Articles tagged with: Church Structural Reform

Restoring the Fabric of Irish Economic and Social Life – A Theological Reflection (Part Two)

on Wednesday, 12 March 2014. Posted in Issue 73 The Rights of Workers – Then and Now, Economics, Church

Gerry O'Hanlon SJ

For Part One of this article click here.

Introduction

In Part One of this article,1 I discussed some of the core features of the currently dominant economic model and the part they played in bringing about our prolonged economic crisis. In particular, I raised questions regarding the overarching role accorded to ‘the market’ and the increase in the size and reach of the financial sector; the growth in inequality in incomes and wealth; and the underlying assumption that ‘growth is good’. I suggested, in Part One, that there is need to construct a ‘redemption narrative’ which can offer ‘vision and hope, galvanising our society towards effective action’. In this second part, I will look at the socio-cultural, political and theological resources which might contribute to that process.

Restoring the Fabric of Irish Economic and Social Life: A Theological Reflection (Part One)

on Friday, 19 April 2013. Posted in Issue 71 Waiting for Asylum Decisions

Banking or gambling? © iStock
Banking or gambling?                  © iStock

 

Introduction

Writing in the euphoric aftermath of the visits of Queen Elizabeth II and of President Barack Obama in May 2011, but in the context of the ongoing economic crisis, clinical psychologist, Maureen Gaffney, noted that people respond to big crises in two main ways – ‘by constructing redemption stories or contamination stories’, and said that ‘these stories significantly affect how people respond to the crisis’.1

The Challenges Facing the Church in Ireland in the Aftermath of the Ryan Report

on Wednesday, 18 November 2009. Posted in Issue 62 Who Will Pay for Recession?

Aileen Walsh

November,2009

pdf iconThe Challenges Facing the Church in Ireland in the Aftermath of the Ryan Report 

Introduction

The mission of the Church in every age and context is to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. The Church always needs to be prepared to read ‘the signs of the times’ and to enquire how it can renew itself to be faithful to that mission. The Ryan Report published in May 2009, the Ferns Report published in 2005, and undoubtedly the issues which will emerge from the report into sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Dublin, raise very serious challenges for the whole People of God in Ireland now and in the immediate future.

Europe: What is Pope Benedict Thinking?

on Friday, 28 August 2009. Posted in Issue 61 Perspectives on Europe

James Corkery SJ

September, 2009

Europe: What is Pope Benedict Thinking?

It may seem strange, as Ireland prepares for its second vote on the Lisbon Treaty on October 2, 2009, to focus on the vision of Europe of the current pope. After all, are his views not essentially religious and are Ireland’s concerns with Lisbon not, in the main, economic, social and political? At first glance, this may appear to be the case, but on closer inspection it becomes evident that Irish people are concerned about a very wide range of issues with which the Treaty of Lisbon is, or is perceived to be, connected. And the pope is concerned, as he observes the growth and development of the European Union, with the principles and the vision of humanity that underlie the advance of the EU and with how these are related to the religious and cultural heritage of the continent of Europe as a whole. Popes, and not only the present one, have a pastoral interest in Europe – and thus in the values, freedoms, opportunities, possibilities and challenges that it presents to its peoples. Indeed, before homing in on Benedict XVI’s vision of Europe, it will be instructive to glance back at the approach to Europe taken by his predecessor, John Paul II, who dominated the papal scene for over a quarter of a century, from 1978 to 2005.

Ireland, Europe and Catholic Social Teaching: Shared Values?

on Friday, 28 August 2009. Posted in Issue 61 Perspectives on Europe

Cathy Molloy

September, 2009

Ireland, Europe and Catholic Social Teaching: Shared Values?

Climate Change

© iStock
No Irish in EU?

In May this year, on the last stretch of the ancient pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, etched on a large stone, for all to see, were the words ‘No Irish in EU’. The pilgrim route celebrates St James the Apostle and has been walked by Christians for well over a thousand years, and by Kerrymen since the 1400s!1 Given the history of Irish Christianity, and its importance in the founding of Europe from the 6th century, it shocks to realise that in 2009 there are people who do not want us in the European Union.

