Damian Thompson on the Irish Betrayal

You should read Damian Thompson’s take on the recent horrific betrayal by the Irish. HERE

Gay marriage will split the Catholic Church

Ireland, for so long the most overtly Catholic state in Western Europe, has voted for gay marriage by a stupendous margin – 62 per cent. Never before has a country legalised the practice by popular vote.

It would be naive to ask: how could this happen? [NB]Hatred of the Church is one of the central features of modern Ireland, thanks not only to the paedophile scandals but also to the joyless quasi-Jansenist character of the Irish Church, which was handed complete control of education in the Free State after partition in 1922. [Dead on… and much of that was transferred to these USA with the influx of Irish clergy and also training in certain seminaries.] (Many of its priests were outstandingly holy and charitable, but you’ll get your head bitten off if you suggest that in today’s anti-clerical republic.)

Anyway, I don’t want to focus on Ireland. Homosexuality as an issue is a greater threat to the Catholic Church worldwide than the sex abuse scandals. Here’s why:

• Jesus said nothing about homosexuality. But, if we consider him as a historical figure rather than God the Son, it’s barking mad to suggest that an austere first-century rabbi, scrupulous in his observance of the Law, would have condoned men having sex with each other. And as for homosexual marriage…

• The Catholic Church upholds the teaching of Jesus on the sinfulness of sex outside wedlock. Indeed, it is unique among mainstream Churches in outlawing remarriage after divorce, something that even the Orthodox allow in certain circumstances. [In a way that seems contrary to the Lord’s own words.] Jesus was very anti-divorce.

• The Magisterium of the Church has always condemned homosexual acts, though recently Rome has emphasised that the orientation itself is not sinful. Critics say that’s a bit like saying you can be left-handed so long as you don’t write with your left hand, but there you go. [Well… no, it isn’t like that.]



Read the rest there.  Damian provides some good points for thought.


I will add: We are deep trouble, and if anyone thinks that God can be deceived, she is in for a hideous surprise.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. vandalia says:

    There is of course a second aspect that concerns me at least as much: The redefinition of terms.

    No American (or anyone in the English Common Law tradition) will ever attempt to remove “freedom of the press”, “freedom of religion”, requirements for “due process”, or prohibition against baseless “search and seizure.” Any attempt to attack the principle will always be doomed to failure.

    We have recently seen how “freedom of religion” can be redefined as “freedom of worship” so as to pay lip service to the principle while neutering it in practice. On both sides of the Supreme Court we have seen tortuous interpretations of core Constitutional principles that would leave the Founding Fathers dumbfounded, i.e., “civil forfeiture”, limits on “religious freedom”, expansion of “search and seizure”, etc. No one attacks the principle, they just change what the principle means.

    Gay “marraige” (I have taken to purposely misspelling it) of course takes this to a whole new level. What I mention above has been a mostly hidden redefinition using convoluted reasoning. Now, we see a direct attempt to change the meaning of a key term. One can come up with extreme examples of future applications – “freedom of the press” now means “the right to bench as much weight as you want at the gym.” However, the threat is real.

    We are seeing nothing less than the blueprint to destroy the key foundations of our country in particular, and the English Common-Law tradition in general.

  2. aegsemje says:

    What does joyless quasi-Jansenist mean?

  3. PA mom says:

    How can we not think that the compromising of the purity of so many in that country, over such time, has not caused this situation?

  4. donato2 says:

    We are in very deep trouble. The deepest trouble is that the policy of the current pontificate is to turn a blind eye to what is happening. France fell without Papal comment, and now Ireland. Italy is next. The planning for Papal supported surrender is well advanced. Pope Francis has given direction to the Italian bishops to stay out of the political battle. Apparently they have more important political battles to wage, like the one against global warming.

  5. MichaelBoston says:

    The influence of Jansenism on the decline of Irish Catholicism is real but overstated. A much more powerful corrosive has been cericalism in Ireland. The Irish priesthold became a focal point of political leadership and opposition during the centuries of English rule in Ireland. The priest was the central authority among the native Irish, especially in rural areas, where his influence was unquestioned. This state of affairs lasted well into the 20th century. My own parents from a remote Irish speaking region in the West attested to the overwhelming influence of the “sagairt”-priest. This political and social power of the priesthood was not the Gospel or the tradition of the Church. It gave a false sense of security but was not true faith. Once the yoke of English rule was thrown off the Irish clericalist church faded much like Soviet communism.

  6. In my homily for “Ascension Sunday,” I talked about coming persecution, and I said, don’t be surprised by anything. What happened in Ireland was less surprising than many other things we are likely to face. I suspect many folks will surrender to this wave out of weariness, for one.

  7. The media is already going after certain candidates they know oppose same sex ‘marriage’. Case in point;Ted Cruz. He didn’t fall for their gotcha question. He was asked why he had animosity towards ‘gays.’
    Examined my own feelings/thoughts re people with the disorder. I never had animosity towards these people.Hate to say it,until now. With their agenda being shoved down our throats and their militant movement i am beginning to feel less sympathy and more animosity.The Supreme Court is going to decide this?Just like they did abortion? i hope we don’t just roll over and play dead; saying oh well…nothing we can do.
    It’s how we’ve gotten to the point we have. Start with artificial contraception, then abortion,divorce, and same sex marriage.
    How many Catholics accept the use of contraception,give a pass to abortion and will probably think no harm done when it comes to same sex ‘marriage’ (no such thing). It’s beyond animosity now. It’s outright anger. Had enough. It’s an attack on freedom of religion-and will be followed by an attack of freedom of speech,assembly and press.It’s already begun. Their battle cry was discrimination & intolerance. They were a minority. You wouldn’t think so. I can’t imagine how it happened when there are more of us than there are of them.I really don’t feel like rolling over and playing dead even out of weariness. Pray. Yep. Our country definitely needs it. Battle-yep. We definitely need to fight back this time.

  8. iPadre says:

    I’m watching “For Great Glory” today. As I watch, I wonder who us us may be hung, shot, or beat to death by a robin the grasp of the devil.

  9. iPadre says:

    Darn spell check. Above should read: “by a mob in the grasp of the devil.”

  10. oldconvert says:

    I am not Irish and have never lived in Ireland; nevertheless I have worked with and known many Irish people, and lived for several years in a part of London (until it was gentrified) nicknamed “Little Ireland”.

    From what I can tell there has been for a long time a simmering resentment against the Church in Ireland; not necessarily against the parish priests and curates, but against the hierarchy, who have been perceived as both remote and arrogant, uncaring and hypocritical. The abuse scandal and the cover-ups in particular, the reporting of the death of that poor Indian dentist, turned out to be the last straw. The Church became the Enemy, of decency, compassion and truth, in many minds.

    The SSM vote is simply an expression of this anger. If the Church was seen to be against it, that was enough to recommend it.

    What the way forward for the Church in Ireland can be, I have no idea, but sucking-up to the mob is not it.

  11. Charlotte Allen says:

    The vote in Ireland was definitely a spite vote against the Catholic Church. If you run into any liberal Irish (which is to say, about 99 percent of Irish these days), they’ll start complaining about how Ireland until recently was “priest-ridden” (actually a disdainful term coined by the British when they were running Ireland), the Magdalen laundries, and the whole bit. Ireland is probably the most anti-clerical country on earth these days. Today’s Irish seem to have conveniently forgotten that it was the Catholic Church that provided the chief and usually the only bulwark against the cultural annihilation of Ireland during centuries of British rule.

    I’m one-fourth Irish myself, so I think I have some insight: The Irish haven’t won a battle since Brian Boru routed the Vikings at Clontarf in 1014. Later that century there was essentially a “Norman Conquest” of Ireland, so for nearly a millennium, Ireland was a (contested) part of Britain. Even its demography was violently altered in Ulster, which James I packed with Protestant Scotsmen from the borderlands during the early 17th century). Ireland gained independence only when the British got tired of running it after World War I. So there has been a kind of chronic national passive-agressiveness as a substitute for genuine aggressiveness on the part of the Irish: first endless complaints about the British (don’t get the Irish started on the potato famine or how their language was suppressed, or whatever), and now endless complaints about the Catholic Church. Underneath all of this, I think, there’s an element of self-hatred and shame among the Irish that they are currently taking out on the Church. Of course all the sex-scandals (whose memory is kept alight by the living flame of aflame of worldwide anti-Catholicism) didn’t help.

