Michael Kelly: 'The Church has a right to preach its beliefs - but it must be prepared to listen to reality of modern world'
Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me, the old saying went. Only,...
Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me, the old saying went. Only,...
A whopping 85pc of voters questioned for the RTÉ exit poll after last week's elections professed...
If you're still searching for evidence that the worst excesses of the Celtic Tiger have risen from the dead - at least for some - look no further than first holy communion season.
The Vatican this week announced a new editorial committee for its magazine aimed at women. It...
As a teenager, one of the soundtracks to my youth was the wonderful Mary Schmich essay which became the 1999 spoken-word song 'Wear...
Few things in the wider world interest people more than the inner workings of the Catholic Church and the process of electing a new Pope. The intrigue that follows the death - or abdication - of a pontiff has frequently been the subject of films and plays, including 'The Shoes of the Fisherman' with Anthony Quinn and 'The Pope Must Die' with Robbie Coltrane. Anyone who has read the novel...
Moral panic seems to be hardwired into our DNA and each generation worries about the one coming next. More often than not, this fretting is useless and unfounded, and the kids end up turning out all right.
Embattled Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro shows no sign of giving up his iron grip on power, despite mounting pressure from his own beleaguered people and increased rejection by the international community.
When I studied metaphysics at university, the larger-than-life professor had a running gag about the widely held perception that philosophy is, well, useless.
For as long as I can remember, summer Sundays in our family were spent in the seaside town of Bundoran. We'd pile into the car in my home town of Omagh and set our sights for the rugged coastline of Co Donegal.
Since it was founded in 1980, Peta - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals - has shown an...
The first time I was eligible to vote was the referendum on the Good Friday Agreement. My...
Scouting Ireland has become only the latest organisation to have to face up to a sickening catalogue of abuse allegations within its ranks.
Ronald Reagan used to joke that the nine most terrifying words in the English language are: "I'm...
FR Willie Doyle was a Dublin-born Jesuit priest. He volunteered to serve as a chaplain to the tens...
The latest interim report of the Mother and Baby Homes Commission leaves as many questions unanswered as it answers.
In a political campaign, a short, sharp and catchy slogan is worth its weight in gold. Whether or not the slogan stands up to close scrutiny is completely beside the point. If something catches the public imagination, it's priceless.
The famed British writer of the early 20th century GK Chesterton once expressed the view that "the reformer is always right about what is wrong" before adding wryly that "he is generally wrong about what is right".
After today, there are just 14 working days until Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29. You'd be forgiven for thinking Brexit is as far away as ever, such is the irresponsibility of many of the hardliners insisting that, deal or no deal, all will be well and anyone raising concerns is involved in "project fear".
If you want to launch a book about gay priests, the backdrop of the Pope meeting in an unprecedented gathering with the world's bishops to push accountability and transparency is an alluring prospect.
In 2005, Nano Nagle - the founder of the Presentation Sisters - was voted 'Ireland's Greatest Woman'. Today, such has been the relentless focus on the minority of nuns who betrayed their vocation and inflicted abuse on those in their care, it's hard to know whether she would even make it to a shortlist.
Whether greeted as a cause of relief or of profound sadness, there's no question that this week marked a momentous shift in Ireland. For the first time ever, abortion has become widely available without restriction up to 12 weeks' foetal gestation. In some circumstances, there will be no time limit.
I worked in Rome for five years, and during my time in the eternal city my walk to the office every morning brought me past the Flavian Amphitheatre. Better known simply as the Colosseum, it is one of Rome's most iconic structures and could hold up to 80,000 people when it was completed in the first century.
A US priest who is relatively new to Ireland told me recently that if he wears his Roman collar to a social gathering in a bar or a restaurant, one of the most frequent question he gets asked is: "Are you really a priest?" He heroically resists the temptation to answer with some variation of: "In Ireland in 2018, who would really pretend to be a priest?"
Next year marks 190 years since the historic passing of the 'Roman Catholic Relief Act' by the British House of Commons. The legislation brought an end to a lot of the cruel restrictions that had been placed on Catholics by the penal laws.
It was really pragmatism more than principle that saw the combined forces of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil unite to support the re-election of a popular President who spent most of his Oireachtas career opposing their policies. Neither party was keen to deplete their respective war chests when a general election could come at any time.
After fears it would be covered over and a new memorial erected, there was relief and quiet satisfaction in Tuam this week that the Government has decided to go ahead with a full-scale excavation of the former site of the mother and baby home in the Co Galway town - even if some people affected felt let down that they heard the news via the media rather than ahead of time...
