For many religious people, the pandemic accelerated a decline in institutional allegiance and trust that was already well underway. Many Catholics stopped attending Mass and still haven’t returned. 

One figure who thinks deeply about the contemporary decline in religious practice and affiliation is Irish poet and theologian Pádraig Ó Tuama, host of the weekly podcast Poetry Unbound and author of the new book Being Here: Prayers for Curiosity, Justice, and Love

On this episode, he joins associate editor Griffin Oleynick for a conservation sparked by this collection of ‘anarchic’ prayers. Touching on the Church’s difficult relationship with women, LGTBQ people, and abuse victims, Ó Tuama testifies to the peace and freedom made possible by laying down “the burden of belief.” 

For further reading: 

“If the Church claims to value truth, then it has a burden of truth telling—especially for the burdens it has placed on women.” —Pádraig Ó Tuama
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