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Saturday, 3 March 2012

The Deadly Heritage of Socialism in Ireland

What an odd thing happened in the Emerald Isle. While no one was paying attention, the vast majority of Irish have become die-hard socialists and many, communists. That such political positions are heresies seems to have missed the sensitivities of the voting public. Every single Irish man and woman with whom I have had interesting conversations here in the past ten weeks, every one has supported the political ideology of socialism. I am astounded.

Unlike the American Traditional Catholics, who hate socialism and tend to be GOP or Independents, the Traditional Catholics and Liberal Catholics here see nothing wrong with socialism. I have tried to point out the long history of condemnation of this sinister form of ideology over and over again in healthy and respectful discussions over coffee and tea. There is a total blindness concerning the evils of socialism and Marxism. Several Latin Mass Catholics have told me that all of the three main parties are socialist and one is especially Marxist, but these good people vote for such candidates despite this knowledge. No one tries for alternative parties.

Why? Why is there no grass roots party or Independent movement here in Eire, a party which would be blatantly pro-life, anti-socialist, anti-communist, and pro-family? Why is it that those in the pew are so meek and accepting of political activity which is so against the teaching of the Catholic Church? Why are there Catholic Marxists in Ireland?

One realizes that in many EU countries, the communist party is actually outlawed. But, Marxism can sneak in under different titles, such as labour unions, or social services. That the priests in the pulpit have ignored such teachings from the excellent Popes from 1846 on is a true scandal.

The Republic of Ireland is not a republic. It may be in the imaginations of those who remember the past in song and myth, but in reality, there is no republican government as an American would define the term.

That the heresies of socialism and Marxism run amok unchallenged show me that these will be the death of the Republic of Ireland. Some trad Catholics talk to me of the Republican desires for a united Ireland. Why? If the Republic is just as socialist as Great Britain, or even more so, what is the point of reunification? That Catholics believe in socialism, and thus have traded the God of the Catholic Church for the god of the State will call down a judgement on this lovely island. God is a Jealous God and His Justice will not stand aside for the injustice of socialism. And socialism is unjust, taking the individual and recreating him into a child of the all­-powerful State. Eire is a real
nanny state, and no one is standing up against this insidious entrenched political philosophy, so contrary to Church teaching.

A Catholic Carpe Diem

A Catholic Carpe Diem, this post is for bloggers. And, I claim Fulton J. Sheen as one of my patrons on the Net. A day in the life of a blogger depends on the person's real job. Now, for most bloggers, a vocation to the priesthood, married life, motherhood and fatherhood may be part of the blogging day. A job or profession most likely marks most Catholic bloggers, who can be Canon lawyers, secular lawyers, university professors, artists, journalists, writers, students, computer “guys”, or home schooling moms. Blogging is an addition to the busy schedule of most. The quality of the blog depends upon the time and technological skills of the bloggers. For example, for one blogger, a posting may take 20 minutes. For another, 30 minutes, and for some bright sparks, 10 minutes. But, the real mark of every blogger is passion.

The passion of the Catholic blogger is to communicate the beautiful Faith of our Catholic Church, and give of the five loaves and two fishes which have been given to that writer, especially in a busy schedule. A blog may be what is left over in the baskets at the end of the day, or even the week. Or, the blog could be one of the five loaves.

For most Catholic and traditional bloggers, a blog is a means of evangelizing, in the “new evangelization” of Blessed John Paul II. The Internet may very well not always be a place of truly free speech. I am not writing this out of paranoia, but have already shown below in some articles, the coming United Nations effort to bow to less than free cultures regarding electronic communication. We in the West expect to be able to stand on our virtual soap-box and say what we will, without being harrassed. This may not always be the case. And, so, the passion of the blogger is to get across as much real Truth, real Catholic information as possible in a short period of time. Hence, the needed passion to communicate falls within a framework of the “now”. What is important “now” for Catholics?

By the “now”, I do not mean the ephemeral or the trendy. I mean what is important for the corporate life of the Faithful. Sometimes the now means sharing a prayer, or being a prophet, or a teacher. Sometimes the now means answering questions, or communicating important local and international Catholic events, both good and not so good. One can imagine examples in the last three months where the Catholic blogging community has worked more hours than usual on the question of Catholic freedom of conscience in America. And, that is not the only issue.

I am convinced that I am part of a growing number of bloggers who try to make up what has been missing in the catechesis of two, maybe three, generations. One person here in Ireland, four years older than myself, was never taught Catechism in school. The lack of education for some has created the Catholic Traditional Blog, which attempts to fill in the gap for adult education for those who are on the computer and on the Internet. I have read that sixty-percent of the Irish public have Internet access at home. This is not my personal experience, quite the contrary. Or, if there is access, only the very young, or under thirties use it regularly and not those older. Access is limited elsewhere, as I have already noted on this blog.

Was is appalling are the numbers of adults who are not on the computer and not on the Internet, who do not have access to the real teaching of the Catholic Church, or simply, do not know where to find the resources. Such adults will remain as children and even may be endangering their salvation by remaining in ignorance. Any adult who remains in ignorance of the teachings of the Church in 2012 is guilty of sloth or disinterestedness. The second is a serious sin of neglect.

I have been told over and over again in England and in Ireland that adults “do not have time for religious learning”. The pursuit of mortgages, cars, careers and even a developed social life have pushed the responsibility to learn and appropriate the Faith to the back-burner.

I have written on this before, almost two months ago. We shall be judged on our own merits, or lack thereof, and not on the merits of Father ABC, who did not teach us the Faith.