    The excellent 2014 movie “Calvary” provides a penetrating view of today’s Irish, who use a “shocked shocked” stance toward the now 20-year-old sex scandals as an excuse to dump on the Church in perpetuity and to justify their own collections of pet vices.

  12. aquinas138 says:


    Whatever the way forward is, it must be accompanied by prayer, fasting and almsgiving – weapons that have always been in our spiritual arsenal. We should probably get to it!

  13. Imrahil says:


  14. The Masked Chicken says:

    “Darn spell check. Above should read: “by a mob in the grasp of the devil.”

    iPadre – offer it up. It is symptomatic of the times. What is homosexuality, anyways, except the spell-checker of marriage run amok?

    The Chicken

  15. The Masked Chicken says:

    Any Irish out there? How was this sold to the population? This is not only an affront to the Church. It is an affront to clear reason. Religion must be a matter of life or death or else it isn’t worthy to be called a religion. This isn’t anti-clericalism, only. It is game-playing. It seems that, to 62% of the Irish, Catholic truth has become a shell game.

    ‘Tis sad, m’laddie.

    The Chicken

  16. Fr. W says:

    “Jesus said nothing about homosexuality.” – Who wrote Romans and 1 Corinthians? God the Holy Spirit did; but that would mean God the Father and GOD THE SON as well. Jesus had something to say about homosexuality.

  17. rafferju says:

    it was a forgone conclusion, the MSM hates the church with a passion and for many years have attacked it at every opportunity. we have the pope francis poster carrying Assosiation of Cathoilc Priests the ACP telling priests not to tell people to vote against the referendum. the no campaign never had a chance. I switched off the radio and tv a while back I can no longer take it. most catholics in Ireland would struggle on the most basic quiz on catholic teaching.

  18. rafferju says:

    a number of our most prominent bishops were less than helpful, ” the far right catholics want me to condemn homosexuality but who am I to judge”. “we can’t tell the people how to vote”. “people can vote yes in good conscience” you get the idea. first time the church has not lead the no campaign on an issue that concerned morality. when the irish bishops recently refused to say any politican who votes for the abortion legislation will be excommunicated the government knew it had them on the ropes and went for the killer punch

  19. jacobi says:

    I think, Father, we have to be realistic. The Irish vote for homosexual “marriage” is a turning point, and Damien is right, this issue probably now will split the Church.

    Ireland has until now has been regarded as the most Catholic of countries. Yet 75% of the registered electorate either voted for homosexual “marriage” or couldn’t care enough to turn out and vote against it. Ireland is no longer Catholic. We have moved into the new Secularised age, the post-Catholic, the post-Christian age. And there is no point in trying to kid ourselves otherwise.

    The phrase “no one has to be a Catholic” has been discussed recently and I have been criticise for using it. Yet now it takes on a whole new meaning. The days of cultural, or tribal, or inherited Catholicism are finished. Yes we can send children to Catholic schools, not that that seems to have done any good in the last 40 years, but the World is so powerful now.

    So from now on, to be or not to be a Catholic will be a matter of personal choice, a personal decision for each and every one of us and for our children and grandchildren. We will chose to accept the Commandments, The Resurrection, the Magisterium or we will choose otherwise, in which case we will not be Catholics.

    The Church cannot change its teaching on these matters. Sodomy is a sin. Adultery is a sin. And those who indulge cannot receive Holy Communion without Confession, a firm purpose of amendment not ever to commit that sin again, and due Absolution.

    Clearly the way things are now set up for the second session of the Synod on the Family, a great many will not accept this. So it does look as though the Church will yet again split.

    This is not uncharitable, (or sour!) it is simply facing up to Truth, to that what the Holy Spirit demands of us.

  20. Regardless of the country,regardless of a legit or not legit grievance against the Catholic Church it comes down to secularism infiltrating every aspect of life-and ppl succumbing to it because it seems so easy.Throw in some arrogance,maybe? Such as, we don’t need God anymore.

  21. ChesterFrank says:

    Could someone please answer aegsemje’s question “What does joyless quasi-Jansenist mean?” I looked up Jansenism on Wikipedia and was left confused.

  22. Robbie says:

    “Deep trouble” is a huge understatement. This debacle, at least in my opinion, is a perfect and vivid illustration of the failure of the VII era in the Catholic Church. Maybe I’m being too dramatic (always a possibility), but I feel as though I’m watching the Catholic Church collapse right before my eyes. Who could have ever imagined Ireland, once so staunchly Catholic, could do such an abominable thing?

    All that said though, I’m far more troubled by the actions of the Catholic Church hierarchy in the leadup to this terrible event. To put it plainly, where was the Bishop of Rome in all of this? As best I can tell, he said nothing in the weeks and months preceding the Irish vote. And what about the Archbishop of Dublin? He said he was personally opposed to the measure, but didn’t think it was his job to tell others how to vote. Really? Is this what now passes as leadership in the Catholic Church? If so, find the nearest catacombs.

    If a pope and his bishops can’t or won’t take a firm stand against gay marriage, then where does that leave the Catholic Church? In his very first homily, the Pope said the Church can’t become a spiritual NGO, yet every action he’s taken suggests otherwise. He speaks endlessly about the financially poor and the evils of capitalism, but rarely speaks about those who are poor in spirit. Has the business of saving souls now been replaced by helping the financially poor?

    It’s time for the Vatican to stop acting and speaking like it’s an auxiliary of the United Nations and start focusing once again on saving souls because it’s clear the world is full of people in need. I know I’m one. But if the Irish vote can’t awaken the Vatican, then who knows what will.

  23. jhayes says:

    Rafferju wrote when the irish bishops recently refused to say any politican who votes for the abortion legislation will be excommunicated

    Pope Francis spoke to the Italian Bishops Conference last week:

    Ecclesial and pastoral sensibility is concretized also in reinforcing the indispensable role of the laity willing to assume the responsibilities that correspond to it. In reality, the laity that has authentic Christian formation should not be in need of a Bishop-pilot, or of the Monsignor–pilot or of clerical input to assume their own responsibilities at all levels, from the political to the social, from the economic to the legislative! Instead, they are all in need of the Bishop Pastor!


    And according to Rorate/Lifesite, Bishop of Derry Donal McKeowan said

    I don’t doubt that there are many people who are practicing churchgoers of whatever church background who will in conscience vote Yes, and that’s entirely up them. I’m not going to say they’re wrong,” he added.

  24. Auggie says:

    While clergy refused to tell the Irish people how to vote, the celebrities (including the rock band U2) told people to vote “yes”. Bono is seen as being greater than a bishop and, in fact, he pontificated: “marriage transcends religion.” In Ireland (and most places), many things now “transcend religion” in the minds of formerly faithful people. A watered-down and
    scandal-wearied Catholicism doesn’t stand a chance against a U2 concert. Pop culture is now
    the pope.

  25. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Damien Thompson ends by suggesting a “point [at which] some traditional Catholics will up sticks to the modern equivalent of Avignon and we’ll have two popes”, putting the “split” of the headline in terms of a Second Western Schism.

    Is this the only possibility? Primates of Provinces of the Anglican Communion seem to be following the practice found among the Orthodox Churches of a bishop breaking communion with a bishop, or all the clergy, or all the baptized of a diocese whom they think descended into heresy (etc.). Is there no analogous possibility? What would happen if Bishop Orthodoxoöthropraxis declared he was no longer in communion with Bishop Timeghost until such time as he clearly mended the error of his ways?

    Chester Frank & aegsemje: try Jacques Forget’s 1910 Catholic Encyclopedia article, “Jansenius and Jansenism”, as found at New Advent to start with. Those are ‘Jansenists’, historically. I take it that people who are not exactly, fully that, but much like it in many wass in their approach to the Church and theology are being called ‘quasi-Jansenists’ or ‘practically/half-/almost Jansenists’ and that they are seen as ‘joyless’ with joylessness assumed to be characteristic of Jansenists.

