Presbyterian Minister Rev.Patricia McBride and Church of Ireland Cleric, Rev.Peter Thornbury are pictured alongside the Roman Catholic Bishop of Dromore, John McAreavey at the newly refurbished St. Patrick's church, in Loughbrickland where a dedication mass was celebrated by Bishop McAreavey.
McAreavey's other exploits. In 2004 a team from CMS Ireland which included the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin and R.C. Bishop McAreavey spent a week in Cairo meeting religious and civic leaders, drawing comparisons between the initiatives for dialogue and reconciliation in Ireland and the need for reconciliation and dialogue in the Middle East. They were in Egypt as the guests of the Bishop of Egypt, Dr Anis, and were accompanied by the President of CMS Ireland, Rev Professor Mollan, the general secretary of CMS Ireland, Canon Cecil Wilson, and Rev Patrick Comerford, who co-ordinated CMS Ireland's programme on Muslim-Christian dialogue. The seminar was attended by more than 100 delegates from the Islamic and Christian communities and was held to promote the message that Christians and Muslims share a common task of working for peace and reconciliation in the world.
Church of Ireland Archbishop Neill said that throughout the turbulent years of strife and violence in Ireland, the churches had grown closer together, sharing common ideals in the areas of justice, human rights and peace, sharing pastoral care for people in inter-church marriages, and speaking up for each others better interests.
Bishop McAreavey said the experience of Northern Ireland had taught him that when people of faith listened to each other and heard each other's stories, they realised that their hope for the future could always overcome the hurt and divisions of the past.
"It is necessary for salvation for every human being to be subject to the Roman Pontiff."
(Decree of Pope Boniface VIII, Bull Unum Sanctum)
"And what agreement hath the Temple of God with idols?" - II Corinthians 6:16
If there is one place you would expect Pope Benedict to receive strong support, it is in Traunstein. He grew up in this picture postcard town in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps and he is Traunstein's most famous son.
In the town centre, groups of tourists have their photographs taken next to Benedict's bust. There is even a "Benedict Trail"
The election of a German Pope was a source of pride, not only for German Catholics but for the whole country. But attitudes have changed. The Catholic Church has been plunged into a renewed crisis over how it has dealt with child abuse after it emerged that the Pope's brother, Georg Ratzinger, ran a renowned choir at the centre of some of the latest claims.
The child sex abuse scandal battering the Catholic Church has led to accusations that Pope Benedict himself covered up cases of abuse.
Even in Traunstein, there is growing disappointment with the Pope. "We were proud to have a German Pope," one woman
So far, over 300 cases of physical and sexual abuse by priests have been reported in Germany, stretching back to the 1950s and involving Catholic boarding schools, monasteries and the famous boys' choir in Regensburg. Composer Franz Wittenbrink was a member of the Regensburg choir between 1958 and 1967. Franz told about the abuse he suffered.
He told how trainee priests - prefects at the boarding school - had a system of "semi-sexual" punishment. "We had to take
Other choirboys were sexually abused by the director of the boarding school. "He picked boys out and they had to go to his apartment. He gave them red wine and talked about life. And then they were forced to commit sexual acts."
"No one from my class told their parents what was happening," says Franz. I asked him whether it was possible that, as
"For the mystery of iniquity doth already work" - II Thessalonians 2:7
Dr Murray was one of many in the Roman Catholic hierarchy in Ireland who was aware that paedophiles were using their
For comment on the resignation of Donal Murray and the probable departure of some of his peers, all excoriated in the report into sexual abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese, look no farther than the Irish philosopher and statesman Edmund Burke: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
Rather than taking the right actions, the Murphy report concluded, there was a conspiracy to protect the image of the
In his resignation announcement, read out during Mass in Limerick in his last act as bishop, Dr Murray said he was
The absence of an acceptance of responsibility for his role in the evil committed over decades suggests that there is still a
The public welcomed the resignation - which came on a day when another man of the cloth went on national radio to defend
It is reasonable to assume by this stage that the Irish have reached a level of astonishment bordering on horror at the behaviour of an institution that once policed the country's moral values with a rod of iron - but whose own moral compass is
Whether an accused or an accuser, allegations in the Roman Catholic Church are subject to internal investigations based
Pope Benedict XVI, a central figure in the Vatican for years before he ascended to the papal seat, has personally been made aware of the many scandals blighting the church. But an analysis of the organisation's handling of controversies suggests we should seriously doubt the former Cardinal Ratzinger's Vatican bona fides when it comes to addressing the current clerical sex abuse scandal with any real degree of openness and transparency.
