What Happened to Holy Ireland?

 

Ireland Holds Referendum On Same Sex Marriage LawThe New York Times and other organs of the mainstream media have offered only the most superficial and boringly predictable coverage of the referendum in which the Irish approved a constitutional amendment permitting gay marriage—according to the Times, the vote resulted from the march of enlightenment, the continuing dawning of modern consciousness, blah, blah, blah. So I’ve been looking around for commentary that truly attempted to explain how it happened.

How, that is, the nation that just a decade-and-a-half ago remained, with little Malta, one of the most Catholic nations in Europe; how the nation in which essentially the entire population turned out to greet the pontiff when John Paul II visited, how the nation that used to pride itself, that used to define itself, as faithful to the teachings of the Church even as Europe grew increasingly secular–how this nation could have changed so much, so quickly, as to reject the Church’s position on marriage by a margin of more than 3 to 2.

What have I found? “The Joyful Death of Catholic Ireland.” Although a long piece, it neatly sums up its entire argument in the concluding paragraph:

The reason the Irish—as Irish—are celebrating is that they have with this referendum delivered a decisive and final blow to their venerable image as a Catholic nation. They have taken their vengeance on the Church. They must relish the unshackling; they must love the taste of blood. But, finally, they take joy in becoming what, it seems, they were always meant to become. An unexceptional country floating somewhere in the waters off a continent that has long since entered into cultural decline, demographic winter, and the petty and perpetual discontents that come free of charge to every people that lives for nothing much in particular.

The Irish didn’t vote for gay marriage, in other words, as much as they voted against the Church–which the scandals of the last decade have caused them not merely to question but to hate.

To those among the Ricochetti who know Ireland–and I’m conscious that we have members in Eire itself–does that sound right? Does it ring true? Does it truly explain things?

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  1. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Peter, I love you. But we already went through this on the Member Feed.

    • #1
  2. user_82762 Thatcher
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    Peter,

    The Irish didn’t vote for gay marriage, in other words, as much as they voted against the Church–which the scandals of the last decade have caused them not merely to question but to hate.

    So the endless Marxist whine that Religion is the opiate of the people finally poisoned the mind of even Ireland. Do you think that one day they will awake from their delusion and discover that it was Marxism that was the opiate of the people.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #2
  3. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Nations where religion is imposed from the top down tend to be the first to rebel when the people are given the democratic opportunity to do so. The same dynamic can be seen in Quebec, where the Church had more political power than the elected government for a very long time. The culture became the most progressive of all the provinces when the Church’s political power waned in the 1960s.

    Religious freedom breeds more religious culture, while established churches breed religious apathy.

    I wager that Catholics in Northern Ireland are more religious than their cousins in the Republic. Faith tends to be strongest when it’s a struggle.

    • #3
  4. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:Peter, I love you. But we already went through this on the Member Feed.

    #repostshaming

    ;-)

    • #4
  5. user_189393 Member
    user_189393
    @BarkhaHerman

    Of course, the real question is – do people of Ireland have to abandon Catholicism if the State does?  Is morality only enforceable by the State?  Where does personal responsibility come in?  According to my limited understanding of christian religion,  even God gave us the ability to choose.  Should the State take the choice away?

    Must we force holiness on everyone?

    • #5
  6. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Barkha Herman:[E]ven God gave us the ability to choose.

    Indeed He does.

    • #6
  7. Pseudodionysius Member
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    Let no man deceive you by any means, for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God. Remember you not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity already worketh; only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way. And then that wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth; and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming, him, whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: That all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity.

    (2 Thessalonians 2:3-11)

    The Pope and the Antichrist Cardinal Manning 1861

    • #7
  8. Pseudodionysius Member
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    Cardinal Manning’s 1861 study of the papacy as the obstacle to Antichrist has never been more topical. The learned convert seems to have foreseen many details of the present crisis: religious liberty, ecumenism, national apostasy, apparent defeat of the Church. Manning argues that the apostasy of the nations of christendom and the eclipse of the papacy will usher in the reign of Antichrist.

