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I'm Happy To See Younger Generations Throwing Off The Heavy Shackles Of The Catholic Church

By niallharbison

December 20, 2016 at 12:18am


If Catholicism in Ireland was to be juxtapositioned with a business, it would be mobile phone manufacturer Nokia. 

Once omnipresent and woven into the fabric of Irish psyche, they are now both irrelevant, repositioning themselves and sucking hard for oxygen to stay alive.

It's amazing that things have gotten this bad because the vast majority of people reading this article will have been kicked out of bed in their early teens every Sunday morning to go to Mass. We were the slightly reluctant generation, led by our parents who were steadfast in their belief that the Catholic faith should permeate every ounce of our being. 

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I remember being an alter boy growing up and even at 11, I had the feeling that what I was being peddled was, at best, a fabrication of truth and, at worst, outright lies by a hungry conglomerate. 

A quick flick through my International Encyclopedia told me the that the notion of the Earth being created over the course of seven days only 2,000 years ago was a fairly delusional one. You'd believe it in a Harry Potter book or Hollywood movie but as a faith that was supposed to guide your life, it was hard to tally up the sums.

The unfortunate thing for the Catholic Church is that I was far from alone in these musings. In the wake of oppressive direction and endless abuse scandals, this is now the de facto opinion of a large slice of young Irish population. I don't know one single person my age who goes to Mass. 

My own inspiration for writing this was a Facebook group that openly mocked Mass, including the piece of comedy below that is up there with Father Ted and Tommy Tiernan in terms of succinctness.

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It was absolutely hilarious, no doubt about it, but one thing that struck me was that there is no way Catholicism would have been mocked in this way 20 years ago. 

People were too scared. Mocking God wasn't the done thing.

The reality is that it goes further than God. It was about our education system (and, unfortunately, still is with children having to get baptised to get educated). 

It was about abuse. Power. Control. Money. Our grannies were bought into the illusion and helped indoctrinate our parents into the system. They nearly got us too but the Internet, social media and common sense saved us.

I've nothing against the Catholic Church. I actually think some of the things they preach are very worthy. Values I'd love to keep close to my own life. The reality though is that young Irish people look up to McGregor, Kardashian and United more than they do an outdated religion that reigned on fear, manipulation and hierarchy.

Catholicism shouldn't be banished, because everybody on this planet has a right to believe in whatever they want. It should, however, be removed from our education system, our political system and every walk of life including pub opening hours, abortions and religious holidays. One size doesn't fit all.

Ireland was always seen as a very 'Catholic' country. It defined our identity for centuries. I'm happy to see the generation coming behind me throwing off the shackles.

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