Michael McDowell: ‘No church is entitled to say to the Irish State: ‘Our law is superior to your law.’’ Photograph: Collins Courts

The State “effectively signed a blank cheque” in agreeing the controversial 2002 indemnity deal with 18 religious congregations, the then attorney gen(...)

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(...)

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who will give the keynote address at the World Meeting of Families on Wednesday. Photograph: Ettore Ferrari/EPA

Cardinal Donald Wuerl is in Dublin this week to address the World Meeting of Families on Wednesday. Archbishop of Washington since 2006, he succeeded (...)

Pope Francis reaches to hug prominent US archbishop emeritus Theodore McCarrick back in 2015:  McCarrick has resigned following allegations of sexual abuse. Photograph: Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post

The UK House of Commons International Development Committee published an important and troubling report this week, Sexual Abuse and Exploitation in th(...)

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

It is the story of a photograph: four cardinals, all Irish, and one president, Mary McAleese. The occasion was the elevation in 2007 of the then prima(...)

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

Funeral arrangements for Antrim-born Cardinal Keith O’Brien (80), who died on Monday, have yet to be decided by the Vatican. Former Archbishop of St(...)

Dr Ann-Marie Desmond, from Timoleague, Co Cork: ‘I can’t see anything wrong with women celebrating the Eucharist.’

As the clamour demanding full equality for women in the Catholic Church grows ever louder indications are that it is beginning to make an impact at th(...)

Cardinal Kevin Farrell at the Dublin Conference in preparation for the World Meeting of the Families 2016.  Photograph: John Mc Elroy.

Old methods of evangelisation (preaching) in the Catholic Church have failed, as have old methods of marriage preparation, Cardinal Kevin Farrell told(...)

‘As human as any of you ...’

Thirty five years teaching philosophy in UCD forged in Desmond Connell both an impolitic nature and otherworld naivety that would sometimes lead him u(...)

‘I am as human as any of you . . . it is the issue which has devastated my period of office,’ Desmond Connell said in Maynooth on April 8th, 2002 . Photograph: Donal Doherty/PA Wire

You could say Desmond Connell, who has died aged 90, became Archbishop of Dublin almost by default. His name was among the last to surface publicly du(...)

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