From LIBERTAS to CARITAS

on Friday, 28 August 2009. Posted in Issue 61 Perspectives on Europe

Brendan MacPartlin SJ

September, 2009

From LIBERTAS to CARITAS

Temporary agency workers protesting

Temporary agency workers protesting.
© D. Speirs

Euro barometer surveys consistently show that Irish people have a positive attitude towards the European Union. Research on how people voted in the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty found that this positive attitude was the strongest single factor affecting people’s voting decisions.1 It also found that a low level of knowledge of what was in the treaty had a powerful effect on increasing the ‘no’ vote. People who perceived things to be in the treaty that are not there, tended to vote no.  On the other hand, people who had a correct perception of what was in the treaty tended to vote yes. So it is a good move for the Department of Foreign Affairs to publish its excellent White Paper2 even though devotees of The Sun and News of the World may not read it.3

Some Christian Perspectives on Health and Sickness

on Wednesday, 03 June 2009. Posted in Issue 60 Health Matters

Gerry O’Hanlon SJ
May, 2009

Some Christian Perspectives on Health and Sickness


Introduction

‘There’s nowt so queer as folk’ – this, now non-politically correct, maxim from the North of England applies pretty well to the common human experience of taking good health for granted, while becoming anxious at the onset of illness. But, of course, there may be good reason for such anxiety – even minor ill-health causes inconvenience and loss of energy, while major illness, chronic or acute, brings great suffering and raises serious life and death questions. In what follows, I want to propose some Christian perspectives on health and sickness that may help to address some of the questions that arise at both a personal and a societal level.

The Meaning of A Christmas that Speaks of Hope

on Tuesday, 23 December 2008. Posted in 2008

Cathy Molloy

December, 2008

‘Hope is that thing inside us that insists…that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it.’ (US President-elect Barrack Obama, Jan 3rd 2008. 1)

We need Christmas this year more than ever as the perennial reminder that hope for a renewed world is not a vain hope.  The event of the birth of Christ, the timeless reminder that hope is now, hope is every day, takes on special significance in difficult times. Christian belief in the incarnation, God with us, God for us, God within us, means that the love of God, creator, source, origin of all life, shown to us through Christ, is precisely what keeps us going, literally gives life and sustains us, is that ‘something better’ that is ever present to us and awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it.

 

Crime and Punishment: A Christian Perspective

on Wednesday, 02 July 2008. Posted in Issue 58 Time for Justice?

Gerry O’Hanlon SJ
July, 2008

pdf Crime and Punishment: A Christian Perspective

 

Introduction

Justice
Balancing the diverse elements of justice
© JCFJ

At the height of the Northern Ireland Troubles, it was usual to distinguish between paramilitary prisoners and ODCs – ‘ordinary decent criminals’. The terminology is suggestive, even provocative: is it ever right to consider criminals as ‘ordinary’, much less ‘decent’? Certainly, it would be altogether wrong to trivialise the plight of victims, and especially victims of violent crime, by too lightly using a euphemism like ‘ordinary decent criminals’.

What Does God Think of Irish Prisons?

on Wednesday, 02 July 2008. Posted in Issue 58 Time for Justice?

Brian Grogan SJ
July, 2008

pdf What Does God Think of Irish Prisons?

 

Introduction

Mountjoy Prison Chapel
Mural painted by a prisoner; Mountjoy Prison Chapel
© D. Speirs

 


The April 2008 issue of Working Notes entitled, ‘Thornton Hall Prison – A Progressive Move?’, has inspired the following article, which is written from the viewpoint of Catholic theology. I have never been jailed myself; however, courtesy of the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform I had the privilege of visiting a number of Irish prisons some years ago. I also visit a friend who is currently serving a jail sentence.

How Much Equality is Needed for Justice?

on Tuesday, 13 November 2007. Posted in Issue 56 The Anniversary Issue

Gerry O’Hanlon SJ, theologian and staff member of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice
November, 2007

How much redistribution is needed for Justice?

pdf How Much Equality is Needed for Justice?

