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Catholic domination in Ireland - Essay Example

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The relations of the Irish Free State and the Catholic Church are featured with high importance for both sides, and play significant historical role which is emphasized by most researchers. Therefore, Tony Fahey1 observes the Catholic Church has had a powerful impact on the Irish social and political progress, especially after obtaining independence from Great Britain in 1922…
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Download file to see previous pages In general, such a powerful influence is closely associated with the Irish self-government principle ‘Home Rule as Rome Rule’3. However, it is often argued that this principle “ignores the reality of the power of the Catholic Church in Irish society and in relation to the body politic under previous British rule”4. Another control tool, implemented by the Church is linked with strict censorship. It was required for protecting traditional moral values. Since censorship of any kind is grounded on prejudices, it influences the shaping of people’s morals and manners, and impacts perspectives on the entire concept of the rule of law. “Censorship can be defined simply as the restriction, by proper authorities, of intellectual, literary, artistic materials in any format”5. Moreover, censorship by the Catholic Church is best understood in the context of community. Hence, such concepts as teachings, or social behaviour, which are inconsistent with the rule of faith, should be censored in order to preserve the life of the community. Hagstrom6 outlines censorship within the church among the believers as ‘in-house censorship’. ...
ules for editing materials and ideas of the social life sphere, making “judgments on ideas, philosophies, behaviours and books that were contrary to Christian faith and morals”7. An example of such an early censorship implementation is known as the Index of Forbidden Books, or Index Librorum Probibitorum. This was issued in 1557 by Pope Paul IV, though, it had a historical precedence dated AD 496 “in a Decree issued by Gelasius, listing heretical and apocryphal books banned by preceding councils and popes”8 . This Index included a list of titles, which Catholics were not permitted to read and to own without ecclesiastical permission. Harold Gardiner conveys the Catholic Church’s censorship standards, accepted after achieving the independence, wee closely linked with the notion that church is the cradle of love, which is intended for directing various parts of society towards the common harmony and enrichment9. In accordance with the clerical philosophy, the state is regarded as a ‘natural’ institution, where a human being forms a community with his fellow man, as a part of the social unity. Furthermore, Gardiner10 emphasizes that the human origin as the God’s offshoot presupposes the necessity for the communal living, hence this need is also God-given, while the endeavour for the individuality leads to coercion, and its further development into tyranny and injustice. Since the government and its authority are ‘natural’, the institutions such as the Censorship Board are also regarded as ‘natural’, “and as such, legitimate guardians and assessors of the norms towards which one must strive”11. Hence, “the statement that authority is natural is a mistaken analysis of how authority in such circumstances functions”12 because according to the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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