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The Next Steps in the Secularization of Ireland


The fact that more than sixty percent of the Irish electorate supported an amendment to the nation’s constitution recognizing same-sex “marriage” caught many people by surprise last spring. They may have been clinging to an outdated image of Ireland as a bastion of devout Catholicism.

Unfortunately there further disturbing changes that are being advanced.

One is more symbolic. Many, including a former news director of the national radio and television station, are asking that the broadcasting of the Angelus be dropped. It is viewed as an anachronism in an Ireland that has “an increasingly multi-ethnic, multi-faith population,” and is “a secular state.”

Originally the television imagery accompanying the sounding of the Angelus bells had a religious or devotional character, such as of Mary and the Christ Child. In more recent times it was gradually changed to a semi-religious flavor: a young child with a senior citizen feeding ducks, a street artist chalking a religious picture on the pavement, or a memorial in a rural town.

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