Editorial from Church & State, Spring 2005 (Number 80)
Ireland And The Pope
When the Pope visited Ireland in 1979 the old order of things was still in place—or the hulk of it was. He was received with universal adulation, with the exception of those who took the Westminster Confession in earnest and who therefore saw him as the Anti-Christ; and the Catholic Bishop of Cork, Dr. Lucey, who thought Rome had lost its way and did not invite him to his Diocese.
A quarter of a century later the old order has withered, a reversion of feeling has taken place with regard to Dr. Paisley, and Dr. Lucey is forgotten.
If there is amnesia with regard to the Irish who fought to enlarge the British Empire in 1994-18, it is as nothing compared with the amnesia with regard to the 1970s. Memory has been displaced by false memory. Instructed by Fintan O'Toole, many thousands of people have forgotten what they actually experienced and they remember something they did not experience. They were exhilarated but they remember that they were oppressed.
There is much chatter about individualism these days. But it is not the individualism of people with memories who accumulate experience over time and reflect on it. Its content is the fashion of the moment operating on a stream-of-consciousness present without a past. It is here today and gone tomorrow.
The 'Revolutionary Left' of the 1970s is the media Establishment today. Wherever you look you see them. They did not rise in influence through conflict with the Establishment of the 1970s. Gene Kerrigan explained back in those times that they would not engage in conflict with the Church, as we were doing, but would wait for it to decay under the influence of economic determinism. And so they did. And they are now the gurus in the mass media. But no development accompanied their rise, as it would have done if the Church had been brought to compromise through conflict. They are only filling a vacuum—or not filling it, but squatting in it, and pontificating in it with nothing to say. And what one sees in the Ireland in which they flourish is frenzied but purposeless activity in a kind of urban wilderness.
We engaged in conflict with the Church to the best of our abilities. We published the only challenge to the Pope in 1979. We observed the process of meaningless withering of the Church in Ireland over the next twenty years while the Pope was busy in the world. And we will be very surprised if there is not now a strong revival of the Church in Ireland.
The main achievement of the dead Pope was to preserve the Church as a coherent body against the disintegrative forces set in motion by Vatican 2.
Contents of Number 80
Ireland And The Pope
A Puritan And A Pope
Church Split In Zimbabe
The Proselytism Of The West
Dublin Amenities (report)
The Puritan Millenium (II).
Theatre And Life, Part Two.
The Orange Order And St. Patrick's Day
An Cor Tuathail:
The Climate Of Fear In Dallas, Texas, And
The Hidden Side Of 11 September
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