Today, one in 10 of the population has no religion. More than one in three people in some parts of the State – such as Dublin City, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and Galway – are non-Catholic.

Parents, in theory, have a constitutional right to opt their children out of religion instruction classes in schools. The reality is often different.(...)

Minister for Education Richard Bruton has confirmed that a new circular will insist on “a proper timetable of beneficial work” for children who opt out of religion. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Pupils who opt-out of religious instruction classes in community and comprehensive secondary schools must be given access to tuition in other subjects(...)

Karl Kitching says he‘partly wanted to investigate how accusations of religious inauthenticity were laid at the feet of working class and Traveller families deemed to not be doing Catholicism properly’

The annual spectacle of thousands of Irish children doing their First Communion attracts familiar commentary. The hardened atheists call it “brainwash(...)

Supporters of a yes vote at Sydney’s Tamarama Beach. Australians have been asked to take part in a non-binding postal poll to gauge whether voters want  same-sex marriage. Photograph: Steven Saphore/Reuters

Australia is more than halfway through an eight-week postal survey to gauge public support for legalising same-sex marriage, and all polling suggests (...)

The Church of the Annunciation in Finglas, Co Dublin, which is being demolished to make way for a smaller church. Photograph: Alan Betson

The Catholic Church in Ireland should close churches in some parishes because it no longer has enough priests to keep them all open, the editor of the(...)

Almost 90% of people in Co Offaly declared as Catholic in Census 2016. File photograph: Thinkstock Images

Offaly might have the largest number of declared Catholics of any county, but it is not immune from the struggles facing the Catholic Church. In all,(...)

Ruairi O Siochru from Tralee, Co. Kerry: “People in cities just don’t have time for religion.”

New census data on religion was published by the Central Statistics Office on Thursday. Jenna Clarke-Molloy spoke to people in Trinity College, Dublin(...)

Catalan president Carles Puigdemont  is applauded after  addressing the region’s parliament in Barcelona. Photograph: Quique Garcia/EPA

The Spanish cabinet has met to work out its response to an announcement from the head of the wealthy Catalonia region that he was proceeding with a de(...)

‘An exception was Pope Francis, widely recognised as “a good man driven by the basic insights of the gospel of Jesus Christ – mercy, justice, peace, love, reconciliation”.’  Photograph:  Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images

The bullying of the people by some clergy played a greater role in Catholic church decline in Ireland than clerical child sexual abuse, a leading Domi(...)

The Franciscan monastery on the Hill of Slane, Co Meath: a movement of reform had begun among the Franciscans  and other  Observant orders before the Reformation took hold in England and Wales. Photograph:  DeAgostini/Getty

Martin Luther’s pinning his 95 Theses – or reform proposals – to the door of his local university church in Wittenberg 500 years ago may well be more (...)