Like his Irish colleague Donal Murray, Cardinal Bernard Law famously and belatedly "fell on his crozier" in December 2002.
When the body of 62-year-old Roberto Calvi was found hanging from London's Blackfriars bridge in June 1982, his pockets
The case of Bishop Eamonn Casey
At the time, it was the greatest scandal ever to hit the Catholic Church in Ireland. When it emerged in 1992 that then Bishop of Galway Eamonn Casey had fathered a son, the church came under unprecedented media scrutiny, and a deeper questioning of its role as a moral guardian. But viewed almost 20 years on his sins appear less serious when compared with the far more damaging accusations levelled against clerical sex abusers. Casey and his fellow clergy member, the "singing priest" Fr Michael Cleary, played a prominent role in the triumphant visit of Pope John Paul to Ireland. But both brought 'shame' on the church with the revelations of their distinctly uncelibate behaviour. In truth, Casey adopted an approach to Annie Murphy's pregnancy which was thoroughly orthodox in its approach. Rather than have to deal with censure from the Vatican, he put his former intimate under pressure to avoid scandal by having the child adopted. His approach in seeking to pay 'hush money' to Murphy, and subsequently repaying more than £70,000 which he had siphoned from Galway diocese funds to support his family, bore all the hallmarks of the secretive approach to such matters amid the Catholic hierarchy.
Defiance in accepting personal failings speaks louder than any bishop's words. Perhaps it was too much to expect that in his resignation speech, the former bishop of Limerick Donal Murray would finally accept his personal failings as so meticulously highlighted in the Murphy report. Yet the manner of Murray's leaving - some 16 days after he claims to have decided to resign - spoke volumes about the way the church here continues to do its business. His resignation speech was read out to massgoers and gathered clergy at St John's Cathedral in Limerick:
His statement is notable for its thoroughly predictable expressions of apology - but not culpability. In his repeated attempts
The most telling aspect of the bishops' responses to the Murphy report is the attitude of justification bordering on outright defiance which the other four bishops named in the report - Eamonn Walsh, Raymond Field, Martin Drennan and James Moriarty have displayed in the weeks since the report itself was published. None appears willing to accept what abuse survivors have so eloquently argued: by their failure to act, they are in their own way just as culpable as others who actively covered up abuse. The problem lies not just in what they did, but also in what they did not do to prevent child rape and molestation. Yet Walsh knows just as well as others that Murphy's report examined only the handling of allegations made against a sample of 46 priests out of 102 against whom complaints were made between 1975 and 2004. Given this, it is by no means beyond the bounds of possibility that he, and indeed others who were not criticised in the report itself (never mind the sections which were omitted on foot of a High Court order) may well have had further questions to answer if its remit had been more extensive.
O'Connell was called the Liberator because of his efforts to bring about the emancipation of Roman Catholics and to give them the vote. He campaigned to abolish the Act of Union; of course in those days the great Presbyterian Dr. Henry Cooke confronted O'Connell when he brought his Nationalist agenda to Belfast; this is in stark contrast to the actions of Presbyterian minister Rev. Patricia McBride mentioned on the cover of this edition, pictured at a dedication mass.
In the dim, atmospheric light of Trinity College's majestic Long Room, a child of the Ardoyne and a big man from Ballymena
The meeting of President Mary McAleese and Rev Ian Paisley, now Lord Bannside, might be unremarkable except for the
There was a sense of ease as Lord Bannside listened along with his wife, his son Kyle and daughter Sharon, to President
She said there was "everything to be gained from interrogating the past calmly and coherently, in order to understand each other's passions more comprehensively ... to help us transcend those baleful forces of history so that we can make a new history of good neighbourliness ... "
Lord Bannside, occasionally fading almost to inaudibility, also focused on what the exhibition could teach us. " .... These troubles were not borne by one social class, or another, or by one gender or another. They were not limited by age, nor limited by religious belief. To learn this story, I believe, is to know who we are, why we have had to witness our own trouble, and why we live in a divided island ... May we really learn what this exhibition can really teach us."
