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A Renaissance of new Irish Catholic voices

  • 09-05-2022 2:03pm
    Registered Users Posts: 410 ✭✭ brianhere

    And so it ends, the great and famous Catholic Church in Ireland is folding its tent and disappearing into the sunset. With aging congregations and clergy, attracting nothing but vitriol from informed and educated Irish society, its closing down or amalgamating parishes and maybe even dioceses to cope with a catastrophic vocations crisis, etc etc.

    That I think summarises the way that even most of its clergy view the current Catholic Church in Ireland. But its premature end has been called many times before, and it hasn't happened yet, instead its noticeable to this observer anyway, how much new effort and dynamism can be seen in new media in Ireland, calling for or leading a renewal of this Church. While I guess it might be premature, and maybe an exaggeration, to say so, it almost seems like a new renaissance of Catholic thinking is upon us.

    Of course this collection of sources actually talk about lots of different themes and issues but I think a few trends can be seen, for example:

    a) Many of these new blogs and youtube channels etc, come out of or are inspired by the traditionalist movement in Ireland. This is where the Latin mass is at least weekly celebrated by groups like the SSPX (in Dublin, Athlone, Cork, Newry and Belfast), the SSPX resistance (in places like West Cork, Longford and Kesh Co. Fermanagh), Institution of Christ the King Sovereign priest (Limerick, Galway and Belfast), and diocesan Latin masses in places like St Kevin's in Harrington Street in Dublin city.

    That said, its not the case that even most of this new media comes out of that movement, but its noticeable that even where it doesn't it tends to emphasise the same core principles. Meaning for example: respect for the Eucharist (e.g. receiving kneeling and on the tongue while not in a state of mortal sin), which is really built into the structure of the Latin mass, but maybe less so otherwise; and emphasis on confession and prayer. I know in theory all Catholic churches preach and practice that, but actually the 'dying' Church mentioned above, often never talks or practices in those terms.

    b) People are rediscovering the great Fathers and Doctors of the Catholic Church. Irish people have been left bereft for over half a century now, from any really intellectually stimulating understanding of religion and obviously Christianity in particular. All they learnt from school is that God loves you, and really never put any more detail or learning to go with that.

    But now nearly all these new writers and broadcasters are reading up on these great philosophers and discovering the solid and logical, two thousand year old intellectual roots of Catholicism.

    c) Discovering the mystical and beauties of the Catholic Church. You can see this in something like the Saints and Scholars podcast interviewing an exorcist, and the Decrevi channel talking about the beauty of the Orthodox rite in places like Mount Athos in Greece. Its like a current generation of Irish people have gone all over the world to admire the reputed sanctity and holiness of Buddhist monks etc and just never explored the real holiness and radiant love of the great mystics, pilgrimages, music, and beautiful buildings and places in general of the Catholic Church in Ireland and around the world.

    d) Deeply critical of the society we currently live in. While all of these media have a great spiritual focus, its nonetheless the case that they can be very critical of the world we live in now, with its education system, abortion and hugely hyped and sponsored gay pride parades etc etc. So we have new rebels of the New World Order been created maybe much like the previous Irish rebels were, as Catholics in a Protestant empire!

    Anyway this small list is just scratching the surface of this new media which I am sure can be added to in the replies in this thread:

    Called to More, and .

    Featuring Fr Columba Jordan, from Kildare, of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.

    Paving the Way Home , .

    Although it broadcasts a variety of Catholic thinkers and writers, its core seems to derive from the Dominicans in Ireland, or people who studied with them like Kevin O'Driscoll.

    Catholic Voice

    A newspaper founded by Anthony Murphy, who was originally from England but lived then in Athy in Co. Kildare, it is now mostly run by John Lacken from Mayo. The father of a large family he is active in giving talks around Ireland as well as producing this newspaper, and they also run (at least pre-Covid) a very successful annual conference in Limerick City in cooperation with the traditionalist order, the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, in that city.


    A free newspaper distributed mainly through Churches, it was founded in the Dominican Priory of St. Mary’s Tallaght by Fr Brian McKevitt O.P. from Dundalk, and now edited by Dubliner Fr Maurice Colgan O.P. Under Fr McKevitt's direction particularly, it was unafraid to include a few political pieces frequently very critical of the powers that be, including RTE, the EU and UN.

    Catholic Arena

    Very active on social media, like twitter, it features a lot of Irish and international Catholic news, reflecting a focus of the organisation and their extensive contacts. They highlight articles by people like Stephen Browne, who you can see here at a recent Legion of Mary conference in Dublin: .

