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Former Irish president wants to use canon law to change the Church

November 25, 2016

Former Irish President Mary McAleese says that she wants to change the structure of the Catholic Church, because the hierarchy is “not serving its purpose.”

McAleese, who has completed a doctorate in canon law since stepping down from the presidency, said that she did not want to use her new expertise simply on marriage-annulment cases. She voiced her distaste for the study that she had undertaken, saying that the study of Church law was like “sleeping in the same bed as a python.”

McAleese has denounced the Church’s stand against contraception and called for the ordination of women to the priesthood.


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  • Posted by: - Nov. 26, 2016 11:34 PM ET USA

    Mrs. Mary McAleese is going to be waiting a long time because the church cannot change its teaching on contraception or women in the priesthood. In fact, Pope Francis just recently affirmed that there would not be women priests.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Nov. 26, 2016 9:34 AM ET USA

    The cited article says: "She spent the last three years living the quiet life in convents and seminaries in the Vatican, with a quip that her social life was 'very active' given the 11pm curfew. Her studies have 'filled her head up with crap', she said, but the plus side is that it has cleared her mind of 'a whole lot of things'." She is described as "the only married person in her class." Two questions: (1) Is her opinion of canon law influenced by the Pope? (2) Does she live with her husband?

  • Posted by: dover beachcomber - Nov. 26, 2016 12:52 AM ET USA

    Poor Ireland! A beacon of the Faith for fifteen hundred years, a cultural influence far stronger than nations twice its sizeā€”and now, absent that Faith, just another unimportant little island whining on the fringes of a continent in decline.

  • Posted by: DanS - Nov. 25, 2016 5:31 PM ET USA

    Predictably, yet another politician judges her Faith through the lense of her politics rather than the inverse. So old, so self-oriented, so tiresome.

  • Posted by: garedawg - Nov. 25, 2016 10:59 AM ET USA

    I wonder whether she wrote that line about the "python" on her essay to gain admission to the canon law program.