Feb 202012

The Irish Times has an interesting article today about John Charles McQuaid’s Lenten regulations, but it doesn’t carry the full text.  I thought it might be interesting to publish the document in all its demented glory, ranging from McQuaid’s thoughts on what people should eat to his decidedly creepy utterances on the subject of women in sport: We take occasion to express our grave disapproval of the practice which has begun to show itself of permitting young women to compete in cycling and athletics in mixed public sports.

This was the Ireland of 1953.  The Pope’s representative in Ireland saw fit to tell us where we might go to school, where we might send our children to university, whom we might marry, what we might read, what sports we might take part in and even what we might eat.

McQuaid saw fit in his Lenten message to condemn dog-racing  on Sundays and gymnastic exercises, where special precaution must be taken in regard to Christian modesty in the case of girls, inasmuch as it is extremely unbecoming for them to display themselves before the public gaze.

The dirty old pervert.

Take careful note every time somebody complains about the closure of our embassy to the Vatican.



I. The Season of Lent is set aside by the Church as a time of special prayer and penance. Usually, the Church prescribes the penance of fasting. If it is not possible to fast, other penances and works of charity ought with prudence to be undertaken by young and old alike. The general behaviour of a Catholic during Lent should be that of a person, who, at this season, keeps constantly in mind the Passion and Death of Our Divine Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

II. This year the general law of the Church concerning Lenten Fast and Abstinence is to be observed in this Diocese.

III. The following regulations are to be regarded as stating the law of the Church for those who are able to fast, without danger to their health, or without undue strain upon their source of income.

(1) The Faithful between the ages of 21 and 60 years are bound by the law of fasting and the law of abstinence. The Faithful, who are over seven years and under 21 years of age, are bound only by the law of abstinence.

(2) On all Fast Days, the general law of the Church allows only one full meal to be taken. On all Fast Days, in addition to the one full meal, a light repast may be taken each morning and each evening. The quantity and kind of food allowed at each of these repasts are regulated by the approved custom of the Diocese.

In the Diocese of Dublin, custom sanctions the use at these repasts of milk, butter and cheese. In this Diocese, custom likewise allows the use of an egg, or fish, at the repast, each morning and each evening.

(3) On Fast Days which are not days of abstinence, meat is allowed; but those who are bound to fast may take meat at the one meal only.

(4) The law of abstinence forbids the use of flesh-meat or of any soup made from meat or from meat extracts. Lard or dripping may be used as a condiment (that is, for the purpose of cooking or giving relish to food) on all days of Fast or Abstinence.

(5) During the Lent of 1953:—
(a) Every day, except Sundays and St. Patrick’s Day will be a Fast Day.
(b) Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays of Lent will be days of fast and abstinence.
(c) By a special concession of the Holy See, flesh-meat may be taken on the Saturday of Quarter Tense, March 28th, and on Wednesdays, except on Ash Wednesday

IV. Where a dispensation from the Lenten Fast may be required, it may be obtained from any Parish Priest, or from the Head of any Religious House of clerics, or from any Confessor in the sacred Tribunal of Penance, holding the ordinary faculties of this Diocese.

V. The Lenten Fast ends at mid-day on Holy Saturday, April 4th.

VI. Within the Paschal Time, that is to say, in this Diocese, from Ash Wednesday to Trinity Sunday, which this year will occur on May 31st, the Faithful are commanded by the Church to receive the Holy Eucharist, in which Our Blessed Lord gives His Body and Blood, with His Soul and Divinity, for the spiritual nourishment of our souls.

VII. Parents have a most serious duty to secure a fully Catholic upbringing for their children, in all that concerns the instruction of their minds, the training of their wills to virtue, their bodily welfare and the preparation for their life as citizens, (Canon 1113, Code of Canon Law.)

Only the Church is competent to declare what is a fully Catholic upbringing; for, to the Church alone which, He established, Our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, has given the mission to teach mankind to observe all things whatsoever He has commanded. (St. Matthew, xxviii, 20)

Accordingly, in the education of Catholics, every branch of human training, in so far as faith and morals are concerned, is subject to the guidance of the Church, and those schools alone, which the Church approves, are capable of providing a fully Catholic education.

Therefore, the church forbids parents and guardians to send a child to any non-Catholic school, whether primary or secondary or continuation or university.

Deliberately to disobey this law is a mortal sin, and they who persist in disobedience are unworthy to receive the Sacraments.

VIII. No Catholic may enter the Protestant University of Trinity College, without having previously submitted his case to the Ordinary of the Diocese, whose exclusive right it is to decide whether, in the given circumstances, attendance may be tolerated. (Canon 1374, Code of Canon Law. Statutes 385, 404. §1, Plenary Synod of Maynooth, 1927.)

Any Catholic who deliberately disobeys this law is guilty of mortal sin and while he persists in disobedience, is unworthy to receive the Sacraments.

In this Diocese, it is reserved to the Archbishop to decide in what circumstances the attendance of a Catholic at Trinity College may be tolerated. Attendance may be tolerated only for grave and valid reasons and with the addition of definite measures, by which it is sought adequately to safeguard the faith and practice of a Catholic student.

IX. We feel it very advisable to draw attention to the following statement of the Holy See:

‘Deploring the immeasurable injury that is done to human souls, firstly, by the uncontrolled licence to publish and distribute books, pamphlets and periodicals in which things lewd and obscene are narrated, described or taught, and secondly, by the evil desire to read such publications indiscriminately, the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office issued the following admonitions:—

1. ‘All the Faithful should be mindful of their very grave obligation in conscience to refrain entirely from reading such books and periodicals.
2. ‘All who are charged with the training and education of youth have a very grave responsibility in virtue of their office to preserve their pupils from evil literature as from deadly poison.
3. ‘Finally officials holding civil authority, whose task it is to protect public mortality, may not lawfully allow to be published or distributed the evil literature above referred to, which tends to destroy the very foundations and principles of human decency.’

X. The Church, to safeguard the faith and morals of her children, forbids everywhere, and most severely, the marriage of a Catholic with a non-Catholic. (Canons 1060 and 1071, Code of Canon Law. Statue 300, Plenary Synod of Maynooth, 1927.) For grave reasons, and to avoid greater evils, the Church at times grants a dispensation, but only on condition:—

1-That the Catholic and non-Catholic parties promise to have all the children of the marriage baptised as Catholics and reared as Catholics, according to the prescriptions of the Church;
2-That the non-Catholic party promise not to interfere in any way with the faith or practice of the Catholic party;
3-That it be morally certain that these guarantees will be loyally observed.

