Jun 142013
 

My household-gods plant a terrible fixed foot, and are not rooted up without blood, said Charles Lamb in his essay New Year’s Eve.

For those who love language, let the words wash over your lips.  We can return to the point after tasting the wine of Lamb’s lyricism.

I would set up my tabernacle here. I am content to stand still at the age to which I am arrived; I, and my friends: to be no younger, no richer, no handsomer. I do not want to be weaned by age; or drop, like mellow fruit, as they say, into the grave.–Any alteration, on this earth of mine, in diet or in lodging, puzzles and discomposes me. My household-gods plant a terrible fixed foot, and are not rooted up without blood. They do not willingly seek Lavinian shores. A new state of being staggers me.

Wonderful.  The intoxication of words.

But let us return to the point, which is the removal of long-held ideas.  These days, we forget the household gods that every society invented and venerated, not least the Irish, whose attachment to the elemental and the ancient is written into the very DNA of our speech.   It’s no wonder that people such as us would have been so vulnerable to grooming by sacerdotal smooth-talkers, just as the vulnerable everywhere are groomed by potential abusers.  Who in Europe, during the mid-nineteenth century might have been more open to seduction than our ancestors, after the appalling social dislocation caused by the latest famine?  It’s true that there were previous catastrophic famines, but what happened in the 1840s was Ireland’s Shoah and we’re still feeling its reverberations a century and three-quarters later.

John Charles McQuaid

No priest died in the time of the Famine, roars the Bull McCabe, an extraordinarily brave speech to put in a character’s mouth when John B Keane wrote The Field, in  the Ireland of the sixties.  Keane showed remarkable courage writing such a line in small-town, narrow-minded Listowel and yet he got away with it, even though the clerics continued to dictate policy to governments for decades to come.  The narrative of the time was that the priests were the defenders of the people, selflessly sacrificing themselves for the good of the people.

In Ireland, perhaps just as much as anywhere else, folk history derives from folk songs, and those very songs can soon attain the patina of antiquity even though they might be no more than a year or two old and even though they might be based on utter nonsense.

Patrick McCall, for instance, a Dubliner writing a century after the 1798 rebellion, produced Boolavogue, a song belted out by many an impassioned patriot.  The narrative in the song takes no account of what really happened in Wexford 100 years previously.  Its main character, Father Murphy, is a conflation of at least three separate people and it ignores the random slaughter of Protestants in the locality.  Yet for many Irish people, it formed the primary source of what they regarded as knowledge about 1798.  By such means are hatreds inflamed.

Barely a decade before Keane wrote The Field, the Catholic hierarchy in Ireland, working closely with the protected medical (and Catholic) elite, had successfully scuppered a simple proposal by Noel Browne to protect poor mothers and children.  Ultimately, even the supposedly radical Browne bowed the knee to those same bishops.

It’s not only songs that can achieve a false layer of antiquity.  When Paul Cullen, Ireland’s first Cardinal, arrived in 1850, while the Famine still afflicted hundreds of thousands, he entertained no thoughts of poverty.  Cullen’s plan was to convince the Irish people that his version of Catholicism had existed forever, and he succeeded in doing so.  Few Catholics today are aware that Cullen invented rituals such as Benediction.   In the 1840s, Cullen’s thoughts were fixed solely on power, and that’s why he held a magnificent procession in Thurles, thronged by the great and the good.  Those who could afford rail travel converged by train.  Others came by horse, and the rest walked.  The wealthy commandeered the upper windows of the town, better to observe the magnificent procession of the church princes.  It mattered nothing that poor people starved in the fields as the trains rattled past, for this was a matter of the Magisterium.

And as the years went by, it mattered little to Cullen that tenants were evicted in their hundreds of thousands to book passage on the  coffin ships, as long as he consolidated the power of Rome on the island of Ireland.

Cullen achieved his goal, as one might expect from a man of such considerable intellect.  Priests were now Father, instead of Mister.  Arrogant young fellows in priestly garb policed all public gatherings, watching for immorality in a very Irish precursor of the 20th century Iranian Islamic police.  They sanitised the dancing, eventually rendering it into a vile and embarrassing parody of culture, a revolting beauty contest for little girls.

