We shall overcome. Maybe. More or less.

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jul 18, 2005

The Archbishop of Dublin is giving a speech, and his topic is: "Will Ireland be Christian in 2030?" You think that you can safely predict his answer to that question.

Think again.

Archbishop Martin is very smart. If you don't know that before his speech begins, he'll take the opportunity to remind you. And at times it's a trial to work with people who are so… Well, let the archbishop speak for himself:

As Archbishop of Dublin I am surprised at the superficiality and the anecdotal evidence I am presented with when I ask about concrete pastoral options and about the situation of the faith in Ireland.

Then, having accused others of superficiality, the archbishop proceeds to dismiss concerns about dwindling Mass attendance:

What political party would be gasping for breath if it were told, not only that it had the support of 60% of the population, but that 60% of the population attended Cumman meetings every week! There is no room for complacency, but Christianity is healthily present in Irish society.

There! See? If it's good enough for a political party, it's good enough for the Mystical Body of Christ. No complacency here, by golly!

But I digress. Let's move on to the point. Will Ireland be Christian in 2030? Our fearless leader replies:

I would be very surprised if in the year 2030 Ireland was a totally pagan land…

Hmm. Not quite the ringing, confident assurance you expected? Maybe that's because I broke off the quote in mid-sentence. Here's the rest:

… if there was not residual presence in Irish society of the values of Christianity and that that presence was not the major inspiration for the ethos of the country, even though it would be a question of generalized adherence to such an ethos with a generous range of interpretation and tolerance regarding what that ethos actually implies.

Feel better now?

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