Cloyne

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On Sunday, Pope Francis called for the eradication of child sex abuse “from the face of the earth”, saying “behind this there is Satan.” Yet concrete measures he called for to combat it have amounted to relatively little. Photograph:  Handout/AFP/Getty Images

It was that other Pope, 18th century English poet Alexander Pope, who said: “words are like leaves; and where they most abound, much fruit of sense be(...)

Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Vatican to conclude the summit of Catholic leaders  on preventing clerical sexual abuse and protecting children. Photograph: Giuseppe Lami/Pool Photo via AP

Clerical child sexual abuse survivors in Ireland and abroad have reacted with disappointment to the four-day meeting at the Vatican on the protection (...)

Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation chairperson  Judge Yvonne Murphy. Photograph: Eric Luke

The Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation is to seek an extension of one year before publishing its final report, which was due next mont(...)

The seafront in Youghal. The town’s war dead have been commemorated. Photogrph: David Sleator

About 200 men from the greater Youghal area who died in the first World War and the second World War have been honoured and remembered with the unveil(...)

Primary schoolchildren have about two and a half hours of religious study per week taught by teachers who are part of the ever-dwindling participative church, says former principal Peter Gunning. Photo: iStock

It was the look in my oncologist’s eye that made me make the on-the-spot decision to retire. He may as well have pointed to the bold print on the wal(...)

Dr William Crean, Bishop of Cloyne and chairman of the Irish Catholic humanitarian aid agency Trócaire. Photograph: Catholic Communications Office /PA Wire

The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference is to divest from fossil fuels in keeping with a global pledge by Pope Francis in order to combat climate chang(...)

In Pennsylvania, church figures suggested the use of euphemisms – to never say “rape” but instead say “inappropriate contact” or “boundary issues”. Photograph: Sam Hodgson/The New York Times

Reading the Pennsylvanian grand jury report is an encounter with the dark side of humanity. We are all too familiar with the Murphy, Ryan (2009) and C(...)

Pope John Paul II kisses thr ground on arrival in Dublin, 1979. Photograph: Mazpix

Watching the second part of the quite superb RTÉ documentary series The Game last Monday night, I was struck by the fervour of the crowds in Croke Par(...)

In Ireland later this month, Pope Francis might explain how, at last, the Vatican plans to get its house in order on the sexual abuse issue. Photograph: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

It is frequently the case that, though something is strongly suspected to be true, it comes as a shock when it is finally confirmed. Such happened thi(...)

November 2004: Pope John Paul II meets former minister for foreign affairs Dermot Ahern, in his private library at the Vatican.  Photograph: Giampiero Sposito/AP Photo

The year 2004 was a significant one in the long, tortured annals of the clerical child sex-abuse scandal in Ireland. Particularly significant was the (...)

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