  26. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Typo: “many ways”!

  27. Adeodataomnia says:

    Joyless quasi-Jansenist basically refers to the theological ‘school’ promoted Cornelius Jansen, whose ideas reigned largely in France and Ireland (and a few other pockets, such as Irish-American Clergy) largely into the 20th century. His idea basically revolves around a concept of the depravity of man, rather than the inherent goodness, yet fallenness, of him. Jansen was very much like a Catholic Calvinist in many ways.

    In any case this theological perspective had many poisonous fruits, because as it went through the Seminaries, and then to the pulpits, the people were essentially taught a very negative view of human nature, and this had many consequences. When a sect despises human nature, what follows usually is some sort of tendency toward sadness and/or despair. Today, “Jansenist” in many people’s minds sounds like “rigorist” or “legalist.”

  28. DD says:

    Thank you, Adeodataomnia.

  29. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    To add a couple quotations from Forget’s article to Adeodataomnia’s summary: i the 18th century “they were still the fanatical preachers of a discouraging rigorism, which they adorned with the names of virtue and austerity, and, under pretext of combating abuses, openly antagonized the incontestable characteristics of Catholicism especially its unity of government, the traditional continuity of its customs, and the legitimate part which heart and feeling play in its worship” and “bore the mark of the […] arid spirit of Calvinism.” The “quasi-Jansenists” he uses as a term to distinguish a group from them, saying this “category is that of men of Jansenist tinge. While remaining within bounds in theological opinions, they declared themselves against really relaxed morality against exaggerated popular devotions and other similar abuses. The greater number were at bottom zealous Catholics, but their zeal, agreeing with that of the Jansenists on so many points, took on, so to speak, an outer colouring of Jansenism”.

  30. vandalia says:

    To give a practical example, a while back I met a very old Irish nun who would fit this definition. She said that Pope John Paul II or Mother Teresa might – only might – have a chance of getting into Heaven. Anyone else, forget it.

    If you have one blot on your proverbial copybook, you are doomed to hell – or at least a couple millennia in purgatory. This probably accounts for the notorious intolerance of many Irish priests and religious to innocent mistakes by their colleagues and subordinates.

  31. Alanmac says:

    The American CDC in a comprehensive poll found that 95%of the American public was heterosexual. Only 1.7% were homosexual. These low numbers startled me, as their weight seems insignificant. I just don’t understand all the fuss.

  32. Elizabeth D says:

    I would be interested if Damien Thompson and/or Fr Z, or others, would elaborate on what they mean by Jansenism, which I think is not a particular movement but somewhat of a subjective term, that people seem to use in different ways. To me based on what I was told by some Carmelites, Jansenism in the most basic instance means the particular kind of rigorism that for reception of Holy Communion demands more than simply having made a good confession and being in a state of grace, but insists on greater purification and penance. This party would hold that few people are in a state to be worthy to receive the Eucharist and would therefore be in favor of infrequent Communion. The reforms of St Pius X in favor of frequent Communion would be very opposed to Jansenism. I also associate Jansenism with an exaggerated suspicion of “the flesh” to the point that according to one priest who described Jansenism, St Margaret Mary’s devotion to the Sacred Heart was disturbing and even outrageous to Jansenists, who associated an emphasis on the body and some particular body part, with sexual impurity. In this interpretation, the devotion to the Sacred Heart was a strong, even daring defense of devotion to the Incarnation and the Sacred Humanity of Jesus.

  33. Nancy D. says:

    No doubt, if our Holy Father Benedict had free reign he would call out the apostates. In fact, Francis is obligated to do so, but has not. I cannot help but wonder who is running The Vatican these days. That being said, it is a self evident truth that marriage cannot be both existing in relationship as husband and wife and not existing in relationship as husband and wife, simultaneously, thus I find it difficult to believe that even the Irish don’t understand this fact of logic. The numbers seem too over the top, even for Ireland.
    s an act of Love, not bigotry, to desire that all our sons and daughters are treated with Dignity and respect in private as well as in public. It is not unjust, to discriminate between acts, including sexual acts, that respect the inherent personal and relational Dignity of the human person, who is, in essence, a beloved son or daughter, and acts that do not. Unfortunately, there are those who desire to discriminate against our sons and daughters who have developed a disordered same-sex sexual attraction, who do not desire that they heal their wounds, and do not Love them with an all encompassing Love that desires to help them see themselves as God and those who Love them do, beloved young gentleman and young ladies, beloved sons and daughters, who are worthy of being treated with Dignity and respect, in private as well as in public.

  34. yatzer says:

    Alanmac says:
    The American CDC in a comprehensive poll found that 95%of the American public was heterosexual. Only 1.7% were homosexual. These low numbers startled me, as their weight seems insignificant. I just don’t understand all the fuss.

    I have had the same perplexity, and right now am thinking it is a kind of cultural battering ram. If people can be forced to accept this or be written out of polite society, then they probably be forced to accept anything. Secularism will have triumphed and just the vestiges of Christianity need clearing out. Which will probably mean clearing out the Christians at some point.

  35. Grabski says:

    Friends this is where “who am I to judge” ends. Catholics take clues from “father” and when its actually the pope who looks the other way…

    Take heart..Poland elected a pro church president

  36. Grumpy Beggar says:

    From the OP (Father Z’s comment is in the square parentheses):
    “• The Magisterium of the Church has always condemned homosexual acts, though recently Rome has emphasised that the orientation itself is not sinful. Critics say that’s a bit like saying you can be left-handed so long as you don’t write with your left hand, but there you go. [‘Well… no, it isn’t like that.’]”

    Bang-on Padre. What a poor , inadequate non-correlative analogy. Obviously according to the analogy one wouldn’t be able to eat with their left hand either – they could only think about doing it . . . Neither could one similarly be permitted to use their left hand to swim, shower , play drums , hammer in a nail , or choke a Leprechaun – all of which are actions necessary for our well-being.

    Science has some strong proofs that left-handedness or right-handedness is already hard-wired into a person from the earliest age – as soon as they start using their hands. No such scientific argument exists for active homosexuality , or homosexual tendency or homosexual attraction . The Catholic Church however, does consider them in Her main argument:

    “We are all sinners.” . . . which would seem to compliment the “get over it” philosophy quite nicely (unless one were , say, hellbent on wrapping fish or something).

    I wonder which “critics” Damian Thompson thinks he’s quoting – Whoever they are , they don’t appear to be experts as much on left-handedness and right-handedness as they are on underhandedness.

    Damian Thompson has implicitly used the term sexual orientation : “. . . though recently Rome has emphasised that the orientation itself is not sinful.

    FWIW . . . been posted here before , but sexual orientation is a “highly ambiguous” term which tends to automatically frame the debate in favour of the homosexual activists.

    Dr. Scott Lively’s DECIPHERING ‘GAY’ WORD-SPEAK AND LANGUAGE OF CONFUSION deals with the expression sexual orientation (scroll a little less than a quarter of the way down the page to see it).

    In EWTN’s article entitled Holy See Statement on “Sexual Orientation”, have a look at the “NOTES” at the end of the article a moment and consider all the different ways they’re defining “sexual orientation”.

  37. CharlesG says:

    Jesus did specify that marriage was between a man and a woman (…and cleave to her husband….). He said he was here to fulfill the law, not destroy it, that people should follow what the Pharisees say, not what they do, and that one should counter lust in the heart and not just externally. All of this relates to homosexual activity and its sinfulness. So not, I don’t believe Jesus was “silent” on homosexuality.

  38. Kathleen10 says:

    Ten minutes ago I would not have thought it possible to read about or discuss this topic and laugh, but ipadre’s murderous robin typo did it. Thanks ipadre! I shall be watching my yard in case the flock decides to gather.