    • #8
  9. Rachel Lu Contributor
    Rachel Lu
    @RachelLu

    The state probably will take the choice away at least to a considerable extent. It’s going to be hard times for the Church in Ireland; already the Prime Minister has said that Catholic schools will be required to teach that marriage can be extended to homosexuals, and it’s hard to say what more will come. It also seems likely that this will precipitate significant legal changes with respect to artificial reproductive technology and third-party reproduction.

    Quite a lot of people have noted that the “No” camp was outspent by overwhelming margins (as our own president was berating Christians for being too fixated on social issues and not enough on poverty, his voting base was flooding Ireland with funds to get the Constitutional measure passed) and the political elite is overwhelmingly anti-Church. That even 40% of the population voted “No” is somewhat remarkable, all things considered.

    “Tragic” is a strong word, but it really feels appropriate here.

    • #9
  10. Matede Member
    Matede
    @MateDe

    Misthiocracy:I wager that Catholics in Northern Ireland are more religious than their cousins in the Republic. Faith tends to be strongest when it’s a struggle.

    Don’t take that wager. The Catholic’s in Northern Ireland are politically Catholic not theologically. They only step foot in church for weddings, funerals and Christmas mass with their parents. They are liberals first.

    • #10
  11. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @

    Rachel Lu:The state probably will take the choice away at least to a considerable extent. It’s going to be hard times for the Church in Ireland; already the Prime Minister has said that Catholic schools will be required to teach that marriage can be extended to homosexuals, and it’s hard to say what more will come. It also seems likely that this will precipitate significant legal changes with respect to artificial reproductive technology and third-party reproduction.

    Quite a lot of people have noted that the “No” camp was outspent by overwhelming margins (as our own president was berating Christians for being too fixated on social issues and not enough on poverty, his voting base was flooding Ireland with funds to get the Constitutional measure passed) and the political elite is overwhelmingly anti-Church. That even 40% of the population voted “No” is somewhat remarkable, all things considered.

    “Tragic” is a strong word, but it really feels appropriate here.

    Frankly, if ever there was a time for evangelical denominations to gain a foothold in Ireland, now would be that time. Regardless of position on SSM, there is obvious distrust of Mother Church there.

    • #11
  12. user_1100855 Member
    user_1100855
    @PaddySiochain

    Peter,

    Not to bang my drum on it but I tried to go someway explaining it on the Member feed and people seem to like it – top rated on member feed. But the best account is from Catholic Herald.

    http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2015/05/25/the-irish-churchs-failures-have-caused-its-people-to-choose-secularism-over-faith/

    I can give you more advice but it would probably depress you further, would make great topic or episode for Uncommon Knowledge sadly……..

    • #12
  13. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    The Catholic messaging on gay marriage was the problem, so let us blame ourselves.

    The oratory we gave it didn’t match our doctrine.  It lacked content and purpose.  The doctrine was bastardized into gay people being bad, ill-created beings instead of gay sex simply being one of the several types of sex straight people can’t perform either, like pre-marital, extra-marital, masturbation and even lusting after another.   The veniality of the sin was never mentioned, instead old-testament fire like “abomination” was the buzzword.

    It flew in the face of equality when it didn’t have to do that.

    The “why” of it was never broached – if you look at all the Catholic sex ideology, all of it is geared toward growing the population.  These sins were sins because they went against the being fruitful ideaology, but that was turned into a different idea – that some of us were created as less than others.

    Our fault.

    • #13
  14. user_1100855 Member
    user_1100855
    @PaddySiochain

    What happened to Catholic Ireland? As a young Irish Catholic and a history teacher let me tell you:

    – Sex abuse scandal.

    – Cover up of sex abuse scandal.