 

Introduction

 

Critics of Ireland’s decade-long economic boom often, with an eye to justice, express considerable concern about ‘rising inequality and about the core features of the strategy adopted by the Government to combat poverty’.1 This is so despite the fact that since 1994 the percentage of the population living in ‘consistent poverty’ appears to have fallen from 16 per cent to 7 per cent.2 However, since the late 1990s, ‘relative income poverty’ has persistently remained around 20 per cent, higher than it was in 1994.3 Would it be more just to return to a poorer but more equal Ireland, or is this the wrong kind of question to ask? Can we say instead that this is not a choice Ireland needs to make?4

 

What is Development? Promoting the Good of Every Person and of the Whole Person

on Tuesday, 13 November 2007. Posted in Issue 56 The Anniversary Issue

Peter Henriot SJ, Director of the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, Lusaka, Zambia
November 2007


Zambian crops threatened by GMOs?

pdf What is Development? Promoting the Good of Every Person and of the Whole Person

 

The year 2007 marked the fortieth anniversary of the publication Populorum Progressio (The Development of Peoples), Pope Paul VI’s encyclical, and the twentieth anniversary of Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (The Social Concern of the Church), the encyclical issued by Pope John Paul II.1 In my view, commemoration of documents written many years ago is worthwhile only if it contributes to understanding of the present and offers hope for the future. Such commemoration should move us to that ‘action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world’ which is central to the sharing of the Good News of Jesus Christ.2

 

Pedro Arrupe: Inspirational Jesuit Leader

on Tuesday, 13 November 2007. Posted in Issue 56 The Anniversary Issue

Cathy Molloy, Social Theology Officer with the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice

November 2007

 

Pedro Arrupe in Canoe

pdf Pedro Arrupe: Inspirational Jesuit Leader

 

Introduction
Does it seem strange that the role model for a centre for business ethics and for a hostel for the homeless is the same person?

The centenary of the birth of Pedro Arrupe has brought new interest in his life and work, which are being celebrated and commemorated this November, especially in his native Spain.

High schools and colleges have been named after him, centres for business ethics, for community-based learning, for creative leadership and for refugees have been named after him, as have scholarships and international solidarity programmes, institutes for human rights, university chairs, and societies and hostels for the homeless. From Dublin to Melbourne, Tokyo to Colombo, Washington to El Salvador, Manila to Nairobi, the name Pedro Arrupe is to be found wherever there are Jesuit institutions or works. What is it about this man, born 100 years ago, on 14 November 1907, and who died on 5 February 1991, Superior General of the Jesuits from 1965 to 1983, that has inspired, and continues to inspire, so many people, Jesuits and others, across the world?

Climate Change

on Thursday, 26 April 2007. Posted in Issue 55 The Election Issue, 2007

May, 2007

pdf Climate change 65.57 Kb


Introduction

If the Dáil we elect at the forthcoming General Election lasts a full term, it will oversee the whole five-year period of Ireland’s commitment under the Kyoto Protocol (2008–2012). It will also cover the period during which the international negotiations to agree new and more challenging commitments to reduce our climate-changing pollution will be conducted.

Asking the Right Questions: Christians, Muslims, Citizens in Ireland

on Monday, 05 February 2007. Posted in Issue 54 Immigration and Integration: Realities and Challenges, 2007

February 2007

Gerry O’Hanlon SJ

Our neighbour, eight-year old Muhammad, arrived at the front door on Hallowe’en night in the guise of Darth Vader; he was flanked by two other children from the road, disguised as a pirate and the devil. Later, his eleven-year old sister, Selma, arrived on her own, gorgeously dressed as a witch. As they departed with their trick or treat goodies, I recalled the words of President McAleese, addressed to Muslims in Ireland at the tenth anniversary celebrations of the Islamic Cultural Centre in Clonskeagh, Dublin: ‘Your being here helps us and keeps challenging us to find ways to be joyfully curious about each other … we, I hope, will try our best to make Ireland a country of real welcome and a country of celebration of difference …’1 Are the President’s words realistic or are they naïve? I want to explore the kinds of questions we need to put to one another as Irish citizens so that obstacles to the realisation of the President’s hopes can be overcome.

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When Ireland became an independent State it inherited some appallingly bad housing conditions. This was most notoriously the case in the severely deprived areas of inner-city Dublin, but inadequate and overcrowded housing which lacked basic facilities was also prevalent in towns and villages and rural areas around the country. Read full editorial

Working Notes is a journal published by the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice. The journal focuses on social, economic and theological analysis of Irish society. It has been produced since 1987.