Spiritual Legacy of…

Muhammad Ali and Islam

On Saturday June 4th the world lost one it’s greatest ever boxers in the shape of Muhammad Ali. Ali was born on January 1942 in Lousiville, Kentucky and named Cassius Clay. He started training as a boxer at the age of 12 and went on to be one of the greatest in the sport. At the…

Cork’s Only Synagogue to Close

News broke today that the only remaining synagogue in Cork is to close, ending 135 years of Jewish history in the city. The South Terrace site has been the centre of Jewish worship in the city since 1905, but members say emigration and financial constraints have left them with “no money, no members, and no future”. At…

The High Crosses of Ireland

Ingrained into our landscapes, the Irish High Crosses reflect our heritage. Many of them are located at monastic sites, but by no means all.The High Cross of Kilbride, for example, is almost hidden away in the woods at Courtown, County Wexford. Many more are on display, often at gravesites. A number of these crosses, which…

The Spiritual Legacy of Margot Adler

Margot Adler, an iconic NPR correspondent and Wiccan priestess, died on Monday July 28 from endometrial cancer at the age of 68. Born on April 16, 1946, Adler began working with NPR as a general assignment reporter in 1979. She reported on topics ranging from the Ku Klux Klan, to the AIDS epidemic, and the Harry Potter craze. Over…

The Spiritual Legacy of Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara

Thailand’s Supreme Patriarch, who headed the country’s order of Buddhist monks for more than two decades, died last week. He was 100. He passed away on last Thursday after suffering a blood infection following recent surgery for an intestinal infection, doctors said. He had been receiving treatment at Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital in Bangkok since being…

The Spiritual Legacy of Ovadia Yosef

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the religious scholar and spiritual leader of Israel’s Sephardic Jews who transformed his downtrodden community of immigrants from North Africa and Arab nations and their descendants into a powerful force in Israeli politics, died on Monday. He was 93. To supporters, he was a revered sage who empowered masses of disenfranchised Sephardic…

The Spiritual Legacy of Pope Benedict XVI

When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected to the Chair of St. Peter in April 2005, he was 78 years old and said that he did not expect to have a long papacy. His predecessor, John Paul II, was elected at the age of 58 and reigned for 26 years. Benedict is 85 now and has…

What Difference Did Vatican II make? 50 Years On

On Sunday, Jan. 25, 1959, John (less than three months after becoming pope) proclaimed it was time to drag the church out of the Dark Ages and into the modern world. It was time, he said, to open the stained-glass windows and let in some fresh air. The proclamation shocked Catholics, who were unused to seeing change in a more than 1,900-year-old patriarchy steeped in tradition. Some were skeptical. Others embraced it. But what difference did Vatican II make?

The Spiritual Legacy of Cardinal Carlo Martini

The recent death of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, known as the Roman Catholic Church’s most influential progressive thinker and who was once considered as a possible successor to Pope John Paul II. Making Catholics who called for church reform on issues such as homosexuality, female ordination and priestly celibacy wonder have they lost one of their last leading lights in the top echelons of the church’s hierarchy.

The Spiritual Legacy of Patriarch Abune Paulos

The unexpected death of Abuna Paulos, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahado Church, Spiritual leader of 45 million followers, on the 16th of August at the age of 76. This has ushered in a period of uncertainty for Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. His death, together with that of Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, four days later means that Ethiopia is without two of the key figures who have influenced its growth and development since the fall of the regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1991.