Queen's Policy Engagement

After Francis: what’s the future for the church in Ireland?

Despite the changes since the last papal visit, Ireland is still a country with high levels of religious commitment amongst young and old says Dr Gladys Ganiel.

After Francis: what’s the future for the church in Ireland?

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?

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Article originally appeared on the RTE Brainstorm site. 

The featured image in this article is used under a Creative Commons licence.


Dr Gladys Ganiel
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Dr Gladys Ganiel is a Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work and a Research Fellow in the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice. Gladys works across the disciplines of sociology, politics, anthropology and religious studies. She specialises in religion, conflict transformation and reconciliation in Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and South Africa; the emerging church movement; evangelicalism; and religious change on the island of Ireland.

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