Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ireland's church shows sign of renewal after loss of credibility

Catholic bashing has replaced 'Brit bashing' in the national psyche
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin greets churchgoers following the annual Festival of Peoples Mass at St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral in Dublin May 26. John McElroy / CNS.
With the International Eucharistic Congress on the horizon, Church leaders in Ireland are starting to see a Catholic renewal in their homeland. Michael Kelly of Catholic News Service reports:
While a recent survey by the Association of Catholic Priests found that weekly Mass attendance throughout the country is one of the highest in Europe at 35 percent, the capital where Mass attendance in some parishes is 2 percent -- has been hit by a combination of religious apathy, secularism and disenchantment as a result of clergy sex abuse scandals.

David Quinn of The Iona Institute, a think-tank that aims to highlight the benefits of religion for society, believes it is wrong to present all of the church's challenges as being linked to clerical abuse scandals. The shift in public opinion, he said, is "driven primarily by the secularizing trends that would have overtaken the rest of Europe over the last century, and only secondly actually by the scandals, because the downward trends were in place before the scandals ever came to light."

"Church bashing has replaced 'Brit bashing' in the national psyche," he said.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

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