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‘Moral Monopoly’

Watching videos like the one embedded below make me feel quite fortunate to have grown up in the modern Ireland, where a staunch Catholic upbringing wasn’t the ‘common sense’ approach to take.

Whenever I hear a disgustingly nostalgic account about the ‘Catholic Ireland’ that was left behind, I think about the testimonies of people like this whose lives have been shattered by those who once held a moral monopoly*.

[Brought to my attention via http://www.atheistmedia.com/]

Good riddance to Catholic Ireland.

*An interesting aside: Tom Inglis’ book ‘Moral Monopoly: The Irish Church in Modern Irish Society’ published in 1987 is a a fantastically relentless broadside against the evils perpetrated by the church from a pre-sex-scandal era. The 1998 updated edition: ‘Moral Monopoly: The Rise and Fall of the Catholic Church in Modern Ireland‘ dials back the tone considerably, and features an extra chapter cataloguing the ‘fall’ of the church in a rather sombre manner, as if eulogising a stern, misunderstood father, rather than the merciless tyrant that the first edition personified the institution as.

Why the rose-tinting, Irish commentators? Answers on a postcard in the comments!


2 Responses

  1. I grew up in that Catholic Ireland and the abuse was going on into the time when I became an adult (mid-seventies). I was an atheist at the time and yet I think I would have had difficulty believing someone who told me that this horror was going on, so ingrained was the belief in me that the Catholic church had strict moral standards. I have a great sense of guilt that this was done, effectively in my name since the government was sponsoring it. This is our Holocaust and we need to face it, own it and atone for it. Time for an end to rose tinted views of the past and for a long hard look at who and what we really are.

  2. It should also be remembered that many of the religious congregations implicated in the abuse continue to run hundreds of our primary and secondary schools today. My father was raised by the Christian Brothers and never went back to church after he was released. This is why deference to religion is so dangerous – i am grateful that i did not live in the Ireland of my parents childhood.

    Sorry i missed the meeting (again) – i will try to make the next one.

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