Irish History of Religion, Essay Sample

Published: 2022-06-06
Irish History of Religion, Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  History Church
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1728 words
15 min read

Ireland is an island country found in-North West in Europe and is divided into Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Northern Ireland forms part of UK, covers a sixth of the country, and is situated to the northeast of the country (McAuley and Paul, 29). The Republic of Ireland forms five over six of the country. The largest church fraternity is the Roman Catholic, making above 73% in Northern Ireland and about 87% in the Republic of Ireland. Christianity dates back to a time of about 5th century, between the interaction of Britain Romans. Nicholas Walsh, Bishop of Ossory began the translation of the first Irish New testament until 1585 (Cochrane, 5). The number of churches continued to crop up despite a lot of energy by the Catholic Church in controlling its congregation. This was to prevent the conversion of many believers to Protestants. The emergence of Protestants caused a lot of conflict among in the religious sector in Ireland as discussed below.

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There had been a dispute between Protestants and Catholics in cultural difference. The period of a 5th century, Ireland was almost 100% Catholics. Nevertheless, this changed when some of the believers started to convert other denominations like Protestantism creating the conflicts (McGreevy, 420). This brought a difference in the teaching of the Bibles. The beliefs, understanding, and interpretation were different since there were a cultural diversity and political stand. They could not go to the Catholic's holy wells or participate in Catholic holidays. The Irish were not following the king's command, and this led to the enactment of Penal laws. Under these laws, Irish were not supposed to own land and were restricted to exercise Catholicism (Cochrane, 15). Protestant mainly from Scotland were sent to settle in Ireland, and the citizens were enforced to give their land and become tenants to the settlers. The Irish were not to access education, farm, and poses any money. The Catholic Church did everything to assist them by educating the Irish and practicing Catholicism in defiance of the laws. By 1880, the Irish culture was revived, like teaching language to pupils and writing the Celtic lore for the coming generations (McAuley and Paul, 29). They became more vocals in their oppression and English passed discontents. In 1907, English people did see the Irish people as human beings and often took them as lesser beings. This angered the Irish people and there was a revolution soon after they won their independence in the 20th century. By 1922, the Catholic Church had a powerful dominance over the Irish people after its inception. This was after it had declined in the past decades. The dominance of the clergy meant that Irish elements had very traditional social policies. However, since the early 1990s, the Catholic Church in Ireland had many scandals of sexual abuses and child molestations. Many priests have been investigated in recent decades in relation to children abuses. Few of these cases find their way into the corridors of justice. Priests found with these cases have either been transferred to avoid humiliation and embarrassment in the society.

In the 19th century, the Catholic Church gained a lot of power and influence on social, political, and religious achievements. The first government placed the Catholic Church in the life of Irish people. The dominance of the church had influence on the emigration, mass media to family planning issues. This underrated the framework of the church (Aretxaga, 220). The Vatican not only made changes but also brought in fresh moods and hopeful church culture. The branded Catholic was more democratic more than authoritative. Authority was refurbished as service. Priests and bishops were to be the servants of the people in religious matters and social affairs. It put emphasis on love rather than strict rules. It had a positive on human nature than the negative ones. The Irish taboos were abolished and the church had a monopolistic voice in airing their views. In 1950s, the church's leadership was undisputed and at that time, education was a privilege to a few. Rituals stimulated emotional answers and impressed at the same time. It also incorporated the legitimacy of some attitudes, customs, ideas, and values. This changed the way in which the world views the Catholic Church and Catholicism spirit. There is now the solidarity in social matters and shared meanings (Cochrane, 25). The Catholic embraced the media evangelism, which was not accepted in the early days. The church believed the media would distort or misinterpret the word of God. At the same time many followers would be discouraged by the strict rules and therefore opt for other churches. This would also discourage people from attending church services since the message would be passed on to them on a media platform. They also believed that the media would be used politically to create biases and false notions about the church. This has since changed and people are allowed to listen to the summons over the social media and any other platform.

