When St. Patrick Weeps
What happened in Ireland is so terrible because of the implications behind it. In the United States, the American people never voted, en masse, to legalise abortion. Outside of the very liberal “blue” states, where politicians can’t even get elected unless they’re at least modestly pro-abortion, the vast majority of American states (“red” states in particular) have actually trended in the pro-life direction.
In the United States, Red States voted Republican and Blue States voted Democrat in the last presidential election. In this map, the shade of colour indicates how strongly that state voted either Republican or Democrat.
Not only do these red states put pro-life politicians in office but they also support, and put on the books, anti-abortion laws that are currently unenforceable thanks to the Supreme Court Decision that legalised abortion-on-demand in America — Roe v. Wade. Thus, the American Pro-Life battle is fundamentally different from the Irish one. Americans had abortion-on-demand forced on them by 9 men in bloody-black robes. (Black robes proverbially drenched in the blood of aborted fetuses.) The American population is split, largely along state lines, whether they support that court decision. Most Americans prefer some kind of restriction on abortion. A fairly large number of them, in some red states, want it outlawed completely. If Roe v. Wade were ever overturned, the American landscape would be immediately transformed into something similar to the antebellum period (pre-1861) of slave-states and free-states, except the issue would be abortion not slavery, and the geographic line-up of states would look considerably different.
Interestingly enough, in the blue states where abortion-on-demand is approved and celebrated, the Catholic population is high, but simultaneously the Church has completely lost its moral authority. This is due to sex-abuse scandals and clergy that won’t preach the Catholic faith as taught in the Catechism. They water-down the liturgy as much as possible, and turn to Protestant-style renewal programs that don’t work. In some ways, Ireland has a lot in common with the American blue states.
In contrast, the American red states are strongly Evangelical Protestant. Except for just a handful, Catholics are a significant minority in these states. However, their faith appears to be significantly stronger, and the Church’s influence (over its minority members) is stronger as well. This is because the red states, except for just a few, are considered Catholic missionary territory. The Catholic faith is more vibrant because it’s not so well-established. It’s hard to be a Catholic in these states, because the dominant Protestant culture thinks Catholics are “idolaters” and “superstitious.” It tends to weed out some less-committed Catholics, who are more inclined to join Protestant sects, or else just drop out of religion entirely. The few Catholics who remain will join together with Protestant sects on various social actions when they overlap — such as protesting abortion for example.
What happened in Ireland was really quite different. In Ireland, the people actually voted in favour of abortion, en masse, in a democratic process wherein the people actually said at the ballot box, “we want to kill out babies just like they do in the US, UK, and everywhere else.” It’s terrible because it reflects a collective loss of moral direction. This decision wasn’t imposed on the Irish. It was demanded by them. It was shocking to the world because of Ireland’s strong Catholic history. But anyone who’s visited or lives in Ireland knows the nation has become profoundly secular in recent decades. The collapse of the Catholic Church’s moral authority, thanks to sex-abuse scandals, hasn’t helped any. The Irish simply demanded that the abortion laws in their country look like everywhere else, because the Irish people have become no different from everybody else. It’s tragic that it came to this, but I suppose it was inevitable.
DUBLIN (ChurchMilitant.com) – The Catholic bishop of Elphin is calling out Catholics who voted “yes” in Ireland’s abortion referendum to go to confession if they wish to receive Holy Communion.
In an interview Monday with RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke, Bp. Kevin Doran acknowledged that those who voted “yes” committed a mortal sin if they “new and intended abortion as the outcome” of their vote.
The action of this bishop, demanding confession from those who voted “yes,” is a first step in the right direction. However, faithful Irish Catholics (those who voted “no”) are going to have to step of their game. This is where they could learn a thing or two from their American counterparts who’ve been fighting this battle for a long time. I do hope some of my Irish readers will humour me by reading on, and perhaps if they deem it worthy, pass this essay on to their friends and family.
First things first, you’ve got to figure out which bishops and priests are really on your side. You’ll know soon enough by the statements they make, and how they handle the issue of the recent vote. Obviously, Bishop Kevin Doran is one of the good ones. Find out who stands with him in the way of your bishops and priests. These are the clergy who haven’t sold out in Ireland. Start making a mental list, maybe write it down somewhere, as to who in the clergy is really on your side.
