by cocooning

Photograph: iStock

Young people are not the only ones reading oddly titled books these days

All Catholics suffering from or caring for those with coronavirus are to be granted a plenary indulgence by the Vatican. Photograph: Alberto Pizzoli / AFP via Getty Images

Bishops recommend no removal at funerals and advise priests against visiting sufferers

Sunshine illuminates the back stone at the 5,000-year-old burial chamber at the start of the spring equinox at Loughcrew. Photograph: Alan Betson

Quartodecimanism stands for ‘the 14th’, with the -ism suggesting ideology

Christ Church cathedral

Cancellation of some other church gatherings now extends to end of June

Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said it is ‘utter irresponsibility’ not to maintain social distance during the coronavirus pandemic. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times.

CofI bishop Paul Colton calls for ‘all-Ireland’ approach to mass gatherings to be established

 Visitors to Dublin sit in a coffee shop on St Stephens Green on the eve of St Patrick’s Day ahead of what will be a very scaled back national holiday due to the coronavirus. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Coronavirus outbreak means social gatherings limited, parades off and pubs closed

Bishop of Waterford and Lismore Phonsie Cullinan said that “ringing of church bells is a call to prayer – wherever you are – and a reminder of the faith that has sustained the people of our island throughout the centuries.” File photograph: Getty Images

‘The bell ringing is an encouragement to care for one other, and remain hopeful at this time’

An  empty car park as Fr Paddy Stanley  says the Sunday 9.30am mass in St Brendan’s Church, Coolock, Dublin which was closed to the public but broadcast live on the webcam. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

‘They say that in Wuhan, after so many years of noise, you can hear the birds again’

In a word... Lady

Attendance at church funerals is limited to 100 people. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Dublin’s Protestant cathedrals, St Patrick’s and Christ Church, now closed to tourists

Passengers are checked as they leave Milan’s  main train station: Italy’s prime minister Giuseppe Conte announced the lockdown would be extended to the whole country as it was its  “darkest hour”. Photograph: Antonio Calanni

Varadkar delivers bleak assessment of potential outcome of coronavirus spread

Public gatherings ‘such as a church services, gatherings at funeral homes, residences, crematorium chapels etc should not take place’, the Irish Association of Funeral Directors said. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Undertakers’ group issues guidelines urging delay of services and restrictions on contact

Earlier this week the Health Service Executive issued a guidance for churchgoers, advising that holy water fonts should not be used and the sign of the peace should be suspended.

Mass-goers struggle to ditch the habit of dipping fingers into holy water fonts – despite HSE warnings

There’s a bus I get from Ballaghaderreen that is scheduled for 16.24pm. Not 16.20. Not 16. 25. But 16.24. Such irrelevant precision. Photograph: iStock

Being wrong is one thing, but insisting on being so precisely wrong is provocative

Dr Umar al Qadri, head Imam at the Islamic Centre of Ireland, said its mosque in Blanchardstown is attended on Fridays by over 400 people. File photograph: Alan Betson

Mosque at Mecca closed for first time in 1,400 years to avoid spreading infection

 Mary McAleese, former President of Ireland. File Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Church must say how it commended ‘a man whose predatory proclivities it was aware of’

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin was minister for children when the 2002 deal indemnifying all 18 religious congregations against any future legal actions taken against them by survivors of abuse in the institutions they ran was agreed. Photograph: Alan Betson

Mary Laffoy tells documentary government ‘resistance’ led to resignation from abuse commission

In a Word: Suit

‘It was probably the most interviewed suit in Ireland’

Catholic bishops in Northern Ireland welcomed proposed laws which make it clear religious bodies cannot be compelled to be involved with same-sex marriages. File photograph: iStock

North’s Catholic bishops say no religious body should be ‘compelled’ to endorse gay marriage

Mary McAleese: in a letter to The Irish Times, the former president, Prof David Ford and poet Micheal O’Siadhail praised the courage of the women who came forward. Photograph: Tom Honan for The Irish Times

Former president offers praise and support for victims of charity’s founder Jean Vanier

The Jewish Representative Council of Ireland plans to write to every member of the new Dáil and Seanad to highlight the risk of anti-Semitism. Photograph: Alan Betson/ The  Irish Times

Parties should adopt internationally-recognised working definition, says representative body

Jean Vanier, founder of the L’Arche and Faith & Light charities, died last May. Photograph: Steve Schapiro/Getty Images

Founder of disability charity L’Arche abused six women and maintained link to disgraced mentor

Mairead Boland-Brabazon,  CEO of L’Arche Ireland: ‘People are very shocked and really disappointed.’  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Jean Vanier revelations spark concern over charity's finances

L’Arche International, which assists people with intellectual disabilities and has four centres in Ireland, was founded by Jean Vanier. Photograph: Getty Images.

Diarmuid Martin reacts to findings of report on late disabilities network founder Jean Vanier

The Muslim Council of Britain has criticised Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary for his remarks. File photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

‘You can’t say stuff, because it’s racism, but it will generally be males of a Muslim persuasion’

Jean Vanier died last May aged 90. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty

Source calls report’s findings into Jean Vanier ‘devastating, just bloody devastating’

A report to be published on Tuesday has found L’Arche founder Jean Vanier was implicated in the sexual abuse of women.

