Thoughtful atheists often more 'Christian' than believers
The Catholic Church in Ireland finds itself in a rut. Its inability to see beyond the way things are, as revealed in the response to the recent referendum, does not bode well for the future. The only difference between a rut and a grave is its depth.
Ireland has an inspiring history of spirituality and thoughtfulness that continues in the work of many priest, nuns and laity who carry on the daily round of ministering to the needs of the people, many feeling that the bishops are an irrelevant burden they are constrained to carry. This is the real church from which will grow the future of a Christian presence in Ireland.
When reminding a Dublin citizen of the fact that many young people have lapsed from attendance at Sunday Mass, they replied: "There is more Mass on the Ballyfermot bus on a Saturday night than in any church." The wisdom embodied in this comment speaks eloquently of the need to return to one another, particularly to the poor and the marginalised.