Why the Catholic Church should become Protestant!

With revelation that a 73 year old priest had just fathered his first child and the home coming of Bishop Casey, Richard Delevan has a few suggestions for the Catholic Church in Ireland and how, under conservative Pope Benedict, it might get out from under some of its more pressing problems. He’s only very partly joking when he argues in his Sunday Tribune column that the Catholic Church should become Protestant, for a while at least.

  • spartacus

    most of the flock has gone that way anyway. i suspect the reformation would have had as powerful a resonance in ireland as it did everywhere if it hadn’t been wrapped up in colonial conquest.

  • oceallaigh

    Om I beg to differ,Buddhism is where its at!

  • If a young man in 2006 says he’s thinking about becoming a priest he’d be more likely given therapy than encouragement.

    I have to agree with Richard here.

    I have friends who would love to become priests but only if they were allowed to marry.

    There is no reason why it shouldn’t happen. It isn’t against “god’s law” it is only against Church law.

  • oceallaigh

    maybe it should become Christian first.I attended the unChristian Brothers school as a nipper and if you wonder why I say unChristian just ask anyone who had the misfortune of attending one of their schools,certainly wasn`t for the brotherly love ?

  • I know what you mean oceallaigh

    My grandfather had horror stories to tell concerning the brothers

  • Ultonian Scottis American

    If the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland was absorbed by and into the Church of Ireland, what might be the results?

    Ian Paisley has said that it would mean nothing to NI unionists.

    But if a newly empowered Church of Ireland, and its religiopolitical ally the Church of England, together called for a UI, it might be hard to resist.

    And perhaps the Reformation is slowly coming to the RoI:

    Catholic Ireland has turned Protestant

  • Kim Philby
  • Nestor Makhno

    I suspect Ireland will set some sort of precedent – jumping from pre-Reformation state right through to post-religious, post-modern, new age comfort zone in one hoppity-skip.

    Goodbye to holy water – hello to St John’s Wort!

  • Mick Fealty

    It’s either a sign that increasing numbers of Catholics no longer take their religion seriously that this thread has been devoid of any serious acrimony, or simply the high fragile Slugger tradition of civility.

    However, it seems to me that the real problem Richard is probing is a serious one for believers. The figures say it all:

    “There are at present 1,368 Catholic parishes with 2,643 churches in the 26 dioceses and archdioceses of Ireland. According to the same statistics offered by the Catholic Communications office there are 2,949 active diocesan priests in Ireland”.

    England is further down this line than Ireland, but Ireland is clearly heading for similar territory.

    A small modern 70’s church in Exmouth in Devon heard its last public Mass on Christmas. It is being closed, deconsecrated and probably sold for development to pay for the main church in the town.

    In the same diocese PPs are doing Parish swaps, so that the younger priests are taking over the larger ones, and the older ones taking smaller ones. It’s a matter of time before some parishes disappear completely.

    Richard’s radical solution is unlikely to take hold in the short term, but the large popular church of the sixties, seventies and early eighties is fast becoming a small tight community of believers.

    At this rate of rapid deline, we may simply not need the reinforcements?

  • smcgiff

    The upcoming publication of Pope Benny’s first Encyclical will have ‘em flocking back to the pews. There’s nothing like being lectured to by someone on a topic they have no practical experience.

  • Brian Boru

    I also understand that just 17% of Anglicans in England attend services. In NI, I understand Mass/service attendances are 60% for Catholics and 66% for Protestants. Perhaps Catholicism in the North is not in the same state as in the South? I consider myself an atheist though I guess a Catholic one as I was baptised into the faith.

    The aura of the Catholic church and hierarchy has been smashed for most Southern Catholics since the 1990’s with the endless scandals we are hearing practically every single day of. It erodes your trust. The church needs also to remove outdated practices and customs like compulsory celibacy of the clergy and contradictions like allowing coverted Anglican clergy to keep their wives while requiring celibacy for other Catholic clergy. Eastern Rite Catholic churches (Greek Catholic/Uniates) are also allowed to have married clerics. This is another example of the silly rules in the church.

    Their hostility to homosexuality, pre-marital sex, condoms, the pill, and women priests is also in the Dark Ages and must change. As must the lack of democracy in the church. Power corrupts.

  • Baluba

    I look forward to the day when the majority of people reject ALL religion.

  • smcgiff

    ‘I look forward to the day when the majority of people reject ALL religion.’


  • Caoimhín

    Ah well, as the only apparant faithful Catholic in the house I can sit back with a certain amount of smugness and in my best Father Jack voice exclaim, “You’ll all burn in Hell!!”

  • smcgiff

    That’s okay, Caoimhin, cause the Born Agains assure me you’ll be toasting right alongside me! ‘-)

  • Kathy_C

    Hi all,

    I always find it interesting that those against the Catholic church use people in the church as the reason it should be destroyed or made irrevelevent.

    The Catholic church is filled with sinners…because we are all sinners. Doesn’t make what they did correct…no it was wrong…however I wouldn’t say that we should get rid of the Catholic church because there have been some nasty men and women in it.

    As a Catholic I’m quite ok with having the Pope as Head of Church….

    I find it very interesting that so many in the uk are willing to have the queen the head of their church…
    She’s head of church…because her uncle married a divorced woman and her uncle was childless…now I find that funny.

  • The thing that makes this issue interesting for me is that, as opposed to the long slow decline in England, there is none of the hardened pragmatism borne of pluralism.

    This is all going to happen quite suddenly in less than a decade, and the very structures of ownership of schools and hospitals in the Republic (CC owns 95%+ of primary schools) will be radically altered — not by any dramatic one-off decision, except the decision of two generations of young men to vote with their feet and not join the seminary.

    And when suddenly half the Churches in Ireland are deconsecrated in the space of a year, there’ll be an outcry. Then everyone will roll over and go back to sleep.

    This really is the very last possible moment for the Catholic Church in Ireland to do something about that inevitability. Stealth life support from Government (the indemnity deal, soon – I predict – to be followed by “heritage” grants to keep the churches up using tax money) won’t be enough for very long.

    I don’t really care about what happens, except as an observer with a preference for something to write about more dramatic than slow decline.