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Abuse protest at Easter mass April 6, 2010

Posted by Rambling Man in Ireland & the Irish, Say it like it is.
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I am wondering what people think about this incident and whether similar protests will eventually escalate into something altogether more unsavoury?

Basically, on Easter Sunday last, during mass at Dublin’s Pro Cathedral, several people approached the altar and left children’s shoes in front of it, symbolically representing the victims of child abuse.  One of the protesters shouted “Shame!” at the bishop …

So, it seems that the widespread anger that exists on a huge scale is threatening to bubble over.  I am, however, questioning whether walking into a mass and shouting is the correct way to do it.  There will always be thousands upon thousands of church-goers in Ireland who don’t appreciate the furore that is being made about the whole child abuse issue … privately they might disagree with the incidents of abuse (I mean, who couldn’t?), but publicly, they will defend their church.  I suppose you could call it the dying remnants of the 50s and 60s non-questioning, all-powerful Church who dictated to the public on all aspects of life.

The protest outside the church, fair enough.  I just don’t think it’s effective to burst in, walk up the aisle and draw anger from the congregation before making a symbolic gesture at the celebrants.  I really feel that these priests and bishops will get their comeuppance but not right away – the Church in Ireland – at least as it stands now – is a dying entity which has destroyed itself.  It’s hard to see, in a generations’ time, things being the same as they are even now, never mind the way they were say 25 years ago.  At some point in the future, they will have nothing to do and nowhere to go and that will serve as their religious fate.

And on that point of modernity (or lack of), I went to mass on Holy Saturday, prepared to give the whole concept of mass another chance (because I find it insufferably static and one directional) when what does the priest stand up and preach about ?  Ah the time Moses parted the Red Sea, saved all the Israelites and how about 20,000 Egyptians were drowned when they tried to follow them.  The people at the time were singing God’s praise for killing all these Egyptians ! God it seems, has quite a temper on Him when it comes to drowning Egyptians … quite the opposite of the God I believe in myself now, but maybe not the one the Church wants me to believe in ?

I also found myself mumbling the words which were worn into my brain since childhood – telling me everything I needed to know – the mass hasn’t changed one bit really and soon I was more concerned with the cold in the building that with what I was supposed to be getting from the celebration !

Speaking of cold – this fella must’ve been freeeeeezing ! I wonder why the idiot did what he did ?  Another protest ?

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Comments»

1. eyeedit1 - April 6, 2010

It seems the Church has lost more than a foothold on absolute power. The Easter Mass protesters appear to lack an understanding of the meaning of the Mass. The protesters should be certain they are not robbing God’s faithful of sanctuary, refuge … of spiritual life.

Should people keep silent in the face of horrific abuses? Of course not, but, even the financial blows to the Church have widespread effects on vulnerable populations. One of the saddest side effects of the wake of large scale litigation, legal settlements and reparations in the States is the closure of community churches and consequent loss of community.

One must wonder whether any of this has made victims whole, and at what cost to the innocent.

2. The Panic Attacks - April 6, 2010

[…] Abuse protest at Easter mass « The Rambling Man […]

3. Rambling Man - April 6, 2010

fair point – thanks for the comment. i would argue that in Irelands specific case however, there never was much community spirit within the curch as far as the regular meaning of that phrase goes – it was go to church to fulfill your obligation, save yourself from hell and f*ck what you did on monday !


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