The Catholic party is obliged in conscience prudently to strive for the conversion of the non-Catholic party. These guarantees are solemn pledges very gravely binding in conscience. Once given, they may not ever be disregarded or set aside.

XI. Atheistic Communism, no matter what fair words may be used to cloak its true meaning, is a blasphemous doctrine and a perverse way of life. It denies God, it hates the Church, it attempts, by every weapon of lying, treachery and persecution, to wipe out the One True Faith of Jesus Christ.

Communism, for its own evil ends, fosters social restlessness, and thus prepares for the violence of tyranny.

Communism is wrong in itself, and no one may without sin collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever.

The Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, in its Decree published on 1st July, 1949, makes clear the position of Catholics in relation to Communism. The Decree rules as follows:—

(1) The Faithful who, knowingly and freely (a) join Communist Associations or favour them; (b) publish, disseminate, or read books, periodicals, newspapers, or leaflets supporting the doctrine or activities of Communists; (c) write in such publications (Canon 1399, Code of Canon Law), are guilty of mortal sin, and may not be admitted to the Sacraments, inasmuch as they are not properly disposed.
(2) Further, the Faithful, who profess the materialistic and anti-Christian doctrine of Communists — in particular, those who defend or propagate such doctrine — incur, by the very fact, as apostates from the Catholic Faith, excommunication specially reserved to the Holy See.

XII. The law of the Church concerning forbidden and secret societies declares that any Catholic who enrols himself in a society which plots against the Church or against the legitimate Civil Authority, incurs, by the fact of such enrolment, the penalty of excommunication reserved to the Holy See.

XIII. The Church commands us to sanctify the Lord’s Day by hearing Mass and by abstaining from servile work.

This commandment is grave. As a result of the recent war crisis, a certain regrettable laxity in abstaining from servile work has been gradually introduced. Turf-cutting on Sunday would seem to have become an abuse.

Since the Lord’s Day belongs in a special manner to God alone, the Faithful ought to be strict with themselves in respecting its holiness.

Further, certain amusements make it very difficult or impossible to respect the Lord’s Day. In this country, dog-racing and horse or pony-racing are expressly forbidden as amusements that run counter to the holiness of the Lord’s Day. (Plenary Synod of Maynooth, 1927, Statute 333.)

We again admonish the Faithful to abstain from the sin and scandal of such violations of the Lord’s Day.

XIV. Parents are warned that, even though they themselves are not present, they have a grave and constant duty to supervise the amusements of their children.

In particular we refer to the adequate control of the place and circumstances of dancing.

We take occasion to express our grave disapproval of the practice which has begun to show itself of permitting young women to compete in cycling and athletics in mixed public sports.

Pope Pius XI, emphasising the rules for separation of the sexes which the law of nature and Christian prudence demand, has declared: ‘These rules must be observed also in athletics and gymnastic exercises, where special precaution must be taken in regard to Christian modesty in the case of girls, inasmuch as it is extremely unbecoming for them to display themselves before the public gaze’. (Encyclical Letter, “Divini Illius Magisti”.)

XV. In this diocese the three Papal Associations for the Propagation of the Faith are: — The Pontifical Work for the Propagation of the Faith; The Association of the Holy Childhood and the Apostolic work.

We take occasion to recommend, before all other missionary works in the parishes and schools of the Diocese, these three official associations. By membership in the Holy Childhood, children can be most effectively trained to enrol themselves in the Parish Association of the Propagation of the Faith

XVI. The Catholic Truth Society, as an organ for the promotion of useful Catholic reading, deserves generous support.

XVII. As our major seminary of the Holy Cross, Clonliffe, has no public endowment to depend upon, we beg to remind the Faithful that, in accordance with our diocesan usage, long since established, the special Lenten offerings are appropriated to the College. The clergy are directed to put up in conspicuous places in their churches safe boxes to receive these offerings. Further, we hereby direct that in all churches of the diocese a public collection be held on Laetare Sunday, the 15th March, for the new wing and the general purposes of Holy Cross College, Clonliffe.

XVIII. In compliance with a resolution of the archbishops and bishops of Ireland (14th October, 1903,) the Novena in preparation for the Feast of St. Patrick is to be offered specially ‘for the spread of temperance in Ireland’.

XIX. On Passion Sunday, the 22nd March, the anniversary of the Solemn Dedication of Ireland to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, there will be Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament, for some hours, in all the parochial and other churches and chapels of the diocese. The Act of Consecration which was used on former occasions will be read during the Exposition.

  125 Responses to “Lenten Regulations — John Charles McQuaid”

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    This was going on here less than 60 years ago… Incredible.

    At least the wheels of change are turning. Slowly, but turning none-the-less.


    What I would have given to walk past John Charles McQuaid wearing a short tennis skirt, while eating a hamburger on a Friday of Lent in 1953.
    I wonder would him and his ilk have been like the Taliban and start beatin’ you with a stick. Not much difference between them really in my opinion.


    FF1 » What John Charles McQuaid would have given to walk past you wearing a short tennis skirt.


    Why was there a bit of a FDR about him on top of everything else! :)
    Pontificating pervert!


    Mattitude it was in the ’70’s – 40 years ago – that the leader of the Labour Party said that he was a Catholic first and Irish second.


    I love the royal We in the opening of his sentence: ” We take occasion to express ” (dissatisfaction with girls biking it in the summer along with the Ras Tailteann guys). Was John Charles a Prince of the Church, or was he an aspiring Emperor?

    I remember in a village through which a clean (!) river flowed many years ago where lads and lassies used to bathe during the sunnier days of July and August. The PP thundered about this from the pulpit once, but the mixed bathing continued undisturbed, until several decades later an irritating thing called agricultural and industrial pollution put a stop to summer bathing altogether.

    It would be interesting to read anecdotes from older readers about how John Charles’s moral strictures about unisex activities were more observed in the breach than in the observance in the good old days of Lenten Regulations.


    You could abstain and fast as long as it put no undue strain upon your income (XIII) and you could then give that money to the church (XVII) No wonder they hated communism, it was a competing dictatorship.

    FF1, I’ll supply the burgers, just bring the tennis skirt!!


    Church ethics, or moral theology as the church would call it, was (and still is) completely obsessed with sexuality. This was Dublin of the 1950s but there is not a word about economic or social justice.

