Category Archives: Alcoholism
Pastoral Letter of the Archbishops and Bishops of Ireland to the Clergy on Emigrant Problems
4th April, 1967
Dear Reverend Father,
At a recent meeting in Maynooth the bishops decided to send this letter to the clergy. The issue of such a joint letter, addressed by the Bishops to the priests only, is a rare event, which serves to underline the immense importance we attach to one particular branch of the sacred ministry. While we wish to express our appreciation and gratitude for the work you have done and are doing so zealously for all our faithful people, our chief object in writing this letter is to remind you of the special problems of our emigrants and to encourage you to continue and, if possible, to extend your pastoral ministry to those — especially the young — who are likely to leave this country to live or work in other lands.
The number of our people emigrating each year is now much less than it was some years ago and we all hope and pray that the number will continue to decline. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to assume that for some years to come many thousands of our young people will leave our shores every year to seek their livelihood abroad, particularly in Great Britain. Their going will leave us so much the poorer.
Yet these tens of thousands of men and women can be an enormous force for good in the lands they go to, if they have the right ideals and motives, and abilities properly developed. Without these the alien environment in which they find themselves may present serious dangers to the spiritual and moral welfare of the weaker ones.
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Posted in Alcoholism, Archbishop John Charles McQuaid, Bishop Con Lucey, Bishop Michael Browne, Bishops' Pastorals, Cardinal William Conway, Catholic Education, Catholic Social Teaching, Confirmation, Conversion, Emigration, Irish Church-State Relations, Motherhood, Second Vatican Council, Vocations
Priests and People in Ireland
The following lecture was given to the annual Maynooth Union Summer School in 1957 by Rev. Kevin Smyth, S.J., Professor of Fundamental Theology at Milltown Park, Dublin.
Dr. Samuel Johnson said that the Irish were a very fair-minded people: he never heard one Irishman speaking well of another. The same sentiment was echoed unconsciously by an Irish priest when he was asked was there any prospect of the beatification of Father Willie Doyle: “No….you’ll never get one Irishman to swear to the sanctity of another.” This attitude causes a grave difficulty to anyone taking a Gallup poll about how people regard their priests in Ireland: the first thing that the subject thinks of is criticism. “The bitther word” rises only too readily to the lips of the Irishman, and if you were fool enough to ask a straight question of a layman, he would probably begin by translating your question into: “What have I got against the priests?”
On the other hand, just as the first reaction is one-sided, it is also often superficial, and the Irishman is as insincere in his blame as he is extravagant with it. Loose talk does not represent the permanent and deep-seated attitude of people towards priests, and most people are incapable of valid generalisations, and inarticulate about their most vital and fundamental loyalties. Our difficulty is therefore to assess the real relationship on its merits, apart from conventions and habits, and to distinguish glib criticism, which people do not really stand over, from the real discontent which may be as potentially explosive as it is silent and unformulated.
My own effort to get some facts, to relate particulars to the universal, to interpret such generalisations as I dared to form, has been haunted by misgivings. Ever since I accepted the invitation to read this paper I have been saying to myself: who am I to draw up the indictment of a nation? How does one take the pulse and the temperature of a people? My only excuse and encouragement is that each of you in the audience is better informed than myself, and therefore that each of you is even more keenly conscious of the difficulty of describing “the present position of Catholics in Ireland” than I am, so that I can count on your sympathy. The best I hope to do is to spark off discussion or contradiction on some points, so that you yourselves may complete and balance the picture, out of your better judgement and wider experience. At any rate, we shall be dwelling on matters about which we all care deeply: our own purposes are involved, as well as the great issues of Ireland’s Catholic future and her almost indispensable contribution to the Church in England and overseas.
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Posted in Alcoholism, Anglicanism, Apologetics, Catholic Education, Catholic Social Teaching, Celibacy, Communism, Confession, Dating, Economics, Emigration, English Literature, France, Irish History, Jansenism, Liturgy, Mass, Maynooth Union Summer School, Mixed Marriages, Mother and Child Scheme, Persecution, Sweden, Vocations
Irish Hierarchy’s Statement on the Intoxicating Liquor Laws
The following statement was issued in 1959 by the Irish hierarchy at their June meeting in St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth:
The Irish hierarchy has had under consideration the reports of the Commission of Inquiry into the operation of the laws relating to the sale and supply of intoxicating liquor.
The proposal of the majority of the commission to alter these laws has very grave moral, religious and economic implications.
The hierarchy is chiefly concerned with the moral and religious aspects of the proposed legislation.
It is a matter of deep regret that the Report should have confined its attention so largely to drunkenness — a relatively rare occurrence nowadays — rather than to drinking habits or addiction to alcohol.
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