Pope Francis recently caused amusement when he erected a sign on the door to his Vatican apartment, reading "No complaining!" and warning that violators suffered from "a syndrome of always feeling like a victim and the consequent reduction in their sense of humour and capacity to solve problems".
A wise man once wrote that the good we do is written in sand, whereas the things that are, well, less good, are carved in stone. That's certainly true of Bishop Eamonn Casey and newspaper headlines frequently introduced him as "disgraced former bishop". And Bishop Casey certainly brought disgrace on himself, his vocational commitment and the Church he so publicly represented for decades.
When I look back on the memories I have of growing my own food here at home over the last 13 years, the fondest moments generally involve one or both of our two children (now aged eight and 10). Actually, the Eureka moment about the importance of food-growing with children came to me courtesy of Eldest Boy, as he sat shelling broad beans at the kitchen table one summer's evening three years ago.
Political leaders of all hues and shades have been coming to Rome to meet Popes for more than 1,700 years. As Enda Kenny ascends in the elevator to the third floor of the Apostolic Palace on Monday for his audience with Pope Francis, he's bound to feel a strong sense of the history of the place. As well as spiritual leader of some 1.27billion Catholics, the Pope is the head of the...
The trustees of Maynooth - the 17 most-senior Catholic bishops - agreed this week to work on a new policy to protect whistle-blowers at the national seminary. It comes after a wave of allegations, many of them anonymous, of homosexual relationships between seminarians.
The story is told in Rome that Pope Leo XIII, whose Papacy straddled the turn of the 19th to 20th century, sent a representative to Ireland to report on the state of the Church here. Upon returning to the Vatican, the Pope enquired of the envoy: "How are the Irish bishops?"
No man has done more to ensure that the Catholic Church in Ireland retains credibility than Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. It's a reputation that he has sometimes paid a heavy price for, but also one that he's been loath to claim credit for.
Tuesday morning started out like any other morning for Fr Jacques Hamel. He celebrated Mass with a small group of parishioners. The Eucharist - in which Catholics believe the sacrifice of Christ is re-presented in time - was central to the life of Fr Jacques ever since his ordination in 1958. He was part of a generation of idealistic young Frenchmen who joined the priesthood following the...
The story is told that Pope John XXIII - the man who called the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s in a bid to overhaul and modernise the Church - was once asked by a theologian-friend to recommend the friend's latest tome. The Pope responded with a wry smile, "I'll do better than that - I'll put it on the index" - a reference to the Vatican's list of banned books. The Pontiff evidently knew that making a book taboo would do more to boost sales than a papal endorsement.
To the casual observer, Pope Francis's recent admission that he believes retired Pope Benedict XVI "had my back" over the past three years may seem like nothing more than a polite hat-tip to his predecessor. But the remark actually reveals a deep undercurrent of resistance to reform that Benedict's steady presence in a small residence in the Vatican gardens is helping the Argentine...
Anyone who has ever lived as part of a family knows that life is lived not in black and white, but in various shades of grey. Pope Francis knows that too, and his new 60,000-word document 'The Joy of Love' is an appeal to Church leaders to set aside narrow judgementalism in favour of an approach that is more welcoming and understanding of the situations in which people find themselves.
Easter looms large in Irish history. Patrick Pearse and his fellow rebels found the Christian theme of resurrection sat perfectly with their hope of birthing a new state for an ancient people.
There is one key missing piece of the jigsaw in the correspondence between the Pope and Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka that would help understand the depth of the relationship: her original letters to the Pontiff and replies to his letters have not been revealed, meaning we have to piece together the relationship from one side of the correspondence.
The idea that a Pope could maintain an intimate relationship with a married woman will shock and scandalise some. Others will see the correspondence between John Paul II and a Polish-American philosopher revealed this week as a fascinating insight into the very human side of a man they hold to be a saint. Still others will see the letters as further confirmation of a side to the man that...
'Easter is early this year'' or "Easter is late this year" are phrases that are routinely uttered without much thought given to why there is such a wide spectrum on when Easter Sunday can fall in a given year.
The Vatican has done nothing to dampen the growing speculation that Pope Francis will visit Ireland in 2018 as part of the 'World Meeting of Families'. Sources in Rome this week indicated that the only potential stumbling block could be the Pope's health given that by the time the event is held, he will be 82.