    – Terrible catholic education – fine schools, lousy on turnout of genuine Catholics. I myself did not learn about mortal sins till I was 24 – I’m 26 now.

    – Catholicism becoming a civil religion rather than a living religion. Everyone takes for granted the Catholic faith and it becomes stale and dies. People now associate it with weddings, baptisms, funerals and Christmas – no more.

    – Abuse of political and cultural power for decades.

    – Hatred by hierarchy of Traditional Priests. No wonder there are only 14 vocations to priesthood this year.

    – Demonisation by liberal media and secular elite who hate the church.

    – Betrayal that many Irish feel to such an institution.

    Recipe for apostasy and unbelief. Decline too sadly.

    • #14
  15. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Matede:

    Misthiocracy:I wager that Catholics in Northern Ireland are more religious than their cousins in the Republic. Faith tends to be strongest when it’s a struggle.

    Don’t take that wager. The Catholic’s in Northern Ireland are politically Catholic not theologically. They only step foot in church for weddings, funerals and Christmas mass with their parents. They are liberals first.

    Well, the wager is that they are “more religious”, not that they are “dramatically more religious”.

    “More” is actually a pretty low bar to get over.

    • #15
  16. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Brad2971:

    Frankly, if ever there was a time for evangelical denominations to gain a foothold in Ireland, now would be that time. Regardless of position on SSM, there is obvious distrust of Mother Church there.

    a) Is there any indigenous Irish protestant denomination? Given the nation’s history, I wager they’d be pretty skeptical of any denomination imported from elsewhere.

    b) The 40% who voted against SSM are probably solidly Catholic. The 60% that voted for SSM probably aren’t in the market for any (Christian) church (though I bet Islam and/or Scientology might find a fairly receptive audience).

    • #16
  17. Douglas Member
    Douglas
    @Douglas

    Paddy Siochain:What happened to Catholic Ireland? As a young Irish Catholic and a history teacher let me tell you:

    – Sex abuse scandal.

    – Cover up of sex abuse scandal.

    – Terrible catholic education – fine schools, lousy on turnout of genuine Catholics. I myself did not learn about mortal sins till I was 24 – I’m 26 now.

    – Catholicism becoming a civil religion rather than a living religion. Everyone takes for granted the Catholic faith and it becomes stale and dies. People now associate it with weddings, baptisms, funerals and Christmas – no more.

    – Abuse of political and cultural power for decades.

    – Hatred by hierarchy of Traditional Priests. No wonder there are only 14 vocations to priesthood this year.

    – Demonisation by liberal media and secular elite who hate the church.

    – Betrayal that many Irish feel to such an institution.

    Recipe for apostasy and unbelief. Decline too sadly.

    I think you’re underestimating the victory of the narrative all across the West that we will not truly progress until religion is crushed, and scientism reigns supreme: Neil DeGrasse Tyson as a philosopher king with a test tube in one hand and judge’s gavel in the other. This is not unique to Ireland. Look at the Millenials across the West: irreligious or outright atheist. The French Revolution has risen from the dead, infected all the West, and continues it’s march through the culture. It’s inevitable that a Guillotine of some form will eventually return as well.

    • #17
  18. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Douglas:

    I think you’re underestimating the victory of the narrative all across the West that we will not truly progress until religion is crushed, and scientism reigns supreme: Neil DeGrasse Tyson as a philosopher king with a test tube in one hand and judge’s gavel in the other. This is not unique to Ireland. Look at the Millenials across the West: irreligious or outright atheist. The French Revolution has risen from the dead, infected all the West, and continues it’s march through the culture. It’s inevitable that a Guillotine of some form will eventually return as well.

    Yabbut, statistically-speaking the decline tends to be much more pronounced in countries with an established/dominant church.

    Even Indonesia, a muslim-majority country but with religious freedom in its constitution, is 10% Christian. That works out to about 25 million, or more than four times the population of Ireland.

