Mary Kenny: Respect, then, for Jennifer Sleeman of Clonakilty, clearly a valiant old party, turning rebel at the age of 80
Who plans to respond to Mrs Jennifer Sleeman's call to Catholic women to stay away from Sunday Mass on September 26, as a protest against deficiencies in the Catholic Church?
It might be hard to tell. There are plenty of women already staying away from churches of any description. Atheism used to be more characteristic of young men -- often linked to a young man's Joycean pride: "I will not serve" -- but I encounter more examples now of women who proclaim themselves to be atheists.
Women used to be more likely to say that they were 'spiritual', even if they were not religious. This may just mean they believe the tosh that is written in horoscopes, rather than the wisdom of the 'Book of Proverbs', but it was some gesture beyond the material world.