Sunday, 7 August 2011

Valle Adurni: 500 (a-g)

I had my own attempt to understand events in Ireland, prompted initially by reading Cardinal Danielou, and then by reflecting on the place of Christianity in a culture and on Christianity as politics. I don't think it was a particularly effective attempt. My own experience of Irish Catholicism is very (and I mean very) limited. My reflection on Mass at Knock during a visit a couple of years ago may, however, not be as far off the mark as I might have thought:
Mass struck me as expressing Irish Catholicism at its best - a very strong devotion on the part of the faithful - and at its worst - a complete lack of any real sense on the part of the clergy that this was Liturgy and was due some objective sense of honour.
My previous visit to Ireland was during the first August after the canonisation of Edith Stein, and I made the effort to get to Mass for her feast day (9th August). On a weekday, a good number of the laity prayed the Rosary before Mass, and then ... of course, the prayers for Edith Stein were not in the Missal, and the feast may not have been included in the Diocesan Ordo, though I recall she had by that time been proclaimed a patron saint of Europe and therefore her feast day had the Liturgical rank of Feast in Ireland and its celebration was compulsory according to Liturgical law ... as fast as an express train, the Mass of the feria. Again, the strength and the weakness of Irish Catholicism on display.

Valle Adurni has undertaken a much longer and better informed account of Irish Catholicism. I encountered part (g) before reading any of the other parts, and it seems to validate the impression that I gained from these two encounters.

The 500, by the way, refers to the membership of the Irish Association of Catholic Priests. If there is one post of the series to read in addition to part (g) it is this part (a). It gives a very useful insight into the situation of the priest in Ireland, and perhaps indicates the flawed presence of the Church in the culture.

1 comment:

shane said...

This may also be of interest.