    The demand for the re-instatement of the Vatican embassy – Breda O’Brien in the Irish Times says there is a ‘consensus’ in favour (they mustn’t have asked you, Bock) – rests directly upon the recognition of the Roman Catholic Church as a state, with the powers of a state and with, implicitly, the authority how to tell its subjects how to behave. O’Brien and McQuaid stand in one tradition


    Breda O’Brien is a conservative catholic writer and a member of the religious conservative Iona Institute, I read the article and it was poppycock. Most of the online replies to it were in total disagreement. Our embassies in Rome and Delhi double up for San Marino, Nepal and Sri Lanka respectively, so why Benny and the boys need one of their own needs explaining. Why do we not have embassies to Cantebury and Mecca?

    I don’t remember McQuaid or his demonising but he certainly contributed to the underdevelopment of this country.


    Concerning the activities suitable for young ladies, I think Homer Simpson was pretty much spot-on: ‘Lisa, if the Bible has taught us nothing else — and it hasn’t — it’s that girls should stick to girl’s sports, such as hot oil wrestling and foxy boxing and such and such.’


    Concerning the activities suitable for young ladies, I think Homer Simpson was pretty much spot-on: ‘Lisa, if the Bible has taught us nothing else — and it hasn’t — it’s that girls should stick to girl’s sports, such as hot oil wrestling and foxy boxing and such and such.’


    I’m old enough to remember when our parish was the peronal fifedom of the PP.
    Pity nobody never kept the ‘dress code’ for young ladies posted at the dance-hall door of our village; or that I didn’t have a camera to record an incident I witnessed between the cinema owner and our Curate who ordered flowing gowns painted upon the bikini clad girls on the advertising posters on the cinema wall. I watched as the man dutifully climbed a ladder, billy-can of black paint and brush in hand, and gave Marlyn Monroe a dress fit for Irish eyes under the Curate’s supervision.
    By the way, under Mc Quaids dictum above and the section re; Secret Societies…I wonder how many IRA members were excommunicated?


    There was a pp who walked th canal and Islandbank ( yes I know ) with a blackthorn stick chasing courting couples here in Limerick right into the 60s.


    In our Hall the dancing was strictly disciplined, particularily the waltzes, by a middle-aged couple who took it upon themselves to make sure you were ‘at arms length’ from your dance partner. These were a brother and sister that lived near the Hall and never married…I wonder why?
    In my whole life I have been barred from only one premises, and that was a Dance Hall in Waterford City in 1965. My offence – ‘persistently dancing too close.’
    I was escorted to the coat-check counter by a wizened old crone, handed my coat and shown the door.


    We still haven’t wriggled free from the grip of the catholic church. Where I live, the church appears to be packed to the rafters every Sunday, judging by the amount of cars blocking the road. I hear people say things like: “Fr. so-and-so gave a lovely sermon” and “sure they weren’t all bad” (Priests). People still go through the ritual of having their children baptized, confirmed, etc. and some of them are no more catholic than I am. It appears to be a tradition that some just go along with because it’s the done thing.
    Hopefully, the day will come when the masses realize that we never needed these frustrated dictators anyway, or, is that too much to hope for?


    Heedymortal, this is also true of the Church of Ireland and the Church of England. It will not die out until there cease to be churchy brownie points for admission to certain schools, the effect of which is to make confirmation an essential part of a child’s spiritual formation – at least until the form is signed.


    I never knew our priests first names. It was Fr. this and Canon that and three bags full father. Nowadays ’tis Ffather Joe and Bishop Tommy and few knows their surnames.
    My, how times have changed.
    Anyone remember the Easter Dues; the consequences for not paying them, or not paying the amount the PP decided in his infinite wisdom that you could afford? Your Dad’s name and the amount he paid read from the Altar on the first Sunday after Easter…oh the cringing embarrassment of it all for us kids if t’was below the pound note he was deemed to afford from on high.
    Using the Easter Dues and embarrassment as a tool the clergy pitted family against family, townsland against townsland, and parish against parish in a collection competition in which they were the only winners. They preached that pride was a sin, but used people’s pride to ensure they got their pound of flesh each Easter.


    Stanley, I have to agree with you, one religon is as oppressive as the other. We’ll be wriggling for a while yet!


    Heedymortal – and I am an Anglican priest! In my last job in England I was visited by father, mother and child and told that I would have a great opportunity to contribute to the child’s spiritual education were I to sign the form. The father was chairman of the board of governors of the CofE school by the way. I said I would not since I had never seen them in church except for school events and funerals, whereupon tears from mother and child ensued. I said I would not put my name to blatant untruths and showed them the door.


    I see anglicans use the power of the pen as well, until the parishioners pretend to be believers until they get what they want!


    oh no, anglicans can believe what they want. that is the beauty of anglicanism. at least i hope it is.


    I had difficulty getting a breast of chicken in my local chipper on an Ash Wednesday in 1982 or 1983. The staff had a huddle down the back for about 5 minutes before deciding they would cook one specially for me. A lot of sighing and tutting while it was being cooked. I didn’t give a shiny one, twas the nicest piece of chicken I ever had.


    To the likes of McQuaid women were a distasteful sub-species of human. I’m sure he was in favour of ‘churching’ as well, a practice that survived into the 60s in some places.


    “There was a pp who walked th canal and Islandbank with a blackthorn stick chasing courting couples here in Limerick right into the 60s.”
    That’s so fucked up.
    What a pervert.
    It’s like go watch some bloody porn like normal people.


    My Grandfather refused to join the confraternity, a hugh statement in 50s Limerick. His daughter, my aunt married an atheist foreigner. I’m proud of both.

    All religious rites and sarcrements should be removed from schools and be performed throught the church only. A childs religion should be their and their family’s affair only. If a parent wants their child to make their communion, confirmation etc then they can attend mass/church. No more dressing up competitions and lost time in school learning mumbo jumbo.


    TIL I’ve been excommunicated all these years. Another feather in my cap.
    Thanks, Bock !


    We had the Taliban!


