Friday 19 January 2018

Switchers' schism a divine Irish mystery

The row over 'polyester Protestants' reveals the bizarre nature of our nation's religious life, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

'CULTURAL APARTHEID': Dr Michael Jackson, the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, says there is still a disdainful attitude towards 'polyester Protestants' within Anglicanism
'CULTURAL APARTHEID': Dr Michael Jackson, the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, says there is still a disdainful attitude towards 'polyester Protestants' within Anglicanism

Eilis O'Hanlon

There are times when the only honest response is to throw up your hands in bewilderment and admit that you haven't the faintest notion what's going on.

That's very much how it was all last week with the ongoing row about so-called "polyester Protestants". What decade is this again? The Fifties? Who even talks like that any more?

The answer, at least according to Church of Ireland prelate Michael Jackson, is: Plenty of members of his own church. Writing in the Irish Times recently, the archbishop of Dublin and Glendalough even claimed that there was a "cultural apartheid" still at work in Ireland and that too many Protestants were dismissive of Catholics, more dismissive still of former Catholics who joined the Anglican church, and unkind to fellow Protestants who married outside the faith.

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