    Ireland’s gone. It’s over. CMTV did some interviews in the street, in Dublin, I believe, and while that is not scientific, there was a theme. The large majority thought it a joke that they did not attend Mass, and there are many who wear it proudly like a badge. It’s the same in the USA. It is now hip to be an atheist, and there is just no compelling reason not to be. God is a toothless old tiger now. If he even exists, with all the abounding evil that he “does nothing about”, what on earth could such a weak God do to you or me? Clearly, he’s got better things to do, and besides, he’s all about “mercy”. This is the portrait that likely exists in most contemporary minds about Jesus, if they give him any thought at all. Many mock God directly.
    The responsibility falls on the clergy, but the Irish are not innocent in it. Each person has to decide, and they just foolishly foisted something on themselves, the effects of which will soon become obvious, even to them. Naturally, innocent children will pay the highest price, in ways I can’t even stand to mention. God help poor innocent children everywhere. When the Irish see what’s to become of their vulnerable children, they will rue the day then and there. If the Supreme Court does the same to the US, it will be just as bad here.
    Our October Synod seems a foregone conclusion. What hopeful word can be said at this point? I believe we are headed for a split because it is hard to imagine anything else but heresies and horrors coming out of it, but I’ve thought that for some time now. This issue is going to divide us, because it forces the issue, and that is the idea.
    I saw a fascinating program on EWTN with Alice Von Hildebrand, who mentioned something we can all see. She called it “evil zeal” and she was talking about how much energy and enthusiasm people seem to have for evil, while good people are often “asleep”, and good causes don’t get the same kind of enthusiasm. She’s right, that is how it seems. It’s an interesting observation, and her conclusion is that “Satan never sleeps”. It is an observable phenomenon.
    We need a little divine intervention. We’re in over our heads. Jesus, have mercy on us! Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

  39. Nancy D. says:

    While it is not a sin to have a disordered inclination, it is a sin to not desire to overcome our disordered inclination so that we are not led into temptation but become transformed through Salvational Love, God’s Gift of a Grace and Mercy.

  40. RomeontheRange says:

    Guess they’re gonna have to start calling it the Emerod Isle.

  41. Grumpy Beggar says:

    Jesus also said , “But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

    The same would have to at least apply for a man who looks at a man with lust. So even homosexual attraction and homosexual tendency don’t somehow carry with them any guarantee of immunity to sin. We all have to struggle – just because morally bankrupt people of questionable sanity are making the civil laws these days , doesn’t mean a particular act or movement of the will is not a sin.

    aquinas138 is right – we have to start praying more intensely, fasting, alms giving – it’s the only way to really make a difference. I like the Rosary , because I know our Blessed Mother still really cares about these souls – even while they’re persecuting the Church.

  42. Scott W. says:

    Jesus did specify that marriage was between a man and a woman (…and cleave to her husband….). He said he was here to fulfill the law, not destroy it, that people should follow what the Pharisees say, not what they do, and that one should counter lust in the heart and not just externally. All of this relates to homosexual activity and its sinfulness. So not, I don’t believe Jesus was “silent” on homosexuality

    I’d also point out that Our Lord reminds his listeners of the punishment meted out to Sodom and Gemmorah and says nothing to suggest that it was unjust or heavy-handed.

  43. There also seems to have been a lot of concubinage among Irish priests – there seem to be endless stories of Fr X who announces to his congregation/is outed by the Daily Mail, with a secret wife and a double life.

    When the priest is holy, the people are good.
    When the priest is good, the people are mediocre.

    etc …

  44. andia says:

    Jansenism —http://www.unamsanctamcatholicam.com/history/79-history/153-what-is-jansenism.html If you go down about 1/2-2/3 down you’ll se a list of the most troubling parts of this heresy. Pope Innocent X roundly condemned it, especially these points – according to the article.

    1) That some of the commandments of God are impossible to just men, even when they strive to fulfill them, because the grace to fulfill them is not given.

    2) In fallen man, nobody can ever resist an interior grace.

    3) To merit or demerit in our current, fallen state, it is not necessary for us to have a freedom defined as freedom from necessity; mere freedom from constraint is sufficient.

    4) Human nature has the power to resist or obey God’s law without any interior or preventing grace.

    5) Jesus Christ did not die or shed His blood for all men, but only for the elect.

  45. Grateful to be Catholic says:

    A society that has already abandoned any strictures on heterosexual activity is in no position to tell homosexuals they can’t do whatever they want and get public affirmation. This is just the inevitable result of a century of deconstructing marriage. Marriage is now an arrangement among any combination of persons, optionally fruitful, nonexclusive, and dissolvable at will. In other words, no definition at all. No wonder fewer people are even bothering with it.

  46. gramma10 says:

    I agree with Boxerpaws1952
    And I also must ask that since in this age, evil is good and good is evil, don’t we need to be more vociferous or something?
    Seems like tons of confused people are drinking the koolaid.
    I do believe an hour of adoration as often as possible and even daily, will fight this evil. Archbishop Fulton Sheen said that one hour of Eucharistic adoration dispels evil. Christ asked it in the Garden. The apostles slept. We are sleeping too.
    We all need a swift kick! The world is drowning and we are not throwing in life preservers and rescue equipment. It seems we are all standing by the waters edge discussing what we see and not doing much else.
    Why are there not more homilies by our priests sharing this info? Because it is political??
    At least Fr. Z is courageous and truthful enough to share on his blog.
    Now I need to figure out what to do. There is strength in numbers.
    So far, prayer, fasting, and I will add….Adoration ought to be a start.

  47. Long-Skirts says:


    Jewel of the west
    On eastern coast
    Atlantic aurora
    Our Mother’s boast

    The proud are scattered
    In conceits of their heart
    Blind to Melchisedech’s
    Priests thou art

    Jewel of the west
    On eastern coast
    Atlantic aurora
    Our Mother’s boast

    A light to the Revelation
    Of faithful Gentiles
    Angels sing canticles
    Simeon smiles

    Jewel of the west
    On eastern coast
    Atlantic aurora
    Our Mother’s boast

    Root of Jesse
    Gate of morn
    Unworldly womb
    The skulkers scorn

    Jewel of the west
    On eastern coast
    Atlantic aurora
    Our Mother’s boast

    And we your daughters
    Comely and fair
    A terrible army
    Birthing His heir

    Jewel of the west
    On eastern coast
    Atlantic aurora
    Our Mother’s boast

    For our sons’ inheritance
    Roman men toil
    A Cathedral of cassocks–
    Catholic priesthood all Royal!

  48. Athelstan says:


    What does joyless quasi-Jansenist mean?

    Damian has very good insights in this piece, as he often does, but I doubt that he knows what it really means, either.

    Whatever Irish Catholicism was, it wasn’t Jansenist, and the “quasi” qualifier doesn’t quite right the ship. What Damian is alluding to is better described as moral rigorism, a kind of middle class puritanism borrowed from and used as a defense against English Victorian culture. The Oxford Companion to Irish History‘s entry on “Jansenism” spells it out:

    Jansenism was viewed with great suspicion by Rome, and 17th-century Irish synods toed the Roman line. Indeed, while its moral rigorism made it attractive to elements of the Counter-Reformation church, Jansenism’s theological and political radicalism alienated both local hierarchies and Catholic monarchs. This was especially the case in France and most Irish clerical students there associated with the milieux hostile to the movement. Indeed their anti-Jansenist opinions were singled out for criticism by the pro-Jansenist journal Nouvelles ecclésiastiques, Irish clerics, in general, being more attracted to Jesuit-style humanism. The success of the anti-Jansenist bull Unigenitus (1713) marginalized the movement but it survived as a popular millenarian-cum-miracle cult. Neither as a theology nor as a political attitude did Jansenism recommend itself to the Irish Catholic community, either at home or abroad. The frequent claim that Irish Catholicism was Jansenist-influenced springs from the tendency to confuse Jansenism with mere moral rigorism.”

    And from Vexilla Regis: Maynooth Laymen’s Annual, 1951, p. 84:

    The so-called Jansenism of late nineteenth century Ireland was nothing more than an element of Victorianism that came over with the compulsory English after the Famine.”

    Let’s be clear: There *were* certain pathologies (and yes, they could be “joyless”) in Irish Catholicism, both in Ireland and in the Anglophone world, that (however vibrant it otherwise was) were deeply problematic and left it wide open to the collapse we have since seen. One of those pathologies was, as MichaelBoston says, a clericalism that was at times unhealthy. It’s just not fair to call it Jansenism, which has unfortunately become a catchall characterization for any unusually moral rigorist brand of Catholicism. These terms matter. We can’t cure the problem if we can’t diagnose it properly.

