Mary Kenny: Is Ireland Divorcing from the Catholic Church?





Mary Kenny is the author of Goodbye to Catholic Ireland (New Island Books).  

Our Irish parents and grandparents would find astonishing the acidly anti-clerical views expressed in the Republic of Ireland today. The land that once called itself a foremost Catholic nation and most loyal ally of the Holy Father is awash with sentiments that seem to veer between Ulster Paisleyism and the Spanish republicanism of the 1930s.

One newspaper published a photograph of the Pope in full regalia, with “Persona Non Grata” superimposed on his image.

The airwaves are full of bitter remarks supporting Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s attack on the “disgraceful” Vatican, and recommending every anti-church measure from the dissolution of the monasteries to the expulsion of the Papal Nuncio and the severing of all links with the Holy See. (The recall of the Papal Nuncio this week marks the lowest point of relations between Ireland and Rome.)

One correspondent wrote that it was his ardent hope that the Catholic Church would follow the example of the News of the World, and hold a “last Mass” before shutting down.

The Taoiseach, meanwhile, has been met with standing ovations for his salvo against the Vatican for failing to respond with sufficient concern to the clerical sex abuse scandals as described in the Cloyne report...



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