Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Quotation from the post
From a reader in Ireland, to whom I’d remarked ‘I read that Ireland’s getting more secular all the time, rather like what happened in Québec in the 1960s’:
What the British couldn’t do — the actuality is even worse — Vatican II’s aftermath has.
There you have it.
Alas, the only solution I can see is Holy Orthodoxy!
I understand what you’re trying to get at — and maintain that this tradition is a working model of concepts and practices that could renew the entire traditional Catholic world — but am not as sure as you that a wholesale adoption of a foreign church is the answer (sure, it’s an answer and yes, I know the ‘pre-schism is Orthodox’ argument... still looks like stealing Irish history to me) instead of building on Ireland’s own spiritual foundations which like it or hate it are largely 19th-century Roman Catholic, and I don’t mean pseudo-Celticness is the solution either. (Acquaintance Archimandrite Serge (Keleher) lives there, speaks Gaelic and can’t stand the pseudo stuff.)

I’ve been told that religion in Ireland is rather cyclical. They remained Roman to resist the English but before RC emancipation etc. in the 1800s weren’t particularly devout. The image exported throughout the world (by immigrants themselves as well as old-school nationalist politicians like de Valera) of the pious Irish is thanks to a Catholic revival in the late 1800s that’s now on the wane.

Speaking of that adoption as an answer here is:

A glowing article on the Orthodox convert boomlet in America
Or as I like to think of it intellectual ex-evangelicals who would have become Anglicans 50 years ago
Greg Mencotti ... had been raised a Roman Catholic, lost his faith and became an atheist. Then he was born again as an evangelical Protestant, and went on to spend years as a Methodist... Today, Mencotti is a member of Holy Spirit Antiochian Orthodox Church... "I thought they worshipped Mary and they worshipped icons," Mencotti said. "I was like most Americans. I didn't understand anything about Orthodoxy."
Well, with all due respect to Mr Mencotti either the evangelicals thoroughly brainwashed him or he never really learnt Roman Catholicism!
Drink a round to Ireland, boys, I’m home again.
Drink a round to Jesus Christ who died for Irish men.
- Judy Collins song

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