    The Plenary Synod of Maynooth, 1927, it must have been a barrel of laughs.
    I think that they need the vatican to be a state, so they can claim it cannon laws are on the same level as the laws of the land.
    What a letter it’s nothing short of total control of peoples lives by perverts, with an very unhealty interest in dirty books and young girls.
    there are still plenty of people out there who would support them, after all they miss the days when a letter from your parish priest could get you a job ahead of more qualified people.


    in the 70s, I moved into a new house in the janesborough area.
    Shortly after a knock on my door,had the local PP on my doorstep.
    Being an agnostic for many years previous,I engaged the man as I would a civilan,until he told me he was here to collect the “dues” and bless the house, there was no enquiry as to what religion I was [or none]
    I thought “I suppose there is no harm in the man blessing the house”,so as he seemed to be a nice friendly man, I said ok,but I was not religous.
    He duly blessed the house with the mumbo jumbo and his bottle of water.
    I made him a cup of tea, and we chatted for a while.
    It was clear he wanted to be paid for his blessing, and since I did not support any church,but yet not wanting to offend the man, I suggested to him I would pay his “Dues” in kind.
    So I went out back anf pulled a few bunches of carrots,cabbages and lettuce for him, he thanked me and said it was a most unusal “dues” he had ever been given.
    I often met the man in the area, and he was a nice guy, but he never darkened my door again.
    Unlike the priest from St Johns cathedral, who once visited me,I told him he was on barren ground with me, he called to me about once a year, we had a cup of tea and chatted about everything but religion.
    I have some lifelong friends,who are devout catholic,and I find it somewhat perverse,that these people,who are inteligent,rational and clever people, can believe that wine can be turned into blood, and a bit of bread can be turned into flesh [is this canabilism ?] as required by their religion,
    Its like leaving your brain at the front door of a catholic church to my mind.
    end .


    Stanley — If I ever take up religion, I’ll be an Anglican. It’s a broad church with room for all shades of opinion, including atheism.

    Bmul — It’s completely crazy, unlike other religions which only believe perfectly reasonable things, like an all-powerful God giving one flying shit what happens on earth.


    ” It’s completely crazy, unlike other religions which only believe perfectly reasonable things, like an all-powerful God giving one flying shit what happens on earth.”

    I once read a report though Bock that said religious people are happier people!
    They have a sense of purpose and they know when the curtains are closing for them that they have the pearly white gates to look forward to.
    Which makes them optimistic.. which in turn makes them happpier individuals.


    I don’t doubt it. We’d all love a happy delusion to lose ourselves in.


    About 30 years ago, the parish priest in Southill asked me if I was going fishing the weekend ( he knew that I was a keen angler) and was there any chance that I’d bring him back two mackerel. I said no problem, I’ll bring you back a dozen. No says he, two will be plenty. I said surly you must know one or two needy families who would love a feed of mackerel. With that I told him that he was a typical catholic priest who only thought about himself and to fuck off and catch his own. PS At the time he was charging £5 to bless a house.


    Having spent most of my life as a Church of Ireland cleric, I am convinced that many church members are deists (‘there’s something out there but it’s not much interested in us’) and not a few are atheists.

    The Church of Ireland is more a sociological phenomenon than a theological one. It’s about holding together to create a community strong enough to create space for those who did (and still do) not want to be dominated by a conservative Catholicism that interferes with every aspect of human life (for the record, Anglicans approved contraception in 1958, long after it was an established fact).

    The strength of Irish Freemasonry probably also owes much to a desire for freedom of thought (I’m not a Mason, but they have traditionally subscribed to liberal traditions). McQuaid hated the Masons, seeing them as manifestations of dissent to Catholic rule.


    Interesting. I think most people regard the Masons as faintly ridiculous, but I also heard it said that the Knights of Columbanus were set up as a Catholic counterweight.

    Can I ask you how it’s possible to be a practising church member and an atheist at the same time?


    I got married out here 25 years ago, in a civil ceremony, to a Irish girl and the word came back that no word was being spoken of it in her home town because there was no priest in any photo.
    Eventually I capitulated and took her up to the local priest and asked for a church blessing. He ranted and raved at us for enjoying “home comforts” and then turning to the church for handiness sake.
    I was on my feet too, giving it back and she sat there waiting for the first blow but he suddenly changed attitude, offered us the cut price deal, keep your fingers crossed, pretend to sign the book, the works, and everything went off great.

    He ran off with his housekeeper within 2 years.
    I often wonder about the home comforts he was getting.

    The same priest ran a “dob in a lapsed catholic” scheme for a year before that. If you knew a catholic who had given up the church you could discreetly drop the name off and he’d call around and see the poor man, get him back on track.


    Bock, ‘faintly ridiculous’ is probably an understatement of Masonic ritual (most of which is readily available on the Net). I think it’s probably a bonding thing, like the daft initiation ceremonies in some schools and colleges.

    ‘Practising’ is not a term used in the Church of Ireland, everyone would know whether people were attenders or not (our numbers are so small), but not attending would not mean you were not a member, we have no such thing as ‘lapsed’. There are people who never attend who send in large annual donations; the only explanation for which is that there is a tradition they wish to maintain, that tradition, I think, is about dissent from the values of the dominant tradition.There has been support amongst conservative, rural Protestant communities for gay and lesbian people, not, I suspect, because they have suddenly become radical liberals, but because they know what it is like to be a small minority whose place is insecure.


    snookertony » Why was it important to you what the Catholic church thought?


    Ian — That’s in Ireland, but would it be fair to say that the Anglican tradition in Britain has a similar attitude to life?


    The dear old C of E is more liberal and more vague than the C of I!

    There is a wonderful episode of ‘Yes, Prime Minister’ about the appointment of a bishop where belief in God was not a necessary prerequisite – like much of that series, it was close to the truth.


    Having read the post I think maybe those fucking EU directives are not all that bad after all. A lot of evil done, so many lives shattered, so much guilt piled on….issuing their dictats…meanwhile they were covering up the abuse of kids which must be amongst the most evil of all deeds.


    Saw that episode. But therefore, the woolliness doesn’t necessarily emanate from a sense of being in the minority. As you know, I have a great affection for the COI / COE. I love its dottiness and the fact that a belief in God is not an absolute requirement, even for a bishop.


    Ah, right, I see what you mean.

    I think the sense of being a minority has probably held together elements of the Church of Ireland that would otherwise have drifted apart and brought the complete disappearance of the church. The Church of England was so big that it could lose the overwhelming majority of its membership and still remain viable; that option was not available to Irish Anglicans.

    I am worried by Ruari Quinn’s attack on small schools. The Church of Ireland school is often the only option available to those who wish for their child not to undergo hours and hours of catechetical instruction. If those schools are lost, then the alternative is something of which McQuaid would approve – a uniform, monolithic system in much of rural Ireland.


    A church in which one can believe in many things or none. Hmm. It reminds me of the time when James Joyce was asked whether, having left the church of Rome he would think of joining the church of Canterbury. Joyce replied: I have not left a logical absurdity only to join an illogical absurdity.


    “. . . he would think of joining the church of Canterbury”

    which perfectly illustrates the misunderstanding of the Church of Ireland on the part of most people.

