I have a new article on RTE’s Brainstorm, After Francis: What’s the Future for the Church in Ireland?
This is the first paragraph, but you can click here to read it in full:
Opinion: despite the changes since the last papal visit, Ireland is still a country with high levels of religious commitment amongst young and old
When Pope Francis arrives in Ireland, he will be visiting a different country from the one that hosted Pope John Paul II in 1979. Back then, it was still possible to believe in a “holy Catholic Ireland”, united in its fidelity to the Church. Today, the illusion of a holy Catholic Ireland has been shattered. As Francis’ visit approaches, it has become a cliché to point this out. But given the scale of decline between papal visits, it seems reasonable to ask: what’s the future for the Church in Ireland after Francis?