Friday, 7 April 2017

Dramatic fall in Irish religious belief 




Census formImage copyrightRTÉ
Image captionThe Republic of Ireland's latest census was carried out last April

The number of people in the Republic of Ireland who identify as having no religion has increased by 73.6%, according to the latest census figures from the Central Statistics Office.
The number of people who stated they had no religion increased from 269,800 to 468,400, the census found.
Some 3,729,100 people identified as Catholic - 78.3% of the population - compared to 84.2% in April 2011.
The census was held in April 2016; its details were released on Thursday.
The number of people identifying as members of the Church of Ireland dropped by 2% to 126,400.
There were 63,400 Muslims in the state compared to 49,200 in 2011 - a percentage change of 28.9%.
Orthodox Christianity saw a rise of 37.5% to 62,400 adherents, while the number of Hindus rose by 34.1% to 14,300 practitioners.

Population increase

The country's overall population increased by 3.8% between April 2011 and April 2016 - to 4,761,865.
Mayo and Donegal were the only counties to see a population decline.
The census found there were 810,000 foreign-born people in the Republic.
There were 98 men for every 100 women in the country, it revealed, and 37.6% of the population was married.
The 2016 results show a reversal in a steady decline in average household size, which rose slightly from 2.73 people per household in 2011 to 2.75 in 2016.
Some 22,323 more people were in rental accommodation in 2016 than in 2011, with 497,111 people renting in total.

Irish language

The number of people who stated they could speak Irish dropped for the first time since 1946.
Of the 1.76m people who stated they were able to speak Irish, 73,803 spoke the language daily outside the education system - 3,382 fewer than 2011.
The number of people who said they spoke the language on a weekly basis rose slightly.
The Donegal Irish-speaking region, popular with visitors from Northern Ireland, saw a big drop in the number of people who said they spoke the language on a daily basis.
There are 5,929 daily Irish speakers in the county, a 15.8% drop since 2011.

PAT SAYS:

A blind man can see that the Irish people are falling away from religious belief.

Of course materialism and secularism have played their part in that fall away.

But the biggest factor I believe is that a more educated population is seeing through the hypocrisy and outdatedness of much of what religion was.

Ireland has basically being a "Catholic" country.

In recent years Catholicism has been greatly undermined by:

1. Bishop Eamon Casey and Father Michael Cleary and their hypocrisy.

2. The child sexual abuse scandals.

3. The gay carry on at Maynooth.

4. Bishops covering up all this scandal and abuse.

One elderly lady in her 80's said to me yesterday:

"I cannot go to Mass anymore in the mornings because when I am in the chapel I wonder where the priest had his willy last night".

And that lady had been a devout, daily Mass going Catholic for decades.



GORGEOUS AND DERMO


She is also waiting to see what Diarmuid Martin will do with Gorgeous and what Bishop Raymond Browne will do with King Puck.




The Church have themselves to blame for their decline.

The sad thing about it that this decline leads to a vacuum of spirituality in the country.



52 comments:

  1. Pat, you relate this story almost with glee.
    Yes the church has been the agent of its own downfall - but only a small minority of clergy have caused the problems.
    As to the old Lady - the daily mass goer - I'm surprised she doesn't harbour the same misgivings about the nocturnal whereabouts of your own male member!

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    1. The lady in question does not attend my church but an ordinary Catholic parish.

      Those who attend here on Sundays are fully aware of my situation and respect my honesty and openness.

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    2. Your comment is a callous manipulative disgrace. The problem was NOT the number of abusers among the clergy but how a lot of the stuff was an open secret and not one cleric did anything about it. Secularised people had to address it and the secular media. From Sex, Priests and Secret Codes, The Catholic Church's 2,000 Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse. Thomas P Doyle. AWR Sipe. Patrick J Wall.

      "Father Gerald Fitzgerald, who founded the Servants of the Paraclete in 1947, wrote in 1952 that he had already treated a handful of priests who abused minors. He found them 'lacking in appreciation of the seriousness of their offence and situation-in practice real conversions will be found to be extremely rare. Many bishops believe men are never free from the approximate danger once they have begun'" (page 54)

      Comment: This refutes the claim made by some bishops that they did not understand that a paedophile is addicted which was why they just moved them from parish to parish

      "Citing forty years of combined psychiatric practice treating about 1,500 priests, they concluded that 20-25 percent of North American priests had serious psychiatric difficulties and 60-70 percent suffered from emotional immaturity. They concluded that the psychosexual immaturity manifested itself in heterosexual and homosexual activity. Kennedy and Heckler stated that underdeveloped and maldeveloped priests (74 percent) had unresolved psychosexual problems and issues that are usually worked through in adolescence adding: Sexuality is, in other words, non-integrated into the lives of underdeveloped priests and many of them function at pre-adolescent or adolescent level of psychosexual growth. Sipe-based on interviews with 1,500 priests or their sexual partners-concluded that 6 percent of priests were sexually involved with minors, 20-25 percent with adult women, and 15 percent with adult men" page 58.

