Category Archives: Senator Helena Concannon

Collapse of Irish Catholicism: A Self-Induced Crisis?


My sincere thanks to Peadar Laighléis, President of the Latin Mass Society of Ireland, for kindly allowing me to repost his excellent article, appended below, concerning the crisis in the Irish Catholic Church. It was first published in the Sunday Business Post in 2001.  He also sent me this helpful bit of background to the article:

I wrote this piece nearly ten years ago and at the time, I was annoyed I left one major source of discontent out.  In the mid-1990s, the Bishops of Ireland transferred the feasts of Ascension Thursday and Corpus Christi to the nearest Sunday.  This was calculated to please the laity and was greeted by the greatest outpouring of lay anger than anyone could anticipate which resulted in the dropping of the second phase of the programme fast (ie the transferance of the obligation to hear Mass on feasts falling on a Saturday or Monday to the Sunday – a ‘two for the price of one’ arrangement).

The bishops were surprised as they were led to believe that that was what the faithful expected.  This was done through a process of consultation enthrusted to the clergy.  The respondents were specially selected and they gave the correct responses.  The problem was that these responses were totally unrepresentative.  This attracted more correspondence to the Irish Catholic than any other single issue in David Quinn’s editorship.

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The Historians of Ireland


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