Is it too soon to refer to Ireland as “Secular Ireland”?

We’ve often heard Ireland referred to as “Catholic Ireland” or “Conservative Ireland”, is it time those terms were replaced with “Secular Ireland”? The partition of Ireland caused the creation of two states ruled by unaccountable religious fundamentalists of different creeds. The events of the last few days may have ensured the destruction of one of them, but there’s still work to do. A new Ireland is coming. Ireland is still reeling from the result of the most divisive referendum in …

Read more…

It seems the Irish Catholic Church can now add slavery to its list of scandals…

Just when you think the reputation of the Irish Catholic Church can’t get any lower the Irish Independent reports on what amounts to slavery: A notorious industrial school in Limerick was paid to send boys under the age of 16 to work for traders, merchants and big farmers, according to hundreds of documents that have remained hidden for decades. Experts say the find demonstrates local communities were involved in the industrialisation and exploitation of marginalised children. There is no record …

Read more…

Former Bishop of Galway Eamon Casey dies…

Given all the scandals we have had in the Catholic Church since then, Bishop Eamon Casey fathering a child now seems a relatively minor indiscretion. But back then in 1992 it rocked the Irish Catholic Church and the State itself to the core. In fact you could argue that it was the turning point for the Catholic church – it was all downhill from there. Not long after in 1995 Fr Ted hits our screens and it was game over …

Read more…

The Catholic church flounders again over sexuality within

You couldn’t make it up. The decision of the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin  to remove  his diocese’s ( only) three trainees from  St Patrick’s Maynooth and pack then off to the comparative safety of Rome (!),  because of a  “poisonous atmosphere” surrounding allegations about the use of a gay dating app in the College, is more farce than tragedy – or would be, if the seminarians are as worldly – wise as most young people are these days. To this …

Read more…

Easter & Innocence

Still trying to read all the books I got for Christmas I’ve been dipping-into a recently-published collection of poetry by a local priest. His works of short and accessible verse are mostly on matters that might feature in a country curate’s sermons, except for one, which retells a story from his childhood, his trip to Dublin at Easter 1966. He recalls how he “Felt at home beneath the colours of the GPO” Recalling a time when the display of the …

Read more…

Financial crisis hits the Catholic Church…

It’s not often I get to Mass in my home parish of Holywood, but I was there last Sunday. A number of things struck me. One is that attenders are mostly of the older demographic, with, by and large, my own 70s generation taking up the rear. And two, that the collections are proportionally not pulling in anything like they were thirty years ago. Whilst I don’t imagine exactly same rules apply to Holywood as might say in inner city …

Read more…