As time went on, they consolidated Rome’s power, eventually achieving their greatest ambition when the British withdrew and they found themselves in complete control of a subservient, grovelling Catholic government.  Contraception was banned.  Divorce was banned.  Books were banned.  Thinking was banned.

Children were consigned to the care of brutal, ideologically-driven, sexually-dysfunctional clerics in the industrial schools.

Films were censored.  Foreign publications were banned.  Modern European authors were banned.  Music was banned.  Public dancing was banned except in tightly controlled circumstances.  Public libraries were filled with anodyne western novels for the men and mindless romantic escapism for the women.

Priests roamed the countryside, laying down the clerical law.

The archbishop of Dublin was given a say in the writing of our national constitution.

This is the legacy we’re still recovering from and this is why it will take a long time before we’re free of it.  Household gods are not rooted up too easily.  Ireland as a country is suffering from a prolonged Stockholm Syndrome, going all the way back to Paul Cullen’s arrival in 1850 and the transition won’t happen overnight, but there are signs that things are changing.

For all his shortcomings, and he has many, Enda Kenna has now done several things that posterity will judge him positively for.

Kenny is the first Irish prime minister to publicly rebuke the Vatican for interference in our republic.

He’s the first to assert that the only important book in affairs of state is the constitution, not the Bible.

And he’s the first to state publicly that, while he might be a Catholic man, he isn’t a Catholic taoiseach.

There are many things we can beat him over the head with, and I’ll continue to do so.  I’ve condemned him for many things, but let me venture this opinion.  Enda Kenny will be written about as the Irish head of government who defined Ireland as a secular state.  Given our history, that’s revolutionary, and perhaps it took a conservative Catholic to achieve it.

A new state of being staggers us, and with good reason.

______________

Previously

Magdalene laundries and the power of shame
Re-inventing Ireland. Time to grow up.
Ireland Needs Vision and Focus
The Non-Fighting Irish
The Loss of Local Irish Accents

 

  71 Responses to “The Declericalisation of Ireland — Removing the Priests from Public Policy”

Comments (70) Pingbacks (1)
  1.  

    You wish LOL

  2.  

    Could you explain what LOL means?

  3.  

    It was interesting to watch the church during the Tiger years. It had raised no objection to capitalist economics for decades and then belatedly realized that lassez faire neo-liberalism was relativizing its claims on people. With money in their pockets and a whole world of choice, they would no longer listen to dull old men. The process has now become irreversible, where the church survives, it will be where it has managed to re-invent itself.

  4.  

    Fine article. I was both surprised and pleased by Enda’s categorical remark myself. Having said that any forward thinking politician would be distancing themselves from the church considering that tomorrows voters ie today’s youth couldn’t give a fuck about Cullen and his antecedents. In fact the majority of those born post Eamon Casey scandal see priests nuns et al as being a bit creepy and certainly not ones to be revered. One of the great positives of the WWW is that it’s far more difficult to bully and threaten societies with ideologies and dogma and hope to get away with it.

  5.  

    Excellent article Bock.

  6.  

    Perhaps a trifle harsh on Listowel Bock. Afterall J B Keane did not exist in vacuum, and he probably resonated with a not inconsiderable population who held their thoughts in pectore.
    Anyway well said re Enda – regardless of his traits,or lack of them, it takes only one significant idea or act of courage to define a man, and for what he has done and said in these matters, makes him OK in my book.

  7.  

    Kenny is plagiarising again

    “I am not the Catholic candidate for President. I am the Democratic Party’s candidate for President who happens also to be a Catholic,” said JFK in Texas in 1960.

    Kenny said d’other day that he’s “a Taoiseach who happens to be a Catholic, but not a Catholic Taoiseach”.

    “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” said Jesus in response to whether the Jews should pay taxes to the Romans,
    a reply widely regarded as a call for the separation of Church and State.

    It took us a while to catch on, didn’t it?

  8.  

    Nice article Bock.

