Pope John

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Gay Byrne: as he  passed through the Pearly Gates, he was probably still asking “Why?” Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw/PA

During my seminary days at the Irish College Rome, which largely coincided with the Second Vatican Council, I had a line to say in one of the plays we(...)

What Gay Byrne’s upbringing produced in him, particularly when younger, was a very strait-laced, uptight man, something he recognised humorously in later life

One of the great ironies about Gay Byrne is that, while so many believe he was the wedge which opened a narrow, insular Ireland to the wider world, he(...)

Just as, from a secular perspective, different cultures can enrich one another, so differing churches can do likewise. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), along with many other bilateral theological dialogues, is a fruit of the Second Vatican (...)

Sean Ross Abbey in Roscrea, Co Tipperary, which was a mother-and-baby home operated by the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Prof Mary Daly of the Mother and Baby Home Commission recently attempted to explain why, in 20th-century Ireland, so many thousands of children were n(...)

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(...)

The encyclical provoked a ferocious reaction among millions of practising Catholics.

Fifty years ago this week, former government minister Mary O’Rourke was a teacher in Athlone while studying for a H Dip in Maynooth as Pope Paul VI pu(...)

Pope Paul VI in Sydney, Australia, to commemorate the bicentenary of Captain Cook’s discovery of the continent, during the official papal visit in 1970. Photograph: Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Getty Images

The late pontiff Paul VI will be made a saint this year, Pope Francis has decided. Pope Paul VI led the Catholic Church in the 1960s and 1970s during(...)

Pope Paul VI began the practice of papal travel outside of Italy, and was successful in improving ecumenical relations with Protestant and Orthodox churches. Photograph: Getty Images

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints on Tuesday approved the second miracle needed for the canonisation of Blessed Pope Paul VI. The ca(...)

Gold bars are presented at the German Central Bank in Frankfurt.  Photograph: Getty Images

When Carl-Ludwig Thiele was 11, his aunt gave him a 21-carat gold coin as a gift. “It was an incredible feeling to own it. I still have it now and can(...)

Undated picture of Ian Paisley.

For more than three decades, the Democratic Unionist Party, now poised to be Theresa May’s “little helper” in government was a party of protest for ma(...)

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