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Catholic imagination, modern Irish writing and the case of John McGahern

19 Secular prayers: Catholic imagination, modern Irish writing and the case of John McGahern Frank Shovlin even now I feel the desperate need of prayer John McGahern, The Leavetaking In 1929 Liam O’Flaherty, the once student-priest, but by then Ireland’s most openly anti-clerical writer, published a scathing attack on the Irish Catholic Church in a short, aggressive book titled A Tourist’s Guide to Ireland. ‘This may seem extraordinary’, he wrote, ‘but it is true that in remote parts of Ireland, usually the parts of interest to tourists, the parish priest has a

in Irish Catholic identities

£730. 32 Management of the financial aid provided by the colonial government provoked fierce disagreements between the Catholic laity and Church hierarchy, particularly in Victoria during Goold’s episcopate, and also in New South Wales at the same period. 33 Goold interpreted these objections as evidence of disloyalty to the (Irish) Catholic Church. Writing to Dean Fitzpatrick while on a visit to Dublin

in Imperial spaces
Emigration and the spread of Irish religious influence

unrelated phrase – ‘British empire’.2 Yet as many historians of Ireland, its diaspora and particularly the Irish Catholic Church have noted, the existence of a peculiarly Irish ‘spiritual empire’ was widely spoken of even as the country’s ports remained choked with emigrants. This concept, normally involving the perception of a special, God-given emigrants’ ‘mission’ to spread the faith in whatever part of the world they settled, is somewhat problematic given the practical limitations explored in chapter three. Nevertheless, as a continually employed explanation of Irish

in Population, providence and empire

MUP FINAL PROOF – <STAGE>, 07/26/2013, SPi 9 Anne Kane: The transcendent role of Catholic discourse in the Irish Land War1 Central to Paul Bew’s seminal study of the Irish Land War is explaining the challenge that confronted Charles Parnell and the Irish National Land League (INLL): how to resolve the conflict of interests between the diverse social and political groups that constituted the land movement – different classes of tenant farmers, Home Rulers, Fenians and radicals, Irish Americans and the Irish Catholic Church (ICC).2 The challenge that confronted

in Land questions in modern Ireland

in falling levels of Mass attendance and attitudes to church teaching, there has been a deep process of secularisation.5 The Nobel Prize-winning poet, Seamus Heaney, has spoken of his personal loss of faith, of belief in God and the afterlife, and seems to assume that his experience is the norm,6 a sentiment encapsulated in one of his poems, ‘Out of This World’,7 when he noted that ‘The loss occurred offstage’, and, one might add, in his case, quietly, profoundly.8 So, is that it: will the Irish Catholic Church succumb in the face of modernity’s challenges, the

in Irish Catholic identities
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spiritual and moral dangers at ports and at sea, were surprisingly lacking, however. At no time did the Irish Catholic Church as a body either originate or lend wholehearted support to adequate emigrant welfare initiatives, although individual clergy doubtless made a difference to the fate of many vulnerable migrants. This reluctance to commit what were acknowledged to be necessary resources to the departing extended also to the departed. While in purely numerical terms the Irish church’s pastoral efforts on behalf of the diaspora were extensive, as Chapter Three argues

in Population, providence and empire
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a “tyrannical” British oppressor or that stresses the role of the Catholic Church in building the modern Irish state. J.H. Whyte’s pathbreaking Church and state in modern Ireland was one of the first to examine, in a comprehensive way, the influence of the Irish Catholic Church on the development of the independent Irish state.12 Whyte examined the evolution of some social policy issues, such as the mother and child scheme and adoption legislation, to illustrate the Catholic Church’s enormous influence over political and social policy through the 1960s.13 Whyte

in Precarious childhood in post-independence Ireland

.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/republic-of-ireland/­dublin-priestreceives-standing-ovation-after-saying-he-is-gay-during-mass-3089 4931.html (accessed 11 April 2017); Gary Meneely, ‘Priest comes out at mass’, Irish Sun (6 January 2015); Skibbereen Eagle Online, ‘Blessed are the gays’, Skibbereen Eagle (11 January 2015), available at: www. skibbereeneagle.ie/uncategorized/blessed-gays (accessed 11 April 2017).  9 Jamie Orme, Guardian (10 January 2015); Carol Kuruvilla, The Huffington Post (12 January 2015). 10 Patsy McGarry, ‘Fr Iggy O’Donovan calls for Yes vote in marriage referendum’, Irish Times (10 March 2015). 11 J. Lester Feder, ‘There is a battle going on within the Irish Catholic

in The history of marriage equality in Ireland

argument was particularly suited to bolstering a long-held conviction that a Protestant-dominated industrialised state was fundamentally antagonistic to the spiritual wellbeing of its Catholic citizens and, not insignificantly, this was also compatible with a nationalist reading of Irish history. Tom Garvin has characterised the Irish Catholic Church in the twentieth century as espousing a ‘curiously empty rhetorical democratic radicalism or national populism’.8 This marriage of conservative and populist economic thought with the increasingly nationalist rhetoric of the

in Irish Catholic identities
Tuairim and cultural conservatism

protected from the public activities of those who neither accept nor practice the natural and the christian moral law’.41 This statement was typical of mcQuaid and his view that legislation, such as censorship, should reinforce catholic morality. it reflected a paternalistic attitude that was dominant in the irish catholic church before Vatican ii and served as a reminder that powerful forces continued to resist reforms throughout this period. however, the reality was that significant changes had occurred in the church and in irish society. nevertheless, similarly to

in Tuairim, intellectual debate and policy formulation