Sunday, June 10, 2012

Roman Catholicism on the Rebound in Ireland

This photo shows Roman Catholics in 1932 Ireland having mass on O'Connell Bridge, Dublin in 1932. The whole country was brought to a standstill for something called The Eucharistic Congress.

Fast forward to today's Dublin, Ireland...

The Eucharistic Congress 2012 is occurring once again in Dublin.

Despite everything that has happened in Ireland - regarding the subjugation over many decades of the general population by that Church, even of non-Catholics, and culminating in the abuse and rape of generations of children - and regarding the valiant spiritual/cultural counter-awakening that appeared to have begun in Ireland, perhaps as a result - today we wake up in Ireland to find concert halls, universities and the national sports stadium decked out like an ersatz right-wing rally...

As we say in Ballyer, 'Plus ca change. Plus c'est la meme chose'!
[= 'go figure... you've nobody to blame but yourself']

In other spirtual-related news... this just in [at least, I've just heard it]...

Until recently, The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland 'permitted' those of us who nolonger wanted to be counted among its official numbers/statistics to 'defect' [= 'opt out' officially]. Strangely, it was becoming so popular with Irish people, the RC Church decided to discontinue the opt out option.
It had involved an arduous process of writing to the bishop requesting a defection. Then going for a personal interview/counselling if needed. [Eventually you got your annulled Batismal Cert in the post].

Both of these, i did... i was very curious to know what the interview would consist of, so i requested the Archbishop of Dublin [Diarmuid Martin] no less, to meet me. He agreed for an hour or so on the following Thursday afternoon at the Palace.

Both of us being boys from the same troubled Dublin suburb [Ballyfermot], we actually got on like a house on fire and saw eye to eye on almost everything [apart from the whole gay thing... although he conceded that gays including many of his own friends and colleagues had the right to equality in civil law if not in Church 'law'].

The Archbishop is an incredibly honest and moral person.
In fact he is so shockingly maverick and un-typical, I am seriously amazed he has been allowed to rise to such a position - and what's more, i am seriously amazed he has not been snuffed out by the Grand Inquisitor himself - a la Dan Brown conspiracy novel.

But, make no mistake, his job is to REPRESENT Roman Catholicism not to critique/reform it from within. He is afterall the host of the Dublin Eucharistic Congress and as such has to walk the thin crimson line that is a razor's edge between conservative orthodoxy and progress.
As a working class Dubliner, he is a curious apologist for the Church in Ireland.
But he is an incredibly gifted 'Builder of Bridges' [Latin: 'Pontifex Maximus']

As such - it HAS to be said - he would be the most fantastic Pope!

In relation to the 2012 Congress, Archbishop Martin has said: 'the Eucharistic Congress is not a triumphalist event but a moment in a process of reflection' ... heartfelt invitation or skillful spin, you have to admire the guy!

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