He graciously thanked those who had invited him to the event. He asked God's blessing of everyone in the room, adding, "and in the words of Lord Carson, who was a great man - he was well known to Trinity and to this city - what did he say? He said God save Ulster", to a room that erupted in clapping and laughter. "I would be willing now to just stretch a bit harder and I would like to say God save Ulster and the three other .. . eh ... [laughter] parts of this island."
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Even though the budding police officers passed all the stringent tests, they were turned down on grounds of their religious
A Freedom of Information reply also shows that no Catholic candidate was rejected under 50/50. This meant that all Catholics who had made the merit pool, and passed all the assessment tests, had been offered jobs; police confirmed that
The data, which covers all 14 application drives since 50/50 was introduced, shows that 945 non-Catholic applications have been rejected due to 50/50 - which means they have met the merit pool but not been admitted. During that time, 3,549
But SDLP MLA Alex Attwood said the party would use the consultation to oppose the ending of 50/50. "I regret that 50/50
The head of the Vatican Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, is under investigation as part of a money-laundering inquiry. Prosecutors also seized £19m from the bank's accounts. The inquiry was launched after two suspicious transactions were reported to tax police in Rome. The Vatican said it was "perplexed and astonished", and expressed full confidence in Mr Tedeschi. The Vatican Bank, known officially as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), was created during World War II to administer accounts held by religious orders, cardinals, bishops and priests.
Rome magistrates are looking into claims that Mr Gotti Tedeschi and the bank's chief executive Paolo Cipriani violated laws that require banks to disclose information on financial operations.
The BBC's David Willey in Rome says the Bank of Italy's financial intelligence unit tipped off Italy's tax police, after two
In a statement, the Vatican strongly defended its record. "The Holy See is perplexed and astonished by the initiatives of the Rome prosecutors," the statement said. And the Vatican also gave its backing to the two officials under investigation.
"The Holy See wants to express the maximum confidence in the president and in the chief executive of the IOR," it said.
"I offered prayer for him, and I think that was the right thing to do, and I don't care what people say. I hope that I have the same heart that Christ had, a love for others who needed help at times of need."
I asked Ian Paisley about the irony of journalists writing stories, at the time, noting that he had failed to shake Martin
Figures released by the PSNI show there were over 70 attacks on Orange halls in Northern Ireland in the last 12 months.
Ulster Unionist peer Lord Laird had requested the information and says he is "disgusted" by the scale of the problem he describes as "fascist attacks carried out by ignorant people". Lord Laird has appealed for those responsible to rethink their actions and said:
"If people would just stop attacking the halls and take the time to find out more about the Orange Order, then I don't think we would have these problems. We seem to be living in a society where people can't live and let live which is very sad indeed."
Halls have been attacked right across the Province, but Dunloy in County Antrim and Clifton Street in Belfast have suffered
"If you look at the figures then the situation is definitely getting worse. When you consider there were 73 separate attacks right across Northern Ireland, then you realise this is a serious problem that needs stamped out. Whilst I call on anyone with influence to help end what is nothing short of fascism, I would also call on people not to be drawn into retaliation," he added.
Drew Nelson, Grand Secretary of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland said he "wasn't surprised" by the figures.
"In the last two weeks alone, I am aware of two more serious incidents at Orange Halls in Co Londonderry and Co Fermanagh," said Mr Nelson. "This has been a sustained campaign of vandalism right across the Province, with very obvious sectarian overtones, and the police must record all these attacks as the hate crimes, which they are. Any information must be passed to police directly," the Grand Secretary added.
Commenting on the attacks, a police spokesperson said:
"The PSNI condemns attacks and criminal damage on all property irrespective of where it occurs or which community is the victim. We are aware of the concerns expressed by the Orange Order and others and want to assure them that we view these attacks seriously. Each incident is robustly investigated and all available evidence is obtained with a view to making any identified perpetrators accountable through the criminal justice system."
A Catholic priest in Australia has been sentenced to nearly 20 years in jail for sex attacks on 25 children over nearly two
John Sidney Denharn. 67, pleaded guilty to a range of charges relating to attacks on boys at schools in New South Wales between 1968 and 1986. The judge said his actions "contributed to a culture of fear and depravity". Denham apologised to the victims and their families, saying he saw himself as a "mere scumbag paedophile".