  49. Rosary Rose says:

    We can do something. We are Catholics. We pray. Our Lady of Fatima asked us to pray the rosary daily. Batten down the hatches, teach the catechism like it’s going out of style, use your fingers if you don’t have any beads, kneel down and pray. You’ll receive tremendous blessings to help you guide others in the coming storm.

  50. avatquevale says:

    @Grumpy Beggar,
    Thank you for the links. Scott Lively’s lucid essay “Deciphering Gay WordSpeak” was particularly helpful in clarifying all the warm and fuzzy NewSpeak on sexual “orientation.”
    I will cease using this misleading “O”word.

  51. jaykay says:

    Athelstan: thank you for your very cogent clarification of Jansenism in the Irish context i.e. it didn’t basically exist pur sang and is largely confused with the sort of 19th-century middle-class morality which pertained here well into the 1970s, albeit diminishing rapidly at that stage. I know – I was brought up in its remnants. And, believe it or not, the good probably outweighed the bad in a lot of it, despite the urban myths to the contrary. As to Jansenism in its original 17th century context, given that the Church in Ireland was struggling for its very existence, with the Archbishop of Armagh being hanged, drawn and quartered in 1681 and the savage Penal Laws being adopted a short while later, with clergy actively hunted down and executed or exiled, well no, I don’t really think the Irish church had much time or resources to get into the theological niceities of such a movement. Sort of hard to get your flock involved in that kind of thing when you’re saying Mass at a rock in the countryside with a price on your head and people on watch for the soldiery in pursuit.

    As to that referendum result, no, it’s not surprising to anyone who really knows the country (as opposed to the amateur psychologists and historians). I personally don’t think that, as others have commented, it’s yet another vengeful blow at “The Church” (scary music), because the truth is that the Church has been a busted flush for a long time, and while a lot of people might have relished that a swipe at it came as a sort of added extra, in fact their main focus was to stay on the cool side at all costs and show how right-on and caring they are to the World. Because what motivates very many people in this Island is the desire to gain approval, particularly the “right” sort of approval, being basically insecure and very anxious to appear well at all costs.

    O.k., the media “yes” torrent and the 100% approval from the political class, not to mention the $25 million pumped into the “LGBT” cause by Chuck Feeney’s Atlantic Philantrophies, certainly influenced things – how could they not? – but in so many cases they were pushing an open door.

    Kathleen10 above put it nicely with Alive von Hildebrand’s very powerful observation: “…how much energy and enthusiasm people seem to have for evil, while good people are often “asleep”, and good causes don’t get the same kind of enthusiasm.” But it wasn’t so much that those on the “no” side were asleep, or even unenthusiastic about putting our case, it just got so wearying after a while being constantly shouted down, abused and derided (putting up posters for the “No” side was not for the faint-hearted! Taking them down is almost as bad). Yeats said it many years ago: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity”.

    Still, God is not mocked. I’m often reminded of the tarot card that shows The Fool, head in the air, gorgeously dressed… but about to step over the edge of the precipice. And the Fools who have promoted and voted for this abomination will drag the rest of us over with them.

  52. I haven’t the time to read all the comments here. As a priest on the ground in a secular university (UCC) may I put a few facts out there:

    Fact: Nearly 40% didn’t vote

    Fact: just over 23 % voted no (poor I admit)

    Fact: just over 36% voted yes – a little over a third of the population have decided for the rest of us.

    How did this happen? I agree with MichaelBoston that clericalism (and its relatives anti-clericalism and laicism) has done damage. A Presbyterian colleague (a good Ulster man) said the whole thing was anti-Catholic last week. Years of poor catechesis, acceptance of contraception, secularisation (US and British TV dominate much of Irish culture) and to top it off the damage done by the clerical abuse scandals have had their toll. Ireland hasn’t been a Catholic country in reality for a long time. There remains a superstitious attachment to the rituals of baptism and first communion and the church wedding but the Catholic Faith is in poor shape above all on the East coast (i.e. Dublin).

    But the real reason the referendum passed is simple: CASH

    The Yes side were massively funded from the US, in particular, and many corporations and big companies got actively involved (Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter etc), Ryanair offered free flights for those going home to vote. They were able to use focus groups and professional expertise to manipulate language and emotions to swing the younger voters behind their side. The media were entirely on the Yes side. Even the head of the Referendum Commission was publicly advocating a Yes vote. The No campaign won the TV debates and the Irish Bishops were balanced and careful (strong tactics having failed spectacularly in earlier referenda) but we were out gunned. The No side could not compete with the Yes as regards resources but even so the Yes side were worried it would not go their way – I think where they succeeded, apart from the young voters, was in making the waverers decide not to vote. They used emotion to bully people away from voting No. The Guards (police) were even caught tearing down No posters!
    For those who were not here – who did not experience the unrelenting talk and propaganda and the pressure from family and friends, on Facebook, in conversations, signs everywhere and with the expectation that one could not possibly vote No – it’s impossible to imagine.

    At the moment I feel like a Jew in the early days of Nazi Germany. Pray for us.

  53. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    andia, Athelstan, jaykay,

    Thank you for more information and discussion of ‘Jansenism’, and particularly with reference to Irish history!

    I wonder how loosely that “quasi-” is being used: does it just mean something like ‘resemblances in term of rigorism’?

    Another version of the points which andia quotes and a discussion of them can be found Jacques Forget’s 1910 Catholic Encyclopedia article, “Jansenius and Jansenism” (as available at New Advent), which can be compared with that in the article indicated at unamsanctamcatholicam.com

  54. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Br, Tom Forde,

    Thank you for the ‘voter turn-out’ details, which I had not seen before!

    And what a world of voter- (and campaigner-) intimidation so many seem to inhabit in the ‘western democracies’ these days: we need to be praying for each other!

  55. Papabile says:

    I appreciate Thompson’s views, though I will always remember him slamming our blog host and Bishop Poprocki for no good reason:


    He reminds me of several men whom I have known in the political world who like playing alternate sides of the aisle…. never being firm in what they stand for, and always wondering where they will fall.

  56. Imrahil says:

    As to the “gloominess” etc.,

    though Jansenism itself may (partly) have such origins, one reason besides the influence of erstwhile-Jansenist seminaries may be (the thought is one of Erik v. Kuehnelt-Leddihn) the simply fact that the Irish Catholics were situated in an area where Catholicism was pressed to win the morality race, and to persevere when the temptation of its members to fall away joining another denomination is all to ready.

    Other examples would be the United States (which, of course, are under Irish influence) and the Netherlands, which latter was described (by Kuehnelt-Leddihn) to be have most pious Catholic populace in the world in the 1950s, just a decade before the “Dutch Catechism” of unhappy memory was published. – To the Dutch Calvinist, the Dutch Catholic seems undisciplined, but he’s more rigorous than a Prussian Catholic, who again seems of almost Protestant strictness to the Bavarian Catholic (who despite the Protestants in Germany lives in an area where they are comparatively far off). And though it is hardly imaginable, even the Bavarian Catholic is more rigorous than the Austrian Catholic (I guess), or (certainly) than the Italian one: But Italy is St. Peter’s own country, and was never (really) troubled by the Reformation in any case.

    (Spain is a somewhat different case because Spain, after all, – with great influence on Spanish culture or at least the stereotypes about it – once had to fight for Christianity the age-long war against Islam. Still, I’ve been told that the things described here, perhaps inaccurately, as “quasi-Jansenist notions” have not set foot in Spain, nor Latin America. Which is a very good thing for their culture; it may, though, bring with itself the disfortune of being less equipped to meet the present onslaught of Protestantism to Latin America, which, it seems, works principally by the suggestion that Protestantism were the religion-to-have if you are wishing to have or acquire money.)