      Comment: This hypocrisy is outrageous. The hypocrisy of the priesthood is too high thus the priesthood has no justified existence. The other problem is how the chaste priests must enable the problem by protecting the philandering ones.

      "There is little doubt that on a diocese-by-diocese basis, common strategies were adopted to make sure that sexual abuse cases never became public. There is little evidence that church officials followed state reporting statutes or reported incidents of child abuse to civil authorities. Bishops - are the official teachers of the church truth and responsible for all that happens in the church" page 190

      Comment: The bishops were so corrupt that they did not even need the Church to command them to cover up. Had the men who became popes never been elected and remained bishops they would have covered up too.

      "I (name) cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, promise and swear-never to reveal to anyone whatosever has been confided to me to keep secret and the revelation of which could cause damage or dishonour to the Holy Church" page 205.

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    3. 10.41 What a ball of s*hite. Why are so many people sex obsessed when it comes to religion. Having a partner does not make one more or less "holy"

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  2. Personally I would no longer claim to "speak" Irish on the census form even though I left school with top marks in the subject. No doubt it is the same for many who have drifted way from religion. It would be a blessing if their census declarations could be made legally binding so that hard pressed clergy would no longer have to provide them with lost cost rites of passage. As for those driven from the Church by their sexual fantasies about the priest, sad but commonplace.

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    1. I dont think the old lady was "fantasising" about her PP. She just reads the newspapers!

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  3. MourneManMichael8 April 2017 at 11:59

    According to Mark Twain, it was British Prime Minister Disraeli who first said that there are "Lies, damned lies, and statistics!"
    With that in mind, I wonder to what extent the census data accurately reveals the true nature of religious belief and practices, and RC catholicism in Ireland. I suspect there are many who may classify themselves as catholics simply because of their cultural/tribal upbringing. Similarly there may be an instinctive reluctance to self designate as a non-believer where cradle catholic residual guilt could play a part in influencing which census box to tick.
    It would be interesting to see an analysis of religious affiliation, belief and practice in the census further examined by age grouping.
    MMM

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  4. As an over 70 woman I have to wonder at this reference to an 80 year old woman...its a bit sexist don't you thing Pat?
    Really why even make this comment?
    I do go to mass weekly, but not every week and no I've no interest in any priests willy.maybe she just needs a male companion as so many women are left as widows for years.there is the odd widower out there...still, in need of company.

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    1. How is it sexist to say that I was talking to an over 80's woman and then go on to say what she said to me?

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    2. So people attending your services - do you think they are asking the same thing? What have you been doing with your willy Buckley? I must admit that is something never to cross my mind as the milkman delivers my milk in the morning.

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    3. People attending my services know, love and respect my partner. He is part of our community. Simple.

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  5. Harvey's point has a reduced rate this week
    Might just take it up
    The sun is out, summer looking good.

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  6. Well it's time those seminarians antics arrived In the newspapers.
    I've only read the goingson here

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    Replies
    1. The Irish Independent have carried many stories.

      The Irish Times is wedded into keeping Diarmuid Martin sweet.

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    2. No disrespects to Archbishop Dermo but he looks a bit like an old nun in that photo above. Perhaps we could start calling him Sister. I'm sure he has other names .....

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    3. In Dublin we call him "Coddle" after the Dublin sausage stew he loves to cook. Dublin. PP.

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    4. That's the best laugh I've had all day - coddle lol.

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    5. It's well known that Diarmuid enjoys cooking, I wasn't aware he cooked Coddle but he likes to cook pasta. He is renowned for cooking a mean authentic carbonara and amatriciana washed down by a nice bottle of Barolo DOCG of course.

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  7. I can appreciate why things are as they are in the Irish Church. The mentality has mostly been to Maintain the Fold. For many there was no emphasis on spirituality or quality of worship. Human development and evolution were ignored. We are paying the price of centuries

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  8. Many Irish people may have rejected (or been rejected by) organised religion, but this does not necessarily mean that they have lost faith in Christ.

    I suspect that many of them, for the first time, have come to know Christ better not because of organised religion, but despite it.

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    1. Roman Catholicism, and Christianity, isn't the only religion, you know. All this hand-wringing about the Irish leaving religion is ridiculous. Sociologists of religion no longer believe in the 'secularization hypothesis' regarding modern society. We are not undergoing secularization. In fact, we are becoming more religious than before - look it up. Religion in the west is undergoing a revival. People are turning away from Christianity in the Western world - that is all. But they are turning to Eastern practices, and Eastern type practices, insofar as they can be found native to the West. For example, the British sociologist of religion, Colin Campbell ...

