Monday 24 September 2018

Leo, those uppity women, and a right unholy row

The fall-out of Josepha 'saying Mass', was great fun, but did we cross another Rubicon in relation to the Catholic Church last week, asks Brendan O'Connor

Josepha Madigan led a prayer service in her local church. Photo: Tony Maxwell
Josepha Madigan led a prayer service in her local church. Photo: Tony Maxwell
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

It is a very Irish row. It even has a name. The Unholy Row. And with the country in the kind of bubble of nostalgia we get into during hot summers, and with it feeling a bit 1976 around the place, people lapped it up.

Initially people got the impression that a Government minister, and a lady one at that, had actually said Mass. Which was exactly the kind of madness people latch on to at a time like this. Only in Ireland, eh?

It turned out it wasn't quite that, but Josepha Madigan had, it seemed, led a prayer service in her local church last Saturday night when the relief priest didn't turn up for Mass. There was also pre-blessed communion given out (the women are allowed to touch the communion with their unclean hands.) It was painstakingly pointed out that Josepha did nothing illegal. She didn't even read the gospel, which we gather she would be entitled to do. But she knew her place.

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