    In the USA, it’s estimated that only 16% of the population attends church regularly, but that’s still over 50 million people.

    • #18
  19. user_86050 Member
    user_86050
    @KCMulville

    Misthiocracy:

    b) The 40% who voted against SSM are probably solidly Catholic. The 60% that voted for SSM probably aren’t in the market for any (Christian) church (though I bet Islam and/or Scientology might find a fairly receptive audience).

    Well, not so fast.

    According to what I’m reading, most of the Irish people haven’t rejected Christianity. They’ve basically rejected what Catholics call the magisterium, that is, the right of the church to define the faith. In other words, they now see Christianity as a hazy spirituality, but not a religion.

    They’ve chosen to be secular, but they don’t see that as being in conflict with their spirituality.

    • #19
  20. user_86050 Member
    user_86050
    @KCMulville

    Paddy Siochain:What happened to Catholic Ireland? As a young Irish Catholic and a history teacher let me tell you:

    – Sex abuse scandal.

    – Cover up of sex abuse scandal.

    – Terrible catholic education – fine schools, lousy on turnout of genuine Catholics. I myself did not learn about mortal sins till I was 24 – I’m 26 now.

    – Catholicism becoming a civil religion rather than a living religion. Everyone takes for granted the Catholic faith and it becomes stale and dies. People now associate it with weddings, baptisms, funerals and Christmas – no more.

    – Abuse of political and cultural power for decades.

    – Hatred by hierarchy of Traditional Priests. No wonder there are only 14 vocations to priesthood this year.

    – Demonisation by liberal media and secular elite who hate the church.

    – Betrayal that many Irish feel to such an institution.

    Recipe for apostasy and unbelief. Decline too sadly.

    Other than that, Paddy, how did you like the play? (Sorry, bad joke.)

    • #20
  21. user_1100855 Member
    user_1100855
    @PaddySiochain

    Every Catholic on this and Christian should read this before going further. The irish haven’t just thrown off Catholicism – they have thrown off Christianity and all religions for now and that wont come back soon. Its there now for the middle aged and old not for the young.

    All faiths need a young demographic to survive – Ireland is lacking this big time. Many are indifferent or think they will be fine – everyone goes to heavan.

    http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2015/05/25/the-irish-churchs-failures-have-caused-its-people-to-choose-secularism-over-faith/

    • #21
  22. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    KC Mulville:

    Misthiocracy:

    b) The 40% who voted against SSM are probably solidly Catholic. The 60% that voted for SSM probably aren’t in the market for any (Christian) church (though I bet Islam and/or Scientology might find a fairly receptive audience).

    Well, not so fast.

    According to what I’m reading, most of the Irish people haven’t rejected Christianity. They’ve basically rejected what Catholics call the magisterium, that is, the right of the church to define the faith. In other words, they now see Christianity as a hazy spirituality, but not a religion.

    They’ve chosen to be secular, but they don’t see that as being in conflict with their spirituality.

    When a culture talks about its “spirituality”, that’s especially when I expect the Scientologists and Islamists to move in.

    • #22
  23. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Paddy Siochain:Every Catholic on this and Christian should read this before going further. The irish haven’t just thrown off Catholicism – they have thrown off Christianity and all religions for now and that wont come back soon. Its there now for the middle aged and old not for the young.

    All faiths need a young demographic to survive – Ireland is lacking this big time. Many are indifferent or think they will be fine – everyone goes to heavan.

    http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2015/05/25/the-irish-churchs-failures-have-caused-its-people-to-choose-secularism-over-faith/

    They also chose the Euro. ’nuff said.

    • #23
  24. user_141684 Member
    user_141684
    @KeithSF

    Misthiocracy:Nations where religion is imposed from the top down tend to be the first to rebel when the people are given the democratic opportunity to do so….

    Religious freedom breeds more religious culture, while established churches breed religious apathy.

