Search This Blog

Saturday, 3 July 2010

The Irish Inquisition

Something is very strange with regards to the attitudes of lay Catholics in Ireland towards the Church Hierarchy, very odd indeed.

For those keeping track with the Clerical abuse scandals should know by now that there is an Apostolic Visitation due to visit Ireland soon enough to investigate into abuses of the Church, specifically; the abuses of Priests and Bishops.

So why is this being viewed as a bad thing among lay Catholics as well as several in Religious Communities?

While reading the Irish Catholic the other day I saw an article written by a nun, supposedly passing off the Apostolic visitation as nothing more then a petty inquisition that will be both useless and will result with nothing more then an odd one sentence report filed away in'some desk drawer somewhere' and is only occurring 'because someone, somewhere decided something was wrong.

Which is something I can agree with, that someone somewhere was likely a whisper from the prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith, or His Holiness himself, and that some drawer somewhere could be the office drawer of said Prefect of what is essentially the Holy Office of the Inquisition.

Oh! So that's why they're so keen to pass it off as nothing. It is clear that even among the conservative Catholics of Ireland something is still very wrong, when an important action taken by Church Authorities, at long last, to do something about the priestly abuses, is viewed as pejorative because ''they aren't being told the results of what the Investigation will be'' until long after the Visitation is completed and said results are reviewed. I say if the religious congregations are living good and Holy lives among their lay brothers and sisters, why would they be worried?

This has similar hallmarks to the reactions of some religious communities in America after it was announced an apostolic visitation would be investigating them, where they openly advocated policies of non-co-operation, these same communities were being shown as 'undeserving victims' as they were 'working tirelessly to bring communities together of different creeds, faiths genders, etc' regardless of the heresies and lapses in honest Christian charity that were replaced good dishonest social justice. Oh wait, they didn't mention that last part, that would've been a bit honest. I am only dealing with the religious attitudes of Ireland in this post, as there was a great deal within this newspaper which angered me with their views towards the black nobility of Italy. But that is anger best reserved from a time when I need it. Like down at the shooting range.

If I am coming across a bit bitter in this post over this topic, its only because I am. The religious attitude in Ireland has been lax or even rebellious all around the population, and I have wanted something done about the priestly scandals FROM the Church Hierarchy for a great while now. And now that its here, and it is deathly serious, the seeds of discontent and dissension are beginning to blossom. As soon as the Church, after such a long, slow reaction, is attempting to do something meaningful and Genuinely Catholic about the issue

Quite frankly, the Inquisition couldn't come soon enough.


  1. It appears to be a case of damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    But the Church is doing the right thing by bringing in the Apostolic Visitation (for readers in the Commonwealth Realms, I'd say that's about the equivalent to an ecclesiastical Royal Commission).

    And considering that this is the Catholic Church, with perhaps the world's most extensive archives, I don't think it will be "one odd sentence". Try a book, if similar reports are anything to go by.

    It's sad when even the clergy have no faith in the Church. The Church is, after all, only as good as those who run it.

  2. I agree Mr.Wells, it is indeed a sad case when our clergy are so distrustful of the Hierarchy when it initiates an investigation when one is so dearly needed. And an investigation of this magnitude is never something to be sniffed at, and given the nature of our current Pope, I doubt that this report won't have consequences for Clergy and religious of Ireland. In that respect I shouldn't be surprised that some of them are afraid of it, especially the ones that know they've done wrong.

  3. A similar delegation visited the US some time back and I can say (taking for granted no action will ever please everyone) that it was very beneficial. New procedures were put down that will at least remove some of the room for making excuses that have been done and (more importantly to my mind) they also put in more vigorous screening methods for the seminaries to weed out degenerates (usually attacked in the meida as aimed at homosexuals -well, sorry, most of the offenders were). I can understand why some would look with discomfort on such a visit. Many in the hierarchy have grossly failed in their duty to protect their flock and fear the hammer coming down on them. That has long been a complaint I have often heard -offending priests are punished but not the bishops. At a time when the Church is going through very hard times and facing ever stronger resistence that is certainly the time to clean house and ensure that the highest standards are maintained.

