Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said there was “a need for the transformation of dimensions of Irish culture for the sake of mature pluralism”. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Irish universities have “lost the dream” which Cardinal John Henry Newman had of “liberal education and of a liberal education for Catholics”, the Arc(...)

Former president Mary McAleese has emphasised the primacy of conscience. Photograph: Tom Honan

The Catholic Church in Ireland, in which I am pleased to serve on my local parish pastoral council, has been arrogant in relation to its members and t(...)

“It is disappointing that the deep and overlapping anti-Irish and anti-Catholic bigotry of so many DUP-supporting unionists appears to still play a significant role in Northern life and politics.” Above, DUP leader Arlene Foster.    Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

How much did continuing religious bigotry have to do with the collapse of the Northern Ireland Executive last month? It was clear from Martin McGuinne(...)

 John Hurt holds the Gold Giraldillo Award as a tribute to his career during the Sevilla European film festival in Seville in  2009. Photograph: Reuters

John Vincent Hurt, actor, born 22 January 1940, died 27 January 2017 Few British actors of recent years have been held in as much affection as John H(...)

Martin Luther statue in Wittenberg, Germany:  what he intended as the beginning of a theological dialogue in 1517 set in train events that have shaped the world  today. Photograph: iStock

It began 500 years ago this year. It shaped your life and mine, and that of billions of other people since. Yet few realise that anymore. It led to (...)

Understanding the change in Ian Paisley has thrown even the most astute commentators off course. How did the demagogue whose constant rant was: “Never(...)

Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite addresses the European Parliament during a debate on the program of the Lithuanian presidency of the EU for the next six months, in Strasbourg, July 3, 2013.

Last Friday the bells of Vilnius University rang out to herald the start of Lithuania’s presidency of the Council of the European Union. Hundreds of d(...)