In the beginning was the word

There was a time when book burning mattered. Once upon a time, religions enforced dictates by burning books containing the wrong opinions. To be orthodox was, literally, to hold the right opinion. And just in case that didn’t work, heretics were burned at the stake for good measure. At the end of the medieval era, […]

Hairetikos

So I’ve got some unleavened bread here. To some people, it’s just a piece of flour, mixed with water and heated. And to some people, it’s the body of a god, sacred beyond imagining. Plain unraised bread, made without yeast or other raising agent, is ‘unleavened’. A few years ago, a Florida student called Webster […]

The welcoming committee

You know how it goes. A bunch of guys (and they probably were guys, not gals) sits down to make some plans. For the most part, the meeting is businesslike, focused on the task at hand. But inevitably, because we are social animals, someone will crack a joke at some point. And just occasionally, someone […]

Moving On

There’s a report in the Donegal News of an interview with Philip Boyce, bishop of Raphoe, regarding the fallout from the Murphy report. It’s worth looking at what he says. Boyce described the report as “shameful, horrific and beggars belief, it is hard to say anything else about it.” Boyce then described how one of […]

Priorities

Yesterday, the government published the Murphy report, the results of an investigation into the sexual abuse of children in the Dublin diocese, and how complaints were handled. This is not the first such report. The Ferns Inquiry was published in 2005. Earlier this year Ryan looked at institutional child abuse. So after the initial rage […]

Why opposing the blasphemy law is pointless

As is my habit, I stopped in a local store on the way home this evening to pick up a few essentials – milk, a bottle of orange juice to slake the thirst from the Summer heat, you know the drill. As I queued to pay at the checkout, I read the signs on the […]

Acceptable Losses

It was almost as a throwaway item during the 9pm RTÉ News. As part of budget cutbacks, the government has decided not to go ahead as planned with a programme to vaccinate teenage girls, saving ten million euros. The human pappiloma virus (HPV) vaccine protects young girls against a form of cervical cancer. Last June, […]