    Canterbury has no ecclesiastical authority over the Church of Ireland, it is simply a focus of unity for those of similar traditions. If the Church of Ireland General Synod decided to instead align itself with the adherents of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, it would be free to do so.


    I’m not so sure that the CoE is more liberal than the CoI. Some of it maybe, but increasingly the money and the votes in the CoE are with the growing evos. Have a look at the Last Rites of the C of E by Michael Hampson. In rural parishes, my experience was that people want somewhere to be hatched, matched and dispatched. They care more about the presence of a graveyard where they can lavish attention on those they neglected when they were alive, than they do on the church building which they rarely set foot inside. Things are different here of course – as you say, more a matter of tribal identity and a desire, however expressed, to be allowed to think for oneself.


    I wonder how many of the contributors on this thread had their own children baptised in a catholic church and had them make their communion and confirmation?
    I know I didn’t with my kids, way back in the eighties.
    Just curious is all?


    I grew up in what was termed back then a ” mixed marriage ” , that came with all the confusion and burden of families on both sides clashing when it came to decisions regarding what are basic values and choices.

    The Catholic side were very interfering and judging and the Cof I side were the fairly sterotypical eccentric, reserved, not getting involved variety.

    As a child i more or less assumed it was all ” normal ” , there were a few incidents, such as the local Priest knocking on the door and asking was the ” Black Protestant ” at home ?.

    Eventually a decision was made for my Secondary school education and the choice was a Convent Boarding school, that was a hazardous experience for 5 years as i was ill equipped to deal with it.

    Looking back now, the level of interference that came via Priests and the deeply entrenched views of the Catholic side of the family were beyond unacceptable, however all of us children survived it well largely due, not to a sense of Liberalism from the Cof I influence but the sense of Embracing on a more sociological level that i think it gave us, I have, since my mid teens been fairly Atheist but most of my own children have embraced Cof I choices of Education, some of them opted for Cof I Baptism for their own children even though none of them had been Baptised themselves.

    It seems to me now that it is becoming incresingly difficult to obtain entry to primary Schools without written commitment from both Catholic and Cof I heads of Parishes, this was not the case when my kids were younger, it leaves me to think the Ethos is becoming more embedded not less but that may well have a monetary agenda.


    I believe the Knights once had a firm grip on Limerick port (and all appointments).

    As to the Masons, is there any history of the Masons in Limerick? I’m told there’s an old family skeleton in that particular cupboard…


    The five Limerick lodges meet at the Masonic Centre near the castle. It was restored not too long ago and it looks very pretty from the outside, although I’ve never been in it.


    Five lodges?! In 2012? Who’s the current Grand Panjandrum? I might get in touch for historical info.


    It’s not really my area. Maybe if you sent out a secret message?


    What? Are you not on the level, Brother?

    …thst should do it…


    Afraid not. Nor the trowel. Nor the compass.


    My knowledge of Masonic Lodges is scant but the general perception seems to be that they are the preserve of Protestants and gender wise, male only, i only know snippets.
    In the 18th C a woman called Elizabeth St Leger Aldworth was admitted as a fully fledged member, having hidden herself in the room where a meeting was taking place, whatever arguement she proposed for membership must have worked.
    Also membership doesn’t depend on Religion , only a belief in God, the fact that it’s members are predominently Cof I is most likely due to the fact that the Catholic church vehemently objected to members of its own flock becoming Freemasons.
    Also its my perception that the ” Secrets ” thing is a bit stereotypical, my understanding is that its a Cermonial process mostly to lend a sense of confidentiality to its members, i stand corrected if i’m wrong.
    I think they used to be somewhere in O’Connell st, near the Crescent prior to relocation.


    Wasn’t the Orange institution formed by James Wilson, Dan Winter, and James Sloan? All three men were dedicated Freemasons
    James Wilson was probably the most influential of the founding fathers of Orangeism and was an ardent Freemason.
    When the Orange Institution first started there was but one degree, The Orange; in 1796 The Royal Arch Purple degree was added; later under what is known as The Royal Black Preceptory or Knights of Malta, the higher degrees-of the order, were introduced, of which there are quite a number. The Black Preceptory or Black Knights as they are sometimes called resembles in formation the Knights Templar Order in Freemasonry, and contains many of the elements of the Masonic Knights of Malta.


    LJS. Thats a mighty amount of info, what i posted above is the total extent of mine.
    Regarding your post @47, I hear you ! I had my first child in ’72, taking the ” No Baptism ” etc route was quite the shocker to friends and family, the result though was that my eldest is probably the most Baptised person in Ireland, every chance a family member had to get the poor child on her own, they poured water on her and spewed forth the mumbo jumbo to save the little mite the ” Devil or Purgatory ” or whatever it was imposed on her by disgaceful parents !


    Had the same problem with my pagan brats!
    I am sure when we left them with our folks,They were near enough to drowned with well intentioned
    buckets of water.
    Turned out great though and not a sign of a devils horn on the foreheads of any of them.


    LJS Glad to hear it, I’m a bit suspicious of one of mine though, convinced at times the “666 ” is lurking under all the hair !


    Jesus, imagine ending up in limbo.. you’d probably feel a bit like Bertie in the cupboard “how the fuck did I get here”.


    Oh yes, he doesn’t say fuck..
    He says “never thought I’d end up here” .. but he has the latest on today’s match. The swine.


    Therefore, the church forbids parents and guardians to send a child to any non-Catholic school, whether primary or secondary or continuation or university.

    Deliberately to disobey this law is a mortal sin, and they who persist in disobedience are unworthy to receive the Sacraments.

    VIII. No Catholic may enter the Protestant University of Trinity College, without having previously submitted his case to the Ordinary of the Diocese, whose exclusive right it is to decide whether, in the given circumstances, attendance may be tolerated. (Canon 1374, Code of Canon Law. Statutes 385, 404. §1, Plenary Synod of Maynooth, 1927.)

    Woah! It’s amazing to actually see all this down in writing. Where did you get this Bock? I don’t imagine the diocese put this up online.


    Simple. I established a psychic connection with the late Archbishop.


    he Church, to safeguard the faith and morals of her children, forbids everywhere, and most severely, the marriage of a Catholic with a non-Catholic. (Canons 1060 and 1071, Code of Canon Law. Statue 300, Plenary Synod of Maynooth, 1927.) For grave reasons, and to avoid greater evils, the Church at times grants a dispensation, but only on condition:—

    Jesus. Protestants really did have to put up with all this.