The Pope arrives in Cuba today as part of a trip that will also see him travel to the United States to canonise Junipero Serra, an 18th Century Spanish missionary who brought Catholicism to California's Native Americans.
The Pope's reforms of the marriage annulment process are the most wide-ranging changes to the practice in over 300 years. His decision to streamline the rules by which the church grants annulments is another piece in the jigsaw for a pontiff who wants the church to reach out to those who are suffering - in this case, those whose marriages have broken down.
Your country is descending deeper and deeper into financial crisis. International markets are increasingly unwilling to lend and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is pounding on the door. Where is a government to turn? It was a real dilemma faced by the then Finance Minister Brian Lenihan as Ireland appeared destined to perish on the rocks of global capitalism gone wrong. Mr Lenihan later recalled how, having just signed the infamous bailout, he sat in Brussels airport alone and looked out at the snow and thought to himself: "Now hell was at the gates".
Pope Francis wrapped up his recent tour of Latin America with an appeal for Catholics to pray for "a miracle" at a forthcoming summit of the world's bishops. The plea for divine intervention shows just how contentious and rancorous Pope Francis believes the encounter may be.
The mixed messages coming from prelates in Ireland and the Vatican in the wake of the same-sex marriage referendum could hardly be starker. Roman cardinals have compared the Irish to pagans and insisted that the Yes vote represents a "defeat for humanity". In Ireland, meanwhile, Dublin's Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has characterised the result as a "reality check" for the church and...
The timing could hardly have been shoddier for the Government: a revelation that the Catholic agency Accord has had all funding for pre-marriage courses axed.
The fact that the Church has raised the prospect of priests refusing to carry out the civil registration of marriages if next month's referendum is passed is a sign of how fundamental the hierarchy think such a redefinition would be. It's also a high-risk strategy that could dramatically affect the decisions couples make about their weddings.
As Cardinal Sean Brady sends his retirement letter to Pope Francis this week, he'll surely breathe a sigh of relief - and hope it'll be swiftly accepted.
When Pope Francis meets survivors of clerical sexual abuse today it will be the Pontiff's first opportunity to hear of their suffering first-hand. The carefully planned encounter, which takes place in the Vatican guesthouse where the Pope has made his home, will be an opportunity for survivors to underline the fact that church mishandling of complaints against priests compounded their suffering.
Here's a sprouting broccoli recipe that puts this venerable ingredient in a Sicilian style dish that's full of flavour.
SAD to say, dear reader, that after two years, this is the final Good Life column. Just as everything has a life span in the veg patch, so it is with a newspaper column.
Two weeks ago, I wrote here about the connections between soil and mental health, and how scientists have discovered that treatment with a soil bacterium, Mycobacterium vaccae, can alleviate the symptoms of depression.
The idea that a hospital would be involved in the growing and rearing of food to feed its patients seems crazy in this day and age. Believe it or not though, some hospitals were practically self-sufficient in times past, and it's only 30 years or so since many hospitals in this country had their own on-site farms to produce food for patients.
I was surprised to see that the lettuce, spinach and oriental greens (mustard, pak choi and rocket) seeds that I sowed on March 2 germinated within just a few days. I thought they might be a little slower at this time of the year.
Taking advantage of the improved weather, I spent an enjoyable few hours in the veg patch this week, getting some beds ready for the sowing of early potatoes.
Seems like every other day there's a new research study about how harmful the food we eat is for our health. Last month all the focus was on the evils of sugar.
The Catholic Church here has published a summary of the findings of a survey of opinion on controversial sexual issues that Pope Francis ordered earlier this year. The exercise sought to gauge the views of the faithful in the pews ahead of a meeting of the world's bishops due to be held in Rome later this year.
The broad bean may not be everyone's favourite vegetable, but I'm a fan, primarily because it's among the first new-season crops of the growing year. | You can start sowing broad beans outside pre-Christmas and if you do so, they will start to crop towards the end of April, which makes them the first of the pulses to visit your plate, well ahead of peas which don't generally show up until June.
Here's a recipe from our friend Donal Skehan who is supporting our Sow & Grow schools growing campaign again this year.
In the last week there's a sense that the growing year is starting to kick off, as well as the first tentative signs of spring. There's a noticeable stretch in the mornings and evenings, and on occasional sunny days a real warmth in the air. We seem to be finally casting off winter's tight grip.
We associate pumpkins with Halloween, and of course they are fun to carve faces in to – but they are also very good to eat.
