Silent and betrayed

Patricia Casey’s chapter argues that up until recently there was no tradition of a questioning laity, or indeed, clergy, in the Irish Church. Centuries of persecution had brought priests and laity closer, even though they were never viewed as equals. A coalescence of events at home and abroad in the form of the sexual revolution, the rise of Communism, the reforms of Vatican II, created a Western Church where personal choice took precedence over the dictates of Rome. In Ireland, certain myths such as Catholic guilt, the links between celibacy and paedophilia, the death of God, the delusional nature of all religions, began to gain traction. The clerical abuse scandals served to reinforce hostility towards the Church and to add weight to the aforementioned myths, which has resulted in a society that is becoming increasingly impervious to the Word of God. Casey sees the need for Irish people to become educated about their faith so as to be in a position to speak to a secular audience and to find space for their Christian faith.

in Tracing the cultural legacy of Irish Catholicism