    I was always told off handedly that Catholics were not supposed to go to Trinity College, and that it was effectively a recent thing for most (rel. well off) children to be able to consider the place. I only really know about the marriage ban from history classes and the very odd article or book (usually historical) which mentioned the fact.

    I think a lot of this stuff was swept under the carpet for my generation anyway. I’m almost entirely ignorant of the setting and story of sectarianism in this country. I’d consider myself pretty(actually very) well read on the banks, but I only recently found out that BoI was/(is?) regarded as the Protestant bank, and AIB the Catholic one. Apparently UCD was the “catholic” university as well. I was genuinely completely oblivious to both these facts until about 12-18 months ago. (any other dichotomies)

    Come to think of it, I often used to wonder why there were two St Mary’s churches on the Limerick island. Eventually, I must have found out that the older, castle type one is the Protestant one—I think that was from a history class as well. Recently I found out that people were actually told not to go into Protestant one when they were young. (When I was young, I thought sectarian conflict meant Northern Ireland)

    Thanks for putting this up in writing Bock. It makes something which I knew existed a lot more concrete in my mind.


    Bock, it wasn’t important what the church thought but the word had come from her family regarding, I suppose, their standing in their home town, that without a priest in the photos no mention of a wedding would occur. Bells should have rung at that stage but I had never met any of her family and she had never met any of mine so the pictures were arranged and duly sent home and here we are 25 years later…
    (I’ve met the family since and may I now put it on record to all and sundry that’s it’s absolutely imperative that all people getting married should meet the in-laws before the day – then live at least half a world away.).

    Ah, well…


    So many mortals sins.. so little time.

    What the fuck was with all the ‘mortal’ sins.
    If food went to waste.. that was a mortal sin.
    The lord’s name in vain, another mortal sin.
    Fucking mortal ha.

    All this condemnation to hell is a bit OTT in my opinion.

    Snookertony.. or you could choose not to get married either! :)
    Live in mortal sin forever.

    Was there a definitive list somewhere of the mortals I wonder.
    Or were they made up willy nilly, on the go.


    I am an insomniac dyslexic agnostic, I lie awake every night wondering if there really is a dog.
    The only ash I want is the ash from the charcoal on my steak.

    Mcquaid and Dev were two right bastards who in collusion with the medical sector saw off Noel Brownes mother and child scheme, thereby condemning thousands of women and their children to death.
    In the tweenies we had FF and the bankers, in the fifties we had FF and the wankers. One worshiped at the alter of manna the other at the altar of pedophilia.


    FFI – Here’s a bit of shocking news for you. They closed down Limbo a long time ago. I Know! Where are all the babies now?
    I’m hoping for a long and luxurious stay in purgatory myself. I mean think about it? Jesus has no interest in it and the devil couldn’t give two fucks about the place.
    Sounds like heaven to me, eh?


    Oh right.. god must have done away with that original sin business then did he. No more original sin, no more limbo..

    Remember LJS, heaven is within! :)

    You know what genuinely confuses me? How the message and parables and whatnot from Jesus got all skewed into this complete and utter horseshit.
    As he once said apparently, “you will know them by the fruits they bear”.. or something to that effect.


    I have no problem with people debating the number of angles capable of sitting on the head of a pin.
    What grits my shit is when they come up with a regulation concerning angels and the space required to land on said pin head.
    Who decided that there were going to be 72 virgins waiting for the ex-suicide bomber? Why not 5 or 10?


    That should have read angels not angles in the first sentence.
    Why should those willing girls be virgins?
    Not much fun for a poor lad who has just sacrificed his temporal life – albeit for a noble cause –
    to be met with coy and sexually inept young ones.
    I think all those Nordic wantons hanging around Valhalla could get work – in the same way as European ex-pats do
    in the gulf states – and give the boys a reaalllllllllllllllllllllll party.
    Speaks of discrimination to me.


    Give me an ex-virgin anytime! Let someone else give the induction course!


    Is it written down somewhere that the virgins are female?


    Not that I know of. You might easily get 72 bishops.


    40 years ago, I was joining the Civil Service.For good luck, I went to Confession, on a Saturday Night.I was trying hard, to think of some sins, to confess, so the priest decided to help me.Do you masterbate, says he..thinking it was a rethorical question, I said..Do you..he more or less, told me to fuck off, and I did.Havent been back since.


    Take a look at the entire culture of Europe, the USA and anywhere else and see how attitudes in the popular culture were so different everywhere from today’s. Are we any better by having school children given condoms, girls ushered off for abortions without parental consent, workers not allowed to wear a cross in a public place, TV promoting sexual license for young adults, and the European Constitution not even mentioning God and a host of other “progressive” “liberal” ideas. We await the next wave to get back in the centre where all virtue resides/


    LoneThinker – Why would any constitution mention an imaginary spaceman?


    Ah Bock. na bac leis- little pun on your name there.9 do not bother with it). HIS handiwork is all around us and in us. Ask any scientist, and they have definite proof that the structure of the Earth is such it cannot have happened by chance, and there is a lot more to show that HE loves you and want you on HIS team, for your sake, not HIS pride


    “Ask any scientist, and they have definite proof that the structure of the Earth is such it cannot have happened by chance”

    Nonsense. You made that up. There’s no basis whatever for such a claim.


    It seems the difference between us in simple.”fides quaerens intellectum” is an old phrase that defends seeking intellectual defence for the Faith ( which by definition is beyond rational, scientific proof) “not by flesh and blood ” as Jesus told Peter, but is from the Holy Spirit. For most of my adult life, I have questioned, studied and did what I could to satisfy both the Faith and Reason aspects of the Roman Catholic Christian Church. Science has been a part of that, former atheists are now saying the internal sructure of the Earth is such it cannot have been by chance. Common sense tells us that some Intelligent Source has to be in charge of it all, Faith tells me it is God who revealed Himself to us, the scientist does not as scientist, have to necessarily believe in a god or God, she sticks with her field of science- may as a believer receive the GIFT of Faith, then help others to see no conflict between the two. So you know, the Genesis story of Creation is one of Faith, theology. not science- a talking snake, plants growing before the Sun is created, the moon being a Light to shine at night, rather than reflection etc. It can only be understood by knowing Mesopotamian literature which is only slowly being shared today after a process,


    The Wikipedia definition will do as well as any other.

    Poe’s Law is an axiom suggesting that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish between parodies of religious or other fundamentalism and its genuine proponents, since they both seem equally insane.

    You fit that definition very neatly. Well done and congratulations on a brilliant piss-take. I couldn’t do better myself.