  57. Imrahil says:

    Dear Venerator Sti Lot,

    “quasi-Jansenism” concerns, if I’m rightly informed, the French Seminaries where Ireland had been getting her priests from when seminaries were banned on her own soil. These (or was it just one?) had been actually Jansenist until the suppression of Jansenism, and when, of course, the heresy was weeded out (which was a slow thing all over France), something in the tone, the unquestioned attitude, could be expected to endure.

    Just one example (with admittedly little connection to morality:) Among other things, the Jansenists had a quarrel about Papal infallibility (chiefly about whether it extends to questions of fact, but it is only to be expected that they, fought against by the Pope without ever been outlawed by a Council, would have a problem with the concept in general). Well, is it a coincidence, then, that Ireland was explicitly denying Papal infallibility all the time up to Vatican I, and thought (and taught) this was a concept made-up by Protestants to give Catholicism a bad repute? (As given in the Irish Catechism of the 1820s or 1830s.) Only after the First Vatican Council, they suddenly realized that Papal infallibility actually was included in the “and I believe all things the Church believes”.

  58. robtbrown says:

    Nancy D says,

    Unfortunately, there are those who desire to discriminate against our sons and daughters who have developed a disordered same-sex sexual attraction, who do not desire that they heal their wounds, and do not Love them with an all encompassing Love that desires to help them see themselves as God and those who Love them do, beloved young gentleman and young ladies, beloved sons and daughters, who are worthy of being treated with Dignity and respect, in private as well as in public.

    “Treated with Dignity and respect” is a boiler plate phrase that sounds good until it is applied. One of the tenets of Post Modernism is desensitization–not to be disgusted with naturally disgusting things. Someone in a restaurant who sees homosexuals displaying acts of affection should be disgusted–not concerned with treating them with Dignity and Respect.

    There’s a reason why homosexuality has traditionally been considered a sin that cries to heaven for vengeance.

  59. Imrahil says:


    Irish clericalism is not the fault of Irish clergy, but of the lack of an Irish-Catholic secular leading class. (A common trait of diaspora countries, though the Duke of Norfolk is a remarkable English exception. The U. S. seem to have the idea of “Catholic laymen in high Knights-of-Columbus ranks”, but you need to get the idea, first.)

    Dear jaykay and hon. dear Br. Tom Forde, very interesting…

    As for the good probably outweighed the bad in a lot of it, that may be so as long as that sort of morality lasted*, but i.m.v. we have to take into consideration also an estimate of how much of our present misery is an antinomian reaction to it.

    [* From a very telling Downton Abbey scene, though:
    “I do not have much. But my honor I do have, and that I will keep. I will not work together with this woman; so I’m quitting my job unless you should reconsider.”
    Said by a decent workeress whose employer has dared to give a job to a former prostitute, struggling to care for a child and maybe survive without prostitution.

    As a Catholic, it is very clear where my sympathies fall.]

  60. Wretched sinner says:

    From what I understand, Ireland has not been “Catholic” for years… I guess I just don’t see why there is so much surprise here – this is going to happen everywhere across the world. Not only did our Pope Emeritus tell us this (the Church will be a Creative Minority), but our Lord told us this years ago. We have been living in the end times since the ascension of Christ. Politics fails in the end – no amount of politicking is going to make a whit of difference now. Princes fail in the end – no presidential candidate, MP, or Prime Minister will save us now. The hour grows late. Yet we must fervently pray for the souls of all sinners (ourselves included) and not withdraw from society – there is still good work to be done within our families and churches. For a time (God only knows how long), we can only be like the Christians of the 1st 3 centuries. The City of Man is lost for now.

  61. Athelstan says:


    …in fact their main focus was to stay on the cool side at all costs and show how right-on and caring they are to the World. Because what motivates very many people in this Island is the desire to gain approval, particularly the “right” sort of approval, being basically insecure and very anxious to appear well at all costs.

    Right on target. I do think that’s very much what is going on with many supporters of the “yes” vote. And it’s not true of just Ireland. Most people are unwilling to be non-conformists.

    For a long time that worked in the Church’s favor. Now, it is very much working against it – in Ireland, in America. and throughout the West.

  62. Gabriel Syme says:

    While there are no doubt many factors at play here, a central one is the erroneous direction the Church has taken in the years since Vatican II.

    Archbishop Martin – who seems as poor an excuse for a Bishop as does the rest of the Irish hierarchy – did managed to identify that the majority of people who voted yes have been through some 12-13 years of Catholic schooling.

    So, there you have it, the worthlessness of modern catechesis (if its even worth the name) and schools which are Catholic in name only, (CINO), highlighted plainly for all to see.

    The Irish vote was a disaster, but in a way its good to have the gross failings of the modern Church plainly exposed – it shows that those ‘SSPX cranks’ have been right all along.

    The Irish of today would vote for anything, if the Church had spoken against it.

    I am from Scotland and the situation is the same here. Catholicism is just a veener over a social group which is almost wholly secular in terms of values, and almost wholly protestant in terms of belief and liturgical practice.

    The Scots Bishops have yet to be publicly shamed in this kind of fashion though, probably because we Catholics are only 16% of the population and so dont have the same capacity to humiliate them as the Irish do their Bishops.

    I started going to an SSPX Church a couple of years ago, instead of the “empty vessel” diocese and, for the first time in my life, I experienced worship as part of a congregation which actually believes what is written in the Catechism. For the first time in my life I heard worthwhile homilies which educate and challenge the listener. For the first time in my life I heard words like “sin” and “hell” used in Church.

    The people who voted yes in this referendum have not had any of these experiences which are so new to me.

  63. Athelstan says:


    I appreciate Thompson’s views, though I will always remember him slamming our blog host and Bishop Poprocki for no good reason…

    Let’s just say that Damian has a particular personal investment in this area that makes him unusually sensitive to discussions about it, and leave it at that.

  64. Imrahil says:

    Dear wretched sinner (I don’t mean to call you that, just using the alias^^),

    well let’s say that though we’re not ultimately citizens of the City of Man… we’re “exempted ones”, to borrow the term of the old Prussian Law (under which the inhabitants of a city were either its “citizens” or its “subjects” or “exempted ones”), subjects of a greater power exempted from actual subjection to the city, but still, ordered by the same greater power to live under its direction…

    still we love the place where we’re living, and it is but natural to grieve about them.

    “The love to Created World the Father of All hath planted into the hearts of Men, and He planteth nothing without purpose.” (Tolkien, Akallabêth)

  65. kimberley jean says:

    I think we all probably have the wrong idea about Ireland. The romantic picture we have probably never existed. My mother worked for an Irish owned hotel and was very fond of the Irish staff who came over ever year. They, even the youngest girls, never went to Mass, drank astonishing amounts of alcohol and seemed determined to turn themselves into burnt out husks before they turned 40. I work in Washington DC and meet people from all over the world. The Irish folks that I know are a lot of fun but seem deeply depressed. This vote got started a long time ago.

  66. JesusFreak84 says:

    I’ve been saying this for years. Gay marriage isn’t just going to split the Church; it’s going to split the whole of human civilization itself =-

  67. discens says:

    The basic problem seems to be simple: once the principle is gone all the implications will go; and once an implication that involves the principle goes, the principle is gone. The principle is the meaning of sex. It is for children, and therefore for life-long union between father and mother; children cannot come to be without the marital act of father and mother, and cannot come to be well without education over long years by father and mother and aunts and uncles and grandparents and friends. The principle went when people, first women but progressively men too, started to display their bodies with immodest dress, for, whether knowingly or not, they were thereby offering sex and not marriage. It went again when Catholic couples started using artificial means of contraception, despite Paul VI’s incomparable Humanae Vitae. It went yet again when divorce became easy and common (combined with remarriage without annulment). It went yet again when abortion became easy and common. Homosexual marriage is almost a side issue in comparison. There is no point opposing homosexual marriage without opposing immodest dress, divorce, abortion, and above all artificial means of contraception. In fact, morally speaking, a sacramentally married man and woman who use artificial means of contraception are, in that contracepted act, doing something no different from what homosexuals sexually do. The one act is as unnatural as the other. Why are we surprised at the inevitable results, then? And what is the Church to do? The situation is so grim that mere repetition of abiding doctrine will not make much difference (it hasn’t made much difference these past 50 or 60 years). The answer must be to follow our Lord when he said that the Church should bring out of her store house things old and new. The old is the doctrine, which cannot change; the new is pastoral policies, which can easily change. Pope Francis is clearly doing the right thing by urging a pastoral rethink and by involving all the bishops in the process. Since the Holy Spirit, whose special feast we celebrated this past Sunday, always guides the Church, especially through the Pope, we have every reason to trust the collective wisdom of the bishops when the synod next meets. The rest of us cannot be there in person, but we can be there in our prayers.

