News

Media review – The end of Catholic Ireland?

Summaries and links to reports on the recent survey which has been interpreted by many that The Republic of Ireland is abandoning religion faster than almost every other country worldwide

The end of Catholic Ireland  
By Mary Kenny, Guardian – In the historic sense, Ireland’s long love affair with the Catholic church was, as Ella Fitzgerald once sang, “too hot not to cool down”. Catholicism was once so all-pervading in Irish life that it seemed a definition of Irishness: but now, according to a survey by the pollsters Red C, the Irish are losing their faith quicker than most: seven years ago, 69% of Irish people described themselves as “religious”: this has now fallen more than 20 points to 47%.

Something had to give, and even before the clerical scandals broke into the public realm – in the 1990s – this intermingling of faith and fatherland was in decline. There was the effect of the 1960s. There was the effect of the pill, which, contrary to legend, was legal in Ireland. There was television. There was modernisation, which the Vatican advanced as aggiornamento. Around the time of Vatican II – 1962-65 – it could be said that in the hills of Connemara they spoke of little else.

But there were a lot of concerned parents, too, writing to the devotional magazines saying that they were in despair because they just couldn’t get their offspring to pray: the family rosary was gone: their son (it was usually their son) wouldn’t go to mass, no matter how much they beseeched. Gradually, you could see traditional Irish Catholicism unravelling. The votive lights placed under the picture of the Sacred Heart were disappearing in country B&Bs. My aunt, who had once felt miserably guilty for absent-mindedly taking a cup of Bovril on a meatless Friday, could relax.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2012/aug/08/end-of-catholic-ireland

Is Irish Catholicism dead?
Stephen Hough, Telegraph – The figures are indisputable: the Catholic Church means less to people in Ireland than it did fifty years ago, both in religious practice and in cultural identity. Statue of the Infant of Prague. Kenny distinguishes between ‘religion’ and ‘faith …
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/culture/stephenhough/100065653/is-irish-catholicism-dead/

Ireland abandoning religion faster than nearly every country in the world
New York Daily News – Irish citizens are abandoning religion faster than residents of every country in the world except Communist Vietnam, a new study reveals. Since 2005, the percentage of people in Ireland who describe themselves as ‘a religious person’ has declined from …
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/ireland-abandoning-religion-faster-country-world-article-1.1131799

The divide in Ireland is not one between various faiths — but ...
Irish Independent – David Quinn -  The result of the latest Red C poll is not surprising given what Ireland has been through with respect to the church and religion since the last survey was conducted in 2005. In that time, we have seen the publication of the Ryan report into …
http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/david-quinn-the-divide-in-ireland-is-not-one-between-various-faiths-but-between-religion-itself-and-secularism-3194243.html

Losing faith: Ireland abandoning religion faster than almost any other country
Patheos  – The Republic of Ireland is abandoning religion faster than almost every other country worldwide, a massive global survey on faith reveals. Only Vietnam has seen a bigger drop in people declaring themselves to be religious over the past seven years, a …
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2012/08/losing-faith-ireland-abandoning-religion-faster-than-almost-any-other-country/

Religiosity slides worldwide, plummets in scandal-hit Ireland
Reuters – Traditionally Catholic Ireland has registered almost the steepest drop worldwide in people calling themselves religious in a new survey tracking international trends in faith and atheism in recent years. Only 47 percent of Irish …
http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/08/08/religion-world-decline-idINDEE8770FA20120808

Walking away from the church
Irish Independent – Editorial – The research shows that not alone has there been a steep decline in religious belief in Ireland over the past seven years but that the Irish decline was the second-steepest of any of the countries surveyed, exceeded only by Vietnam. Anyone who still …
http://www.independent.ie/opinion/editorial/walking-away-from-the-church-3194249.html

Ireland Is Abandoning Religion At A Startling Rate
Business Insider – Ireland has traditionally been dominated by the Christianity, with a 2011 census showing that 84.16 percent of the country identified as Roman Catholic. However, the authority of the church has been rocked by multiple scandals in recent years, most …
http://www.businessinsider.com/ireland-is-abandoning-religion-at-a-startling-rate-2012-8