Archive for November, 2011

Audits of Child Protection Practices for six Dioceses Published

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Audits of child protection practices – conducted by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church – have been being published by six dioceses. The board’s audits of Raphoe, Tuam, Ardagh and Clonmacnoise, Kilmore, Dromore and Derry have been published by the respective dioceses.

The reports for each diocese can be found by following the links below.

Raphoe Diocese

Tuam Diocese

Ardagh and Clonmacnois Diocese

Kilmore Diocese

Dromore Diocese

Derry Diocese

CiNews: Families hit hard in successive budgets

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Below is an excerpt from a report in CiNews about the impact of successive budgets on Irish households.

“Average family take-home pay has been hit by almost €400 a month by the austerity Budgets that began in 2008 new figures show.

The figures, compiled by The Irish Tax Institute, show that average family with two children and one income of €55,000 has been hit hard by income tax changes, cuts in child benefit, higher medical charges, reductions in pension tax reliefs and government spending cuts, according to the Irish Independent.

The figure is made up of  €283 per month in tax increases, €46 per month in petrol rises, and a €52 per month hit in Child Benefit.  Another €183 per month would have to be added if the couple had two children under six, to take into account the abolition of the Early Childcare Supplement.

It is the first time a formal financial assessment of the impact of the Budgets on families has been made.  Next month’s Budget alone is set to hit households with hikes in VAT and carbon hikes and the new household charge.  But there is more to come in a series of austerity budgets that will involve water charges, higher motor tax, cuts in child benefit, more income tax rises and an increase in the household charge.

The figures do not take account of a range of other income-reducing measures, such as pay cuts, public sector pension levies, phasing out of mortgage interest relief for most, cuts in unemployment benefit and higher DIRT savings tax.  President of the Tax Institute Bernard Doherty said families were fast reaching a point where they could no longer absorb the burden of spending cuts and tax hikes.”

by Tom O’Gorman

To read more visit CiNews

CiNews:Administrator appointed for Derry diocese

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Below is an excerpt from an article in CiNews about the new Administrator appointed for the Diocese of Derry.

“The diocese of Derry has announced that Monsignor Eamon Martin has been appointed as the new Administrator of the Diocese following his election by the College of Consultors in the diocese.

The College of Consultors consists of the diocese’s eight most senior clerics.  The Diocesan Administrator will administer the diocese until a new Bishop of Derry is appointed.  Mgr Martin’s appointment follows the decision by Bishop Seamus Hegarty to resign on health grounds.  His resignation was formally accepted by the Vatican on November 23.

A native of Pennyburn in Derry, he studied for the priesthood at Saint Patrick’s College in Maynooth and was ordained on June 28 1987.  Following his ordination, he served as curate in Saint Eugene’s Cathedral in Derry until 1989 from where he went on to teach at Saint Columb’s College in Derry City where he was appointed College President in 2000.

He holds an impressive list of qualifications including a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematical Science from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, A Bachelor of Divinity from the same university and a Masters in Theology from Cambridge University in England.”

By Sean Ryan

To read more visit CiNews 

CiNews: Sr. Dr. Miriam Duggan wins UCC award for her work with aids in Africa

Friday, November 25th, 2011

Below is an excerpt from an article in CiNews about the work of Sr. Dr. Miriam Duggan with HIV/AIDS in Africa and an honour she will receive from University College Cork this evening.

“An Irish nun called ‘The Mother Teresa of Africa’ is among several top achievers in business, medicine and science honoured by University College Cork at the 2011 Alumni Achievement Awards this evening (Friday).

Medical graduate Sr Miriam Duggan (pictured) has dedicated her life to combating the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa.  In 1987, she founded Youth Alive in an effort to address the root causes for the spread of HIV and help young people to make responsible choices and avoid getting AIDS.

This prevention programme was successful in reducing the rate of HIV/AIDS in Uganda, and subsequently was extended to 21 African countries.

