The State of the Faith in Ireland Today: How do you see it?

Discussion in 'Ireland' started by Roger Buck, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. Beth B

    Beth B Beth Marie

    Oh you Irish really know how to covey a thought...and you’re right! Got a chuckle out of this line:

    In Ireland drinking 30 pints is often thought going slow.:D
  2. maryrose

    maryrose Powers

    Many entered convents out of economic necessity. Remember there was dire poverty in Ireland up to the 60's. I keep harking back to the famine which lingered on until 1880's. Such suffering and it was the survival of the fittest. I believe it caused great fear and hardening of hearts in succeeding generations and also alcoholism as they buried their pain and frustrations in poitín. People had no options other than land, emigrant boat or join the church. The poorer would not be accepted so if a girl had no offer of marriage and her brother who was to inherit wanted to marry she had 2 options. Many became nuns as a way to survive. When looking at the history of mother and baby homes one cannot discount the history that bred such hardness of hearts in some. I have heard it said by Eddie Stones that huge generational healing is needed in Ireland.
    I have a dear friend who from time to time is given visions by the Lord.
    Some time ago she was driving in a beautiful scenic area of Co Clare. She stopped her car and got out to admire the view. Suddenly the scene changed and she saw the whole area covered with bodies of starving people. She could see many were dead and the mothers were holding on to children who were crying and dying. It took her a long time to get over it.
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  3. AED

    AED Powers

    Tragedy. Unspeakable tragedy. It explains a great deal about the current state of things for sure. May God heal hearts. May the sins of those nuns and brothers and priests and the consequences of those dark sins be lifted from the wounded generations.
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  4. DeGaulle

    DeGaulle Powers

    The other side of the coin is that, despite their scarcity, many current and future vocations should provide us with great priests and nuns. The situation is even more perversely promising in that the homosexuals no longer need to hide out in the Church-they're highly regarded by most of society now and can pursue their prey quite openly. Therefore, new priests and nuns might actually be Catholic.
  5. DeGaulle

    DeGaulle Powers

    West Clare is a very bleak spot. How did any survive there?
  6. Dolours

    Dolours Guest

    That wasn't my experience in the 50s and 60s. In fact, I witnessed cruelty outside school but not in school unless a few slaps for misbehaviour or getting sums wrong counts as cruelty. Remember that back then there could be 40 or 50 children in a class, many from homes with no indoor plumbing, from all kinds of backgrounds, and with all levels of intelligence. If ADHD or autism were diagnosable back then only the most severe cases would have been brought to a doctor's attention. Similarly, a psychiatric disorder would probably have had to be severe enough to make the child completely dysfunctional before professional help would be sought. The Nuns had to cope with all comers without the back-up services taken for granted today. No special needs assistants or school secretaries back then.

    I would be very surprised if a tiny proportion of today's teachers would survive more than a few months of those working conditions. I smile now when I see parents paying through the nose for after school grinds to help their children prepare for exams. Back in the day, the nuns did that for free. Kids who couldn't keep up with the class were told to stay after school and the nun would work through the lesson with them so they wouldn't fall further behind. It was called being "kept in" and some parents resented it and complained that it wasn't fair on their children.

    A lot of parents didn't consider a good education - any education - important especially for their daughters. School leaving age was 14 and once the children reached 13 they were just biding their time until they they went out to work. To have large numbers of children and their parents with that attitude must be very demoralising for any teacher. Rather than throwing in the towel, the nuns worked harder to make sure every child leaving their school achieved the best level of literacy and numeracy the child was capable of.

    As to the mother and baby homes......
    The country was poor. A newly independent State not long after a civil war, some level of economic war with our nearest very powerful neighbour, and neutrality not having saved us from the economic effects of a world war, there wasn't much money for social projects. The nuns didn't kill the babies. And the Nuns didn't throw the mothers out on the street when they fell pregnant.

    We're very good at pointing the finger, looking for someone else to blame for our troubles. But, amid all the finger pointing, let's give credit where it's due. Very many former colonies of the European powers have a far worse post-independence record than ours. It would be hard to convince me that the Church, particularly the nuns, didn't make the difference between Ireland becoming a failed State and the post-civil war generation having the basis of a literate, well educated population in a stable functioning democracy - not perfect but stable and functioning.

    Nowadays, I see signs of that stable society fraying at the edges. Who will we blame next when it comes apart at the seams? We'll run out of scapegoats soon enough.

    I say all the above as someone who was never a teacher's pet and appreciates far too belatedly the service those nuns gave to me and my country.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2021
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  7. maryrose

    maryrose Powers

    I had a mixed experience at school. Most of the nuns I knew in school were extremely dedicated. Likewise the nursing nuns ran a very strict regime and the hospitals were spotless. In fact an aunt of my husband was a nun in an order that ran mother and baby homes. She was a really lovely person and very kind and loving. The hard hearts were throughout society. Parents abandoned their daughters and sent them away and they didn't want to know what happened to their grandchildren. Saying that there were always the nuns who ruled with terror tactics.
    You can't hang this tragedy on the church only, it was a societal issue. It's hard to find the balance. Nowadays there are no restraints allowed to be imposed on the behaviour of young people.
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  8. Luiflower

    Luiflower Angels

    Terrible things happened in Ireland. The devil waged a war against the Irish and they survived. The Catholic Church owes a great debt to the irish missionaries. God Bless Ireland.
    maryrose likes this.
  9. Dolours

    Dolours Guest

    Yes, it was a societal problem and it wasn't peculiar to Ireland. Nor was it peculiar to countries with a strong religious influence. People who like to shift the blame onto the Church or the nuns won't ever mention countries like Romania where there was no religious influence. Prior to the very late sixties/early to mid seventies, I doubt there were many countries where single mothers weren't frowned upon. Yes, there were nuns in convents for all the wrong reasons and higher standards should have been expected of people working in the name of God. I'm just more than a little tired of the vindictiveness shown by people who very possibly are in high places thanks to their parents currying favour with priests and bishops at a time when being friends with priests and particularly bishops was smart social networking.