  4. Amen.

    But I think his is also a case of Rampent Anti-Christendom, whiuch grips the West. A lot in Ireland have the same problem as elsewhere, a latend distrust of the Church and Heirarchy because the Culture has told them to fear and distrust it. Its just accepted.

  5. Zarove, you're more on point than perhaps even you realise. Here in Ireland there are, in truth, few public institutions or organisations (outside of certain elements within all the Churches) that defend the merit of hierarchy and tradition.

    It's not that there isn't an Irish conservative tendency at all: just consider the deep loyalty and affection for place and local belonging. Or the heroic efforts to restore Irish as our language despite official disapproval or, in the case of the north, violent hostility. And then there’s the Gaelic Athletic Association. But it's as if, in order to overthrow the counterfeit 'tradition' of the English crown in our own land, we Irish felt a need to overthrow the entire concept of Tradition. It's like, in order to revolt to restore our proper Tradition, we needed to strike a deal with the Devil, and internalise the preconceptions, presumptions and beliefs of internationalist, leftist revolutionaries.

    The most obvious reflection of this is in the Republic's political system. Granted, partisan politics is itself a stark indicator of decline. But the parties embody and aggravate inner tensions within the national being. So it's interesting how, despite proportional representation, you will fail to encounter a truly Irish conservative party with a coherently formulated set of principles that reflect the profound depths of tradition Ireland is gifted with. Countless left-wing, socialist, or communist groups. No organised traditional conservatives.

    Fine Gael, often claimed as right-wing, is but a home rulers relic that never found a purpose after the 1920s. Its identity is both 'we're-not-Fianna-Fáil' and ‘get Ireland back in line as a 'home nation' of the United Kingdom’. It gets votes from those who, whether consciously or unconsciously, remain slaves to their former rulers in London, who are embarrassed by the Irish renaissance, that 'atavistic' interruption. They’d rather restore a ‘backward-sliding’ Irish society to the path of 'progressiveness', 'cosmopolitanism' and 'modernity'.

    As for the Christian Solidarity Party, it is a shadow. There is nothing (in what appears an almost ultramontane approach) that appeals to someone (like myself) who values a uniquely Irish homeland and people, a strongly assertive State, and an organic culture drawn from and founded within the terms of Irish Gaelic tradition.

    And so those who would tend to what I would argue is a genuinely Irish conservative view, almost necessarily turn to a Fianna Fáil which, despite its progressivist social policies and republican principles, has aggressively asserted the need to restore the Irish language, end partition, and maintain and defend (by force if necessary) the interests and independence of Ireland.

    Now I know all this might seem off the point regarding the Catholic Church in Ireland, but however universal in essence, the Church is to some extent reliant on the quality of those it guides and serves. And to me at least it seems that the Church has suffered from the declining quality of the nation it draws its adherents from...a formerly Gaelic nation that has been hollowed out by emigration, dislocation, and assimilation into the English-speaking world. For the most part, Irish churchmen seem second-rate, lacking in rigour and intrepidity, devoid of the courage of conviction and, above all, a genuine rooted sense of fulfilling a spiritually profound religious vocation. The Catholic Church in Ireland seems incapable of producing great theologians, profound writers on the Catholic faith, or even orators of inspired power. Instead, they turn out nuns like the one quoted.

    But in this, don't they simply reflect today's Ireland? An Ireland lacking conviction, tradition, and loyalty not only to anything higher, but loyalty even to itself.

    Some days, this really is John Bull's other island.

  6. "The Catholic Church in Ireland seems incapable of producing great theologians, profound writers on the Catholic faith, or even orators of inspired power. Instead, they turn out nuns like the one quoted.".. Thank your Vatican 2 mass of Montini for that. It's not just in Ireland. Where are the saints of Vat2? Answer: There are none, and won't be. This holy mess is coming down and will be replaced by a future Vatican council which will take us BACK to the Mass of all ages. Deo Gratias