For centuries, the Catholic Church has prevailed, in Ireland, and in the world.  And, painfully, in Ireland, the Church has hurt the Irish people at many junctures.

The Church was not there in the 1800s when our kin tried to bring about freedom.  It was not there in the 1920s.   Individual priests have often been on the forefront, but not the Church official.  It was the same ol Church when our kinfolk, needing support and help desperately, were left in the lurch in places like Schylkill County, Pa when the Mollie Mcguires fought for equity, chance to get jobs in the mines, to be promoted like others, for descent pay, for minimal respect.

Where was the Church?    In the pulpit, as usual,  criticizing the valiant fight of the downtrodden people for equal rights with others.

The time to do something if you are Irish, especially, is now.  

As usual, the Church is behind the curve in supporting EQUAL RIGHTS for gays and lesbians.  When Adams and others were fighting with the IRA, where was our Church?  I for one do not want to see the Church in politics, but this is NOT politics.  It is about human rights and dignity.  

Where is our Church?  As usual in the pulpit, preaching against the use of CONDOMS.  We need to stop this craziness on the part of the Church.  Because, the Church is us, not some monster to intimidate us and numb our brains.

The Irish also need to stand for CELIBACY  being an option for priests, not obligatory.  Celibate priests has just become a joke to most outside the Church and to many, many inside our Church. 

We Irish need to push the Church to set up a giant research program, of the like of the Menninger Clinic of old, TO STUDY THE CAUSES OF PEDAPHILIA and offer treatment and cure.

The Irish also need to lead in pushing the Church for WOMEN'S RIGHTS!  

We need to push, push, push, agitate, protest, march, write, call, and never never stop.  Stop being a doormat for the Church and society.  No more.

Thank you for reading and please push forward NOW. 

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You raise some interesting points of history, Raymond. The hierarchical Church has always been a socially conservative force in world affairs, I'd argue, and certainly so in Ireland. Individual clerics have stepped beyond that, ahem, ordained role, to their credit, out of compassion for their long-suffering flock. I'd love to focus on those Irish individuals, such as Dorothy Day, in particular, to emphasize that the Church is you, me, fellow members and priests John Sheehan and Dan Beegan, as well as Pope Francis 1 and the US Catholic Bishops Conference. We all are the Body of Christ. The Church fathers in recent times have been a strong voice for justice in the workplace and for social equality, and deserve credit for that.

There's a stanza in Patrick Street's song "Forgotten Hero" about Michael Davitt that goes:

But not for the first time and neither for the last
The Dublin Castle Bishops nailed their colours to the mast
And the Altars rang with warnings, respect the law we say
For these Fenians and these Socialists are leading you astray.

Anyone who saw " The Wind That Shakes the Barley" will understand those lyrics. The institutional Church is for the status quo, and the status quo is not good. When you see clerics get arrested for money laundering, when you see Cardinal Law escape from the clutches of U.S. authorities because the man who's on the fast track to sainthood shepherded him away to Rome, you lose faith in the institutional Church. It's time for another Martin Luther. And Ger, you're right. We are the Church, the Body of Christ.

Could not agree more although most of what you say has been obvious for years.   I was a Director of Catholic Charities and learned a lot about the inside.  

Ok, now the talking is over.  We, or most of us, agree.  Where do we meet.  What do we do?  When?  How?

Where?   Come on.   Anyone who can think as big as the Irish, like this, can come up with what we must do next.   Or just talk?

Thanks,  You seem to be the spokesman here.  My name is not Raymond however Gerry.  Thanks for welcome on board.  Now, lets move on ok?

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