A growing disconnect from Catholicism in modern Ireland

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It is not hard to imagine how the government, or society at large, might react if one group or another decided it could no longer observe pandemic disciplines.

The reaction would be firm.

The fact that some 18,000 people used walk-in vaccination centers this “inspiring weekend” confirms this; that 64% were 19 years of age or younger confirms this view.

Yet despite unambiguous warnings, this is exactly what some members of the Catholic hierarchy are proposing.

Last week, Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran spoke about the need to ease restrictions and said he would break them.

Bishop Doran said communion and confirmation ceremonies should be conducted in accordance with public health regulations, he said:

The mission of the Church cannot be suspended indefinitely.

He argued that the ban was a “guideline” and not a law.

This is not the only example of how society and the mainstream of Catholicism have become so disconnected.

A group of academics voiced concerns to the Taoiseach about a new sex and relationship education program planned for all Catholic elementary schools in September because it contains “negative exclusionary messages” about sexual orientation.

The fact that these messages go against the provisions of our Constitution adds to these concerns.

They, and the possibility that the pandemic rules may be ignored, further marginalize one of the old forces in this society and renew the pressing issues around school patronage.

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