  9.  

    Actually that should read PMLOL
    (Pissing Myself Laughing Out Loud)

  10.  

    I’m guessing you never read the comments policy about text-speak then. I recommend you stay with Bebo.

  11.  

    Enda Kenny by his words has done more for Ireland than Bertie could dream of. EK has his faults but as a man he stands head and shoulders above the cheap, weasle words of Bertie and his cohorts.

    I have long opined that the (un)holy trinity that has retarded our growth as a nation is RCC, FF and GAA. Three self centered, self serving and narrow minded bodies with a warped sense of what being Irish means.

  12.  

    Apologies Bock.
    Ok I will start again.
    Brillant piece the funniest thing I have read this year keep it up.

  13.  

    Hope you don’t mind me posting this letter from todays Irish Independent, I know I know

    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/letters/standing-up-to-the-church-29343978.html

    Firstly, I would like to applaud Enda Kenny for being the first Taoiseach of this country to recognise and publicly announce that he is a Taoiseach for all the people of Ireland and not just the Catholics.

    Secondly, I would like to express my support for him and his Government in introducing this legislation, legislation that Fianna Fail, the political wing of the Catholic Church, was mandated to implement in a referendum but which refused to do so; legislation that is about saving the lives of women, and not, as the church would have us believe, about murder.

    I sincerely hope that others will show the same courage as Mr Kenny and come out and support this legislation and not hide behind religious beliefs. You, all of you, have the duty to save the lives of all Irish citizens.

    Thirdly, I would like to comment on the role of the Catholic Church in this affair. The Catholic Church represents a foreign state (Vatican City) – it does not represent Ireland, nor is it elected to speak on behalf of the Irish people. Ireland is a nation, not a religion.

    The campaign of tyranny initiated by the bishops and clergy in this country against our Taoiseach and the democratically elected representatives of this State is tantamount to foreign interference in the domestic affairs of a sovereign state.

    There should be a public inquiry into this matter; we cannot allow the church to interfere in state affairs in this fashion.

    Lastly, I reiterate: Ireland is a nation, not a religion, and while you are free to practise your religion, you are not free to impose your will through the use of tyranny, coercion, bullying or threats. Democracy is about choice, not imposition.

    Ray Behan

    Clontarf, Dublin 3

  14.  

    Ray.
    You should be writing stand up this is getting better and better.
    Anyone over 50 in this country could not read or write without he imput of the catholic church, why cause the New State was tearing itself apart in a civil war,more worried about power than people, (kinda like the church actually) What has changed sweet feck all.
    The Church ran the hospitals as well why cause the state was broke to the ropes and could not run to the cost of asticking plaster.
    Keep it going lads this is getting better and better.

  15.  

    True Mark, and without the RCC we wouldn’t have had the Magdelene Laundries, or institutional pedophilia being cover up and pervert priests being moved from parish to parish free to molest with impunity.

    Keep it going Mark this is getting better and better.

  16.  

    Was thinking earlier about our little Taoiseach getting his post – the little plastic foetuses (where would you buy those!) and the letters written in blood and the epiphany he might have had to give him the courage to come out and speak thus and I thought ‘fair fucks to you Enda show those ‘pro-life’ bullies you mean business’.

    Those few words he uttered almost, but not quite made up momentarily for the his lack of charisma and his insipidness.

  17.  

    Was thinking earlier about our little Taoiseach getting his post – the little plastic foetuses (where would you buy those!?) and the letters written in blood and the epiphany he might have had to give him the courage to come out and speak thus and I thought ‘fair fucks to you Enda show those ‘pro-life’ bullies you mean business’.

    Those few words he uttered almost, but not quite made up momentarily for the his lack of charisma and his insipidness.

  18.  

    It is the very lack of charisma and the insipidness that give the words their weight. This is not a man given to hyperbolae and rhetorical flourishes; but someone who says what he means.

    By 2016, it would seem likely that his party will have recovered in the polls – maybe to 35%, but will have no coalition partner after the general election. Fianna Fail on 25-30% would be the only viable partner and we could see a coalescence of the Centre Right. Kenny is a man who has played the long game in the past, it will be interesting to see how things unfold.

