Sunday, 24 May 2015

Catholic Whinge - The Irish Were Bought

Smarting from the historic slap in the face for the Catholic Church by the people of the Republic of Ireland in last Thursday's referendum, which returned a landslide for legalising same-sex marriage, the Catholic Register has concluded that the Irish were bought.

Apparently, the reason can't be that 62% of those who voted believe homosexuals should be treated like full human beings with the same rights as other human beings, and should be free from centuries of persecution and demonization by the Catholic Church.

The reason couldn't be that the Irish people believe the Church should no longer be entitled to think it owns the institute of marriages and has the right to determine what is permissible in private personal relationships. The reason must be that the Irish are too stupid to be able to reach a moral decision on their own, so someone must have tricked them somehow.

Ireland’s rush to permanently redefine marriage is a startling development for a country that legalized divorce only 20 years ago.

How could the nation that "saved civilization" precipitously decide to make its constitution “gender neutral,” especially in a section devoted to … the family?

Key organizations opposing the radical change believe one answer can be found in the multimillion-dollar external financing program that has quietly poured money into Ireland to fund several homosexual-rights organizations since 2004, especially from U.S.-based Atlantic Philanthropies.


Last year, Atlantic Philanthropies produced a document explaining the many facets of movement-building support.

"Catalyzing LGBT Equality and Visibility in Ireland, 2004-2013" described the program’s four goals:
  • Deliver legislative change on same-sex partnerships and transgender identity,
  • Expand “mainstream services” to include the LGBT community,
  • Develop organizational capacity, and
  • Increase cohesion of the groups receiving funding.

To do that, Atlantic awarded multi-year grants, funded staff positions for organizations that, if they existed, had relied on volunteers and brought in international advisers.

One of the few leading Catholics who seems to have some sort of grasp on exactly what is happening in Ireland (and much of the rest of the developed world) is Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin to whom the result doesn't seem to have come as the shock it seems to have been for others. Speaking soon after the result, Martin said:

I think really that the church needs to do a reality check, a reality check right across the board, to look at the things it’s doing well, to look at the areas where we really have to start and say, ‘Look, have we drifted away completely from young people?’


I think it’s a social revolution... It’s a social revolution that didn’t begin today. It’s a social revolution that’s been going on, and perhaps in the church people have not been as clear in understanding what that involved.

It’s very clear that if this referendum is an affirmation of the views of young people, then the church has a huge task in front of it to find the language to be able to talk to and to get its message across to young people, not just on this issue, but in general... We won’t begin again with a sense of renewal by simply denying.


Most of these young people who voted Yes are products of our Catholic schools for 12 years. There’s a big challenge there to see how we get across the message of the church... We need to sit down and say ‘are we reaching out at all to young people?’... We’re becoming a church of the like-minded, and a sort of a safe space for the like-minded...

But Martin went on to highlight the difficulty the Catholic Church faces:

That doesn’t mean that we renounce our teaching on fundamental values on marriage and the family. Nor does it mean that we dig into the trenches. We need to find...a new language which is fundamentally ours, that speaks to, is understood and becomes appreciated by others.

...we tend to think in black and white but most of us live in the area of grey, and if the church has a harsh teaching, it seems to be condemning those who are not in line with it.

But all of us live in the grey area. All of us fail. All of us are intolerant. All of us make mistakes. All of us sin and all of us pick ourselves up again with the help of that institution which should be there to do that.

The church’s teaching, if it isn’t expressed in terms of love - then it’s got it wrong.

And there is the dilemma. Significantly, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin doesn't suggest any solutions. Perhaps he has none.

Just as with the choice now facing the Catholic Church in Germany, the Church in Ireland, as elsewhere, has lost what moral authority it once had, albeit a 'moral authority' based not on the private behaviour and public example of priests but on fear of the power of the Church and its ability to casually destroy people's lives, careers and social standing by condemnation, demonisation, ostracism and persecution. With Catholic priests now being reduced to objects of fun and derision, even contempt, their ability to persecute and condemn has also gone.

With the dragging weight of Catholic bigotry removed from its back, Irish culture is now free to develop its own values and ethics and the Irish are rushing forward to embrace a more egalitarian Humanism based on mutual respect and valuing all human beings for the contributions that they make rather than the bigotry they conform to. The Irish are no longer willing to tolerate a large minority of people being denied the same rights to happiness and fulfillment that they have and no longer feel they have the right to impose their values on others.

The Irish people are examining the Catholic Church's dogmas and teaching and finding them outmoded, irrelevant, inappropriate and above all based on idiotic medieval superstitions. The threat of Hellfire, so freely and frequently the Church's argument of choice, no longer cows the people into cringing compliance. The Church no longer has any relevance to the lives of ordinary people. The commands and diktats of the Pope and his clerics have as little relevance to many Irish today as the commands and diktats of a high priest of Ganesh or a Saudi Imam.

To change enough to catch up with the Irish people, the Catholic Church must cease to be Catholic. Unless it does so, the Irish people will continue to cease to be Catholic. Whinging about the result and looking round for scapegoats, as the Catholic Register is doing, will do nothing to help the Church come to terms with its monumental failures.

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1 comment :

  1. "The Irish were bought"? Bah. American fundamentalists also sent money to anti-gay forces during the referendum campaign. For that matter, they've been supporting anti-gay elements in a lot of places, especially Africa. Either way, outside money wasn't the decisive factor. The no side didn't lack for money to get its message out. They just couldn't come up with a message the modern Irish found persuasive.


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