Ireland: When the Church Is State

Ailbhe Smyth: Although the large majority of people in Ireland continue to define themselves as Catholic, it is a very different kind of Catholicism from the traditional form that held us enslaved for so long. It is more individualistic, more independent, more rational… Irish people are no longer prepared to follow the diktat of the church in socio-sexual matters. While Ireland may in some respects still be “culturally Catholic,” that culture is increasingly and manifestly tempered by a sophisticated and cosmo­politan perspective.

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