Monday, May 28, 2018



Where Did Ireland Go? Abortion Vote Stuns Those on Both Sides

New York Times
May 27, 2018
By Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura
Dublin - Some were joyous. Others were devastated. But most of all, in the hours after Irish voters swept away a ban on abortion, many were simply astonished.
However they felt about the result of the referendum, they were witnessing, they knew, the culmination of a fundamental shift in Irish society — and one that has come about with stunning speed.
In a remarkably compact span of time, the country has gone from being a bastion of social conservatism in the West to a place that wholeheartedly embraces positions that would have been unthinkable just a generation ago.
The culture of silence and deference to religious authority that long dominated Ireland is gone. The country that has emerged is an unlikely leader of liberal values.

Ireland Votes to End Abortion Ban, in Rebuke to Catholic Conservatism

New York Times
May 26, 2018
By Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura
Dublin - Ireland voted decisively to repeal one of the world’s more restrictive abortion bans, sweeping aside generations of conservative patriarchy and dealing the latest in a series of stinging rebukes to the Roman Catholic Church.
The surprising landslide, reflected in the results announced on Saturday, cemented the nation’s liberal shift at a time when right-wing populism is on the rise in Europe and the Trump administration is imposing curbs on abortion rights in the United States. In the past three years alone, Ireland has installed a gay man as prime minister and has voted in another referendum to allow same-sex marriage.
But this was a particularly wrenching issue for Irish voters, even for supporters of the measure. And it was not clear until the end that the momentum toward socially liberal policies would be powerful enough to sweep away deeply ingrained opposition to abortion.
* * *
The church lost much of its credibility in the wake of scandals involving pedophile priests and thousands of unwed mothers who were placed into servitude in so-called Magdalene laundries or mental asylums as recently as the mid-1990s.
The church was, in fact, largely absent from the referendum campaign. Anti-abortion campaigners actively discouraged its participation, preferring to emphasize moral values and human rights rather than religion, possibly to avoid being tarnished by the church-related scandals.
During the campaign, the Association of Catholic Priests urged its members not to preach politics from the pulpit. The guidance came after some priests had threatened their congregations that they would not be able to receive Communion if they voted “yes,” according to people who attended the Masses.

As Ireland Joins Europe’s Sprint From Catholic Fold, Francis Looks South

New York Times
May 27, 2018
By Jason Horowitz
Vatican City - When nearly one-third of Ireland’s Catholic population came to see Pope John Paul II celebrate a papal Mass in Dublin in 1979, divorce, homosexual acts and abortion were all illegal in the country. Ireland, like much of Europe, toed the line on Roman Catholic Church teaching.
In August, Pope Francis will return to Ireland for a World Meeting of Families event attended by the church’s most committed anti-abortion activists. But they will find themselves, after Saturday’s historic repeal of an abortion ban in a landslide vote, in a country that is clearly part of Europe’s secular sprint out of the Roman Catholic fold.
Across Western Europe, the church’s once mighty footprint has faded, in no small measure because of self-inflicted clerical sex abuse scandals and an inability to keep up with and reach contemporary Catholics. Church attendance has plummeted, parishes are merging, and new priests and nuns are in short supply. Gay marriage is on the rise, and abortion is widely legal.


Daniel said...

This looks like fair straight-forward & factual accounts of what happened & not dissimilar to how this has been reported most everywhere.

Which parts specifically do you object to? Where's the gushing?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I don’t fault the Times for reporting facts. It is the post Vatican II Church that is in cahoots with the amazing snew evangelization of the secular agenda or impotent to recognize the Vatican II impotency

TJM said...

The New York Slimes - Hell’s Bible

Daniel said...

So, no gushing, just venting. Got it.

Gene said...

Egalitarianism is the zeitgeist today. Any authoritarian or theocentric structure must be struck down because these implicitly reject the egalitarian premise. The inevitable result of the egalitarian world view is a certain "anti-nomialism" often in regard to civil law but, certainly, in regard to moral law and religious law. We are going to be fighting this battle for a very long time.