  19.  

    Mark the RCC church did have a hand in education and in running hospitals but what cost? A generation of men and women imbued with shame, fear and guilt. Give me a life of illiteracy over a life of psychological oppression any day. The systematic cultivation of a catholic conscience based on morality and sin was a viscous thing to do to a largely uneducated population absolutely viscous. Yes, the clergy did have a hand in helping the people to read but only so they could decide which books were acceptable and which were not. Desperate skullduggery altogether Mark and they are still at it all over Africa and the far east spreading fear and shame to largely uneducated populations all in the name of saving souls. I ve no problem with spirituality and whatever that uniquely means to the individual but there s nothing spiritual about Catechism Mark it’s neither forgiving nor even Christian in the truest sense of the word. Eamon Casey and the fella with the red beard and nicotine stained teeth whose name escapes me did this country a serious favour when they were caught with their pants down, for that we should all be thankful. Desperate skullduggery Mark. Saving souls my hole.

  20.  

    Mark — Are you saying the civil war took place in the 1960s?

    Anyway, here you go, still recycling the myth that the RC church ran the hospitals out of the goodness of its heart.

    Reality is that they grabbed hold of schools and health with a death-like grip and any politician who dared to resist them risked being booted out of office come the next election.

  21.  

    Well written Bock.
    The clergy have individually done some good work; I know of many decent priests/religious. As an institution the RCC has been a malign influence on our society. Many question the status of the Vatican as an independent state. I believe it is entirely appropriate. The RCC hierarchy has been shown repeatedly to have only one loyalty and that is to their masters in Rome. They have demonstrated their willingness to pervert (pun intended) the course of justice in any jurisdiction they operate in so as to protect their own interests.

    I believe that it should be a requirement that all RCC priests operating within the State should have their irish citizenship revoked and their passport seized and the Papal Nunciature should be expected to ensure that their priestly charges are all issued with shiny new Vatican passports. This requirement could be waived provided priests pledged their primary allegiance to the civil law rather than Canon Law (methinks unlikely)

    Priests found subverting our civil laws should be subject to prosecution and deportation to the Vatican.

  22.  

    G-man, if they were banished/deported to the Vatican sure we’d see a reversion to the subterfuges of the penal days. There’d be plainclothes Jesuits, Redemptorists, Franciscans (wearing Dr. Martins instead of brown sandals) Augustinians, Salesians, Dominicans and whatever you imagine furtively traipsing around the island, probably posing as encyclopedia salesmen or itinerant traditional healers. No holy well or mass rock would be safe. Dawn masses and Easter afternoon baptism services would be organized; cathecism classes held in barns and other outhouses. Oh, how history might go around in circles. When one is discovered passing leaflets around a Limerick city centre pub he’ll be chased by a lynch mob. I’m waiting to read a future-historical novel chocablock with colourful dialogue and exciting incidents.

  23.  

    “Enda Kenny will be written about as the Irish head of government who defined Ireland as a secular state”, I would disagree with this assertion. Kenny has been a TD since the age of 24. He was never noted for any liberal stance in all those years. I suggest that Kenny being a cute politician, is merely responding to the public shift in opinion that favours a more liberal view. To assert that Kenny is some sort of a Statesman, one who shows vision.

    this is akin to saying that Neville Chamberlain stood up to Hitler by declaring war on Germany, yes he did, but he
    was forced as a result of his
    woeful political nativity and stupidity. If Kenny was a reformer which he is not, he would introduce abortion on demand.

  24.  

    Why would the availability of abortion on demand be seen as a good thing? Abortion as a form of birth control is not progressive.

  25.  

    Abortion is a non issue here in the UK, and I do not want to side track this discussion. I am referring to Kenny as referred to as”“Enda Kenny will be written about as the Irish head of government who defined Ireland as a secular state”.. my suggestion is that he is not, I do not want to repeat myself.

  26.  

    If it’s ok with everyone, I’d prefer not to get into a debate about abortion in this post, since it’s about the broader issue of clericalism.

