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The Catholic Church in Ireland - Essay Example

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Eamon de Valera, a dominant political figure of 20th century Ireland, in drafting the Irish constitution in 1937, reflecting on the cultural and historical role of the Catholic Church granted it a special position in the constitution of the republic of Ireland…
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Download file to see previous pages The 1937 draft was a betrayal of women (Mulhoffand, 1995)2 According to Mulhoffand; women played an active role in the overthrow of colonialism, the rise of suffragette movement, and the progress of labour movement. The constitution enshrined the Catholic Church as the state religion and relegated women's place to the home and with it their ideals and aspirations. With the democratic states seeking to run its politics, the Church sought to establish a relationship that harbored on non-interfere in specific areas of social life such as family, education and vocation over which it held jurisdiction (Crotty, 2004)3.
The Catholic Church in Ireland, once the dominant social institution commanding overwhelming affiliation of church-goers, today maintains a role familiar to its competitive, pluralistic and competing interests.
Ireland is a mix state between church-state separation and state religious neutrality, but a look at the 1937 constitution indicates that the Irish state has never been neutral when it came to religion. The recent trends show that Irish State is far from neutral in handling different religious communities. Currently, the relationship between secularisation and Irish state policy looks weak (Kissane, 2003)4.
Richard D. Richard D. Finnegan (Ireland: The Challenge of Conflict and Change, 1983) wrote that the Roman Catholic faith in Ireland survived the Reformation, its penal laws and independence movement because its people felt that the church's religious liberty juxtaposed with Ireland's quest for freedom; the people felt that devotion to the church was devotion to the country. Moreover, the Gaelic Ireland movement associated devotion to the church with Irish cultural identity (Crotty, 2004)5. The autonomy that the church enjoyed saw it create its own style of institutions devoid of backward peasantry class or dominant landlord; it emphasised on a more traditional classical curriculum in its school. Gleeson and Munnelly (2004:3) wrote that the Catholic Church was not in favour of the creation of a separate single school subject on citizenship as it believed that moral education and personal development were best taught through religious education (Dr. Harris, 2005).6
In 1878 the government passed an Intermediate Education Act in which every student who passed the Intermediate examination was offered between 3 and 10. The church termed this system as a murder of the education system. The church was against such frivolities, and guarded their control over education, citing that the government system was a deviation from nationalism. The church protected their system to encourage children to learn more on nationalism and language.
The primary curriculum was widened to take in more subjects, and much stress was laid on encouraging nationalism, particularly in the teaching of history. Irish was made compulsory (Changes in the Irish Education System, Ireland: culture and religion, 1912-49,
The Church also shaped public opinion against British nationalism and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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