    One thing that puzzles me about, the guys, in long skirts, both with the RC,s/CoI,Coe, is that they give themselves titles, like The Right Reverend, The Most Reverend etc.If theres a Right Reverend, who,s The Wrong Reverend, or even The Left Rev. If there is a Most Rev., who is The Least Rev.,…., and for The Canons..have they ever been fired….


    If the Muslims, who blow themselves up, were gay, would they get themselves, 72 male virgins, in eh..Heaven


    bock; Your appeal to wikipedia that is considered a joke for research, your insulting personal ( “ad hominem”) reply make em feel sorry that you are so incapable of intelligent respectful communication. IrateChristian, you are holding on to a grudge about a long ago confession. Grow up both of you please and stop frittering your life away. Please!!. .


    Lone Thinker — If you thought a joke law required research, you’re even more humourless than I feared.


    Apologies for not getting your “joke.” bock. I do my best but not really as clever as you and some others are on here.


    Intelligent respectful communication?

    Let’s see now.

    “Ask any scientist, and they have definite proof that the structure of the Earth is such it cannot have happened by chance”

    That’s neither intelligent nor respectful. It’s condescending, patronising bombast. Practise what you preach.


    I am surprised you consider it bombast, patronising, and condescending for me to , ask you to do some research on the science that studies the structure of the Universe.. Do you not recall your 7 April comment to me that it is “made up.” “ninsense” “no basis for that claim.” IF you are just trying to bait me, good bye. Life is too short and time too precious to get into a pee-ing contest with a skunk. .


    I suggest you think twice before assuming that the people involved in this site are unacquainted with science. That’s arrogance, not to mention ignorance. What you said was utter, unadulterated tosh. The scientific community holds no such view. You just made it up, thinking people would be overawed by such nonsense.

    How very dishonest of you.


    “Grow up both of you please and stop frittering your life away. Please!!. ”
    What would be considered frittering your life away I wonder? If you don’t have the same beliefs as I do?
    The bunch of horseshit listed above – the lenten regulations seem like an awful waste of time to me. And not only that, a way of keeping people under control of the church. Half of it people only adhere/d to due to superstition or because they had to.
    Fritter on that one.


    Lone Thinker is probably the best piss-take we’ve ever had on this site.


    Yeah.. you’d imagine anyways!
    Even former atheists now admit the earth can’t be roundy by chance.. ha.

    Taking the piss alright.


    Looks as if you Bock-er and FFI-er ran out of steam when you could not mock me any more. Did you Wise Men ever do any History,? and see the style of clothes and what was expected in social circles and in clothing of females and ladies and lords in a non-Catholic, but similar culture such as England as late as the early 19th century.? You seem to reject the RC Church but blame the Hierarchy for social control of the populace. I did stody that and keep up with the culture in science and other disciplines. That way I do not come across as a “gombeen” boor among civilised people. .


    Relax. I’ll get back to taking the piss when I get finished with the important jobs.


    You mean the easiest jobs. Taking the piss with me is a job way above your pay level, Bocker-man.


    Bock, I lived in Dublin under the religious rule of Archbishop McQuaid from the time I was born, (1947), up to his resignation and I can’t say that I find anything particularly wrong with him. He was a strict disipliniaran and authorititarian and from what I remember of his rule, it is my opinion, we are at a loss for his passing. I know that he took a very prudish and puritan stance on many matters of ordinary life such as is reflected in the Lenten Regulations and he often appeared bigoted, but you have got to understand that he took his office and his responsibility before God very seriously. I was confirmed by him in 1959 and when he came to the pew where I was sitting, he terrified me then with his stern grave face that seemed to be offended at everything but in my opinion this is the kind of leader that we need today, someone who does not court the popularity of the public but who will meet the demands of his office uncompromisingly. (I came across this post just incidently on a Google search for “Bock” —- I don’t see the post on the website itself)


    Your opinion is your opinion and you’re fully entitled to it. Did you want to support it with facts or just state your opinion?


    I can only volunteer an opinion, but an educated opinion as I am someone who lived under his religious ministry. There were many things right and wrong in those days and there was no perfection —– everything was struggle. The only facts that I can point out immediatly to indicate life as it was then are the Lenten Regulations which you yourself have published above. I am sure that I could write a well supported history if I was so inclined. However, I cannot imagine in my wildest dreams his rule being embraced today. If he came back today, he would be in for a remarkably tough time and I could well imagine rioting to have him removed if the Church did not do so of its own initiave. The secular world of today is totally different from the respectful, obedient, religious Ireland of yesteryear.


    Surprised to see you back here, Bock. I see you seem to be fixated on a past era and culture which has been officially rejected in favour a a more pastorally loving approach that is more Christ-like. It was not the Church only but all authority figures embodied that strict social control. That included the death penalty, in the 19th century that was imposed by the ruling colonial powers ruthlessly. My simple suggestion to you would be to come to terms with your own father, take a good introspective look at the demons inside the cave of your own heart, sub-conscious, make friends with them- we each have them, Then go about life at peace with Bock, with your past, the Church and find the Good Shepherd who died for you, loves you so much he died for you and wants to protect you today and take you home at the end. We all have to grow up someday and make that choice.Lashing out at the State, the Church, the British government, the Garda Siochana are exercises in frustration. I did it and it does not take pain away, but does ease a lot of wasted energy and anger.


    You’re surprised to see me on my own site?

    I suggest you take your patronising advice to somebody who’ll be impressed by that sort of thing.


    I received copies on my e-mails this morning for the first in a long time. Excuse me for upsetting you- seems casting pearls before you does not work yet. You will learn in your own time, meantime you will be hurt and angry and lose or not make friends.


    By your condescending tone, I’m guessing you’re either an active old priest or recently retired.

    Am I right?


    Nah- I learned it all from JCMCQ and refined it over the years. You seem to believe that if someone has an education in the Humanities through the Catholic education system she/he has to be a nun or priest . Do not shoot the messenger, listen to the message.


    I detected no evidence of education.


    Thanks. i was advised once never to try a pissing contest against a skunk. OR Jesus who says no not cast jewels in front of pigs. Bless you Bock the Robber.


    Oh dear. Are we having a little fit of pique, Father? The old-style clergy never did like being questioned.


    Your attitude, tendency to insult and presume information are what caused the said “pique.” I am gentleman enough to not tell you F the F off. Old style clergy? I taught the Humanities for a lifetime, despite your suggesting you detected no education. You say I have a little fit of pique??? I


    I detected a considerable amount of indoctrination, but no evidence of education.