  27.  

    Lord lads some of ye make Oliver Cromwell look like a devotee of the Pope.
    I think I would rather take my chances with the intolerance of the church over Gombeenmans opinion which seems only a cock step away from building a few gas chambers.
    By the way I will always have allegance to my God over any penny halfpenny german puppet like Kenny or that hobbit in the Aras. and revoke my passport if ye want but no longer take my taxes either.
    By the way i wonder how many are directly employed by the RRC in this country ?
    any idea anyone ??

  28.  

    I call Godwin!

    Now that I think of it, there should be a special section of Godwin’s Law, for people who think the Irish suffered more than anyone else in history.

  29.  

    Is calling ‘Godwin’ like shouting ‘Mornington Crescent’ and bringing the game to an end?

    I am not sure what academic work is being done on recording the process of de-clericalisation. In ten year’s time it will be interesting to review material on the rapidity of the collapse of the edifice.

  30.  

    Right now, clerics are being replaced by pseudopriests and pseudobishops in an interesting parallel of a hierarchy. The ludicrous and irrelevant Iona Institute is a good example of this process.

    Perhaps this is how churches fail through history..

  31.  

    Are David Quinn and John ‘Jiving at the Crossroads’ Waters pseudo-bishops? The way things are going they’re going to send us some real priests, nuns and bishops from Africa and Asia. People may have to say Bwana Bishop and learn how to recite Et cum Spiritu Tuo in Mandarin. It’ll be a testerone stirring for many a freckled Irish lad when he first catches sight of the young Filipina nun at the holy communion preparation class.

  32.  

    Certainly not. Quinn and Waters would rank somewhere alongside the Late Late Show priests of years gone by.

  33.  

    Mark, I’m surprised you brought up the subject of gas chambers; I don’t see the relevance to declericalisation. If officers of a foreign state (which is what RCC priests are) are found to operate in any state and hold primary allegiance to their own state to the point where the civil law is flouted or frustrated (playing musical parishes with paedophiles) I think it perfectly reasonable to consider novel measures to help inform their cooperation and engagement in the ways of civil society.

    It’s unfortunate that the God Squad seem to always fall back on the default position that anyone who challenges their position must be a Nazi or have fascist tendencies. The RCC, Bless them, have quite a chequered past wrt. national socialism. Without their help the Spanish and Roman Ratlines would not have been as successful in allowing Nazi war criminals to escape Europe. I wonder, how much thought Bishop Hudal gave to the millions who died in the concentration camps as he ministered to his flock of Nazi officers whom he ensured never had to answer for they evil deeds. Not a lot, I fear. So much for the righteous.

    You see Mark, the church isn’t as intolerant as you might think. In the right circumstances they will tolerate most things–like the rape of children, the slavery of “fallen” women and the escape of war criminals. The “Hobbit in the Aras” as you so inelegantly refer to our President is far more likely to respect and toil for your rights and dignity under the law than any blackshirt Vatican puppet.

  34.  

    @ # 27 “By the way I will always have allegance to my God over any penny halfpenny german puppet like Kenny or that hobbit in the Aras. and revoke my passport if ye want but no longer take my taxes either.”

    Mark, do you put precedence on canon law over state law?
    If you are a catholic are your loyalties to the Vatican state rather then to Ireland?
    Did you have any problems with loyalty to the former nazi incumbent in St.Peters?

  35.  

    Hi Bock, just a suggested edit here, you say “barely a century” while referening Keane & Noel Brown. That should be decade, yes?

    Great post though

  36.  

    Damn. I thought I’d fixed that.

  37.  

    For God and Country.
    But If I ever had to chose, then there would be no debate.

  38.  

    I can honestly say that Eamonn Gilmore and the labour party would have very few views I would agree with, However I totally admire him and his party for their total honesty regarding where they see religion in this republic, as for Mr Hyprochrite 2013 the bold Enda, I am a catholic I am not a catholic, he must have some spraddle in his legs from all the cycling that he can sit on such a wide fence,
    If he had any conviction at all, he would at least remove the party whip on matters of conc
    He has about as much credability now as a duck that trys to bark like a dog .

