22 August 2018, The Tablet

Same old, same old

The Pope in Ireland

Same old, same old

Invisible women: campaigners against Ireland’s strict abortion laws wearing dramatic ‘repeal’ masks


Like many in Ireland, I would view the Pope’s visit more positively if it were not occasioned by the World Meeting of Families. Pope Francis has come to stand for many of the things that the grassroots of the Catholic Church in Ireland has itself developed in recent years. For example, compassion (to an extent that has changed laws on gay marriage and abortion), a focus on mercy instead of judgement (there is no far Right or concerted anti-immigration lobby in Ireland), and a serious concern for the environment (such as Eco-Congregation Ireland).

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