He was sentenced to 19 years and 10 months in jail for crimes including sexual acts and indecent assaults against boys aged between five and 16 years old. He was ordered to serve a minimum of 13 years and 10 months.
Judge Helen Syme spent nearly three hours summing up the charges against the priest. "The incident assaults involved
The victims and their families welcomed the sentence, but said the Catholic Church should be held accountable for what went on.
"He was a horrendous man, really horrendous," one mother said. "It just all goes back on to the families - it's ruined families, siblings. It's disgusting, the hierarchy in the Catholic Church."
The abuse of children by Catholic priests has been a major issue in recent years as victims and relatives have sought justice. The victims' group Broken Rites Australia says it has received thousands of calls reporting abuse since opening its national telephone hotline in 1993 - and has helped to sentence more than 100 clergymen.
Scottish Catholics are being asked to dig deep to cover an £800,000 debt incurred by the Pope's visit to Scotland. Collections are expected to be organised on both sides of the border as the Catholic Church aims to cut by April 2011 a multi-million- pound shortfall left by the state visit to the UK.
In Scotland it is estimated the church has so far raised just under half of the £1.4 million contribution it is making to the
The Government covered many of the costs of the four-day trip in September, which included over 50,000 pilgrims gathering
The open-air beatification Mass in Birmingham's Cofton Park was the centrepiece of Pope Benedict XVI's four-day UK visit.
That Benedict XVI oversaw the beatification demonstrates the esteem in which he held the man who founded the Oxford
"I have been able to meet representatives of the many communities and cultures of British society. The diversity of modern Britain is a challenge."
He made the comments after the start of his state visit was marred when one of his aides, Cardinal WaIter Kasper, said arriving at Heathrow airport was like landing in a "Third World" country. But although the process towards his beatification
Traditionalist Anglicans in Australia have become the first to vote in favour of leaving their national church and converting to Roman Catholicism. Crossing over to Rome under the new scheme would give the group the chance to retain their Anglican
Under a Vatican scheme to provide a welcome for disaffected Anglicans, three serving Anglican Bishops and two retired Bishops are joining Catholicism. There have been splits among Anglicans over homosexuality and the ordination of women.
The serving bishops are the Bishop of Ebbsfleet, the Right Reverend Andrew Burnham; the Bishop of Richborough, the Right Reverend Keith Newton; and the Bishop of Fulham, the Right Reverend John Broadhurst. They will be joined by the former Bishop of Richborough, the Right Reverend Edwin Barnes, and the former Bishop of Ballarat in Australia, the Right Reverend David Silk.
The announcement that Bishop Burnham and Bishop Newton are joining the special section of the Roman Catholic Church set up for disgruntled Anglicans is not unexpected and is an important milestone in the development of the Pope's Anglican
Bishop Broadhurst, the leader of the traditionalist and mainly Anglo-Catholic organisation "Forward in Faith", had earlier announced that he would convert to Rome. Around the same time, the congregation of St Peter's in Folkestone also became the first to begin the process of leaving to join the Roman Catholic Church. Christopher Knight, a theologian and member of Forward in Faith, said the grouping counted at least 800 Anglo-Catholic priests among its members and "the signs are that more priests will leave from the Anglo-Catholic wing and their churches will be seriously affected".
The Times religious affairs correspondent Ruth Gledhill told the BBC the announcement could prompt "hundreds, possibly thousands" of lay ministers to follow the bishops' example.
In a statement, the five Bishops said: "We have been dismayed, over the last 30 years, to see Anglicans and Catholics move further apart on some of the issues of the day." They said the Vatican's proposal was "both a generous response to various approaches to the Holy See for help and a bold, new ecumenical instrument in the search for the unity of Christians."
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, said: "I have with regret accepted the resignations of Bishops Andrew Burnham and Keith Newton who have decided that their future in Christian ministry lies in the new structures proposed by the Vatican. We wish them well in this next stage of their service to the Church."
What of the 39 Articles of the Anglican church? What a contrast between the actions of these five bishops and the five bishops burned by Rome. (see advertisement below)
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