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  9. The problem is the lack of belief in the supernatural.... what we can't see but profess to believe in. We all believe in going to heaven, but fail to grasp that we live in the eternal here and now. God and the eternal is timeless.
    Pat keep your eyes on the eternal and pray you are not judged for seeking only the praise of people.

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    1. Judge not, Anon 14:57, lest ye be judged. Take the log out of your own eye. Never mind Pat.

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  10. Quick query. Do you know if the Old Catholic church (Dutch) exists in the republic of Ireland? Not suprises regarding the census. That was the first one in which I did not declare to be Catholic any longer either.

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    1. I have heard that there are groups calling themselves Old Catholic in the republic, but that they are effectively independent groups and not usually related to the Union of Utrecht.

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    2. Thank you. It is the union of Utrecht I was enquiring after. They have a bishop I quite like Dr. Schoon.

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  11. MC Right again. Next question is what Realistic Alternative do we offer them apart from a pat on the back

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  12. I think the analysis of the reasons for the decline in religious affiliation is antiquated and out of touch.

    The principal reason for the decline is simply that people do not believe the claims of Christianity to be true. They do not believe in God, or believe that it is impossible to know whether God exists, or that if He does exist, we can know nothing of His nature. For those that believe in God, the claims of Jesus Christ to be the Son of God are not credible. The miracles in the bible are not credible.

    It is no use comforting ourselves with the idea that all we need to do is 'update' teachings to fit with modern sensibilities. It has been tried time and time again - Richard Holloway, Jack Spong, the Bishop of Durham describing the Resurrection as a conjuring trick with bones and that the true significance is spiritual. And those groups and churches which propagate such revised beliefs are in absolute freefall in terms of numerical decline - it makes the Roman Catholic numbers look like a religious revival.

    There is no doubt that the abuse scandals and cover-ups hastened this decline. But if people had faith, would it have so easily been discarded? The reality is that these scandals were a chink in the armour and caused people to question whether there was any real truth in the Christian gospel.

    To the postmodern mind, the interest in the gay goings-on in Maynooth is rather curious, and really only confined to a more elderly section of the population who still harbour outdated beliefs. The secularised Irishman or Irishwoman might, at most, consider the shenanigans as vaguely amusing. They are not shocked. They believe on the whole that rules of celibacy are unhealthy and go against natural instincts, but unlike the position taken by this blog, they do not believe that merely having made a vow or entering seminary requires abstinence. Why not? Because the requirement is so fundamentally unreasonable. But furthermore, they think that requiring a person to leave the Catholic Church or leave seminary if they are sexually active strikes them as even more unreasonable. For those who retain an attachment to the Catholic faith but not in a very devout way, they see an image of themselves - a man in seminary is sexually active contrary to the priestly ideal. So they ask themselves, how is that any different to me getting my child confirmed or taking them to first communion, or pitching up at the alter to receive the Eucharist when I haven't been to confession in years? They don't see an elevated priesthood any more, they don't believe that there are special requirements for priests. In short, they have rejected the black and white notion of what it is to be Catholic and have adopted a much more nuanced stance.

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    1. 'Not credible' does not mean 'not objectively or historically true'.

      Credibility is a choice, not a testament to non-existence.

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    2. Your contribution is highly admirable in the context of rationality.

      However not everything in existence is guided by rationality.

      I think until science proves that there is no God it is reasonable for me to believe in God on the basis of various "realities" that I have experienced?

      However I agree with all you said about man made religion.

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    3. How can a man who spells altar as alter be very bright?

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    4. I would imagine that it was the result of his computer spell check?

      Are you not being petty?

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    5. 15.26
      It cd have been a woman
      Writing any word is usually spelt correctly,but typing throws up many errors...usually unconsciously
      Yes indeed petty.

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    6. I wrote the comment at 16.04, and while indeed the misspelling of altar was a typographical error (I don't spend hours proof reading my posts but I do confirm that I know how to spell altar), perhaps of greater concern is the presumption of @16:56 that I am a man....

      Anyhow, to your point Bishop Pat. I am a Christian and I believe the claims of the Christian gospel. I suppose the core point I am making is that in terms of the decline of religious belief in Ireland, my anecdotal experience suggests that this is overwhelmingly related to a lack of belief in the claims of the Gospel. That does not make those claims untrue, but in a postmodern world the concept of truth is not a given.

      But you have stated that "a more educated population is seeing through the hypocrisy and outdatedness of much of what religion was" - and it is there that I disagree with you. I think it certainly has had an impact, and the two topics are indeed related, but from my sense of things, this is very much the minor factor influencing the decline of Christian belief.

