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Inalienable Human Rights: God’s Gift to his People

The seventh session of Unified Consciousness series
Mary McAleese

Leader

Mary McAleese

A mother of three, lawyer, religious thinker and immensely popular former President of Ireland from 1997 until 2011. She was the first President to come from Northern Ireland. Born in Belfast in 1951, the eldest of nine children she grew up in Ardoyne, a sectarian flashpoint area of the city and experienced first-hand the violence of The Troubles. The theme of her presidency was Building Bridges and her work for peace and reconciliation culminated in the historic state visit to Ireland by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II in May 2011. A barrister and journalist by training she was Reid Professor of Criminal Law, Criminology and Penology at Trinity College Dublin, Director of the Institute of Professional Legal Studies and first female pro-Vice Chancellor at the Queen's University of Belfast. She also worked as a journalist in Irish radio and television. She was a non-executive director of Channel 4 television, the Royal Group of Hospitals Trust, Northern Ireland Electricity and BBC Northern Ireland. For many years prior to her election as President of Ireland she was involved in social justice campaigning. She was a co-founder of Belfast Women's Aid, the Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform, the Irish Commission for Prisoners Overseas and Co Chair of the Working Party on Sectarianism set up by the Irish Council of Churches and the Catholic Church. She is the author of "Reconciled being: Love in chaos"(1997), Building Bridges (2011), Collegiality in the Code of Canon Law (2014), Children’s rights and Obligations in Canon Law (2019), Here’s the Story: A Memoir (2020). She has a Licentiate and Doctorate in Latin Catholic Church Canon Law from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome where she studied from 2012 to 2018. Her current area of research is children's rights in Canon Law and intellectual rights and freedoms in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). Mary is married to Martin since 1976. They have three adult children and two grandsons. Mary is currently Chancellor of the University of Dublin, Trinity College, chair of the Ansari Institute at The University of Notre Dame, Indiana, Professor of Children, Law and Religion at the University of Glasgow and a Canon of Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin.

Date

Sep 27 2022

Time

7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Location

Online

Conducted via Zoom or live-stream.

Mother of three, lawyer, religious thinker and an immensely popular former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese brings faith, a passionate intellect and love of justice to this original and challenging reflection on human rights.Among the inalienable rights of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) are a series of intellectual rights, freedom of expression, conscience, thought, opinion, religion and the right to change religion.

Some see these rights as arising from ‘natural law’, as an innate element of human dignity. Some of us describe them as God-given. What does this mean for the most powerful Christian Church on earth, the Catholic Church? What does that Church have to say to its own members about their inalienable God-given human rights, especially their intellectual rights? The stark reality is that this is a debate the Church is yet to have. Its canon law provides answers which suggest strongly that the Church reserves the right to limit its members’ inalienable God-given human rights? But can it do so?”

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Mary McAleese

Leader

Mary McAleese

A mother of three, lawyer, religious thinker and immensely popular former President of Ireland from 1997 until 2011. She was the first President to come from Northern Ireland. Born in Belfast in 1951, the eldest of nine children she grew up in Ardoyne, a sectarian flashpoint area of the city and experienced first-hand the violence of The Troubles. The theme of her presidency was Building Bridges and her work for peace and reconciliation culminated in the historic state visit to Ireland by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II in May 2011. A barrister and journalist by training she was Reid Professor of Criminal Law, Criminology and Penology at Trinity College Dublin, Director of the Institute of Professional Legal Studies and first female pro-Vice Chancellor at the Queen's University of Belfast. She also worked as a journalist in Irish radio and television. She was a non-executive director of Channel 4 television, the Royal Group of Hospitals Trust, Northern Ireland Electricity and BBC Northern Ireland. For many years prior to her election as President of Ireland she was involved in social justice campaigning. She was a co-founder of Belfast Women's Aid, the Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform, the Irish Commission for Prisoners Overseas and Co Chair of the Working Party on Sectarianism set up by the Irish Council of Churches and the Catholic Church. She is the author of "Reconciled being: Love in chaos"(1997), Building Bridges (2011), Collegiality in the Code of Canon Law (2014), Children’s rights and Obligations in Canon Law (2019), Here’s the Story: A Memoir (2020). She has a Licentiate and Doctorate in Latin Catholic Church Canon Law from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome where she studied from 2012 to 2018. Her current area of research is children's rights in Canon Law and intellectual rights and freedoms in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). Mary is married to Martin since 1976. They have three adult children and two grandsons. Mary is currently Chancellor of the University of Dublin, Trinity College, chair of the Ansari Institute at The University of Notre Dame, Indiana, Professor of Children, Law and Religion at the University of Glasgow and a Canon of Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin.

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