  68. robtbrown says:

    Kimberly Jean,

    The Irish are well known to be friendly, with the gift of gab, charming, and funny. Underneath that, however, is their inclination to melancholy.

  69. Imrahil says:

    Dear Kimberley Jean,

    somehow your description of the Irish, rather than differring from the romantic picture we have made about Ireland, on the contrary fits (at least) my own stereotypes about Ireland quite 100%.

    Nor does it sound unsympathetic.

    As for going to Mass, assume that these Irish you met were living in a society where going to Mass on Sunday is the decent thing to do, and not doing so a rude thing. (Which would have been the case in 1950s Ireland.)

    Wouldn’t you, then, have something other to say than that they don’t go to Mass at all?

    And then imagine that, all of a sudden, popular conception (incorrectly, but they do conceive it) treats Sunday Mass as unobligatory, at best a nice, pious and voluntary thing, and a sign of sanctimoniousness in the eyes of many that go there less often (these some will soon appear).

    A society that tumbles from the first into the second state will, almost naturally, end up rarely going to Mass at all (though I wonder whether they those same you met wouldn’t go for very high holidays and family occasions).

  70. CrimsonCatholic says:

    I don’t believe Vatican II is responsible for this as the SSPXer suggest, rather the anger at the Church for wrongs and so called “wrongs.” The biggest divide between the Church and the people has been the sexual abuse scandal and the lack of perceived justice.

  71. JARay says:

    It is very difficult to add anything to the above. I therefore cannot add but I can support much of what has been said. The education of young Irish children has been seriously lacking. The Faith has not been taught because the catechism has been replaced by catchesis which merely skates over the fulness of the Faith. The dreadful sexual exploitation of the innocent by largely homosexual priests is a scourge whose fruits are all too real. The Irish episcopate is woeful. The present Pope seems to be more concerned with the environment than with the eternal teaching of the Church. The prophesies of Our Lady at Akita that bishop would dispute with bishop and Cardinal with Cardinal and the threat that if things do not change then the earth can expect a chastisement, the like of which the earth has never seen, all bode a truly woeful future.

  72. Uxixu says:

    Bishops need to refusing communion, if not excommunicating many… starting with politicians for the good of their souls that they might repent. Half measures and attempts at charity is anything but when it endangers so many souls.

  73. robtbrown says:

    Gabriel Syme,

    You experienced in the garden variety parish what is often called Pastoralism, which makes the primary responsibility in the apostolate to be making friends. The teaching of doctrine, including what does not refer to sin and hell, is considered to be of secondary importance. The liberals of the Synod on marriage are thought to be promoting Pastoralism

    Of course, what happens is that they never get around to doctrine.

  74. LarryW2LJ says:

    My dear, departed Mother-In-Law would be shocked. She was from Donegal and was only one of two children that came to America from a very large family. I half jokingly suggested to my wife that she should Facebook message her Irish relatives with “What the heck is wrong with you people? Have you gone crazy?”

    I have several friends who seem to be good Catholics on every issue but this one. How anyone can stand up for gay “marriage” is beyond me. It’s so illogical.

    But I have to hand it to the Gay lobby. At 2% (or thereabouts) of the population, they have steam rolled this issue into the hearts and minds of the world. We went from “We just want to be accepted!” a few years ago to “We DEMAND” acceptance, or else”.

    Funny – I just noticed “DEMAND” also spells out “DAMNED”.

  75. KateD says:

    In the article one of the bullet points asserts, “Jesus said nothing about homosexuality”, but that’s not entirely true. Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgement for the land of Sodom and Gomor’rah than for that town.” (Matthew 10:15; Luke 10:12), then again in Luke 17 he refers to the time when Sodom was destroyed by fire and sulphur. These references confirm what occurred at Sodom and Gomor’rah and Jesus is affirming his approval of the just judgement on those towns for the sin of Sodom (homosexual acts).

  76. KateD says:

    iPadre & Kathleen 10-
    Martyrdom is the easy way out. Fight and live a long and productive life and drag as many people into Heaven as possible along the way, ideally our whole culture. What can one person do? Not much under the ground….but above ground….well, look at Mother Teresa. She was one woman, but she lived out her faith openly and forcefully….look at all she was able to accomplish.

    STAND YOUR GROUND. FIGHT. LIVE a heroically holy Catholic life (as you do). If martyrdom comes, it comes, but we should not resign ourselves to it.

  77. Nancy D. says:

    Denying that God Is The Author of Love, Life, and Marriage is not heresy, it is apostasy.
    I have no doubt that our Holy Father, Benedict had to flee because the wolves were at his door.
    To deny the inherent personal and relational Dignity of the human person created in The Image and Likeness of God, is to deny God.
    Love is ordered to the inherent personal and relational Dignity of the persons. (See The Blessed Trinity) We can know through both Faith and reason that same-sex sexual acts do not respect the inherent Dignity of the human person. Any act, including any sexual act, that demeans the inherent Dignity of the human person, as a son, daughter, brother, sister, husband, wife, father, mother, is not, and can never be an act of Love.
    robtbrown, my point is that all persons have an inherent right to be treated with Dignity and respect in private as well as in public; engaging in acts that demean our Dignity as human persons would be a violation of our inherent, unalienable Right to be treated with Dignity and respect.

  78. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    discens writes, “In fact, morally speaking, a sacramentally married man and woman who use artificial means of contraception are, in that contracepted act, doing something no different from what homosexuals sexually do. The one act is as unnatural as the other.”

    Is that strictly accurate, morally speaking?

    It is obviously not strictly accurate concretely speaking: “what homosexuals sexually do” will never be procreative, never result in conception, in and of itself. (Even as the genitalia of one sex surgically altered to a simulacrum of the genitalia of the other sex, will never simply function procreatively.) Whereas “artificial means of contraception” are variously subject to ‘contraceptive failure’ with procreation as a consequence. (And so, artificial contraception and abortion are very often not ‘alternatives’ in practice, but, where the sacredness of life from conception is not acknowledged, abortion is frequently employed after ‘contraceptive failure’.)

    A question then is, do the facts of the matter have no moral dimension, make no difference to the moral analysis? Is, for example, an unsuccessfully “contracepted act” resulting in conception and followed by birth morally identical with an instance of “what homosexuals sexually do”, even though it is concretely entirely different in being procreative?

  79. pjthom81 says:

    I was trying to look at the challenges in the US and Ireland, just going off the data, and was trying to come up with themes from an empirical point of view. I think the proximate date of the challenges starting point was around 1995. There are a variety of factors that changed, and likely are to a degree based on the change from the industrial to the communications economy.

    The Irish problems coincide with a decline in US attendance and self-described strong beliefs in Catholic Practice. I don’t think that quasi-Jansenism explains this as much as more basic factors. These declines seem to start in the middle 1990’s, and while they are more pronounced in Ireland as Ireland does not seem to have been affected by the immediate aftermath of Vatican II, the results are about the same with somewhere around 25% of self-identified Catholics still attending on a weekly basis. Ireland seems to have gone through this all at once, while the US had a dropping off in the late 60’s and early 70’s, and then again from the mid-90’s to the present.

    In a way these declines are somewhat curious as the mid-90’s was the time when a lot of the values systems of the 1960’s….support for abortion, rates of violence and crime, rates of drug use etc. were collapsing. Today, in looking at the volume of bills being passed against abortion in state legislatures it is not hard to conclude that the tide has turned….and Catholics tend to be more pro-life than the surrounding population. Similarly the number of R rated movies has declined drastically, and entertainment from movies to music is far more family friendly in 2015 than in 1995 (remember Gangsta Rap and Grunge?)

