June 11, 2012

Ireland’s Catholic Church, host of the International Eucharistic Congress, has suffered a dramatic loss of credibility in recent years, but also shows signs of renewal after a decade of turbulence.

While a recent survey by the Association of Catholic Priests found that weekly Mass attendance throughout the country is one of the highest in Europe at 35 per cent, the capital – where Mass attendance in some parishes is two per cent – has been hit by a combination of religious apathy, secularism and disenchantment as a result of clergy sex abuse scandals.

David Quinn of The Iona Institute, says it is wrong to blame all of the Church’s challenges on clerical abuse scandals.

The shift in public opinion, he said, is “driven primarily by the secularizing trends that would have overtaken the rest of Europe over the last century.”