West Cork Garlic is Ireland's only specialist garlic grower. West Cork Garlic varieties for home-growers are available from the GIY shop at giyireland.com/shop, and garlic for eating available at various retailers and markets, www.westcorkgarlic.com. In conversation with Bryn Perrin.
Of all the skills that I have learned as a GIYer, being able to make my own compost has been the most useful. The compost corner at the end of the garden, is not a pretty or quaint place – but it is pivotal when it comes to the food producing that occurs in my garden, and without it, very little food would grow at all.
I made a big batch of this last weekend and enjoyed it for lunch several days running. I didn't have any radishes, but it didn't seem to suffer too badly from their omission. Come to think of it, I also didn't have pecans and used walnuts instead. The recipe (from 'The Smitten Kitchen' cookbook) recommends Cavolo Nero kale (don't they all) but you can use whatever you have – mine was the hardy red kale, Redbor.
The luck of the crop rotation draw and bad design in my veg patch means that particular veg families tend to have what might be described as 'off years' depending on the area they are destined to spend their growing season in.
Here are the facts on childhood obesity. According to Safefood, one in four primary school children in Ireland is overweight or obese. We know that obesity, once established, is difficult to reverse and tends to track in to adulthood. In other words, obese children are more likely to become obese adults.
You can tell by looking around you that nature is still very much in winter mode. There are very few signs of spring growth around – grass isn't really growing yet in the garden, buds haven't yet appeared on trees. In my garden, the veg patch is still very much in its winter slumber.
This is a completely made up recipe that I cobbled together this week using some vegetables that I brought in from the garden and some standard store cupboard ingredients.
Many amateur food growers will have tried saving seeds from their own produce at some stage. Last year, our kids grew sunflowers and were able to harvest the seeds from the flowers, not only to eat but also to save over winter and use for sowing the following year.
Despite the spin, the Government's decision to re-open an embassy at the Vatican is a U-turn and an embarrassing climb-down for the leader of the Labour Party, Eamon Gilmore. Nonetheless, it would be wrong for critics of the closure to be churlish about the reversal.
WHEN I have very little work to do in the veg patch I have more time to think, and this is generally a dangerous thing. This year, I spent a large part of Christmas fuming at below-cost selling of vegetables by supermarkets. I'm sure you heard about it -- most of the major chains, including Dunnes, SuperValu, Lidl and Aldi, were running special offers on vegetables, with sprouts, turnips and carrots all selling for as little as 5c per kilo.
Before we launch in to the 2014 growing season, I want to take this opportunity to take a look back at 2013. So, how was it for you?
QUITE unexpectedly our hens have started laying eggs again, and as I write I can see a little tray with six eggs in it beside the cooker. Upset by the arrival of four turkeys in to their territory a few months back, all our hens went on strike.
Why Grow it?
I got a much overdue clean-up done on the polytunnel last weekend.
NOW that my vegetable patch is really starting to wind down for the winter months, there are just five fresh vegetables left in the ground holding the fort: parsnips, carrots, celeriac, kale and leeks.
AS THE cold weather and lower light conditions draw in, it's important to close up the doors of your greenhouse or polytunnel to keep the heat in there as much as possible.
Here's a brilliant Rachel Allen recipe, using a lovely Irish cheese to make a rich dish from simple garden kale.
Why grow them?
IT REALLY is hard to believe that we're in December and approaching the end of the 2013 growing season.
REGULAR readers of this column will know that we've been talking a lot in GIY about restaurants and hotels that are going one step further for their customers, linking land to plate in a very real sense by growing their own food.
IRELAND'S Christmas festival, Winterval, has kicked off in Waterford and runs right up until New Year's Eve this year. There's lots to interest the 'Good Lifer', including the Christmas food and craft market and the animal farm, where Santa's reindeers are resting up while the Big Man is in residence at the grotto in the 13th Century medieval museum. Do not miss the spectacular Winterval Illuminates lightshow in Cathedral Square. www.winterval.ie
WITH Halloween over, the countdown to Christmas is well and truly on, and as a result we have turkeys back in our garden again. Each year we rear four turkeys, with one becoming the centrepiece of our Christmas Day celebrations, and the balance jointed and put in to the freezer.
I've tried hard to resist the charms of kale over the years, but finally, perhaps inevitably, I have succumbed. This year I've become a kale nut.
