Recent Posts

Friday, 10 August 2012

Sad, Sad Ireland

Guercino, St. Peter Weeping Before Mary
When I was living in Ireland for three months, I really became weary of people trying to convince me that Ireland was Catholic. Judging by political views, views on contraception, and views on homosexuality, as well as low Mass attendance, I could tell the country had slipped away long ago. Irish Catholics were deluded. Now, I have some hard statistics to back up my experiences. LifeSiteNews has an article on the facts behind Ireland's collapse as a Catholic country. I have some respect for those people who state they are atheists or no longer believers, and I have no respect for those who pretend to be what they are not. To be, Ireland was happier and holier when the people were pooer. Sexual ethics is now a serious problem. Ireland is a missionary country. Sadly, the Eucharistic Congress revealed some of the problems clearly, as with poor catechesis, outdated emphasis on what is crucially important and aberrations in the Liturgy. Here is a section of the long article.


Ireland is now among the top ten nations with the largest number of convinced atheists, following China, Japan, the Czech Republic, France, South Korea, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Iceland and Australia.
At the time of the 2006 census, 87.4 per cent of Irish registered themselves as Catholic, which number had dropped to 84.2 per cent by 2011. A study undertaken by Georgetown University found that in 1980 Ireland’s Catholics had one of the highest rates of weekly Mass attendance in the world. This rate, however, has dropped precipitously from 81 percent in 1990 to 48 percent in 2006.
According to archdiocese of Dublin’s figures, weekly Mass attendance in the diocese, the area with the lowest States of adherence in the country, had fallen to 18 percent by 2011. In May last year, the Irish Times reported that among younger people, the number attending weekly Mass in Dublin was around 2 percent, according to the archdiocese’s own records. 
A 2012 survey, conducted by the Association of Catholic Priests, a dissident group seeking to change Catholic teaching on sexuality and women’s ordination, found that weekly mass attendance for the whole country stood at about 35 percent with previously common daily attendance being about 3 percent.
The same survey also indicated that acceptance or understanding of Catholic teaching on key cultural issues was low, with 87 percent feeling the Church should abolish mandatory priestly celibacy and 77 percent saying that women should be allowed to be ordained to the priesthood. About 60 percent “disagreed strongly” with the Church’s teaching on homosexuality and only 20 percent agreed that sexual expression outside of marriage was immoral. Three quarters said that the Church’s teaching on sexuality is “not relevant” to them or their families.

2 comments:

Jacob said...

It's sad how these things change almost overnight. I think these are longer-term outcomes of the liturgical abuses that have prevailed over the past few decades. People point to all sorts of other factors - attacks on the Church, massive change of values in society, abuse and scandal within the Church, etc. Yet these things are nothing new; what is new is that with wide-spread liturgical abuse, the Church has sent out the message (in its most visual and central manifestation) that it no longer stands for anything relevant. I think (and I hope) that this is changing; it will, however, be hard to undo the damage.

Jacob said...

Closely related to my last comment; I currently rent a house that used to be a rectory. 11 years ago, shortly after my family first moved to this village in Canada, this parish had its own priest who gave Mass every day. The parish had enough funds and support that it had recently completely renovated and re-brick the beautiful little 80-year-old church building. Now, except for Easter, I think high Sunday attendance (the only Mass we have now) is probably 30% full. We share a priest with a nearby parish. (I love the house I'm renting, but I would gladly give it up if this parish came back to life enough to have its own priest again!)