    I gave my personal experience of what it was like for a working class child growing up in the 50's. In primary school I shared a desk with a girl whose father owned hotels and pubs. She wasn't treated any differently than the rest of us, most of whom were from poor families. We all wore the same uniform and some people grumbled at that. They grumbled when the nuns took in all our school jumpers in summer for darning and knitting on to sleeves, charging our parents pennies for the wool when they were returned to us in time for winter. Those nuns made sure that nobody was made to feel inferior for want of not being properly dressed, and by taking in all uniforms nobody knew who would or wouldn't have had to come to school in ill fitting or worn out clothes. I saw the children who came to school without lunch being sent to the convent for a hot meal. Some children often "forgot" their lunch. Long before the State introduced free secondary education, girls in our area had free secondary school thanks to those nuns. Sure, some nuns were more strict than others but they did more to lift women in our area out of poverty than all the feminists put together. They get precious little credit for it now. Most people seem to have forgotten all but the cane happy nuns and even they weren't all that bad. We held out our hand, got the slap, returned to our seat and got on with our lessons. What we didn't get was the sarcasm and nasty comments I recall from non-religious teachers.

    I little balance in the reporting wouldn't go astray.
  10. maryrose

    maryrose Powers

    Yes it's true what you say, we forget how much we owe the religious orders for providing us with an education system and health care. It wasn't perfect but they did their best to cope with difficult times and they tried to pick up the pieces of a society that tried to push everything under the carpet. There is such a tirade of abuse against the church now its easy forget.
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  11. garabandal

    garabandal Powers

    Legion of Mary’s humane alternative to the Mother and Baby homes

    The report on the Mother and Baby Homes makes for often disturbing reading. Unmarried mothers were routinely consigned to institutions such as mother and baby or county homes and eventually separated from their children. One organisation followed a different path, namely the Legion of Mary. The report itself acknowledges this. It says: “before the 1970s, Regina Coeli was the only institution that assisted unmarried mothers to keep their infant”. Regina Coeli is a hostel in Dublin opened by Frank Duff in the 1930s and run by the Legion of Mary which offered a more humane alternative to the Mother and Baby Homes.

    Dr Finola Kennedy, academic and biographer of Frank Duff, in a talk hosted by the Iona Institute in 2017 described how, from that time, and very much against the prevailing mood of society, Frank Duff and the Legion of Mary helped unmarried mothers to keep their babies. The Legion’s approach was not judgmental or condemnatory. Duff, the Legion’s founder, very strongly believed in the mother/child bond. He offered a true, Christian alternative to what was happening elsewhere.
  12. Krizevac

    Krizevac Archangels

    Those poor mothers and babies. Church, state, society, all have a share in it.

    As for the lack of balance in the media - the end game isn't just stamping the church into the ground. They want to do a number on us like they've done in America: hate your country's past, see every bit of it as shameful, have no national pride.

    Sorry lads, you're a bit late in my case. The abortion referendum swiftly knocked the national pride out of me.
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  13. "Quis ut Deus"

    "Quis ut Deus" Powers Staff Member

    The damage done by these monsters dressed as lambs was horrific.. It masked the great saints who were present and silenced during these times... Little Nellie pray for us..
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  14. Dolours

    Dolours Guest

    We like to think that we are so civilised now compared with previous generations. Scratch the surface and we're all probably capable of great cruelty in a given set of circumstances. With God's grace, we're also capable of great good. We do well to be mindful of warnings about judging others, past or present.

    Krizevac's post puts it all in a nutshell for me.
    HeavenlyHosts, AED and Sam like this.
  15. Scolaire Bocht

    Scolaire Bocht Archangels

    You know these stories are just not true mostly, these Mother and Baby Homes were good places who did good work and we should be very proud of the great and successful endeavours of both the politicians and civil servants and religious orders who did, in the main, very good work here. I have studied the Tuam Home in great depth for many years now and I can assure you that is the case, and nothing in the report contradicts that, and actually there are numerous new eye witness accounts there that confirm it.

    People say here and elsewhere that the media is corrupt etc, but they still listen/watch and read them and believe what they say, a big mistake. Like every other Communist country you need to destroy the Church to control people properly, and thats what they are doing.
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  16. DeGaulle

    DeGaulle Powers

    There's a very disturbing article in the Catholic Thing today by Fr Gerald Murray, about Dublin's new Archbishop-Elect. This is a Dermot Farrell, who was top dog in Maynooth for a long time, it appears.

    He seems to be an enthusiastic homosexualist.

    The threats to the Church in Ireland are more prevalent internally than externally, it would appear. This is a man who seems to have no problem blessing sodomy. That would be simultaneously heretical, blasphemous and sacriligious, would it not?
  17. Dolours

    Dolours Guest

    No surprises there. Just pray for him. I did wonder if he's related to Cardinal and Bishop Farrell. He's not their brother because he's not from Dublin but he did say something about childhood visits to relatives in Dublin. No doubt someone would have mentioned it if they were related.
  18. garabandal

    garabandal Powers

    Usually those who are sympathetic to such things are 'bent' that way themselves.
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  19. DeGaulle

    DeGaulle Powers

    One ought not judge a book by its cover, but...
  20. Dolours

    Dolours Guest

    Looks like we will have our very own Cupich or Kasper. I read (I think on Wikipedia) that he was President of Maynooth when they invited Charles Curran. He claimed to know nothing about it. Maybe he is related to Cardinal Farrell after all.
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