L’Arche, which helps people with intellectual disabilities, has four communities in Ireland

In a Word . . .

. . . vegan. Patsy McGarry

The pupils of Kildare Place School sing Christmas carols at the 2019 Black Santa sit-out at St Ann’s Church, Dawson Street, Dublin which raised €45,000 for charity. File photograph: Alan Betson/ The Irish Times

Fifteen charities to benefit from fund-raiser outside St Ann’s church in Dublin

Archdeacon of Belfast George Davison (55) has been elected as bishop of Connor

Church’s House of Bishops to meet to elect new archbishop and primate of All Ireland

The late Fr Godfrey O’Donnell (80) was ordained a Romanian Orthodox priest in February 2004 by His Eminence the Metropolitan Iosif.

A Jesuit who left the Catholic priesthood to marry, he was then drawn to Orthodoxy

In a Word . . .

. . . youth

In a sermon to mark World Day of the Sick this week Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said ‘we live in an Ireland marked by a strange incongruence’. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Politicians must be held to account for promises made during election campaign

The Dublin catholic archdiocese has advised Mass goers to avoid shaking hands at the Sign of Peace to avoid spread of viruses. Photograph: iStock.

Shaking of hands, taking of Communion on tongue and visiting sick not recommended

The Pope urged bishops to pray for more priestly vocations. Photograph: iStock.

Ireland facing spiritual ‘famine’ because of lack of priests, says priest

President Michael D Higgins at Cabra library on Tuesday. Photograph: Alan Betson

Most will be available to the public to borrow at libraries throughout the country

President Michael D Higgins has expressed confidence that a way will be found through the unclear political picture that has emerged following the general election.  Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire.

‘At the appropriate time people will visit me in the Áras and I will give my blessing for however long it lasts’

The Irish Catholic Church has been likened by a priest to an old car that has gone off the road and ‘sunk into the bog and is stuck’. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times.

Institution likened to an old car that has gone off the road and ‘sunk into a bog and is stuck’

Former president Mary McAleese. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times.

Ex-president tells UN 150% rise in homelessness after 2013 pledge to resolve problem ‘hard to credit’

In a Word . . .

. . . novel. Patsy McGarry

In a Word: Rejoice

On James Joyce’s birthday we can rejoice in the power of language to gladden our hearts

Fr Vincent Twomey: ‘Repentance begins with the courageous facing-up to the past and the frank acknowledgment of wrongdoing.’

Fr Vincent Twomey called for annual Day of Reparation so clergy might repent for abuses

A homeless man eats food provided by Feed Our Homeless charity at College Green in Dublin, earlier this month. Photograph: Damien Eagers

Catholic bishop says homelessness a scandal, Methodists support call for housing as a right

While in Kildare town, Fr Paul Dempsey began writing weekly articles for the Leinster Leader and hosting a programme on Kildare FM. Photograph: Newbridge Catholic Parish

Fr Paul Dempsey called in the past for a ‘national gathering’ on the Church’s future

Holocaust survivor and former prisoner of  Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, Miriam Ziegler, shows a picture of her  and other prisoners taken in January 1945, at the camp museum  on Sunday, one day before the 75th anniversary of its liberation. Photograph: Wojtek Radwanski/AFP/Getty

President to attend 75th anniversary of liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi camp

Maurice Cohen (left), chair of the Jewish Representative Council of Ireland, pictured with President Michael D Higgins.

Chair of Jewish Representative Council of Ireland attended event in Jerusalem

 Dr Catherine Day, chair of the Citizens’ Assembly on Gender Equality, addressing the opening session at Dublin Castle. Photograph: Alan Betson

Public policy, gender roles in work and care and sharing of responsibilities to be debated

In a Word...

...crib. Patsy McGarry

In a Word . . .

. . . crib

Trócaire has outlined five priority areas for the next Government including championing the Paris Agreement on climate change. Photograph: Kim Haughton

‘It is important that global issues feature in the election debate’, says agency

A Catholic bishop has warned against a new culture in Ireland ‘which is trying to undo the truths of the entire Judeo-Christian system from the ground up’. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times.

Phonsie Cullinan says about 90% of ‘our people’ not regularly attending church

The Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) has called on all general election candidates to agree that the next Dáil and Seanad will be committed to eliminating poverty in Ireland. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times.

Charity wants would-be TDs to engage with the marginalised and take stand against racism

The churches said ‘the trauma of homelessness and housing insecurity could be prevented’ if society is prepared to ensure ‘the economy serves the common good and respects and protects the dignity of all’. File photograph: PA

‘The State built 8,500 social houses in 1975, but was able to build only 750 two years ago’

The UK shipping forecast celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2017 and has been broadcast for almost 100 years.

