Catholic Youth Festivals And The Funeral Of The Irish Catholic Church

IRISH CATHOLIC YOUTH FESTIVALS AND THE FUNERAL OF THE IRISH CATHOLIC CHURCH ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ™ˆ Following the Vatican II Council, we had an amazing attempt at trying to bring the Church to the world by using several techniques. One of those was utilizing modern pop culture and certain architectural designs of the day in order to make conversion of an increasingly secular society unresponsive to religion a little easier.

Although I absolutely abhor the strategy used and the complete wrecking ball that was taken to the Liturgy, I do admire the effort. There are so many Irish Catholics, many of them young, bending over backwards in a bid to keep people in the Church and invite the lost sheep to the eternal banquet. The problem with their effort is that they still have not left the realm of corny and cringeworthy material.

To the baptized Catholic who went through the motions of Holy Communion and confirmation but don’t partake in the Church at all or have abandoned it altogether, Catholicism is corny. It’s just that plain and simple. They’re not wrong either. The sheer awesomeness of our religion is definitely there but it gets smothered by a cultural stereotype purposefully crafted by Irish media and great think-tanks.

For an example of this take a look at the show “Father Ted” which aired on our screens from 1994 onwards. It was, without a doubt, a demonic masterpiece developed by an atheist to make the priesthood and church look like a bunch of silly outdated buffoons. To add insult to injury I’ll be the first to admit the program doesn’t get it wrong. The image they portray of the androgynous weird and strange priest is unfortunately accurate. I think that’s what made it even funnier because the entire nation could relate to it.

Among the general Irish public there had already been an existing view of the Church as corny and outdated. It’s just that nobody wanted to raise their hand and say it so loudly. Therefore the Irish arts industry came out and said it for them in the form of a comedy show.

Then along came evangelical ideas like Youth 2000 that was such a great effort at trying to counter that culture but perpetuated the stereotype. In fact, I wouldn’t say perpetuated it, rather, made it worse.
The American rock music, the cheesy Irish/country folk music and the low-budgeted media programs of EWTN were so distasteful. The Americans came over and tried to fix it but by bringing American culture to the mix, it alienated Irish people even further.

You see, the Irish already have lost their sense of national pride. The Europeans have took a wrecking ball to the countryโ€™s sovereignty, culture and everything else. And EWTN and other American-funded conversion camps aren’t helping that at all. When ordinary mass goers rock up to Liturgy on Sunday to be greeted by some American rock tunes with Jesus in the lyrics they just shrivel up and die inside.

It’s like watching the Catholic Church carry out its very own coffin and lowering into the ground all by themselves. They’re actually making the work of those trying to destroy the Church even easier. Although God is above culture and all sorts of patriotic nationalistic attitudes, they are useful for conversion. Many priests are good men who are just a bit thick that’s all and think that such methods are outdated.

They really do think that using modern pop culture and American rock music in the Church makes conversion easier. It doesn’t. You might rake in a few souls, but you’re making the work of the Holy Spirit even more difficult. When I’m out fishing on the weekend all methods I use will catch the fish. But there are some methods I use that are more fruitful and increase my catch tenfold.

Yes, programs like Youth 2000 has sparked many vocations in young people to become priests but there could be more if better strategies were in place. There are better methods out there that if they were receptive of them, would yield a much larger catch. It’s about time the Irish Catholic Church began to think of ways to make themselves look less corny and to present to people the awesomeness of its message.

But before they even begin to do that, there’s a requirement to get rid of the American pop culture that has influenced retreats and liturgical life. The problem with pop culture even if itโ€™s native, is that it’s difficult to please every age group with it. By simply being aware of the actual wound itself and what is only making it more painful can we really begin to come up with better solutions. We need to get rid of the cultural perception Father Ted has created in the minds of todayโ€™s 35-40 year old Catholic men.

Men need to be reached out to because it’s the father of the family all the kids look up to. They’re the ones they follow and right now many secular men just think of the Church as the most uncool institution not worth being a part of.

At present, I feel like I’m at a very long funeral of the Irish Catholic Church, and the ones carrying the coffin to the burial ground are the Church themselves. We need to bring it back to life somehow. I don’t want to have to read you my resume but I feel it may be necessary.

I’ve been involved in the liberal arts scene as a musician since I was a child. I actually liked X Factor when it first came out because Simon Cowell was so brutally honest. The world hated him for it but he was an expert in exposing the rubbish. I feel like I’m qualified to do the same. I know rubbish when I see and hear it and the Catholic Churchโ€™s approach today is absolute garbage. I’ve been that secular person who watched every episode of Father Ted when I was younger, I absolutely loved it.

I know the secular world and what makes it tick and this music and overall general approach by Irish Catholics (some with American roots) is absolutely deplorable. They’ll be offended as they often are when they read this, but only because it’s difficult for them to brush the ego aside and give in to the seriousness of the situation.

When I was a musician I got lots of criticism from A&R representatives of record companies, but I received such criticisms as if it were gold and by doing so got my material solicited to the record label. It’s just the way it is, either you accept the criticism and act on it or you continue to suffer the consequences of turning up your nose at some really great advice from those who know a little better.

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