Second, you’ll need to support ChurchMilitant.Com, because you’re going to need inside information about what’s really going on in the Irish Church and elsewhere. You’re going to need a Premium Membership with ChurchMilitant.Com to get that information, and also gain access to hundreds of videos you can use to educate your family about the Catholic Faith. I’m a homeschooling father in the Ozarks region of Missouri. I give my kids access to my Premium account with Church Militant and assign videos for them to watch every week. Then they have to give me a verbal report on each one of them. It’s a powerful way to teach the faith, and I highly recommend it. When it comes to rebuilding the faith in Ireland, I hate to say it, but like we’ve discovered in America, we can no longer depend on the hierarchy to get the job done. America has become a sort of “do-it-yourself” Catholicism wherein parents become the primary catechists for their children, and rely on independent Catholic media like ChurchMilitant.Com for help. If enough Irish Catholics sign-up, they might be able to launch an Ireland-affiliate studio someday.
Third, you’re going to need to join a Pro-Life, Pro-Family, Pro-Catholic organisation to help like-minded Catholics rally together. I recommend The Counter-Revolution (TCR) and starting some Irish chapters. Another option would be Tradition, Family, Property (TFP). Yes, one of these fine organisations will be necessary. You’ll find that in dioceses were clergy are less likely to express an assertive role, these organisations will become indispensable. Organise or die. Sorry to be so blunt, but y’all have no idea how bad things are about to get. I’m trying to help you out here. You need to understand that when you consider how much money and propaganda was poured into the “Vote Yes” campaign, that is just a tiny fraction compared to the level of pro-abortion organisation that’s coming once the procedures and mills are well-established in your country. It won’t be long before they have the government actually funding it with your tax dollars! You’ll need to get organised now or you’ll be dead in the water — as the saying goes.
Fourth, stop supporting lousy clergy! For heaven’s sake! Why do you keep giving money to dioceses and parishes that are making a mockery of the Catholic faith? What are you thinking? These are the blokes who got you into this mess. They failed to accurately teach the faith for decades, then they shuffled around sexual abusers right under your noses! Don’t think I’m being judgemental here. They did it to us in America too. It’s time to stop supporting them. What you’ll need to do is find a traditional Catholic parish nearest you, even if it’s 20 miles away, and it has to be one that is still in communion with Rome of course, and then adopt it! That’s right. I said adopt it as your own. Start sending your tithes there instead, even if its in another diocese.
Can. 222 §1. The Christian faithful are obliged to assist with the needs of the Church so that the Church has what is necessary for divine worship, for the works of the apostolate and of charity, and for the decent support of ministers.
As you can see from the New Code of Canon Law (and I’m not a canon lawyer so don’t take this as legal advice), while it is assumed we will give monetary support to the parish and diocese in which we reside, it is not specifically spelled out in Church law. This New Code of Canon Law abrogates all previous codes. So long as we are supporting the Catholic Church (and not some illicit offshoot like the SSPX for example) we are free to give that monetary support where we see fit. If you want to send all your donations to Rome, you can do that. If you want to send them to your local parish, you can do that too. Likewise, if you want to send all your donations to some parish across town, or in another town, you can do that too. So relax. There is no legal obligation locking you into your financially supporting you local parish. Find an authentic Catholic parish that is traditional and orthodox, then adopt it and support it financially. Put your money where your mouth is. If you want your Catholic country back, it’s going to take a generation of blood, sweat, tears and money! Guess what? It all begins with YOU.
I’m sorry to tell you this, but Ireland will not be won back to the faith any time soon. It’s going to take a generation or two of some really hard work. Most of the people reading this now will likely never see the day of victory within their lifetime. We have to stop thinking about the present and start thinking about the long-term game plan. (I wrote about that extensively here.) I’m also sorry to tell you that some of your clergy are not your friends. Many of them are part of the problem actually. You’re going to have to start being selective about who you trust. This is why it’s so important to fund good bishops and priests, so they can be empowered to spread their tradition and orthodoxy. Continuing to give money to bishops and priests who don’t spread tradition and orthodoxy is just plain suicide. You’re enabling those who abuse you. Trust me, we Americans have learnt this lesson the hard way. A good number of American Catholics now send their tithes and offerings to traditional parishes sometimes a hundred miles away from where they live. Many American Catholics will visit these parishes whenever they can, sometimes driving as long as an hour or two just to get there. Be thankful Ireland is such a small country. Hopefully, y’all won’t have such long distances to travel. Count your blessings. Things could be worse — much worse. Just ask an American.