  39.  

    Where did Kenny state that he was not a catholic? I thought he said that he was a catholic but not a catholic taoiseach, that he represented all peoples of all religion not just catholics. Religion should have no influence on the running of any country.

  40.  

    Mark, there must be a little maze inside your head with no end of cup-de-sacs and little boreens that just get narrower and narrower in a sort of Alice In Wonderland sort of fashion. Ducks barking like dogs? Fascinating.

  41.  

    Sorry meant cul- de -sacs.

  42.  

    Ok
    I shall try to simplfy, if you belong to any group religious, sporting, charitable, political etc, you aquaint yourself with the rules of the group, and you abide with the rules or you leave, simples.
    Kenny wants to have it coming and going, he declares his catholic faith, yet he embarks on a course of action which is in direct contradiction with that faith, a bit lke a soccer player joing a GAA club and refusing to handle the ball during the match,
    If he was a man of honor, he would renounce his faith and remain as Taoiseach, or he would stand by his faith and resign as Taoiseach.
    ither of the above courses of action would make him a figure that would go sown in history as a man of honor and principle, as it is well time will tell.

  43.  

    People who say that without the church people wouldn’t have got medical treatment or education (of a kind) in Ireland during the 20th century.

    Where did the Church in Ireland get the money to finance this? It wouldn’t have been from the Irish people themselves by any chance now would it?

  44.  

    Mark, what has Kennys religion got to do with him introducing legislation? Do you think that catholic dogma should form the basis of state law? Should non catholics be ruled by a government that is guided by catholic dogma?

  45.  

    Mark, you have clarified your thoughts and indeed you have a point. Maybe this is the first time he has had to question his beliefs and there is pressure on him to legislate for something the Catholic in him is at odds with.

    Maybe he should renounce his faith but that’s a personal matter for his soul and conscience and not really any of our business.

    The Catholics don’t get to call the shots here as much as they’d like to and with their appalling track record on ‘protecting’ children, I am not sure why any decent soul would want to be part of such a fucked-up organisation.

  46.  

    As I understand it, the abortion legislation is contrary to the current Catholic position, as stated by the Vatican. However, this is not the same thing as being contrary to anyone’s faith.

    In any case, a country can’t be run on faith, as we’ve seen in recent years. And it certainly can’t be governed at the whim of a foreign monarch.

  47.  

    Nor should it be, but ideally it should be governed by honest men and women, and that goes for all strands of society, be it religious political financial etc,
    Sadly honesty is almost always the first victim to be consumed in the hunger for power.
    If it is a matter for Enda’s soul and conscience, why is he imposing a whip on this bill why notgive that same freedom of conscience to his fellow party members??
    Power and honesty make strange bed fellows

  48.  

    How is Kenny being dishonest? He is in a self proclaimed practicing catholic and is introducing a piece of legislation that surely runs contrary to his religious beliefs. He is putting aside his beliefs to introduce a law that will benefit others. Legislation should be drafted and introduced based on fact not religious beliefs.

    For an institute that gets so moral about the rights of the unborn child, the rcc didn’t take much care of them when they were being abused.

  49.  

    Mark, You’ve gone down that rabbit hole again. If we had a Muslim or a Jewish Taoiseach, would it be okay if he or she imposed their religious beliefs on the citizens of Ireland? Say for example we were told that we couldn’t eat pork any longer or that all meat eaten could only be halal meat, would you be okay with that? Silly examples perhaps but they amount to the same thing.

  50.  

    In this case, I think they’re grateful for the whip, since it affords them a little protection from that section of the anti side composed of certifiable lunatics.

  51.  

    so deeply ingrained, even in our language.
    I think we will know that it’s been declericised when any kind of community event does not begin with a Mass to kick off the event.

  52.  

    As a Protestant resident in the State since 1999, I am astonished at the casual sectarianism. Unionists in the North in the 1920s talked about the creation of a ‘Protestant Parliament for a Protestant people’, an idea that would be characterised as epitomising sectarian thinking. Almost a century later, not once have I heard the idea that this should be a ‘Catholic State’ described as sectarian.