    A profound point. It explains the religious flourishing of early America, absent the authority of the Church of England. And I think it speaks to why even today America is more religious than Europe.

    • #24
  25. Pseudodionysius Member
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    The irish haven’t just thrown off Catholicism – they have thrown off Christianity and all religions for now and that wont come back soon

    That is called Apostasy.

    • #25
  26. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Douglas:
    Look at the Millenials across the West: irreligious or outright atheist.

    Eh, not really. There has been decline in some measures, but not to zero, and even now, a greater percentage switch religious affiliation (20%) – a sign that they care enough about their religious beliefs to re-evaluate them – than abandon their religious affiliation altogether (18% – note these numbers are from 2007).

    Now, some of the biggest shifts have been a decline in percentage of young Evangelicals who insist on literal interpretation of scriptures, and an increase among the young religious in acceptance of evolution and homosexuality. So if you were to limit your measure of religiosity to this Unholy Trinity of culture-war issues – Biblical literalism, evolution, and homosexuality – I could see how you might find the future especially bleak.

    • #26
  27. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    Douglas: Look at the Millenials across the West: irreligious or outright atheist.

    Eh, not really. There has been decline in some measures, but not to zero, and even now, a greater percentage switch religious affiliation (20%) – a sign that they care enough about their religious beliefs to re-evaluate them – than abandon their religious affiliation altogether (18% – note these numbers are from 2007).

    Now, some of the biggest shifts have been a decline in percentage of young Evangelicals who insist on literal interpretation of scriptures, and an increase among the young religious in acceptance of evolution and homosexuality. So if you were to limit your measure of religiosity to this Unholy Trinity of culture-war issues – Biblical literalism, evolution, and homosexuality – I could see how you might find the future especially bleak.

    I’ve heard (though I have no stats to back it up) that high church Anglicanism has been enjoying an uptick in the Great White North because female arts graduates in their 20s and 30s enjoy the music.

    • #27
  28. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Misthiocracy:

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    I’ve heard (though I have no stats to back it up) that high church Anglicanism has been enjoying an uptick in the Great White North because female arts graduates in their 20s and 30s enjoy the music.

    If I were to choose a church based on music alone, it would probably be a certain high-church Anglican/Epicscopal congregation I know of… It has an awesome music program for all ages.

    Churches that do music better than they do religion are a definite plus in some peoples’ eyes…

    Me, I just feel guilty knowing how often the choice is between musical excellence and orthodoxy of doctrine comes up.

    • #28
  29. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @RobertMcReynolds

    Here’s a question–and it may be my misunderstanding of what it is Christians are actually called to do here on Earth–at what point do we write the world off, continue in our own faith to live as God intended, and then celebrate in Heaven when all of this no longer matters?  I suppose we are attempting to preserve something that we think is noble for future generations, but it is pretty clear that the youngest generation does not want it, so why don’t we just let them have the hell they are trying to create?  Those who are celebrating barbarism and acting on pure animal instinct know what we are about as a faith, if they wish to join our fold, we are more than happy to welcome them.  Otherwise, why waste our time trying to convince them or even fight them?  In the end, are we not the ones who win while they lose?  Let them have their Earthly victories because they will soon know the fruits of those victories.

    • #29
  30. Peter Robinson Contributor
    Peter Robinson
    @PeterRobinson

    Paddy Siochain:Peter,

    Not to bang my drum on it but I tried to go someway explaining it on the Member feed and people seem to like it – top rated on member feed. But the best account is from Catholic Herald.

    http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2015/05/25/the-irish-churchs-failures-have-caused-its-people-to-choose-secularism-over-faith/

    I can give you more advice but it would probably depress you further, would make great topic or episode for Uncommon Knowledge sadly……..

    Sorry, Paddy–and Midget–for having missed the (superb) thread on the Member Post. Not that it’s much of an excuse, but I please distraction. (Overload on end-of-the-school-year events.) Mea culpa.

    • #30

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