Blogwatcher - What happened to the Irish Church?


In an address to Fordham University last week, Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin asked what happened to the Irish Catholic Church:

When I was asked to return to Dublin, Pope John Paul asked me why secularisation had taken place so rapidly in Ireland. It was one of the rare occasions when I told a Pope he was wrong!

The roots of change in Ireland were there but were not seen. It is not that Ireland is today in a momentary out-of-the ordinary period in its history, somehow temporarily adrift from what is really the default position. There is no default position anymore and there has not been such a position for some time. In many ways the Church in Ireland had been trapped in an illusory self image.

The Catholic Church in Ireland had for far too long felt that it was safely ensconced in a “Catholic country”. The Church had become conformist and controlling not just with its faithful, but in society in general. I was at a seminar last week about the Church’s self-understanding as a “perfect society”. All I can say is that anyone who might have thought that “Catholic Ireland” was anything like a perfect society must now be very disillusioned.

Full speech:

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In the wake of Anzac Day, John Menadue remembers the wars that are mostly forgotten namely the Aboriginal and also the Maori Wars from 1845:

Some may claim that all this occurred before Australia was federated and we were still colonies. I do not think that this can obscure the fact of Australian participation in the Maori wars. The first association between Australian and New Zealand forces was not at Gallipoli in 1915. It was in the Maori wars 70 years earlier.

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CathNewsUSA proprietor Bill McGarvey is a musician who lives in Hoboken not far from where Frank Sinatra was born. He argues this week that Mumford & Sons' Grammy Award winning album "Babel" represents a new generation of evangelical singers "who make God haunted music NOT Christian rock".

"Faith, or the profound struggle with it, is at the core of everything the band has recorded thus far," Bill writes:

Treading a path blazed by Bono and U2, Mumford & Sons are at the leading commercial edge of a growing number of crypto-Christian artists who claim no particular affiliation and actually seem uncomfortable with institutionalized Christianity. And yet, somehow, their imaginations, instincts and language are deeply informed by Scripture and the person of Jesus.

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Patricia Zapor shares details of a web tool that lets Americans see if their ancestors would be eligible to immigrate to the US today.

Advocates for comprehensive immigration reform have long noted that immigrating to the United States today involves an entirely different legal system than that under which most people arrived here for nearly 200 years.

Now, there’s an online tool to help explain that.

Bend the Arc, a Jewish organization focusing on equality and justice, has a simple web page through which you can plug in the circumstances of your ancestor’s arrival in the United States and figure out, very generally, if she would be admitted under current laws.

Entry Denied guides users through some simple questions: in what time period did your ancestor enter? From what region? What skills and connections did he/she have in the U.S.?

And here's the answer my Slovak grandfather would get today:

I wonder what an Australian version of Entry Denied would say.

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At First Things, Michael Paterson-Seymour notes that:

In the U.K., two Catholic midwives, Mary Teresa Doogan and Concepta Wood, have just won an important court case regarding the conscience clause in the Abortion Act 1967. Although this is a Scottish case, the Act applies to England and Wales, too, so the decision has implications for the whole of Great Britain.

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Closer to home, the MGL Brothers are seeking new religious vocations:

THE CALL:What is different about the Missionaries of God's Love? Fr Chris Ryan gives the answer in this short video

— MGL Brothers (@MGLBrothers) April 18, 2013

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Over in Brazil:

Cardinal Braz de Aviz explains how Rio is getting ready World Youth Day Rio 2013… #JMJ #Rio2013

— WYD English (@wyd_en) April 28, 2013

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And Leonardo Boff continues to keep the faith in Pope Francis:

It doesn't matter that Pope Francis doesn't use the expression "liberation theology". What's most important is that he speaks and acts in a liberation manner.

It's even good that the Pope doesn't affiliate with any type of theology, such as liberation theology or any other one.

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Devett O'Brien has invited people to join the online IYCS School of New Evangelization here.

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Tom Fox tweets history's most famous bird:

Seagull landed on Sistine Chapel chimney, becoming the most photographed bird in human history.…

— Tom Fox (@NCRTomFox) April 24, 2013

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A bit late for Good Friday this year but Jimmy Akin shows how close historians can come to identifying the precise date on which Jesus died:

Just how specific can we be with the death of Jesus?

Can we determine the exact day?

We can.

And here's how . . .

Clue #1: The High Priesthood of Caiaphas

The gospels indicate that Jesus was crucified at the instigation of the first century high priest named Caiaphas (Matthew 26:3-4, John 11:49-53).

We know from other sources that he served as high priest from A.D. 18 to 36, so that puts Jesus' death in that time frame.

But we can get more specific. Much more.

Complete answer here.

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Final word to Emerging Theologians who are celebrating Theological Shark Week. No, I didn't ask.


Michael MullinsStefan Gigacz is preparing a PhD. at MCD University of Divinity, Melbourne, on the role of Joseph Cardijn at Vatican II. 

Disclaimer: CathBlog is an extension of CathNews story feedback. It is intended to promote discussion and debate among the subscribers to CathNews and the readers of the website. The opinions expressed in CathBlog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the members of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference or of Church Resources.

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