For many people, the motivation to grow their own food comes from wanting to make sure their children have the best food to eat. Certainly in my case, a continuing strong motivation to keep growing, is knowing that we are able to access the best, freshest and most natural food for our two children. It also helps that by getting them involved in the growing process, they seem more amenable to eating the lovely veg that comes from the veg patch.
Why Grow Them?
Two things I am pleased to say I have an abundance of at the moment are parsnips and squashes. This is a super-rich, creamy, bubbly, indulgent, melt-in-your mouth delicious recipe.
WE got four new additions to our hen flock recently, which brings the total number of birds to eight (six hens and two ducks). The decision to get more hens was prompted by the fact that our 'existing' hens were getting on in years and had gone off the boil somewhat on the egg front.
* POTTING up herbs and growing them indoors is a great way to maintain a supply of herbs such as thyme, rosemary and sage through the winter months. They will grow slowly, BUT they will grow – and they can also be planted out again in the spring.
As I write this, I am looking proudly up on top of the dresser in our kitchen and seeing a row of pumpkins and winter squashes – of all different sizes, shapes and colours. It's a beautiful seasonal display for the week that's in it.
At Fota House Arboretum and Gardens this week, there are workshops for five to 12-year-olds where they'll learn how to make fun Halloween decorations out of recycled goods and pumpkins grown in our magic garden. €10 per child for each workshop. October 29, 30 & 31, 2-4pm daily. Booking is essential as space is limited. Call 021 4815543 or email email@example.com.
This is a very simple carrot salad recipe from Deborah Madison's seminal veggie cookbook 'Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone'. This serves four to six. I make a batch and keep it in the fridge for two to three days.
Why Grow them?
THERE'S a moment in every GIYer's year when things pivot from a focus on the current year to preparing for the next. It always amazes me how suddenly it happens. I wrote here last week about the tremendous mental health benefits of growing food – here again is another example. There's always a hopeful future when you grow your own food, always plans to be laid down for the season ahead. It's the Etch-a-Sketch approach to life – each year you get to shake things up, wipe the slate clean and start again.
After a long winter, there's nothing better than getting your first crop of beans – you can enjoy broad beans as early as May if you sow them now rather than waiting until the spring.
Well over a century ago, Karl Marx wrote about how workers of the world would eventually rebel against their "oppressors", because the age of industrialisation was dividing their work into meaningless, repetitive tasks.
Don your boots and wellies, and hike around the estate in search of edible mushroom varieties for the 12th Annual Mushroom Hunt at Longueville House.
Don't worry too much about the quantities of each of the vegetables – whatever you have available is fine and of course it depends on how many people you are feeding.
* GREEN Foundation Ireland hosts a Food Seminar called 'Food: Good to Eat and Good for Ireland?' at the European Parliament Offices, 43 Molesworth Street, Dublin, this Friday October 11, from 9am to 4pm.
MY VEG patch has blessed me with many things over the years, but perhaps the greatest blessing is the emotional and mental wellbeing it brings. Without really probing why, I've long believed that the best balm for a frenzied mind or a harried soul is a day in the vegetable garden.
Why Grow it?
We've reached the time of year when I suddenly realise that the tomato crop is not infinite after all.
Why Grow it?
I ALWAYS find the idea of a raw food diet to be rather extreme, scary and forbidding. I know there are people out there that swear by it, and fair play to them, but it always sounds to me like something that no sensible person would really ever contemplate.
* There are GIY meetings this week in Wexford, Fermoy, Kildare and Ballina. Michael Kelly from GIY will take part in a seminar in Ballina, Co Mayo, on Thursday night at 7pm, entitled 'Food, Health, Wealth'.
* The leaves and tendrils of pea shoots have a wonderful, delicate pea flavour.
THE issue of Holy Communion for Catholic politicians who support abortion is a contentious one, even for some within the church.
If you're composting or using your food scraps to feed pigs, you'll need somewhere to keep them. The "Let's Go Eco" Home Composting range allows household waste to be segregated before composting.
Thanks to Rosemaire Cusack from GIY Dungarvan for this recipe, which she tells us has been used for years by her mother to use up windfall apples. You can use dessert or cooking apples instead.
I planted six or seven apple trees in the front garden three years ago this winter. I had almost no apples from them last year, but this year they have sprung into life and it's looking like a very promising apple season (by all accounts it has been an incredible year for all types of fruit).
Maddy Harland is editor and co-founder of 'Permaculture' magazine and a speaker at the GIY Gathering 2013 (September 14 and 15, Waterford).