Saturday 22nd September 2018

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Ireland’s Rout And The Failure To Lead Mise Eire…Poor, Lamentable Ireland

June 6, 2018 Frontpage No Comments

By SHAUN KENNEY

The faith that took St. Patrick a generation to build and lasted 1,600 years against Dane, Dutch, and English took one generation of Catholic bishops in Ireland to squander and destroy. There is no other explanation; there is no other place to lay the blame for the horrendous loss of Christendom’s final bastions – defeated, as the Irish always are, by treachery, connivance, and paid informers.
St. John Vianney used to warn that when God wanted to punish a people, He would send them bad priests. How great the sins of Ireland must be! In 1983, Mass attendance in Ireland was in the high-80s. By 2006, that number had dropped to 48 percent. By 2011? 18 percent.
Paul Weyrich, the former head of the Free Congress Foundation and lodestar of the conservative movement here in the United States, used to argue that politics follows culture. As of late, there has been some reflection on this observation that perhaps it is culture that follows from politics? After all, the Soviet Union did their number on Eastern Europe, and economies and markets recovered only to the degree that they embraced the free market. Catholic Poland did; Orthodox Romania stuttered.
For myself, I tend to side with Weyrich — politics indeed follows culture, but culture flows from environment (not identity, as the modern identitarian movement would insist). Against this backdrop is our old Aristotelian DNA that inclines us toward the good, beautiful, and true.
For instance, there are a good many people who might insist that the Second Vatican Council inculcated the precipitous drop in Mass attendance. In the case of Ireland, this is patently false, as faithful Catholics continued to honor the faith of their fathers. Neither can one lay the blame at the feet of the Novus Ordo Mass, whose presence in Ireland was ensconced long before 1983.
So what changed? A few things. First and foremost, good priests were scared away from the priesthood. How many men will privately tell you that they had a vocation (or were told by good priests and bishops that they indeed had a vocation) only to be turned away by administrators as being too rigid, too young, too zealous for the faith?
Then came the pederasts infecting the Catholic priesthood. Much as in the United States, the 1960s and 1970s saw one scandal after another covered up either by Catholic bishops too weak to tackle the crisis or a “Velvet Mafia” too pleased with their handiwork to turn in any fellow conspirators.
What changed wasn’t the liturgy of the Second Vatican Council or any of that, important as all of this is. What changed was our environment. What changed was the moral authority of a Catholic hierarchy too eager to be accepted by a world that had long ago rejected it and remains eager to destroy it.
Catholics in Ireland (and in America) both felt and saw the changes. When our priests and bishops stop believing in the Catholic faith, is it any small wonder that the laity begins not only to lose courage but to finally abandon the Deposit of Truth and Faith as well?
Thus abortion rears its ugly head, precisely because it is one of the few crimes that links the spiritual and the temporal. In the United States, abortion has dominated our culture for almost five straight decades.
Our priests and bishops continue to lack the iron will to end it — and if they ever possessed such fortitude, the abortion industry would rupture in five years at most. In Ireland — when it was a Catholic country — they had the moral fortitude to ban abortion and protect the lives of both mothers and babies. The single greatest indicator of such success? Faithful attendance at Mass.
Thus we have created the moral environment that dictates culture, and therefore dictates the aftereffect of politics. Politicians may muddle in the margins, but Ireland’s referendum paid homage to the old dictum of never raising a question without already knowing the answer.
Who raised the question, one might ask? George Soros and his Open Society Initiative, which poured hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce the result. But Soros knew he could expect victory, in no small part due to the generation-wide failure of our priests and bishops to be firm shepherds.
The good news is that if you skip to the end of the book, the good guys win in the end. The tragic news — as our Lady has warned us repeatedly — is that millions upon millions of souls are being led astray. The wolves have descended upon the fold; our shepherds are negotiating with the wolves and blaming the sheep for bleating in protest.
Pray for our priests, ladies and gentlemen — and pray for good priests to heal our land. No priests, no Eucharist. No Eucharist, no Church.

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There are a lot of grandparents who read the First Teachers column, and for that I am both truly humbled and thankful. I was very close to my own grandparents, and it is because of their testimony (most notably, my grandfather who left a lifetime of Catholic activism and example behind) that kept me Catholic as I grew older.
So my question for you is this: What have you discovered works best when transmitting your faith to your family? Children, grandchildren, or even your parish? I’d like to share them with others, if that is okay with you, because I suspect like many of us, we all want to transmit the Catholic faith but wonder at times where to start.
Send your ideas to me directly at svk2cr@virginia.edu – let’s get a conversation going.

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Of course, I am succeeding (but not replacing) the inestimable Mr. James K. Fitzpatrick for the First Teachers column. Please feel free to send any correspondence for First Teachers to Shaun Kenney, c/o First Teachers, 5289 Venable Road, Kents Store, Va 23084 — or if it is easier, simply send me an e-mail with First Teachers in the subject line to: svk2cr@virginia.edu.

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