“I have seen thousands of young people make commitments to abstain from sex until marriage, and many people re-commit themselves to be faithful in marriage, and people taking steps to break with alcohol and drug addictions,” said Sr Miriam.

“I am convinced that if we are to stop the further spread of AIDS, we urgently need to address the behaviours and attitudes that are spreading the disease.  I am not saying it is easy, it takes a lot of working at, but it is far harder to watch people getting infected and dying.”

By Anne Marie Foley

To read more visit CiNews

CiNews: SVP issues annual Christmas appeal

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Saint Vincent De Paul have launched their appeal for donations leading up to the Christmas season.

“The Society of the Saint Vincent De Paul (SVP) this week launched an urgent appeal for donations to provide help to the ever-increasing demands on their services in the lead up to Christmas.

The appeal, which was launched with the help of RTÉ broadcaster Ryan Tubridy, will continue through next month with December 4 to 11 nominated SVP Week when church gate collections will be held all over the country.

Speaking at the launch, SVP national President Mairead Bushnell said she had never before felt the palpable worry and uncertainty that their 10,000 plus volunteers are experiencing throughout the country.

“For so many people it was now a question of constantly having to make choices.  And when it comes to Christmas and the winter months, the decisions become even harder.”

She added, “In many cases it will be to ensure that children have a toy from Santa or that the families have sufficient food, heat and light to get over the festive season.”

By Sean Ryan

To continue reading visit CiNews

CiNews:Americans “more religious” than Europeans, new poll shows

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Below is an excerpt from an article in CiNews about the results of a recent survey which shows that Americans see religion as more important than Western Europeans.

“Americans see religion as more important, and more important for morality, than Western Europeans, according to a new poll carried out by the Pew Research Centre.

The poll, published last week, showed that 50 per cent of Americans deem religion very important in their lives.  From the European side, the survey looked at Spain, Germany, France and the UK but not at more religious countries like Poland.

It found that in Spain, 22 per cent thought of religion as very important, while 21 per cent of Germans, 17 per cent of British people and 13 per cent of French people share this view.  Americans are also far more inclined than Western Europeans to say it is necessary to believe in God in order to be moral and have good values.  53 per cent say this is the case in the U.S., compared with just one-third in Germany, 20 per cent in Britain, 19 per cent in Spain and 15 per cent in France.

However, the survey showed certain differences in attitude towards religion across different demographic group in the US, while for Europeans, attitudes remained relatively constant.  In the U.S., women and older respondents place more importance on religion and are more likely than men and younger people to say that faith in God is a necessary foundation for morality and good values.”

By Tom O’Gorman

To read more visit CiNews

CiNews: Gardaí recover stolen property from 17 Churches

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Below is an excerpt from a report in CiNews about the recovery of property that was stolen from 17 churches in the Munster region.

“Gardaí in Cork have confirmed in the past week that property taken from a total of 17 churches in four different counties in the Munster region has been recovered.

The targeted churches included Newmarket, Meelin, Rockchapel, Ballydesmond, Kiskeam, Cullen, Lismire, Castlemagnier, Knocknagree, Lisgriffin, Liscarroll and Ballyhea, which are all in County Cork.  While churches in Fearnagh and Templeglantine in County Limerick, Clogheen in County Tipperary and Rathmore in County Kerry were also targeted.

According to a Garda spokesperson, the Gardaí recovered a haul of valuable items stolen from the churches after searching two houses in Buttevant in County Cork.  He added that some of the items stolen were of huge sentimental value from to the churches from which they were stolen.

An example is Saint Mary’s Church in Clogheen in South Tipperary, from where a statue of Our Lady of Fatima was taken.  Local parish priest Fr Pat Butler said he had the statue for the past 22 years and brought it with him to whatever parish he was serving.”