    However, the mid 1990’s was also when the internet came to the fore, and the result seems to be increased condemnation of anything that can said to be violent against another person (including abortion) while at the same time an increased tolerance for anything that can not easily be demonstrated to being shown to have the same capacities (like homosexual relations.) The result is a quieter dissent that forces Catholics to make a harder case…that you still need to do the right and moral thing even if you can’t see the impact. I wish I could better articulate this point. Basically the issues are now issues of morality that are more difficult to see in public than before but that nevertheless have a huge moral impact. An example may suffice: NYC is now cleaned up tremendously from where it was in 1995, but personal pornographic use has increased greatly due to the internet (and I would not be surprised if that led to more tolerance in all sexual related areas…but that’s not something I have empirical data for.)

    And so far, we aren’t doing a very good job from the numbers. Catholics were more backing of homosexual marriage in both the US and in Ireland than in the general population. Our leaders do not seem to be able to articulate their opposition well. This matters enormously since it is creating an atmosphere that appears to me to be similar to that atmosphere surrounding France during the 1905 debate over the separation of Church and State. The result is what I believe to be the strongest organized secularizing movement since the first decade of the twentieth century…only now relegated to the whole of the West with every Christian Church in its crosshairs.

    All of this is a long way of coming to a conclusion, but basically I would say that I think a lot of this may have to do with how and to what degree the West lives in the communications era that started about 20 years ago and how to effectively address the problems. Bottom line, we’ve actually had some successes on some issues over the past 20 years (particularly abortion) but we have not had as much resonance with a situation where people are harming their own moral lives without picking a victim other than themselves.

  80. Darrin says:

    I fear the outcome in Ireland is an example of things to come. I pray what is reported in this National Catholic Register article is not a sign of things to come. http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/confidential-meeting-seeks-to-sway-synod-to-accept-same-sex-unions/

  81. gramma10 says:

    Check out if you have time:
    History of Substance Abuse in Ireland.
    Interesting article.

  82. Vikingconvert says:

    I first visited Ireland in September 1990 with my parents. We spent a week in London and another week in Ireland. My father told me that I would be captivated by this lush green island in the North Atlantic and he was spot on. I stood under a 10th century round tower, the graves of my Irish family buried nearby. The view on top of that hill overlooking the village of Ardmore and the sea were breathtaking. The perfume like air smelled old, saturated with history, but still alive and fresh. We visited our Irish cousins who spoke the old Gaelic language. I drove on the left side of the road for the first time. We stayed in a B&B and my window had a view of the round tower in the distance. I never slept better in my life even though I really didn’t want to sleep at all. I was utterly charmed and fascinated with this little part of Ireland where my great Grandparents had left behind for the new world. I promised myself that I would return to Ardmore someday…

    I went on two more trips to Ireland by myself – both bus tours. This time I saw the whole island. More memories of old, dark castles, music, Irish jokes, ancient sites, lovely scenery, that wonderful smell, and the contrast of the Irish green landscape…which reminded me of Oz; and the gray skies. I visited Knock and made my first confession there. I was not Catholic, but an orthodox Anglican and had never made a confession before. I think the old Irish priest was amused, and possibly very pleased that a voice trembling, barely could spit out the words American fellow like me had made it to his confessional. I flew home after that vacation thinking that Ireland was unique in the world. The ancient Romans had never reached Ireland and so the “world” would never fully conquer it. Ireland, in my eyes, would be tempted, but never surrender in the end. Nonetheless, I saw some red flags on these last trips. A condom dispenser in a restaurant, our tour guide making less than subtle negative remarks about the church, and a few of our older Irish relatives warning us that things were changing, and that they were worried. Especially for the youth. That was 22 years ago. I have visited Europe many times since then, but Ireland held a special place in my heart. But I didn’t want to let go of my romantic view. Ireland and the Irish were special.

    And now this “same sex stuff” as Fr Z calls it has infected Ireland. I hear this for the first time over the weekend on the radio driving down to South Bend, IN and Notre Dame of all places. To me, this is all truly satanic, but God will not be mocked and there will be a price to pay in this life or the next. I really don’t think the Irish people who voted for this debacle know what’s in store for them. We’re all bombarded with the “same sex stuff” these days, but this one was tough to accept for me.

    I converted to Eastern Orthodoxy 3 years ago. I was born and raised an Episcopalian, a church that has totally caved to the secular culture including same sex “marriage”. Even though I’m Orthodox, I admire and respect the Roman Catholic church. I adore Pope John Paul II. I revere Pope Benedict. I have learned much from them. I sincerely pray for both churches and their fight against the secular culture. If I return to Ireland someday, I hope it will be a strong Christian nation once again, and not be a follower.

    Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us and Ireland. Most Holy Theokotos, Save us.

    Come, Lord Jesus.

  83. discens says:

    Venerator Sti Lot questions my comparison between contracepted acts of a husband and wife to homosexual acts. The comparison is, indeed, not complete because there are obvious differences, but it is complete as to the moral status of the given act. That a contracepted act may fail to be contraceptive is contrary to the intent internal to the act and this intent is determinative of the act’s moral status (the couple want the contraception to be 100 per cent effective and that it isn’t is something they would remove if they could, so, for moral purposes, we can assume the removal). Of course husband and wife can very easily correct their act by removing the contraception, whereas homosexuals would have to find a partner of a different sex and marry him/her. But that fact does not alter the moral nature of the given act. A contracepted act, qua contracepted, cannot result in conception whatever you do with it. An uncontracepted act can, even if in this case it won’t because, say, the woman is not ovulating. Likewise a homosexual act cannot, qua homosexual, result in conception, even if emitted sperm or ovulating egg are manually joined in some test tube later. So a contracepted act between husband and wife and a homosexual act are, in the crucial respect, morally indistinguishable. Say that one is OK and you’ve said the other is OK. No wonder a supposed Catholic country can allow homosexual marriage; it’s the logical result of allowing artificial means of contraception. QED.

  84. Imrahil says:

    To the sentence,
    Jesus said nothing about homosexuality,
    two observations.

    1. Oftentimes you can smell the direction in which a statement will go, just from the word used to refer to Our Lord. I don’t know whether this is an actual rule anywhere (the rule is just “no abuse”), but people with traditional-styled piety seem to prefer to reserve the Most Holy Name for prayer, while using “Christ” in theology, “the Savior” in reverent colloquial language and (in Bavaria) “the Lordgod” as a (not irreverent but) term of familiar affection. – Well, I digressed.

    2. The statement is grossly misleading in that the Evangelists, by their own account, did not write everything about Christ down – and that Christ, even Christ, may not have intended to pronounce on every single matter of morality directly. (As a matter of fact, when actually asked about moral conduct His immediate response was: “Thou knowest the commandments, dostn’t thou?”) Now however says that Christ did not say anything about homosexuality should, not to mislead uninformed readers, add immediately that St. Paul did say something about homosexuality, and not things in its favor.

    Dear Nancy D,

    while denying that God is the author of life, love and marriage may, perhaps, be apostasy* (), holding wrong and dangerous opinions and setting them violently into practice would not be.

    [* I hesitate because I’m not sure whether someone who assumes uncreated things to exist besides God, but does not “take the next step” and adore them as deities, qualifies as apostate. There were plenty of philosophers, even, I suppose, heretical Christian philosophers, who held that about original matter, and I’m not aware that any of the Fathers who wrote against them would have classified them together with the pagans. I’m not sure here, though.]

  85. Imrahil says:

    Dear KateD,

    Martyrdom is the easy way out.

    Which, needless to say, actually makes it attractive…

    Oh and by the way, though I maybe you addressed only ipadre and Kathleen10: As regards your advice to “live a heroically holy Catholic life (as we do)”, I would not claim more than leading a Catholic life (and that only as far as I know and with exceptions). I’m happy if I succeed at times in leading a good Catholic life. Heroically holy?

    Pippin: “Don’t let Gandalf betray you! I am no more valiant than I am a man, save perhaps then again by necessity.”
    Gondorian: “Many a doer of great deeds could not say otherwise.”

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