Sadly we’re becoming all-too-used to that sinking feeling of waking up in the morning to turn on the radio to news of yet another terrorist atrocity in towns and cities that are known to us. That feeling is all-the-more heart-wrenching when – like Manchester this week – heinous attacks are carried against defenceless and innocent...

Europe is this year marking the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s famous first protest, in 1517, which became in effect, the beginning of what is sometimes called the Protestant Revolution, and sometimes the Reformation. The Catholic Church has, I think, made its peace with Luther in the Second Vatican Council: and in any case,...

What are Catholics to make of Enda Kenny’s time as Taoiseach? This is a very broad question because the answer doesn’t depend solely on his attitude towards the ‘institutional Church’ or to some of the big social issues like the right-to-life or the family.Catholics will have different opinions as to his record on the...

When Friedrich Nietzsche declared that “God is dead” he added a question: What kind of a sponge does it take to wipe away a whole horizon?I often ask that question because just in my own lifetime there has been an unprecedented decline in the number of people who go to church regularly and, more recently, an equally unprecedented spike...

Fr Vincent SherlockTwo days before the celebration of Confirmation in our parish we gathered for a short practice. I looked at the group of 38 boys and girls preparing for Confirmation (as an aside, the 38, typical, I would say, of many parishes like my own, represent the total number of pupils in senior classes in three primary schools. We’...

I’ll never forget Michael Parkinson, the television host, telling me about his experiences as a young reporter in the north of England during 1966, when he was sent to cover the trial of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, the Moors murderers. The press gallery, he said, was packed with experienced and even hard-bitten crime reporters who had...

Pope Francis has something of a cuddly image with the general public and with many priests. The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP), for example, wants the incoming Papal Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo of Nigeria, to seek out bishops in the mould of Francis. I’m all for that, so long as they are truly in Francis’...

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