Irish Catholics warn the hierarchs


Yes, its an old joke…the Bride of Christ wants a divorce but there are things to be learned about Irish Catholicism here after 60% voted for gay marriage or “marriage equality.”

One of the first is that you can’t put the genie back in the bottle or new wine into old wineskins.

For generations the Irish church was dominated by celibate clergy, full of themselves and the power slavishly granted to them by a supine laity. They were an arrogant lot. And they got worse under John Paul ll and Ratzinger.They, like bishops all over the world were placed in positions of power to shut down dialogue and stifle the lay voice. It never worked. The people demanded to be heard.

Now we just celebrated Pentecost where the Spirit is given to the whole church bur because of the long run of Constantinian Catholicism the bishops took over and like in any institution the ugly face of power prevailed.Hardly the message or style of Jesus of Nazareth.

As time went on, more and more Catholics became educated and at Vatican ll the Church was defined as the People of God and baptism not Holy Orders was enshrined as the central sacrament. Since Vatican ll Catholics “picked up their pallets and walked” and achieved a measure of maturity. Father no longer knew what was best. You simply could no longer ignore the Spirit in the 99% demanding to be heard and taken seriously.Ireland paid a terrible price for shutting the sensus fidelium down in the people. The best educated generations of Catholics in history kept ignoring the autocratic JP ll bishops who continued to believe they were the Church. The sad thing is that many have thrown out the baby with the bathwater.Not good.The great gifts of Catholicism need to be reappropriated in a nore democratic model of church.

The International Theological Commission of 2014 stated

The importance of the sensus fidei in the life of the Church was strongly emphasised by the Second Vatican Council. Banishing the caricature of an active hierarchy and a passive laity, and in particular the notion of a strict separation between the teaching Church (Ecclesia docens) and the learning Church (Ecclesia discens), the council taught that all the baptised participate in their own proper way in the three offices of Christ as prophet, priest and king. In particular, it taught that Christ fulfills his prophetic office not only by means of the hierarchy but also via the laity.

Ireland is but the tip of the iceberg in the Catholic world.Tensions will continue to proliferate as the Vatican ll priests retire and the JP ll ones attempt to reverse the fruits of the Spirit and the lay voice. The Pope will be promoting the sensus and the JP ll bishops now in place will either be converted or be like the Irish bishops, totally ignored as yesterday’s men.

Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin not a favorite among the rump of Irish JP ll bishops was honest in his appraisal of this ne moment: “The church needs to take a reality check… It’s very clear there’s a growing gap between Irish young people and the church, and there’s a growing gap between the culture of Ireland that’s developing and the church.”



  1. 1
    mushafta Says:

    Very well said Ted!
    “The times they are a changing!”
    The Irish are a great people. They are endowed with much genorosity and compassion. A great literate society that has produced countless numbers of missionaries that have led the way.
    But reform is underway and I’m glad to see it happening!

  2. 2

    New wine and old wineskins, eh? Interesting. >

  3. 3
    mushafta Says:

    And look what the NCR says..,

    Bishops, your church has spoken

    Thomas C. Fox | May. 29, 2015
    What a gift the Catholic hierarchy has been handed by the Irish with their overwhelming vote to legalize same sex marriages. Coming just months before the Synod on the Family set for next October in Rome, the vote by this Catholic nation is nothing less than a church plebiscite – a vote of the Catholic sensus filelium for all to see that official Catholic teaching on human sexuality is wrong, hurtful, and even, at times, immoral.

  4. 4

    Well said, Ted (applause, more applause, standing O). Those Irish missionaries would have been proud. St. Patrick is so proud of the Irish now. They have abortion, now same sex marriage, and it won’t stop, we’ll have women priests, women bishops, and new commandments–updated ones, like Thou shalt recycle–and legalized marijuana, and they are on their way to driving out the big corporations in Ireland, like McDonalds and CocaCola, and so much more.

    Boy, it took long enough, the sensus fidelium was dead for more than 2000 years, it was stifled by power hungry clergy, but it is finally beginning to come alive. Jesus is rising from the dead. Why did it take so long for the Holy Spirit to manifest HERself is beyond me; maybe she is not omnipotent…but how can that be, She’s God. Oh well, not sure how to settle that dispute. Maybe Ireland can settle it for us. In any case, finally the sensus fidelium is coming to the fore. But I’m still puzzled: Why did it take 2000 years? And why was secular culture ahead of the Church? Or better yet, why is secular culture always ahead of the Church? The Sexual Revolution had it right all along! The Church was wrong. The Toronto Star was right all along. Is it possible that the sensus fidelium is right there in the Toronto Star, the NDP, and all their supporters? Maybe we need to break free of this so called Catholic Church? Clearly, the sensus fidelium has been successfully stifled all these centuries. Either the Holy Spirit is not all powerful and can be stifled by the Church, or the Holy Spirit dwells in another social body, namely the political left?

    Listen, I think we should all form our own Church. Ted, you and sister Joan can be the Pope–yes, two popes in one. Mufasa can be a bishop, we can rename this blog: Vatican III? We’ll have loads of follower. After all, people are leaving the Catholic Church in droves–that’s what Ted has been saying for years. Our congregation is ready for us.

    Come on, let’s do this. Let’s be risk takers, let’s make the hierarchs jealous, let’s make them regret that they failed to listen for so long.

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