In 1998, Good Friday Peace Agreement, which was signed by the senior most political leaders of both ends that is Catholic and Protestant leaders, came to be. The part of the people on both sides was all tired of conflicts and violence that would lead to loss of life and destruction of properties. After the signing of the agreement, both sides participated in a successful referendum which proved that majority of the people were yearning for peace (Aretxaga, 224). A protestant by the name David Trimble and Catholic leader called John Hume were later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the participation and contribution. However, after the peace agreement, there was a terrorist attacked which was meant to derail the efforts of the peace deal. The terrorists wanted to ruin the communication between both sides and create new conflict and hatred. It was not successful in its mission. Good Friday peace agreement had some progress but the terrorist group who admitted it has not lived up to their promise, they had to hand in the weapons they used. Some weapons had been taken back, but the opposition was not satisfied. This led to falling in communication, but there was still the spirit of dialogue and cooperation from both ends. Northern Ireland has also had its parliament following the fruitful negotiations of the peace agreement deal. Culturally there had been a joint crusade against sectarian, which is the following of a sector group of people encoded in a doctrine (McAuley and Paul, 34). This mainly affects the upbringing of children hence the need to cut it out. Both worship the same God, believe in the same Lord Jesus Christ and still committed to the truth and teaching of Jesus. Both the Catholics and Protestants intermarry and participate in weddings of each other.

The social teaching in the Catholic Church, talks about the common good, solidarity and subsidiary and human dignity. It guides on how human well-being is constructed and is performed. It also tells how economy affects the life of an individual in relation to the Catholic Church. The teachings give a framework on how humans should advocate for justice. The human dignity is only protected and realized in the concept of relating to the wider society. There was a change in mind on the practice on non-marriage and late marriages, which was a frequent in the rural areas. The late marriages were strongly condemned by the local bishops, and viewed this on the material benefits other than the true reflection and meaning of marriage. The bishops felt late-night ceremonies like dancing, drinking of alcohol as evil (Aretxaga, 228). They took notice on dress codes and keeping ones company as a possibility of sinning. Sex was viewed as a sin and was treated with a lot of fear and suspicious. The bishops believed all this persuaded people from the real and true way of salvation. The Irish Catholics' devotion to the practice on religion was also threatened. The bishops were worried about the quest for endless pleasure that was rapidly growing (Cochrane, 25). The unwavering spirit and discipline among the youth was becoming unmoderated and was a worry and dangerous to the way of life of Catholics'. All this stressful assumptions ways of practice changed when everything had to be taught, talked about in bold and openness. The congregation had to be enlightened and the bishops had to accept the reality of life and its changing ways. There was need for social change on matters pertaining religion and the social wellbeing of people in Ireland. The bishops believed that people had to be contented with their situations and had no need in improving it. They kept reminding the congregation of the spirit of humiliation and self-denials should they go against the teachings. This changed due to the fear of some people leaving the church because of strict rules. Others also converting to Protestants to run away from the many summons and beliefs associated with the Catholic Church (McGreevy, 429). Many authors also wrote about the church putting pressure in its leadership forcing them to change the way of practice and teachings to allow more flexibility and personal judgement to prevail over beliefs.

In conclusion, the Catholic faith had come far in the whole world. The denomination passed through a lot of struggles within its fraternity and the outside forces. Despite all this, the unwavering principles and values never changed. The teaching of Jesus Christ and the fundamental issues in the society were priorities. The respect to human dignity and mutual understanding of events of other creatures of the universe was the basic components and elements in the church. The church also looked at the economic, political, and social status of the human and a lot of emphases was put to improve the living standards of the people. In the 20th century, the social teachings remained without any big alterations. The fight for injustices and equality is still pushed on. The economic development and good governance are being agitated, and racial abuse remains steadfast course pursued in the societies.

Work Cited

Aretxaga, Begona. "Striking with hunger: cultural meanings of political violence in Northern Ireland." The Violence Within. Routledge, 2018. 219-253.

Cochrane, Feargal. "The past in the present." Politics in Northern Ireland. Routledge, 2018. 1-28.

McAuley, James W., and Paul Nesbitt-Larking. "Faith." Contemporary Orangeism in Canada. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2018. 25-45.

McGreevy, John T. Parish boundaries: The Catholic encounter with race in the twentieth-century urban north. University of Chicago Press, 2016. 413-470

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