The blogging community wants to share the Faith, Hope and Love given to us by Christ with the whole world. If some Catholics are not interested or are too busy to pursue learning the Truth of the Teaching Magisterium of the Church, we can only hope that some day soon, the little light of realization will show them that now is the time to grow in Faith and Reason, knowledge and grace. We may not have the leisure or the means “later”.

I compare blogging with missionary work. In my home town, the oldest existing Church was founded by an Italian missionary priest, who travelled on horseback along the Mississippi River spreading the Gospel and setting up parishes. He moved with whatever was available at the time-a horse, backpack, Bible, Missal, Mass kit, vestments, food and water. He may have travelled with others, like a tracker, or guide, or a few lay assistants. But, he moved, from Italy to Iowa and then up and down the edges of the Great River.

If he had not done this, many families would have died in the Faith. We are the missionaries of the world of the Internet. I would like to think that in any little way, we encourage the Faith.

The missionary priests, and my great-uncle was one who came to help the Czech community in northern Iowa, faced horrible dangers and inconveniences--weather, unfriendly natives, unfriendly Protestants, lack of provisions, lack of books, even lack of housing and clothing. We who sit in our dens, classrooms, living rooms, or Internet cafes, face no problems except perhaps not enough change for a second cup of coffee, or the temporary loss of electricity, or travelling through a “dead zone”. But, this may not always be the case. Blog away, fellow bloggers, while you can. The days of freedom may be shorter than one would hope.

The Parish Priest Has No More Power In Ireland

Talking with local Irish men and women, I discovered that as late as forty years ago, the priest's word was respected, was “law” in the countryside of Eire. If two lads were in a fight, the threat of someone getting the local priest involved was enough to stop the fight. If there were domestic problems, the priest was called in and both husband and wife would listen to his advice. If the problems were financial, or job related, the priest was consulted.

The priest was the local police and advisor all rolled into one. He was respected and looked up to, almost to a point where the adult population responded in humility like children. In some cases, this could be a bad thing, but the culture demanded a local guru, and the village or town parish priest fulfilled that role.

Now, those Catholics who are honest, will tell you that this respect fell away before the sex scandals. The less than honest ones will blame everything on the scandals, like the media does here, almost like a blood sport.

But, the lessening of the power of the local priest happened much earlier than the knowledge of those priests who not only sinned against God, but against children.

Respect for the priest faded away with the love affair of the Irish with material wealth and ostentatious show of money. Those older ones in the villages have memories of an Ireland in the fifties and sixties which proved that Ireland, even as late as 1962 has the standard of living of a third world country. Young people were immigrating to America, Australia, and Canada, like some are today, for the good life. Those who stayed behind waited, being, perhaps, less adventurous, or more careful of the old ways. As one of the men I met recently in the “sticks” said to me, “The best men went to America, the worst to England, and those who could not make up their minds, stayed here.”

Two things changed the role of the priest in the villages as far as I can glean from the locals. First, was the growing desire for material welfare, the hearkening of the siren song of the EU for a higher standard of living and a lifestyle more in keeping with the more materialistic nations of the world. In other words, America's worst sin, that of greed and gross materialism, entered the Irish imagination. Connected to the pursuit of wealth was the lower class desire for showy wealth. One of my friends here said that if one could buy a Mercedes and live in a cheesy flat, the Irish would chose the flashy car. The copycat idea of everyone owing their own house became an obsession. Unlike the people on the continent, the Irish must own a house and a little land. It seems to be in the blood. Whereas I have had friends in Paris or Rome content with fantastic flats in the center of the cities, here, the desire for the land reminds me very much of the words of Katie Scarlett O'Hara's father in Gone With the Wind. “Land is the only thing that matters.” And, indeed, this desire seems to have destroyed a simplicity of life.

With the preoccupation with the material life comes a lessening of the pursuit of sacrifice and the spiritual life. And, as Americans know first-hand, once the treasure of the heart becomes material comfort, the spirit begins to die. The priest, therefore, is seen as the enemy of progress, of personal wealth, an extension of the hated old ways of doing things. His power bleeds away from lack of attention.

Secondly, the priest lost power when social and Marxism became the real religion of so many Catholics here. I see over and over again that many Catholics in Eire have no idea of the Church's teachings from the last one-hundred and fifty years against socialism and communism. It is as if the
“errors of Russia” have totally replaced the loyalty to Rome.

Socialism seems to be an acceptable replacement for democracy, or indeed, charity. That the Catholics have fallen into the false ideals of the socialist definitions of the individual and individual responsibility is one of the saddest phenomenonI have seen here. The replacement of the Catholic Faith for the idolatry of the State is almost complete here. In fact, I would venture to state that Ireland can be seen as a bad example of the total secularization and paganism of the real socialist doctrines of the idolization of political power and the State. How Ireland goes will go all of Europe.

The priest is no longer important as the State answers all the problems with this social service and that. Who needs to bring the PP into an argument or domestic violence when there is a governmental service to deal with such problems? Who needs the priest for advice on a job or vocation, when the government has places which will answer such pertinent questions.

As to daily Mass or even Sunday Mass, the country churches, barring one or two very small Latin Mass communities, are devoid of youth and young families. The youth have given their loyalties to the State, and the State has taken away their freedom of thought and initiative. As one man told me a few days ago, the young have no motivation. “Where is their motivation?” He asked me, a stranger. The youth are in the pubs, late and in the entertainment centers, but not in Church. The priest has no influence over the vast majority.

The population of Ireland is very small. God has blessed the countryside with incredible, quiet beauty, but the old ways are gone. The priest has been replaced by the cold, central government. And, the fighting Irish are dead.