Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Catholic Church

Bishop John McAreavey: “Political representatives must answer for their own position on abortion…”

Thu 17 April 2014, 4:49pm

Tweet As the BBC reports, Sinn Féin’s Paul Maskey, MP for west Belfast, has apologised to the Catholic Bishop of Dromore, John McAreavey, for the misrepresentation of his views on abortion in “a letter written by local party members and distributed in west Belfast”.  Here’s the quoted apology in the BBC report - not yet available on the Sinn […] more »

The Pope is still a Catholic but maybe one like John XX111

Sat 21 September 2013, 12:19am

Tweet There’s no doubt of the instant secular and humanist appeal of Pope Francis’s interview with a Jesuist magazine .  The pope has attempted to change the whole direction of modern Catholicism.. Not since Khruschev denounced Stalin at the 20th Communist party conference has there been such a reforming speech-. That was the speech that […] more »

Is the Catholic Church’s hard line on abortion legislation an acceptance that its influence over the Irish state is over?

Thu 13 June 2013, 11:43am

Tweet There are some interesting twists in the abortion debate in the Republic. As Michael Kelly of the Irish Catholic newspaper noted yesterday Armagh’s new-boy-to-be Eamonn Martin has been clear in ways his soon-to-be predecessor Sean Brady never was. As he also added, Rome will be pleased. And as Kelly rightly observes, polls can be […] more »

How well does the Catholic church understand its own teaching on abortion?

Wed 22 May 2013, 5:03pm

Tweet This is well worth noting before it passes over us, on the question of abortion in the south. James P Mackey is visiting professor at the school of religions and theology at Trinity College. And he’s been looking back at some of his old Catholic textbooks from Maynooth: The Roman Catholic hierarchy has formally […] more »

A manifesto for enlightened Catholicism

Mon 11 March 2013, 12:24pm

Tweet From the always inspiring Hans Kung, one of two surviving theologians of Vatican 2, the other being Joseph Ratzinger. True ecumenism.  One shouldn’t be misled by the media hype of grandly staged papal mass events or by the wild applause of conservative Catholic youth groups. Behind the facade, the whole house is crumbling. In this […] more »

Catholic Church is struggling with serial exposure of its private values more than homosexuality

Tue 5 March 2013, 11:35am

Tweet Fintan O’Toole hits the nail on the head over Keith O’Brien, and the church’s problematic stand on homosexuality (no sniggering Anglicans and etc others, please)… …in the end, the church’s double life in relation to homosexuality is just cruel. Some priests manage maintaining two different personas very well. Some perhaps even take a kind […] more »

Pope Benedict XVI: “with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome”

Tue 12 February 2013, 10:57pm

Tweet For anyone seriously concerned with his “legacy”, the surprise announcement by Pope Benedict XVI, of his intention to renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome “as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours”, deserves a more considered approach.  For example, following on from his initial response, at the Telegraph Blogs Damian Thompson reproduces the […] more »

Home Rule, Rome Rule and Gay Marriage

Thu 7 February 2013, 12:58pm

Tweet Last September, Unionists paraded in their tens of thousands through Belfast to celebrate the centenary of the Ulster Covenant. From the days of Lilibullero in the 17th Century, Ulster Protestantism has always had a particular genius for summing up its political causes in easily remembered ditties and catchphrases. Perhaps the easiest slogan to remember […] more »

The moment of quickening

Tue 20 November 2012, 9:00pm

Tweet Patsy McGarry has an interesting article in the Irish Times today on the surprisingly fluid nature of the Catholic Church’s stance on abortion: … some of the church’s greatest teachers and saints believed no homicide was involved if abortion took place before the foetus was infused with a soul, known as “ensoulment”. This was […] more »

Catholic Post-Primary Education Reform: “I am anxious to try to build consensus on the way forward”

Thu 31 May 2012, 4:42pm

Tweet Following on from the Northern Ireland Commission for Catholic Education (NICCE) belated publication of its Post-Primary Review Strategic Regional Report, individual dioceses are bringing forward their suggestions.  The first one out of the blocks appears to concern Catholic maintained schools in Londonderry. The Derry Diocese Administrator, Monsignor Eamon Martin, has published “Together Towards Tomorrow – a discussion paper […] more »

Why did the Vatican think a mere “study document” was sufficient response?

