Pope Benedict

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Mary McAleese: the former president said the Chilean bishops’ resignation seemed to her “a huge acceptance of responsibility”. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Ireland’s Catholic bishops considered resigning en masse following the publication of the Ryan and Murphy reports into child abuse in 2009, former pre(...)

Redemptorist Fr Tony Flannery. ‘The various levels of authority above me in the church’ would ‘happily leave me where I am. If I die suddenly, they will say ‘nice meaningless words’ over my coffin.’ File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Vatican silencing of six Irish priests should be ended in preparation for the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland next August, one of those priests has s(...)

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(...)

Michel Barnier (left) is known for his austere approach to life, while David Davis  likes to think of himself as “a charming bastard”.

The frozen streets of Helsinki lie silent as the mercury plunges to -16C. But inside the British embassy, the lights are burning. David Davis, the man(...)

Pope Francis: there have been no significant changes in church teaching or discipline since he was elected – and it is now hard to see any taking place under him. Photograph: Franco Origlia/Getty

Last Wednesday evening in Rome was much like that of March 13th, 2013: damp and drizzly with an air of no great expectation. Sightseers and pilgrims w(...)

Bishop Brendan Leahy said any conversation around the upcoming referendum ‘is not easy for people’. File photograph: Arthur Ellis

The possible repeal of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution is a “pivotal moment for our society and how we cherish life in this country”, Catholi(...)

In a Word . . . women

When were women discovered? We know America was discovered in 1492, Australia in 1770, but there is no date for when women were discovered. Ther(...)

All our major churches are ageing and in decline.

The churches run 96 per cent of our primary schools and approximately 50 per cent at secondary level, yet the fastest growing cohort in the Irish popu(...)

Bishop Paul Tighe: has been appointed secretary to the Council for Culture in the Vatican

Irish cleric Bishop Paul Tighe has been appointed secretary to the Council for Culture, one of the more senior posts at the Vatican. He moved to the(...)

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