By Sean Ryan

To read more visit CiNews

CNS:In Africa, pope asks church to be model of reconciliation

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Below is an excerpt from a story from the Catholic News Service, which summarises Pope Benedict XVI recent visit to the African country of Benin.

“On a three-day visit to Benin, Pope Benedict XVI urged African Catholics to witness the hope of the Gospel in their daily lives and make the church a model of reconciliation for the entire continent.

In a particular way, the church must be “attentive to the cry of the poor, the weak, the outcast,” the pope said at a Mass Nov. 20 for more than 50,000 people who filled a stadium in Cotonou.

“I would like to greet with affection all those persons who are suffering, those who are sick, those affected by AIDS or by other illnesses, to all those forgotten by society. Have courage! The pope is close to you in his thoughts and prayers,” he said.

The 84-year-old pontiff delivered his homily in French, English and Portuguese, adding a few words in Fon, the local indigenous language. He occasionally wiped his brow as temperatures rose during the morning liturgy.

The pope stressed the urgency of evangelizing and said the church must make a special effort to reach those “whose faith is weak” and who think selfish satisfaction and easy gain is the goal of human life.”

By the Catholic News Service

To read more click here

Photo: CNS/Paul Haring

CiNews: Former ambassador to US criticises embassy closure

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Below is an excerpt from an article in CiNews in which a former Irish Ambassador criticises the closure of the Irish embassy to the Vatican

“A former Irish ambassador to the United States has criticised the closure of the Irish embassy to the Vatican in Rome, saying that it is a mistake, and that talks between the Irish Government and the Vatican should be “intensified not diluted.”

Writing in The Tablet magazine, Seán Donlon, (pictured) a former Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs said it was difficult to accept that the closure came merely to save money.  Rather, he writes, it is a “reflection of the continuing deterioration of relations.”

The slide began a generation ago, he asserts, when the Irish Government clashed with the Vatican over the Northern Ireland situation.  Ireland was against any contact with terrorist organisations like the Provisional IRA, whereas the Vatican’s position “appeared ambivalent.”

In more recent time, the tensions became much greater over the handling of allegations of clerical child sex abuse, culminating in Enda Kenny’s attack on the culture of the Vatican, and the Vatican’s 25 page explanation, which was accepted by the government.  However, they did not “resile from the original accusation that in 1997 the then Nuncio in Dublin, Archbishop Luciano Storero, ‘provided a pretext for some members of the clergy to evade full cooperation with the Irish civil authorities in regard to the abuse of minors’”.

The low-key reaction to the announcement of the closure may indicate that the move has public support but, “domestic popularity is not a good basis for the formulation of foreign policy,”

By Susan Gately

To read more visit CiNews

Irish Catholic: Archbishops resist Vatican shake-up

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Below is an excerpt of an article in the Irish Catholic about the resistance of the Irish Bishops to plans from the Vatican to cut the numbers of Irish dioceses and hence the numbers of bishops.

“The four Irish archbishops, led by Cardinal Seán Brady, are strongly resisting broad terms of a Vatican plan that would cut the number of Irish dioceses and by default the number of bishops.

The plan to reduce the 26 dioceses has emerged as a major theme following the Vatican investigation — the Apostolic Visitation — into the Church in Ireland.

Vatican officials have been floating the reforms since the Irish bishops met with Pope Benedict XVI in February 2010.

At that time, senior Church sources told The Irish Catholic that members of the hierarchy strongly resisted any changes to diocesan boundaries.

However, it has now emerged that the bishops have recognised that some changes are inevitable and are trying to minimise the cuts.

A committee met in Maynooth in September with the aim of drawing up plans that would remove smaller dioceses by setting a lower limit of 100,000 Catholics per diocese.

This would affect Cashel and Emly, Achonry, Ardagh and Clonmacnoise, Clogher, Clonfert, Dromore, Elphin, Killala, Kilmore, Ossory and Raphoe.”

By Garry O’Sullivan and Michael Kelly

To read more visit the Irish Catholic