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Journalist's book explores her mixed feelings on faith

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In her debut work of non-fiction, Irish Independent journalist Ellen Coyne (29) explores these issues in 'Are You There God? It’s Me, Ellen'

In her debut work of non-fiction, Irish Independent journalist Ellen Coyne (29) explores these issues in 'Are You There God? It’s Me, Ellen'

In her debut work of non-fiction, Irish Independent journalist Ellen Coyne (29) explores these issues in 'Are You There God? It’s Me, Ellen'

Is it ok to be an à la carte Catholic?

That is the central theme in a new book by a young Irish Catholic journalist who explores her own misgivings about wanting to retain her faith amid darker aspects of the Church that have emerged over the years, including child-sex abuse within clergy and how it was handled by the Church, as well as its controversial stances on abortion and homosexuality.

In her debut work of non-fiction, Irish Independent journalist Ellen Coyne (29) explores these issues in 'Are You There God? It's Me, Ellen'.

The personal essay, published by Gill and due out at the end of October, "is about how I realised I wanted to go back to the Catholic Church but was in conflict about it," she said.

"The Church in Ireland is obviously associated with some of the darker parts of our history, mishandling of abuse, sexist and homophobic attitudes

"I hugely disagree with some of the Church's teaching but also believed that faith was important and there might be some good there."

The book also explores the views of people both inside and outside the Church, including clergy who themselves had reservations about its teachings.

Ms Coyne said she was inspired to write the book after overhearing someone proudly say: "You know, this isn't a Catholic country any more," when she was in a Dublin pub celebrating the repeal of the Eighth Amendment.

Ms Coyne joined the Irish Independent earlier this year after previous stints as head of politics with Joe.ie and a correspondent with 'The Times Ireland'. She is from Waterford.

Irish Independent