  53.  

    Yes, so deeply ingrained in the Irish language also. Every time you greet some as Gaeilge, you are invoking religion: “Dia dhuit” for “Hello”, then “Dia is Muire dhuit” for a follow-up, if someone sneezes, a 2nd person says in response :”Dia linn!”. There are probably other examples I can’t think of. We should also think about taking the religion out of Irish speech. On a separate point, our schools’ history curriculum ought to tell how RC church got its talons on a nation and language in 1850 – I’d venture not one junior cert student today ever heard tell of Archb. Cullen; before I discovered this website I never heard of him either. There appears to be a collective national amnesia tantamount to a cover-up about the role of Cullen .

  54.  

    ‘Dia’ of course is the Irish word for god.

  55.  

    Not everyone says Dia dhuit. In Conamara, they say Cé bhfuil tú?

  56.  

    If a summer visitor says Ta se la brea to a Connemara man, he’ll spit on the ground and reply Pog mo thoin.

    Who’s going to discourage the Kerry weather comment: It’s a soft day thank God?

  57.  

    When travelling, do priests have passports issued by the Vatican State or do they use passports issued by the country of their actual citizenship?

  58.  

    I’d imagine Mr Connemara Man has a wider repertoire of swear-words in Gaelic than ‘ Pog mo thoin’ unlike the rest of us. In my opinion, something else the RC church managed to do to the daily Irish language use – sterilise it. We cannot swear profusely in our own native tongue!

  59.  

    No.8; apparently priests only travel during the hours of darkness. They don’t need passports apparently.

  60.  

    Hey guys.
    Do ye think the catholic church or organised religion will still exist in 100 years time ?

  61.  

    Interesting question, Mark, although it is probably a topic better suited to another thread. Karl Marx prophesied that after a communist revolution the state would wither away. He also surmised that religion would fade away as people learned to cope in an egalitarian society using technology and democratic mass participation to solve social problems.

    Well the Soviet Union state intensified during its 72-year-old existence, with tentacles in every area of society, and religion (apart from the state-licking Orthodox church) went furtively underground. I gather that in China currently the two fastest growing religions are Christianity (house fellowshipping protestantism especially) and Islam. This is despite over 60 years of state propaganda in favour of citizens developing a ‘scientific outlook’ on the world.

    To answer your question:; I’d say religion in Ireland, the Catholic version of it, will thrive in a different form from the Cardinal Cullen model, in 100 yrs time. Before it begins to thrive, however, it will experience a few decades of debilitation in the shadow of the revealed scandals and the general mediocrity of episcopal leadership. That’s my personal forecast. I could be wrong, but I won’t be around long enough to witness my mistake.

  62.  

    Nor will I be around to see you being proven correct !!

  63.  

    Of course the RCC will exist 100 years from now. That’s not what this post is about.

  64.  

    No Bock, but some of the posts were of the lets burn em all at the stake now variety.

  65.  

    I can only speak on my own behalf.

  66.  

    Mark, your posts about the RCC were about how pure they are / were and in total denial about their past. How your allegiance is to God as opposed to your country. Two sides to every story.

  67.  

    The RCC has been shown to one of the most corrupt organisations in the world and as for being pure !! need I go on, however what I am saying is that there were also and still are many positive contributions to society made by the church seeing as we who practice a particular religion are actually THE CHURCH.
    Just really dislike the thought of being branded with a black brush because of the actions of some

  68.  

    Mark, it was the actions of many

    Even the priests who covered up the incidents and practiced corporal punishment go against what the RCC are supposed to stand for

    Should they not resign, for not picking up the ball so to speak, you wouldn’t have many left above 40

  69.  

    I must pass this on.
    Catholic Ireland has done nothing but harm to Ireland.
    Will Kenny proscribe the cunts from Rome?
    He doesn’t have the balls for that I believe but at least he seems to be looking with his eyes open.

  70.  

    Well written and informative article

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