Wednesday 18 October 2017

Why can't 'a la carte Catholics' be recognised on the census form?

'I know people who wouldn’t know a Bible if it bit them and yet they pin up pictures of angels and swear by the angelic forces' Photo: Depositphotos
'I know people who wouldn’t know a Bible if it bit them and yet they pin up pictures of angels and swear by the angelic forces' Photo: Depositphotos
Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

The forthcoming census - on April 24 - will offer residents of the Republic a nice menu of 'religions' to choose from. You can identify yourself as Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland, Islamic, Presbyterian, Orthodox (Greek, Russian, etc), any 'Other' religion or 'No religion'.

Although one of the most universally famous characters in world literature is an Irish Jew - Leopold Bloom of Joyce's 'Ulysses' - the Jewish community in Ireland is now such a minority that it does not rate a category of its own. It is significant that Islam is now the third most-important ranking among official Irish religious categories.

It will also be interesting to note how many Irish citizens now choose to tick the 'No religion' category. Some atheist and secular advocates are hoping that many more Irish people than previously will make this choice.

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