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    7. MourneManMichael8 April 2017 at 19:37

      Anon @ 16:04 & 17:26, from personal experience, supported by many discussions and readings on the subject, I very much agree with the reasons you put forward for the decline in religious belief. Your second parag @ 16:04 seem very apt.
      Some regular blog readers may recall a comment a short time back which indicated that much of Christianity's beliefs are derived from, and in reality, are a rehashing of previous beliefs of older "religious systems".
      I just find the supposed foundation of the Christian belief system incomprehensibly improbable and contrary to reason, historical/scientific facts and analysis.
      The supposed authenticity of the bible plays a part in that, for it simply does not stand up to objective critical examination.
      I take a contrary view to that you express above Pat. ("Until science proves there is no God, it is reasonable for me to believe in God on the basis of various 'realities' i have experienced") While certainly entitled to your beliefs, as are others, I think that such personal experiences are very unreliable foundations given psychological research into human perceptions, misconceptions and consequent contingent beliefs.
      Having said this, I repeat my previous comments that I respect the honestly held beliefs of many religious believers which motivate their following of the central ethos of 'doing as you would be done by'.
      This is, in fact, the Golden Rule of much older religious belief systems.
      Like you Pat, and many others who contribute here, it is the systematic abuse of people and property by a religious hierarchy I strongly object to.
      MMM

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    8. To me, the existence of God is a more reasonable supposition than a self-creating universe, and a system of belief which requires highly improbable event after highly improbable event to arrive at human consciousness. That for me is the starting point, though one must then move on to consider the nature of this God, how this God interacts with creation, and so on. I am not sure that I agree with MMM's contention that Christianity has been found wanting on the historical facts or that higher criticism as debunked key scriptural insights, though I do agree with him that reason is key. But Christianity has often sought to apply the insights of reason to the faith. It is true that the 'faith' aspect of Christian belief is more difficult for many than belief in the existence of a supreme being.

      I disagree with Pat that experience is sufficient. I think experience is a great thing, but I don't think Christians should shy away from asserting a rational basis for their faith.

      While I stand by my contention made earlier that the fundamental reason for the decline in religious faith is a lack of belief, rather than anger at the Church, postmodern beliefs themselves rarely stand up to serious scrutiny. Many aspects of belief systems in societies through history are the results of sociological phenomena rather than rational examination, and I don't think the current epoch is much different.

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    9. ".. much more nuanced approach.." Now there's a euphemism if ever I heard one!

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    10. Either that, or people are just too lazy and laid back to take the trouble to get up and go to Mass on Sunday morning anymore.. Time for some real honesty at last..

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  13. Spelling police have reemerged on the blog. Your right to say it is petty which indeed it is, there attitude certainly seems petty.

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    1. You mean "... their attitude.." I presume.

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    2. I presume you meant to add a question mark to the end of your sentence since if you were making a statement one might presume that you would not have adopted an incorrect word order.

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    3. I said there deliberately to prove my point that you are such a sad little person who justifies your existence by highlighting people's misuse of grammar and spelling on this blog. You're not so clever to correct my use of your in the comment at 17.08 which should be you're. Pathetic and beyond petty. What a sad life you lead little person.

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    4. I think that you meant "you're right.."

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    5. Sadie on the sofa here.... Wey hey!--we're launched... the craic's good again..!

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  14. So this to be our last DRY GOOD FRIDAY.
    Doesn't bother me either way
    Just sayn

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  15. Haven't been into Lent, don't suppose I ever was
    How us poor sheep have been subjectated Over the centuries
    And I expect u priests too.

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    1. The word is either "subjected" or "subjugated" (... just in case those spelling police haul you in for questioning!)

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  16. This country needs to get with it and drag itself into the real world. It's an embarrassment you can't buy a drink in a pub on Good Friday but nip next door to the pub's off sales on Good Friday and buy as much booze as you want. My friends abroad think I'm joking when I tell them this, too much DUP influence I say and bible thumping. Can't get a drink in a pub on Good Friday here, the only part of the UK you can't have same sex marriage and the only part of the UK you can't pay for sex, totally unreal.

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    1. All things that make you feel very deprived?

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  17. MourneManMichael9 April 2017 at 10:58

    Thank you Anon @ 20:18.
    I acknowledge the difficulty many have of understanding the possibility of a seemingly orderly progression caused by successive improbable events.
    The essential factor in such evolvement is the concept and reality of "time". Human minds struggle
    with this reality, especially within an upbringing and rearing much influenced by a creationist outlook of a "beginning" relatively recent even in a geological sense. If one accepts an infinity of time it seems to me that the explanations of evolutionary progression, albeit seemingly improbable, are, on balance much more satisfactory than conjecturing up deist explanations for which there is no proof.

    The "Infinite Monkeys Theorem" is an interesting concept perhaps relevant here when considering the ramifications of infinite time.
    It proposes that if an infinite number of monkeys were provided with an infinite number of typewriters and an infinite length of time, eventually the production of the works of Shakespeare would become possible.
    But I don't propose to hang around to prove/disprove that one!
    MMM

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