    Saints and Scholars podcast

    Run anonymously by Johnny G, Creda and Bosco, it interviews many interesting guests and is also very knowledgeable about the international political situation. Its anonymity does not disguise that the main interviewer comes from Cork!

    Decrevi Determined to be Catholic

    A husband and father, settled in Ballina Co. Mayo but actually from a family located for probably an unbroken eight hundred years in the parish of Delvin Co. Westmeath ('decrevi' is the motto of the Nugents), nine years a seminarian, perfectly fluent in inter alia French, Spanish, Italian, and Polish, Robert Nugent broadcasts from a mostly traditionalist perspective and is sometimes critical of the current hierarchy and clergy, especially if disrespectful of the Eucharist.

    Post edited by Beasty on


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,892 ✭✭✭✭ Igotadose

    Shouldn't this be under the Religion forum?

  • Registered Users Posts: 410 ✭✭ brianhere

    Why? Bearing in mind that the "Fall of the Catholic Church" is right now a very active thread in this forum.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,256 ✭✭✭ blackbox

    It's a strong tradition, but does anyone under the age of 60 really believe this stuff?

  • Registered Users Posts: 410 ✭✭ brianhere

    Nearly all these media outlets are run by people under 60, and they certainly believe that they say! That at least comes across very clearly.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,189 ✭✭✭ Brucie Bonus

    A person's faith is personal. Its when organisations come in we get mired in politics. The church will have a strong hold for many years to come but they'll never have the power they once did.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,470 ✭✭✭ Flinty997

    The church is failing because it constant ignores the present to behave like the last 100yrs never happened.

    New people looking backwards with rose tinted glasses isn't going to save it. Its needs institutional change. Its unable and unwilling to do that. It needs to address its abuse and prevent it going forward. Its unwilling to do that. At every turn its hierarchy seeks to dodge and avoid.

  • Registered Users Posts: 38,444 ✭✭✭✭ ohnonotgmail

    you think Alive is a new irish catholic voice?

  • Registered Users Posts: 217 ✭✭ Irish_wolf

    Not really sure what the point of this thread is, are you just trying to provide free advertising for these publications?

    If people want to believe in fairy tales and myths and legends as fact then they are more than welcome to, providing they are not harming anyone. There will always be a human demand for stories and fiction. Eventually Christianity and by extension the catholic church will be viewed in much the same way as we view the Greek myths and legends and likewise their philosophers/scientists will be studied in the same light as Aristotle/Socrates/Pythagoras et al, many already are despite your claims that we are "bereft" of their enlightened view points, or maybe you are ignoring those people in particular because their discoveries were typically of the more scientific type and not of the dogmatic bile that the publications you have listed usually spout. Plenty of scientific discoveries made by people of all religions and creeds throughout the world and I'm sure their individual religious beliefs made a significant impact on their world view, the same is true of Catholicism, it is not unique in that regard, and it is not unique in that it will also eventually die out like all the other dead religions before it and the many more that will come after it. The decades of abuse and horrors that the Catholic church inflicted on Ireland over the past century or so just happened to hasten its natural decline here.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,937 ✭✭✭✭ Thelonious Monk

    No one with half a brain believes in this nonsense any more, and it's quite obvious the whole organisation is run by a bunch of oddball weirdo men when looked at through the lens of modern society.

    There seem to be some supporters like Gript etc., but I think they're only supporting it as they want to cling on to some old fashioned view of Ireland they have, I doubt even they believe in ridiculous ghost stories. Good riddance.

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  • In fairness, this is the same poster that used the conspiracy theory forum to promote his covid conspiracies and also is a Tuam apologist. So no wonder he thinks Alive is credible.

  • Registered Users Posts: 38,444 ✭✭✭✭ ohnonotgmail

    whatever about it's credibility in what world is it new?

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,470 ✭✭✭ Flinty997

    Seems like "new" for religion is what "sale" is for retail.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,346 ✭✭✭✭ whisky_galore

    The RCC shat on its own doorstep.

    It had its day in the sun and can't shuffle off into national irrelevance fast enough.

  • Maybe he thinks anything from the last hundred years is new? 😂

  • Registered Users Posts: 38,444 ✭✭✭✭ ohnonotgmail

    i suppose if your organisation changes in geologic time you might describe it as new.

  • Administrators, Social & Fun Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 67,674 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ Beasty

    We already have an active thread discussing the Catholic Church


This discussion has been closed.