    Now, to revert since you didn’t provide a clear answer. Are you or are you not a clergyman?


    Silence. Hmm.

    Maybe I’ll fill the gap by explaining why it’s important to keep thinking about the likes of McQuaid. As somebody once said, whoever forgets the past is condemned to repeat it.

    But I doubt if history would be of much interest to LoneThinker.


    Bock, why do you call McQuaid “A dirty old pervert” ?? The preceeding paragraph seems to indicate that he is very puritanatal in his attitudes.


    I don’t know what puritanatal means but it sounds very sinister.


    Well, in the preceeding paragraph which you have recorded among the regulations, he is simply cautioning the youth about modisty in dress —- “Christian modisty” he calls it. You then post-script this comment of his with the words “The dirty old pervert” What is perverted about his words or indeed anything in the Lenten Regulations. By puritanatal I mean very straight-laced and prudish about sexual affairs.


    I’ve never heard the word puritanatal before but it seems very appropriate for the bishops’ dirty obsessions with matters to do with sex and birth. Did you make it up yourself?


    It refers to the Puritans, a very straight and narrow Protestant sect of the 17th and 18th centuries marked for their high intolerance of the worldly life. I thhink maybe my spelling was incorrect.


    Your word is wonderful. I’ll use it again.

    Look, I’m going to bed, but I’ll just say this. If your view of sex is as grubby as McQuaid’s, I’m afraid you’ve missed out on an awful lot of laughing.


    Yes, Mr Bock,

    I take it that I am not so offside now.

    Your previous comment betrays your true attitude to the whole slander against McQuaid.
    All just a laughing matter, isn’t it?

    Your idea of a joke is a bit sick, really.


    Oh, Mr.Bock, Sir,
    Thank you so much for publishing The Lenten Regulations as observed in Ireland generations ago. Trying to find an uncompromising version that is easy and straightforward to follow is a bit taxing nowadays and as an Orthodox Catholic I prefer to follow the rules as they were in the days of the Latin vernacular. Thank you again so much for your publication. Just in time for the beginning of Lent, Ash Wednesday.
    I see that you don’t agree with the bishop of those days who drew up these rules but really, I think that you should reconsider your opinion of the man as his writings do seem to show him as a very godly and upright individual.


    I stumbled across this Bock-post only now and I didn’t read all the comments just the last one.

    Dear Ebenezer Joan, is this an attempt on satire? If so, it’s quite subtle because I am wondering and wondering. I actually tried to smile because I liked to think it’s so wonderfully caustic in a very underhand way, at least if you think that religious dinosaurs don’t exist anymore..

    But then I started to wonder again and thought of a few, ehm, very religiously backward people I happen to know. You might be serious.
    Are you?

    You see, I’m a writer (in my own language, not in English), writing mostly on Ireland. And I remember that I had a massive row with an editor about a (more literary) story about a priest and a religious couple and another (more factual) story about the mostly malicious interference of the catholic church in private lifes and in society in general.

    She told me not to be so harsh and that the Irish or catholics as such are very much enlightened these days.
    I told her that there are still medieval minded people around which she refused to believe.

    Long story short, eventually I softened my stories a bit and I’m still grumbling after years that I compromised.

    Anyway, if you are serious can I please use your comment for my editor to finally believe me that there are still religiously medieval people in Ireland? It would be a written proof not my usual oral evidence.

    Please say yes, it would be a real win for me over that cow of an editor. Please?


    You don’t need permission to quote that. It was published on this site and I agree that you can use it.


    Thank you!
    Intellectual revenge at last …


    As Mr.Bock pointed out and according to his comments policy only his permission is needed to publish further as I understand that he is the copyright owner of all that is published here n his site. However, I do appreciate your asking me also. You are very thoughtful.

    Frankly, I feel uncomfortable at being presented as an exhibit typical of what of what you visualize as religiously backward and medieval people in Ireland. The Irish are not backward and I am not backward. The Irish are a conservatively religious people and I think that you just have to understand that and accept it. I am religious, yes, even in the medieval sense and I DO have a medieval mind, regrettably not as medieval as I would like. The people of that period feared and loved the God of Heaven who took upon Himself a veil of flesh to walk among us and onwards to death and Resurrection as our Redeemer from our awful status of sin. As you may perceive now, I am not a creature of this world at all.
    If you were to meet me personally you might write me off within minutes as something more bigoted than anything that ever came out of the Orange Institution of Lester Square! A Catholic version of Ian Paisley, you might say, — to me St.Ian Paisley.

    I additionally feel uncomfortable at being used as an implement of intellectual revenge upon your publisher as God prohibits personal vengence and I want no part of it.
    Please don’t call her “that cow of an editor” You would not like anyone else to call you a cow therefore you should abstain from abusing others. It is God’s command.

    If you want to show my writing above to your editor, fine, but please remember that I am an ORTHODOX Roman Catholic, much of the old Latin rite. Not typical.

    All best wishes, Ebenezer Joan.


    It gets better and better…


    I used look forward to not giving up anything for Lent, but with most of the boys in the Duck N’ Drake signing up for the big event the pressure is on to give up not giving up stuff.

    The boys have embarked on forty days of prayer, penance and repentance. They insist they will go the distance and see it through to the final bell, all the way down the final stretch into Palm Sunday.

    By the time winter loosens its icy grip on the realm, abstinence will have reduced them to gibbering wrecks after three drinks, but they’re willing to offer it all up in anticipation of the first glorious pint and smoke of Spring 2016.

    “It’s a joyful journey of sacrifice to glory,” said one, implying by definition that we lacked moral fibre and were degenerates, going forward.

    The clergy of the past throughout Europe and beyond made tremendous sacrifices during Lent, giving up food, conversation and all earthly comforts.

    But some Irish priests topped all that by vowing to stop raping children for the 40 days involved.

    “Once again Ireland is leading the way,” said a Vatican spokesman.



    I wasn’t sure if I should post here or back over in the gravitational waves story but here seems more appropriate.

    Over there you said in comment number 47 that I was “a self proclaimed proponent of medieval christianity”.

    Unlike Queen Victoria, —– I am amused.

    Mr.Bock, Sir,
    Please correct me if I am wrong, but looking back to comment number 62 above about the Rev. McQuaid, bishop of Dublin barring Catholics from attending Trinity, I was often told that Trinity barred Catholics from long before so Protestant/Catholic attitudes were more or less mutual in the bishop’s time. Indeed, I think that Catholics were unwelcome in Trinity since 1592. (Perhaps I missed something in the thread).

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