Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The Real Minority in Ireland: The Real Catholics

As I am in Ireland for the third time in twenty-one months, I am noticing again some reasons why the Church is weak in Ireland, and it is not because of the paedophile scandals. From an outsider's view, one can see several weaknesses which seem core here.

One, socialism is a religion and many Catholics, even so-called Trad ones, do not follow the Catholic Church's teaching on the evils of socialism. They cannot see the death of the individual in their own society.  Here is a link for them,

Two, Protestant types of prayer and theology have softened the notion that Catholicism is the one, true religion. In fact, relativism undermines most conversations on religion. No longer do many of the laity believe that to be a Catholic and conform one's mind to the mind of the Church is "putting on the mind of Christ" including accepting the Church as instituted by Christ for our salvation.  I have heard people old enough to know better tell me that it does not matter what religion one is...It does.

Three, liberation theology and cosmic Christ nonsense, condemned by the Church a long time ago, is sold in even the Carmelite bookshop and read, obviously. When I pointed out to the proprietor that these ideas were long condemned, she got angry and yelled at me. Amazing. I offered to bring in the documentation on these ideas and she yelled more. I shall not go back. There is a confusion as to the social doctrines of the Church, as well as the nature of Christ.

Four, contraception is accepted among some Catholics, more than one would think. And, fornication is no longer seen as a sin. Some grandmothers were bragging to me of their illegitimate grandchildren, and the fact that their daughters were not married. How does one respond to such confusion? To "shack up" is no longer considered shameful. I get embarrassed by such blatant acceptance of those living in sin as a better alternative than being single.

Five, most of the people in Church are older than I am. Wow. If all those in their 80s and 70s were not at Mass, the Churches would be one-third full only. These people, my parents' age, have no sense of community and do not talk or get together, as most people disappear after Mass and go home, I suppose. There is no community building. Many of the young couples and twenty-somethings or thirty-somethings seem to get together, which is good, but none of those I have met are Irish. Kid you not:, they are Polish, Asian, Scottish, but not Irish.

Six, the priests I have met are all exceptionally good and pious, as well as conservative. So, there is a disjoint  between the beliefs of the priests and those of the congregation. Why?

Seven, and this is key. There has been a loss of Irish identity. One Irishman told me on Sunday that people have migrated here from so many countries because of socialism, that he cannot understand why the Irish give in to the EU so much, much more than Great Britain, for example. For a country which was so proud of its identity and independence of spirit, I grieve at this loss of Irishness. It is gone, as those Irish leave behind their Catholic identity for one determined by the EU. The entire neighborhood where I am staying in central Dublin is one of Middle-Eastern culture. In fact, walking back from the shops this morning, I heard more foreign languages spoken than Irish. I was the only woman is several shops, as in some cultures, the men shop and the women do not. This was a new experience for me last time I was here, as in the States, women are the food shoppers, at least in the Midwest. Another sign of this loss of identity was that there were more people shopping in the Grafton Street area on Sunday than in the Masses-many, many more.

Eight, young Catholic women want to get married but the Catholic men who want to do so are just not here. I see many, many single Irish men. Why they have chosen not to marry the lovely girls in the pews next to me, I do not understand. Three Irish women told me they would never marry an Irishman, as they live in the past and not the present. I would like to find out more about this. What does it mean to live in the past?

Those who are pro-life have a huge problem with those who have lost the ability to think like Catholics. One very holy priest I met told me this is not a new problem, but one which started in the 1950s. He said that Catholics had become anti-intellectual to the point of never studying their own Faith and not appropriating an adult Catholic faith. This is not an exaggeration, I have not met one person over 42 who has read or even has a Catechism of the Catholic Church. I have asked.

Pray for those who are pro-life and anti-abortion. These are wonderful people, mostly young, and many with large families. God bless them, but they are a struggling minority and they know it. Bill is tonight. Are you praying?

UPDATE Vote delayed until between 5.45 and Midnight Thursday

UPDATE 2 Well, as you all know by now, Ireland has abortion. It took me two days to write this line.

1 comment:

  1. Did you expect to hear Irish spoken in Dublin? I always thought it was spoken only in the countryside.


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