Daniel said...



1.relating to or believing in the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.

"a fairer, more egalitarian society"

I don't know what country you're posting from, Gene, but in this country, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

It's been the zeitgeist for at least 242 years.

Henry said...

As one maybe a bit more sensitive to nuances of language . . . Yes, I'd say there's some gushing there.

Don't Call Me Kavanaugh said...

Or -- as happens when folks here complain about coverage of the sexual-abuse scandals -- the plain truth is painfully uncomfortable, the facts are irrefutable, so of course let's say that they're gushing/gloating. Rather than address the substance of the matter, let's attack the messenger.

Henry said...


In the current U.S. political lexicon, "egalitarism" has come to encompass some things rather different from the mere equality of opportunity implied by our founding documents. Namely, equality of opportunity regardless of merit, and rights without responsibilities.

Gene said...

Daniel, Egalitarianism has a specific usage beyond the dictionary definition and should not be confused with "equality." You may want to read, "The Closing of the American Mind," by Alan Bloom, who gives a very good description of the concept of egalitarianism. Egalitarianism arose from the French Revolution (Liberte', Egalite", Fraternite'), a violent overthrow of the upper classes in France and a forced "brotherly" society that, ultimately, led to Napolean and the Napoleanic Wars from 1793-1815.
Egalitarianism is not just the berlierf that all men are created equal (which is also not true), but that their equality is to be guaranteed by a government that levels the playing field by every measure, often punishing those who strive to make a better life for themselves or who are fortunate enough to have inherited wealth. It is the foundation for Marxism in all its forms and, ultimately, tyyranny. Read a book now and then.

Daniel said...

Words mean what they mean, not what rhetorical second-guessers or pompous pundits think it should mean.
That's why we have dictionaries.
I especially will not take syntactical instruction from people who can't spell "Napoleon."

Cletus Ordo said...

Today's "egalitarianism" is a type of totalitarianism.

TJM said...

Don’t call me Kavanaugh is Kavanaugh!

Daniel said...

War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength
Egalitarianism is Totalitarianism

-- Cletus

(Gene -- that's from a well-known book. Check it out.)

Anonymous said...

TJM, you’re the best. Don’t ever change.

Gene said...

Daniel, It was a typo. My bad. Daniel, words have meanings in varying contexts that go beyond their dictionary definitions. There are a lot of books and references out there dealing with the egalitarian mindset. But, if you want to stay with the dictionary, that is fine for you right now. When you get out of seventh grade, we'll talk again.

TJM said...

This is for all of the deniers here we LOVE the New York Slimes aka peddler of fake news:

Fr Martin Fox said...

I agree that the scandal of failed episcopal oversight, allowing for sexual predation against minors by members of the clergy, has greatly weakened the witness of the Church.

But it does not follow that this scandal "explains" why Irish voters overturned protection for the unborn from murder.

The Catholic Church is against embezzlement. Will Irish voters now overturn laws against it?

TJM said...

More bad news for you Obama idol worshippers:

Henry said...

"Words mean what they mean, . . .
That's why we have dictionaries."

Do they? Is it? A Merriam-Webster user reading only the primary usages of "gay" might be confused the next time he hears the word in a real-world sentence. Often times a printed dictionary definition--as of "egalitarian"--fails to coincide with contempary usage (in which case the dictionary is not an adequate guide to meaning).

Definition of gay
1 a : happily excited : merry

in a gay mood

b : keenly alive and exuberant : having or inducing high spirits

a bird's gay spring song

2 a : bright, lively

gay sunny meadows

b : brilliant in color
3 : given to social pleasures; also : licentious
4 a : homosexual

gay men

b : of, relating to, or used by homosexuals

the gay rights movement

a gay bar

Gene said...

We were all sitting around feeling gay. She got tired and left and we all felt merry.

TJM said...


Good one!