Tales of the weird and wacky: Ireland Today.

In the Independent, you find that Most Rev. Philip Boyce, Bishop of Raphoe in Ireland, (who used to be a member of the Pont. Comm “Ecclesia Dei”, by the way) was investigated for a homily he gave.

A HOMILY delivered at Knock shrine by the Bishop of Raphoe, Philip Boyce, is being investigated by the Director of Public Prosecutions following a formal complaint by a leading humanist who claims the sermon was an incitement to hatred.

The gardai have confirmed to former Fine Gael election candidate John Colgan that they have prepared and forwarded a file to the DPP after he made allegations that the address by Dr Boyce was in breach of the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act, 1989.

The homily, entitled: “To Trust in God” was delivered to worshippers during a novena at the Marian shrine in Co Mayo last August and subsequently reported in the media, including The Irish Times, under the headline: “‘Godless culture’ attacking church, says bishop.

Mr Colgan, a retired chartered engineer and economist from Leixlip, Co Kildare, referred in his formal complaint to two key passages in Dr Boyce’s homily which he believes broke the law.

One of the passages referred to the Catholic Church in Ireland being “attacked from outside by the arrows of a secular and godless culture”. [“Irony” doesn’t begin to describe this.]


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  1. jarhead462 says:

    Mr. Colgan needs to take up fishing, or something constructive now that he is retired. (or a punch in the brain ;)
    But I will pray for him instead.

    Semper Fi!

  2. Supertradmum says:

    From where I am in Co. Meath , the anti-Catholicism, which I heard today in a shop, is rampant. The child has rebelled against the parent.

  3. Robert of Rome says:

    Sheesh! Just. Too. Strange.

  4. NoTambourines says:

    We’re heading down a slippery slope where all criticism of groups that are protected by their current popular pedigree will be “hate speech.” At the bottom of the slope is our supposedly “secular,” “liberal” government as the arbiter of truth and morality, as we’re seeing in the HHS case. Liberals rail against “legislating morality,” except when they’re the ones doing it.

    We’re an increasingly sensitized society, but we’re not a more pleasant one for it. In fact, we’re probably an angrier one, making a bigger deal out of small things as if there weren’t more important problems to worry about. Ireland is flirting here with legislating feelings.

    What has resulted from this trend is a greater acceptance of a disproportionate response to anything short of the “respect” one feels entitled to (hello, pride!) from the gang fight in school sparked by a dirty look, to this investigation for “incitement” over a sermon on traditional Catholic teachings.

  5. What needs to happen, then, is that next Sunday, every single priest and bishop in Ireland give the same exact homily.

  6. MarylandBill says:

    Clearly this shows why any limitations on free speech are dangerous. Even the most well intentioned limitation (beyond preventing things like yelling fire in a crowded movie theater) can be twisted to point towards anyone.

    Obviously, I will pray that Ireland remembers her Catholic identity before it is too late.

  7. Scott W. says:

    Pardon a tangential question. A few months ago, there was stir about Ireland passing laws to criminalize priests who withhold confessions of sexual crimes from the secular authorities. I haven’t heard word one about it since then. Is that still on the table, or was it just politicians puffing their chests with empty threats?

  8. disco says:

    So the bowman is complaining that his target noticed the arrows?

  9. josephx23 says:

    Didn’t a similar thing happen with the Holy Father’s remarks in the Regensburg address? He quoted someone who said that Muslims achieved conversions at the edge of the sword (through irrational violence, etc.) Enraged voices in the Muslim world responded with threats of irrational violence toward Benedict XVI.

  10. Clinton says:

    “What needs to happen, then, is that next Sunday, every single priest and bishop in Ireland give
    the exact same homily”

    Miss Anita Moore, O.P., that would be a beautiful thing!

  11. Leonius says:

    Thanks for proving the Bishops point haters.

  12. Clinton R. says:

    Anybody else here see the day coming soon when the few of us Catholics left will be going to Mass underground as in the early days of the Church?

  13. Bryan Boyle says:

    Anyone think this can’t happen on this side of the pond?

    Think again. All it takes is one ‘offended’ PP enthusiast and a bottom dwelling lawyer to start it. And, given the current climate, I’m not so sure that the current administration’s flunkies wouldn’t provide aid and guidance, either visibly or surreptitiously to the plaintiff.

    The gates of Hell may not prevail, but that was never a guarantee that they would not be assaulted.

  14. Darren says:

    From the article:
    A second passage, which was included in the complaint, stated: “For the distinguishing mark of Christian believers is the fact they have a future; it is not that they know all the details that await them, but they know in general terms that their life will not end in emptiness.”

    We know we have a future, so that must mean we are hateful…

    I’d say it shocks me, except that it doesn’t. Makes me think again what I have been wondering with the HHS mess and the gay “marriage” mess in the US, “In 5 years (or sooner), will it be illegal to be a Catholic in the United States?”

  15. Scott W. says:

    Anybody else here see the day coming soon when the few of us Catholics left will be going to Mass underground as in the early days of the Church?

    Yes, but we have to be wary of what I’ve heard dubbed “catacombs porn” which is a kind of an obsessive thrill at the thought of persecution.

  16. Captain Peabody says:

    Soooo… essentially, the complaint is not that His Excellency attacked homosexuals, or people who have had abortions, or drunken sailors, or standing politicians from Knock, but that he criticized, in very broad terms, the government, the values of society, and its prevailing political philosophy?

    Isn’t that, like, a textbook definition of free speech? Isn’t that the exact kind of thing all liberals supposedly want to promote and protect?

    What in the name of Colney Hatch is wrong with these people?

  17. haribo says:

    I think Canada is several years ahead of us with the progressive agenda. I don’t think anything too drastic can happen to Catholics in the States before it happens there first. They have a much narrower understanding of free speech, and Canadian Catholics still live in relative peace for the most part.

