Advertisement ICNICN Would you like to advertise on ICN? Click to learn more.


Personal opinion pieces on a wide range of Catholic issues by different writers.

Viewpoint: Climate Crisis - The public needs to react

In 1962, when I was 29, I was very concerned about the Cuban Missile Crisis. The US and Soviet Union were, it seemed, on the brink of starting a nuclear war. Luckily, neither President Kennedy or Nikita Khrushchev thought war was either necessary or winnable, and with some help from Pope John XXIII peace prevailed. Now, 61 years later, we are faced with another catastrophic threat: the destruction... Read More

Ian Linden: Rwanda is safe: Rishi's End-of-Pier Show

Professor Ian Linden. Image: RCDOW

"A completely extraordinary thing to do, to effectively overrule a decision on the facts, on the evidence, by the highest court in the land." That is Lord Sumption who served on the Supreme Court from 2012-2018 describing the Prime Minister's proposed emergency legislation on offshoring asylum processing to Rwanda. "With our new treaty Rwanda is safe", Rishi Sunak declared responding to the Supr... Read More

Viewpoint: What about Palestinian men?

Father hugs son rescued from their destroyed house in Khan Yunis. Image N Khalid

I'm sure you have heard the numbers of Palestinian women and children that Israel has killed during this month of agony in Gaza and the West Bank. Today, I long to tell you about Palestinian men, but every time I try to put words on the page, I can't see through my tears. Palestinian, Arab, Muslim men who by virtue of being born brown are subject to the deep structures of violent racism and dehuma... Read More

Viewpoint: Fathers need children

Image Salesian Schools

Salesian Father David O'Malley writes: "The most important thing that a father can do for his children is love their mother." I heard that sentence decades ago when fathers were the main bread winners and many mothers stayed at home rather than working in paid employment. The statement is true and a beautiful endorsement of married love as the complex commitment and rich relationship within which ... Read More

Viewpoint: To be religious is to be inter-religious

Joseph Victor Edwin SJ

I would like to share with you some personal anecdotes that provide a setting for this conversation about being religious and inter-religious. A very long time ago, when I was a school student, I was with a few other Christian children, and we were making fun of a picture of a Hindu deity. One of the Hindu teachers saw this. She was very upset about what was said about the deity. She informed my m... Read More

From Halloween to All Souls' Day: A reflection on our spiritual state

Image: Jesuit Institute South Africa

Sarah-Leah Pimentel from the South African Jesuit institute writes: I don't remember Halloween parties as a child. It wasn't a thing in 1980s South Africa. More recent influences from US-based movies and culture have brought this once pagan, later Catholic, but now commercial celebration to our shores. There is a tension between those who enjoy the opportunity to dress up in ghoulish garb and tho... Read More

Why academisation poses such a risk to our Catholic schools

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

I read the personal reflection on academisation by Anthony Corish, with great interest. In a very measured and careful way, Anthony presents a compelling case for Catholic multi-academy trusts: highly collaborative, strong and supportive families of schools established under the authority of the Bishop and focused strongly on ensuring that the Catholic ethos of the MAT is prioritised. It is not a... Read More

Ian Linden: The Green Pope - Francis and the Ethics of Responsibility

Image ICN/JS

We have become accustomed to warnings that TV news reports from war zones may be disturbing. They usually are distressing. But so are reports on the consequences of climate change. And they come without such warnings despite the dire implications of further global warming. On 4 October, St. Francis of Assisi's feast day, Pope Francis published Laudate Deum "Praise God.... for all his creatures" ... Read More

South African reflection: Structural sin and slaughter of sentient animals

Battery chickens. Photo by Jo-Ann MacArthur on Unsplash

A few weeks ago, I heard a thought-provoking homily about structural sin. This means we have communal responsibility for sinful actions originating from social systems. The priest used the apposite example of white South Africans, who benefited from the oppressive apartheid system: "They were complicit in structural sin, even if many of these white South Africans did not commit individual acts of ... Read More

Viewpoint: The world needs Peacemakers

Leela Ramdeen, Consultant of Trinidad & Tobago Catholic Commission for Social Justice & Archdiocese's Ministry for Migrants and Refugees writes: Our world is in dire need of peace. Wars, violent armed conflicts and other social ills stand as obstacles to peace. On June 28, 2023, we saw the launch of the 17th edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI) from the international think-tank, the In... Read More

Ian Linden: Is Christianity a 'luxury' belief?

Professor Ian Linden

Sometimes a seemingly minor story speaks reams about this Government. Last week, The House, Parliament's in-house magazine, reported 'a former senior adviser to the [Church of England's] bishops in the House of Lords' as saying that bishops were coming away from encounters with junior Home Office staff 'feeling like lepers'. Relations with the Home Office had become 'toxic' and 'unfixable'. Might ... Read More

Reflection on academisation of Catholic schools

Photo by Agence Olloweb on Unsplash

Over recent years, the debate around academisation has become increasingly polarised, with some arguing passionately against while others regard it as an essential step towards school improvement. I aim to contribute to this debate, not to add to the increasingly entrenched views on each side, but rather to advocate for a view that takes into account context that schools are currently operating in... Read More

Ian Linden: The search for a just peace in Ukraine

Photo by Max Kukurudziak on Unsplash

'Among the calamities of war may be jointly numbered the diminution of the love of truth by falsehoods which interest dictates and credulity encourages'. That's Samuel Johnson in November 1758 writing in his The Idler essays for the London Weekly about the growing role of journalists - 'news-writers'. You wonder what he might have made of Putin's news media. 'The first casualty of war is truth', ... Read More

Jesuit Institute South Africa: Air pollution and financial crimes

Last week, apart from the annual Arts Fair hosted by FNB in Johannesburg and the conference of literacy practitioners in Gqeberha, two events took place that are significant for the justice of our society: The national conference of the Association for Clean Air was held in Polokwane. And, the conference against money laundering and financial crimes took place in Fourways. These both bear directl... Read More

Mobile Menu Toggle Icon