Hans Kung

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Iraqi Christians    in Erbil  getting ready to welcome Pope Francis on his visit in  March. The number of Christians in Iraq has plummeted over the last two decades from 1.4 million to about 250,000, less than 1 per cent of the country’s population.  It takes extraordinary courage to be a Christian in such circumstances but courage has been a feature of the church’s life from the beginning.  Photograph: Fariq Faraj Mahmood/Getty Images

When people in the West hear mention of Iraq they probably think of trouble, an understandable reaction given its recent sad history. The recent visit(...)

Former president Mary McAleese  will take part in a public conversation with renowned American Benedictine nun Sr Joan Chittister at Trinity College Dublin in November. File photograph: Naoise Culhane

Former president Mary McAleese is to be presented with one of the most prestigious prizes in the Catholic world for her 500,000-word doctoral thesis o(...)

Neil Middleton: publisher and left-wing activist

Neil Middleton, who has died aged 83, was an influential publisher, writer and Catholic thinker who made a significant contribution to religious and p(...)

Outgoing Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Three years and four months isn’t enough time to transform as conservative an area as education but Ruairi Quinn can’t be faulted for his effort. In t(...)

Some clerics decided that to stay within the church was worth the effort, despite the catastrophe of child abuse and the convents full of weeping children

I keep wondering where all the priests in Ireland have gone: the ones who used to appear at concerts to do the raffle, presided over weddings, spok(...)

Meeting the faithful: Pope Francis greets the crowd as he arrives for his general audience at St Peter’s Square . Photograph:  Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images
The papal spring

Nine months into the pontificate of Pope Francis, a revealing metropolitan myth has taken hold in Rome. Namely that once a week the pope removes his w(...)

Fr. Jerome Murphy-O'Connor

The Revd Dr Jerome Murphy-O’Connor OP, who has died in Jerusalem aged 78, was a Cork-born Dominican theologian who earned international esteem as a Bi(...)