  18. Scott W. : I think it is still in the air but the Taoiseach knows it would be unworkable anyway. Unless the fanatical secularists within the Labour party – ‘gin and tonic socialists’ – and their supporters push hard for it then it will probably not come to fruition. Even if it were they could not oblige priests to divulge what they hear in the confessional and yet fail to oblige counsellors, doctors, solicitors etc.

    This is an embarrassing stunt for the secularists. It shows how petty they are and out of touch with ordinary people. The ordinary Irish man or woman is angry at how the abuse of children by clergy was handled and there are many who do not go to church but that does not mean they have stopped believing in God or have abandoned Catholicism altogether. They are lost and cannot find their way back. These attacks on the Church and her leaders will backfire in the end.

    The number of die-hard secularists and agnostic/atheists is small. Many are the indifferent or ignorant. I had no problem distributing a box load of rosary beads to my secondary school students (they’re a cool fashion item) – but getting them to pray the rosary is much harder. If they have the beads at least they are half way there. The roots of the Faith remain in Ireland. If the plant is watered and nurtured it will grow again.

  19. Maltese says:

    Ireland, a country I love (I have climbed Croagh Patrick in a din of mist and fog, and traversed County Mayo, braking for sheep as they passed along the grassy cliffs; and speaking of cliffs, in my more adroit and foolhardy days, I dangerously scrambled down the less vertical portions of the Cliffs of Moher; good thing a loose rock didn’t dump me into the sea!

    But the Iron Tiger (as she was then called in the early 2000,s) put mammon above faith after succumbing to the Maastricht Treaty, which stalwart souls vehemently opposed.

    It’s like voodoo in New Orleans, you can only fight the tide so long before it takes over, and permeates and reverberates through a Catholic culture.

    Now we see Malta legalizing divorce; it’s just a matter of time before the ban on abortion, too, gets swept under the sea…

  20. ray from mn says:

    Maryland Bill: “Obviously, I will pray that Ireland remembers her Catholic identity before it is too late.”

    For starters, I am half Irish and am very proud of my ancestry. But Ireland of the Second Millennium has very little Catholic Identity. It was taken over by England (granted to them by the English Pope Adrian IV) in 1155 [See Laudabiliter] and with the exception of St. Oliver Plunkett [1629-1681] what saints it did have were celebrated and canonized for works done in countries other than Ireland.

    The Apparition of Our Lady of Knock in the 19th Century in Mayo might be the major exception to that.

  21. andreat says:

    Haribo, there have been priests and other christian ministers arrested for “hate speech” in both Canada and UK (I don’t know if they were actually convicted.) I am sure it will not be long before it starts happenining in other western countries.

  22. James Joseph says:

    It’s interesting to note that I have no desire to ever return to Ireland.

    I’d go to Northern Ireland, but the Republic, I hope collapses and resumes her proper place as a kingdom. She is a republic illicitly gained by violence and murder. Perhaps this is why the Pope excomminicated political leaders like de Valera.

    Record check: I could be mistaken but I think there is a postman in the Carolinas, or was it Ohio, last I heard anyway, who could be a pretender if he so desired; that is, if the bloodlines are correct.

  23. Captain Peabody says:

    Well, there was a pretty (in)famous case in Canada involving the so called “Human Rights Commission.” A (Protestant) preacher was convicted for writing a letter to his paper opposing homosexual marriage and sex education on homosexuality in schools, and was ordered to never write again anything “disparaging” of homosexuality and homosexual persons, ordered to pay a fine, pay the expenses of the professional gay activist who had brought the complaint against him, and apologize in writing to said activist, if I’m remembering correctly. Don’t say it can’t happen here…

  24. Cavaliere says:

    And the prophetic work, Lord of the World, by Msgr. Robert Hugh Benson draws one step closer to reality.

  25. Supertradmum says:

    We were living in Calgary when a Protestant minister was arrested for using the word “sodomy” in his sermon on a Sunday. He was arrested immediately after the service. This was in 2000 or 2001, and it will happen in the States unless Catholics and Evangelicals get going. The other problem is that parents have not encouraged their sons and daughters to get into careers such as judges and lawyers, where we need the Catholic presence. When we have children, we need to think of the call that God has given them for society and not just for themselves.

    As to Lord of the World, I read it last year and passed it on. Great book.

  26. Supertradmum says:

    And, Patrick Buchanan wrote this week in Crisis Magazine, “If Obama loses the Catholic vote, he loses the election.”

  27. shane says:

    James, when exactly did the Pope excommunicate De Valera? As for the Irish state originating in ‘violence’, do you live in the United States? If so, that country also originates in violence. As do most, if not all, countries that exist in the world, including Britain (whose modern constitution derives from the anti-Catholic Glorious Revolution.)

    As for becoming a ‘kingdom’, no offence to existing royals, but I have zero desire to live under the yoke of some inbred tax-dodger.

  28. shane says:

    In fact, Benedict XV maintained a position of neutrality in the Irish War of Independence, as he did during the First World War.

  29. bookworm says:

    “we have to be wary of what I’ve heard dubbed “catacombs porn” which is a kind of an obsessive thrill at the thought of persecution.”

    Well, I have to admit that’s one problem I don’t have. I am probably the biggest wimp you ever saw and I do not get ANY kind of “thrill at the thought of persecution.” If it were not for the (relative) anonymity of the internet I’d probably never share my thoughts on the Faith or on issues like this with anyone for fear of offending them.

  30. Bishop Boyce hasn’t been arrested yet. This complaint will go the same way as that of the German who tried to make an issue of the Pope’s not using the safety belt as his popmobile moved through a crowd in his native country at the alarming speed of 5kph.

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