National Catholic Reporter

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Ireland

Who was St. Patrick, and would he drink green beer?

For Catholics, Episcopalians and some Lutherans, March 17 is the Feast Day of St. Patrick. For everyone else, it's St. Patrick's Day -- a midweek excuse to party until we're green in the face. But who was Patrick? Did he really drive the snakes out of Ireland or use the shamrock to explain the Trinity? Why should this fifth-century priest be remembered on this day?

Was St. Patrick a real guy, and would he approve of green beer?

US priest to Irish safeguarding meeting: Church not haven for abusers

The Catholic church is "no longer a safe haven for child abusers," said a top priest psychologist who advises the U.S. bishops on child sexual abuse.

Msgr. Stephen Rossetti told hundreds of Irish delegates to the first national conference on safeguarding children that the Catholic church in the United States spent $43 million on child abuse prevention and education just last year.

Dublin archbishop appalled by delay in applying child safety guidelines

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Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin said he would seek assurances from religious congregations operating in his diocese that they are rigidly following child protection guidelines after a fresh round of audits raised serious concerns.

In a statement Tuesday, Martin said it was "appalling" that some major religious congregations had delayed fully implementing the church's child protection guidelines and that, in some cases, this process only really got underway in 2013.

Martin said the delays left him "seriously concerned."

Francis is asking us to take sides

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When asked "Which side are you on?" — as the song goes — most of us feel uneasy and generally try to sit on the intervening fence.

However, that is the question Pope Francis asked Catholics in his closing address to the bishops and cardinals — and by extension all Catholics — at the extraordinary synod on the Family Oct. 18. Noting the "moments of tensions and temptations" that occurred during the synod, Francis asks us to be honest with ourselves and declare which side we are inclining towards: the "traditionalist" or the "progressive” wing of the church.

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