Mon 5 September 2011, 1:50pm

Tweet The Vatican’s response to Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s power Dail speech has finally dropped on the mat. It’s quite a lengthy and detailed response (full text for those with the time). Unsurprisingly it rejects Kenny’s assertion that the Vatican was at fault. As Siobhan Brett notes in the Sunday Business Post: The Vatican response takes […] more »

Clerical abuse also relied upon the scarcity of “righteous gentiles”

Mon 29 August 2011, 8:49am

Tweet Dermot Keogh examines the diplomatic ramifications of the taoiseach’s speech, not least the wider consequences for both the Vatican and Ireland. But he leaves his sharpest question until the end: In reviewing the history of the past 90 years on this island, why – confronted by such widespread child sexual abuse – were there […] more »

Financial crisis hits the Catholic Church…

Thu 18 August 2011, 11:57am

Tweet It’s not often I get to Mass in my home parish of Holywood, but I was there last Sunday. A number of things struck me. One is that attenders are mostly of the older demographic, with, by and large, my own 70s generation taking up the rear. And two, that the collections are proportionally […] more »

Taoiseach’s speech: An end to ‘Never explain, never apologise’?

Thu 21 July 2011, 11:42am
Picture 2

Tweet The papers are full of the taoiseach’s speech to the Dail yesterday. Rightly so. It was an audacious speech, and one made in stark contrast to the parliamentary mumbling and stumbling of the two previous taoisigh. And, importantly, it was a defence of thousands upon thousands of ordinary Catholics, ‘who have been shocked and […] more »

Taoiseach’s speech: This is not Rome… this is a republic of laws

Thu 21 July 2011, 1:55am
Kenny speech

Tweet A sea-change in Irish government-Catholic Church relations took place yesterday. In the government’s official response to the Cloyne Report, Taoiseach Enda Kenny gave an unprecedented speech to the Dáil, excoriating the Vatican for its efforts to block co-operation with the investigation by civil authorities of clerical child abuse: … for the first time in […] more »

The abuse crisis is no excuse for anti-Catholic bigotry

Sun 29 August 2010, 1:24pm

Tweet The Scottish composer James MacMillan has composed a congregational Mass for the Blessed John Henry Newman which is to be featured at the venues of  the Pope’s forthcoming visit to Great Britain. No surprise there.  But what’s novel I think,  is that MacMillan, unusually for a composer, is a bold controversialist and an unorthodox […] more »

“The Cardinal said that he knew that the priest was a very bad man…”

Tue 24 August 2010, 12:23pm

Tweet The Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman, Al Hutchison, has published the findings of his “investigation into how the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) dealt with their suspicions that a Catholic priest was allegedly involved in the bombing of Claudy in County Londonderry on 31 July 1972, in which nine people were killed and more than 30 […] more »

Call for Catholic Church to release Claudy information

Mon 2 August 2010, 11:43pm

Tweet Gregory Campbell has called on the Catholic Church to release any files it may have on the Claudy bombing. Campbell has pointed to the recent fact that Bishop Noel Treanor has called for an enquiry into the events of 1972 in Ballymurphy and has released the Church’s documents pertaining to that episode. The Claudy […] more »

Catholic Church: the lobby and its fear of the public square

Thu 24 June 2010, 1:26pm

Tweet It has to be the strangest pairing in the Blogosphere, but my old Telegraph colleague, Damian “the blood-crazed ferret” Thompson has taken rather a shine to old Splintered lately… mostly for his acute observation of the politics of the high end of the English Catholic Church… Almost at random here’s a particularly interesting snippet […] more »

McGuinness: Archbishop Martin is providing a way forward..

Fri 21 May 2010, 9:12am
Martin McGuiness

Tweet Deputy First Minister Martin Mc Guinness looks to Dublin’s Archbishop Diarmuid Martin to lead the catholic church out of the grip of child abuse scandals. Mr Mc Guinness has spoken for the first time since Cardinal Sean Brady said he is not quitting. Northern Ireland’s deputy First Minister has thrown his weight behind the […] more »

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