We should pray very much for this coiuntry. We shouldn't be surprised, even if we are horrified by Ireland's free-fall collapse. What a King did for England, the Church itself has done for Ireland, which is made the more disturbing because Ireland's stunning apostasy has occurred with no threat of violence whatsoever and within a single generation. If they vote yes, then the Irish are actually voting for their own destruction, whereas in England the cultural and religious revolution and its horrendous aftermath was imposed from above.
If the 'exit polls' in the referendum for Jesus Christ Vs Satan are anything to go by, this will be a most democratic rupture with its Christian roots, with Christ and His Church. Perhaps they look out at Europe and feel the need to keep up with the Jones's in our general embrace of a godless ideology. Of course, the collapse of the Catholic Faith, the collapse in vocations in these Isles is seen by some English Cardinals as a kind of 'second Spring' under the reign of an Argentinian Pope with record high 'approval ratings' that are not necessarily representative of the Court of Heaven. Or perhaps the post-1960s Catholic Church in Ireland, through its classy, modern, 'relevant' liturgy, widespread irreverence towards the Blessed Sacrament and the sins of its clergy and Bishops, has done enough to secure the demise of Ireland's long-standing identity as a Catholic nation. For some reason I think of Fr Ray Kelly's 'classy' and 'relevant' rendition of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' wedding anthem at a Nuptial Mass. It really encapsulates so much.
Other countries are not, quite yet, so foolish though I suspect the powerful would deem them so. Brave Hungary and under pressure Poland remain more than merely 'culturally' Catholic and it is seen - though Poland remains under threat - in the laws of these countries. These countries however, did not have the nuclear explosion of the sex abuse crisis that Ireland had. Still reeling from that calamitous outrage, you might hope that the Bishops of Ireland, for instance, in Dublin, might launch a final salvo to save Ireland from the abyss of sexual slavery and sin being legislated into the laws of the land but many Bishops are like those who celebrate the country's patron saint. St Patrick may still be wheeled out for Guinness Day in Ireland but his message is completely erased from the celebrations. With some exceptions, it would seem that whatever Apostolic zeal Ireland's prelates had, most have had it mysteriously drained out of them.
|Hollywood: Cheery, optimistic stuff in 'San Andreas'|
The fact that some Bishops in Ireland are telling the Irish 'Who am I to judge?' how you vote could, perhaps, be just another aspect of the Francis Effect recently heralded by Fr Linus Clovis in a concise and erudite talk. It would be great for His Holiness to say something in defence of Ireland's comparatively impeccable and hitherto pro-life, pro-traditional marriage laws but like many I am not holding my breath. I read a blog post recently by a US priest who indicated that what the Church is looking at is like looking at a tsunami coming towards you. There is nowhere to go, there is nothing you can do, but pray.
It is interesting to note that, with a growing number of Catholics, Hollywood retains its affection for the apocalyptic, with 'San Andreas' coming out at the end of the month of Mary. Like death and/or the Second Coming of Christ as Judge, 'The Big One' is not a matter of if, but when. Really, seriously, Irish Bishops and all Bishops have to return to the inconvenient truth that we are all going to die and face Almighty God and have to give an answer and that we should live this life to prepare for this, within the Ark of Salvation, the Catholic Church. Let us not wait for greater chatisements than we have yet known to do this. We will face God and either Heaven or Hell forever. This means turning our lives towards God, not directing our lives towards our own sensuality and our own selfish will. As 'whole nations' are 'annihilated' as forewarned by Our Lady of Fatima, through artificial contraception, laws that promote abortion, homosexuality, the devastation of sin and sacrilege, and the whole 'culture of death' opposed so vigorously by Popes Benedict and St John Paul II we would do well to note the annihilation of the Faith taking place within the Church because only Christ's Church can confront and oppose the evil in the World.
Yes, even the devastation we survey in various nations wrought by a powerful elite under the influence of the prince of this World is as nothing compared to the supreme betrayal of Our Lord that has been witnessed within the bosom of the Catholic Church itself by those entrusted with so much authority and so much responsibility. We must pray and pray hard. Pray for Ireland and at this time of grave crisis in the Church, we must thank God for those who, unafraid of reprisals that could be levelled in their direction, say what must be said in times when confusion and uncertainty over the Truth becomes so widespread for the Salvation of Souls and the good of the Universal Church. Pray for more of such as these. Most Irish Bishops may have invited the snakes back into Ireland, but thank Almighty God for this gentleman and scholar, this man with the spirit of the Saints.