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Losing One's Religion

The relaxation of religious bigotry seems to be a factor in this apparent harmony.  The Church of Ireland churches are largely uninhabited on both sides of the border.  The Roman Catholic Church in particular has suffered serious setbacks this century. 

First came the sexual abuse scandals; then the campaigns for gay marriage and legal abortion, both successful in the face of Church opposition.  Most recently the Church opposed removing the prohibition on 'blasphemy' from the Irish Constitution so that this 'crime', more familiar in Muslim countries, would be no more.

The campaign took place during our time in Ireland and again the Church has been soundly defeated in a referendum. Pope Francis visited recently and his reception was inevitably compared with the previous Papal visit forty years earlier.  Back then the Irish populous flocked to JPII in their millions and besieged his Papal Mass in a crush of humanity.  This time the media reported; 'the streets were lined to one person deep'; and 'the St Patrick's day parade attracted bigger crowds'. 

No wonder that at we were exhorted, by large a banner, to: Pray the Rosary for Ireland as part of upcoming  Irish Rosary on the Coasts event, at which Dingle Bay was to be one point of costal gathering.


See album
The Convent of the Presentation Nuns in Dingle
The white and gold banner by the gate exhorts us to: Pray the Rosary for Ireland


Back at home, after the event, I wondered how it had gone.  The Catholic World Report told me:

Thousands of Catholics gathered at over 270 locations on the Feast of Christ the King (25 November 2018) to pray the Rosary, seeking to stem the tide of abortion and other evils in what used to be the most Catholic country in the world.

The article goes to add:

In recent years, Catholic Ireland has been bloodied by the sins of her clergy in sexual scandals one after the other. The faith, so embodied by her patron Saint Patrick, has plummeted to new lows. This is a new, spiritual version of the An Gorta Mòr (The Great Hunger). Yes, there is another kind of famine plaguing Ireland today. It is one wrought by the sins of man and not the soil. Like almost all western countries, Ireland has bought into a materialistic, self-absorbed, hedonistic form of secularism. Where the highest good in human existence is characterized and fantasized by a corrupted form of self-realization. Instead of exporting or giving and sanctifying and sacrificing to the world her innate spirituality, Ireland is now importing the modern creed of “what’s in it for me?”

The Catholic World Report - Nov 27 2018


Standing against the tide seems an ill-chosen metaphor (like King Canute) and given that the Presentation Order features in a number of those disastrous 'sexual scandals' referred to, and not just in Ireland, they were named in Australia's Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse too, one might say: 'what goes around comes around'.




# Michael 2020-08-28 06:06
This article is brilliant. I've learnt a lot from reading about these travels
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I first visited China in November 1986.  I was representing the New South Wales Government on a multinational mission to our Sister State Guangdong.  My photo taken for the trip is still in the State archive [click here].  The theme was regional and small business development.  The group heard presentations from Chinese bureaucrats and visited a number of factories in rural and industrial areas in Southern China.  It was clear then that China was developing at a very fast rate economically. 

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Fiction, Recollections & News

Remembering 1967








1967 is in the news this week as it is 50 years since one of the few referendums, since the Federation of Australia in 1901, to successfully lead to an amendment to our Constitution.  In this case it was to remove references to 'aboriginal natives' and 'aboriginal people'.

It has been widely claimed that these changes enabled Aboriginal Australians to vote for the first time but this is nonsense. 

Yet it was ground breaking in other ways.

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Opinions and Philosophy





Social Media taps into that fundamental human need to gossip.  Indeed some anthropologists attribute the development of our large and complex brains to imagination, story telling and persuasion. Thus the 'Cloud' is a like a cumulonimbus in which a hail of imaginative nonsense, misinformation and 'false news' circulates before falling to earth to smash someone's window or dent their car: or ending in tears of another sort; or simply evaporating.

Among this nonsense are many conspiracy theories. 


For example, at the moment, we are told by some that the new 5G mobile network has, variously, caused the Coronavirus pandemic or is wilting trees, despite not yet being installed where the trees have allegedly wilted, presumably in anticipation. Of more concern is the claim by some that the Covid-19 virus was deliberately manufactured in a laboratory somewhere and released in China. 

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