Litany of names in shipping forecast soothes some but can irritate others

The Garda Memorial Garden at Dublin Castle features a sculpture which is “a tribute to all deceased members” of An Garda, the RIC and the DMP. Photograph:

Controversy released was a lava of emotion erupting from deep within the innards of this State and most of its political parties

Benedict, when he was pope, in 2005. Photograph: Reuters/Max Rossi

‘Questions over whether he is completely in charge of his faculties’

Former pope Benedict XVI: Was it a mistake to allow Benedict retain the title Pope Emeritus and continue to wear the white cassock peculiar to popes?  Photograph: Getty Images

The former pope has offered support to conservatives in the church who oppose changes mooted by Pope Francis

Jason Evert was due to speak at the ‘Incite 2020’ student retreat event. File photograph: Alan Betson

US preacher was due to speak in UCD and Blackrock College

In a Word . . .

. . . Boxing

At Tuam the fifth interim report found that scientific analysis on underground chambers  'suggests that at least some of the chambers in which human remains were found were at some stage used to receive sewage'.

Exceptional length and general election flagged as reasons that could stall publication

In a Word . . .

. . . journey

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin: “Lack of respect for difference can undermine even peaceful societies. Fear of the immigrant can be exploited in terms that support narrow populism.” File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Fear of immigrants can be exploited in terms to support narrow populism says archbishop

Tom Young, Chairman of Cunamh, the Catholic Adoption Agency. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Under proposed legislation all such services will be vested solely in State agencies

Published on the Facebook page of Tullamore parish on Christmas Eve the message said: “The process of IVF damages embryonic stem cells and thus life and is therefore completely, clearly and totally incompatible with our Catholic faith.” File photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Facebook message from Tullamore parish described as ‘extremely hurtful’ by Simon Harris

Former Irish Times journalist, historian, and student of theology Dr Brendan Ó Cathaoir (78), died following a long illness at the Blackrock clinic in Dublin on Sunday evening.

President Michael D Higgins leads tributes to author of Famine Diaries

The Tullamore parish Facebook post drew numerous  comments, the great majority from women, strongly criticising the message and calling for the author to be identified. File image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Facebook page of Tullamore’s Catholic parish in Offaly was taken down amid criticism

Archbishop of Dublin Michael Jackson: Politics and their cruelty are part of our adult life and they affect children and young people. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Increasingly hatred, racism, and a creeping anti–Semitism, are part of this world

In a Word . . .

. . . celebration

In 2018, former president Mary McAleese revealed that Cardinal Sodano tried to secure agreement that Ireland would not attempt to access church documents surrounding the handling of allegations of clerical sex abuse then underway. Photograph: Franco Origlia/Getty Images/Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Mary McAleese described encounter with Angelo Sodano as ‘devastating moment’

Phrases in  hymns such  “a calm, bright and holy night” and “a child so tender and mild” were “holy smoke to most people today”. Photograph: Getty Images

Ten most used hymns have words and phrases ‘unhelpful or meaningless even to thoughtful believers’

“Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that does not mean there is no Santa Claus.”
In a Word: Wish

Like many of the things most real to us, wishes have never been seen by anybody

Cúnamh’s 10,500 files have now been transferred to the Adoption Authority of Ireland. Photograph: Getty Images

Legislative changes will vest all future legal rights and responsibilities for information and trace services solely in State agen(...)

Fr Michael Mullaney,  president of St Patrick’s College Maynooth (pictured), said a new language of racism  has emerged in Irish  public and political discourse. Photograph: Maynooth College.

Fr Michael Mullaney says hostility being stoked towards the ‘other’ in public discourse

Pope Francis in July approved the miracle needed for the archbishop’s beatification.

Concern raised about evangelist Fulton Sheen’s handling of clerical child-abuse claims

The GPO crib: ‘The wise men (and the Bible never tells us how many of them there were) do not take their place until the Epiphany (January 6th). Photograph: Nick Bradshaw for The Irish Times

Christmas cribs overcrowded, with several characters arriving too early, says bishop

The Age Friendly Ireland Programme aims to future-proof society for growth in the ageing population across all sectors. Photograph: iStock

State’s 31 local authorities deemed among global best at catering for older people

The UN recognised ageing population growth as one of the most distinctive demographic events of the 20th century and it will remain a priority throughout the 21st century. Photograph: iStock

UN recognises ageing as one of key demographics of 20th and 21st centuries

Lemass was taoiseach, everything was changing, when we moved to Ballaghaderreen

The statue was damaged in June.

Reward being offered by Tipperary parish for information on missing piece of figure

Senator David Norris: ‘What has happened in Northern Ireland is quite extraordinary. The tail is wagging the dog.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Call comes after two men dismissed from Church duties after marrying same-sex partners

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin: ‘the Christian of every generation is called to be awake and attentive to where society is slipping into wrong ways.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Racism is nasty in its effects on men and women who need help, care, and respect

There are other issues which haven’t been fully ventilated. Mr Justice Sean Ryan alluded to one of these when saying that religious congregations may complain about “a barrage of criticism on the basis of unproven or extravagant or extreme . . . allegations” which may be contained within the records but did not feature in the commission’s final report in 2009. Photograph: AP

Some abuse survivors want files opened while others are terrified about revelations

In a Word . . . Charity

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