April 29th, 2012
11:32 AM ET

Priest in gay porn probe leaves parish

An Irish priest at the center of a gay porn controversy has asked to leave his parish and take sabbatical leave from the priesthood, he said Sunday.

The Catholic Church in Ireland had launched an investigation after reports Father Martin McVeigh accidentally showed pictures of naked men to parents of children preparing for their First Holy Communion.

The incident happened at the start of a PowerPoint presentation at a grade school in Pomeroy, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland in March, said the leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady.

Parents said in a statement they were "horrified" by what they saw and called for action to be taken against the priest.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Crime • Ireland • Sex abuse

March 20th, 2012
10:17 AM ET

Vatican begs forgiveness of Ireland abuse victims

By Richard Allen Greene and Peter Taggart, CNN

(CNN) - The Vatican begged forgiveness from Irish victims of child sexual abuse by priests as it released a major report into the problem Tuesday, but victims responded with anger and disbelief at the report's finding that new safeguards are working.

"With a great sense of pain and shame, it must be acknowledged that within the Christian community, innocent young people were abused by clerics," a high-level Catholic Church committee found.

"Those who should have exercised vigilance often failed to do so effectively," the committee found.


- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Catholic Church • Ireland

March 6th, 2012
04:23 PM ET

Dublin cathedral pleads for return of 884-year-old heart

By the CNN Wire Staff

A cathedral in Dublin asked on Tuesday that anyone with information on the missing preserved heart of the city's patron saint step forward.

The 884-year-old heart of St. Laurence O'Toole was stolen over the weekend from the iron cage where it is kept in Christ Church Cathedral, police and the cathedral said.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Ireland

March 4th, 2012
11:18 AM ET

900-year-old saint's heart vanishes from cathedral

By Richard Allen Greene and Peter Taggart, CNN

Police in Ireland are studying security camera footage from a cathedral in Dublin after the preserved heart of the city's patron saint was stolen over the weekend, they said Monday.

The 900-year-old heart of St. Laurence O'Toole was taken from the iron cage where it is normally kept in Christ Church Cathedral, police and the Cathedral said.

The bars were wrenched open, allowing access to the heart-shaped wooden box that held the relic bolted to a wall in Saint Lauds Chapel, Irish police said.

Security cameras cover the cathedral's welcome desk, but not the interior of the chapel or the cathedral, police said.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Catholic Church • Crime • Ireland

A head on a silver platter – rethinking John the Baptist and Oscar Wilde
Salome kisses the head of John the Baptist. A play based on the biblical story is getting a new translation.
February 2nd, 2012
05:00 AM ET

A head on a silver platter – rethinking John the Baptist and Oscar Wilde

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Charlottesville, Virginia (CNN)— As Oscar Wilde imagined it, the execution of John the Baptist was packed with love, lust, incest and murder.

The Irish playwright spun the ancient biblical story into "Salome," a one-act tragedy written in 1863 in French that today is getting a fresh look thanks to Joseph Donohue, a theater historian hell-bent on changing the way the play is read in English.

In the biblical account, John the Baptist was a prophet and the cousin of Jesus. King Herod, who had imprisoned John fearing a rebellion, promised his sultry stepdaughter Salome anything, including half his kingdom, in return for a striptease.

Herod got his dance and Salome, at the suggestion of her mother, who was not a fan of John's proclamations against her, asked for and received the Baptist’s head on a silver platter.

“It’s a rather shocking story,” says Donohue, a professor at the University of Massachusetts and an expert on all things Wilde.


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Books • Christianity • Ireland

November 3rd, 2011
05:27 PM ET

Ireland shutters embassies in Vatican, Iran as cost-saving measures

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - Financially-strapped Ireland announced its intent Thursday to close embassies in the Vatican and Iran, explaining it was not worthwhile to keep them open especially given its own dire economic straits.

Ireland also will close its representative office in Timor Leste, formerly known as East Timor, according to a statement from the nation's department of foreign affairs and trade.

"No area of government expenditure can be immune from the need to implement savings," the Irish government said. "Today's decision follows a review of overseas missions ... which gave particular attention to the economic return of bilateral missions."

With Greece and Portugal, Ireland received a substantial bailout as one of the euro zone's most lackluster economies. The crippling cost of the Irish government's bailout of its banks during the recent recession spurred Dublin's own financial crisis and the 85 billion-euro ($118 billion) loan package from the European Union, International Monetary Fund and individual European nations that was brokered late last year.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Europe • Ireland

October 17th, 2011
06:57 AM ET

Want to be a priest? There's an app for that

By Peter Taggart, for CNN

The Catholic Church in Ireland is going high-tech in a bid to reverse a dramatic decline in the number of priests.

An establishment viewed as a bastion of tradition is turning to a new app to encourage more "applications." The app, says the church, is "designed to promote vocations to the priesthood."

It is being hailed as a "world first" by the church in Ireland.

"The app is an original approach to assist current and future generations seeking to investigate and find information on vocations to the diocesan priesthood in Ireland," a statement issued ahead of the launch said.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Ireland • Technology

September 13th, 2011
09:44 AM ET

Top Irish Catholic cleric calls for church to end celibacy for priests

By Peter Taggart, CNN

Belfast, Northern Ireland (CNN) - A respected former Catholic bishop in Ireland is calling for an end to clerical celibacy in the wake of the sex abuse scandals that have rocked the church worldwide, and says he finds it "heartbreaking" that some prospective priests turn away from the calling because of the celibacy rule.

In his recently published book, "A Troubled See, Memoirs of a Derry Bishop," Dr. Edward Daly said that allowing clergymen to marry would ease many of the church's problems.

There needs to be a place in the modern Catholic church for a married priesthood, said Daly, a prominent figure in the Catholic church in Ireland and the most senior Irish cleric to question the Vatican's celibacy rule.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bishops • Catholic Church • Ireland • Sex

September 4th, 2011
11:44 AM ET

Ireland ramps up battle with Vatican over child abuse

Ireland stepped up its battle with the Roman Catholic Church over child abuse Sunday, with Justice Minister Alan Shatter vowing to pass a law requiring priests to report suspicions of child abuse, even if they learn about them in confession.

The Catholic Church regards information learned in confession as completely confidential.

But under the law proposed by Shatter, priests could be prosecuted for failing to tell the police about crimes disclosed in the confession box.

Shatter said in a statement through a spokesman last week that priests' failure to report what they learn in confession "that has led sexual predators into believing that they have impunity and facilitated pedophiles preying on children and destroying their lives."

Read the full story

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Catholic Church • Ireland • Sex abuse • Vatican

July 20th, 2011
04:43 PM ET

Irish prime minister slams Vatican over child sex abuse

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - Ireland's prime minister has launched a stinging attack on the Vatican, a week after a report said the Catholic Church in Ireland did not take serious steps to stamp out child abuse by priests, even after the scandal blew up worldwide.

Prime Minister Enda Kenny said the Cloyne report, focused on the area around the southern city of Cork, had exposed the Vatican as seeking to frustrate an inquiry into child sex abuse for its own benefit.

"The rape and torture of children were downplayed or 'managed' to uphold, instead, the primacy of the institution, its power, standing and reputation," he told Ireland's lower house of parliament, or Dail, as it debated a motion on the report.

Read the full story on the Irish Prime Minister's remarks
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bishops • Catholic Church • Ireland • Sex abuse • Vatican

   older posts »
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.