A Church in Crisis
As Ireland goes to the polls to vote on abortion, William Crawley explores the decline of the Catholic church's authority in society and its relationship with the state.
Since Ireland's independence, the Catholic Church has played a preeminent role in defining morality south of the border. However in recent decades, its position as moral arbiter has come under attack. Congregation sizes have fallen dramatically, and constitutional referenda have legalised contraception, divorce and gay marriage despite the vehement opposition of the Catholic Church. As Ireland goes to the polls to vote this time on abortion, William Crawley asks could this signal further decline in the Catholic Church's authority in society and its relationship with the State. Producer: Neil Morrow.