Church's challenge is to teach basic faith
The start of the week-long Eucharistic Congress is only two days away. Expectations have been carefully and rightly managed so that no one is under any illusion that it will remotely compare with the Eucharistic Congress of 1932, which effectively merged Irish identity with Catholic identity.
Today, 80 years later, we are more a country that is trying to purge its identity of Catholic influence, just as, back in 1932, we tried to purge it of British influence. For aggressive nationalism back then, read aggressive secularism today.
This week, most of us were happy to see Britain celebrate Queen Elizabeth's diamond jubilee. Relations between Britain and Ireland have normalised and some of us even wonder whether we'd be better off, if push comes to shove, leaving the euro and joining sterling.