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A Challenge to the Vatican and its supporters!
January 19, 2007
4:01 pm
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on my way
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I'm staying out of this one. But I do think the Catholic religion is self-made and out of control.

January 19, 2007
4:29 pm
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on my way
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I probably shouldn't have said that. I don't mean to offend anyone who is Catholic. It is just IMHO!

January 19, 2007
4:44 pm
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sleepless in uk
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None taken by this lapsed catholic. Offense that is.

Im not sure that it doesnt apply to many other religions too though

January 19, 2007
4:52 pm
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on my way
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sleepless,
I agree with you too.

January 20, 2007
10:08 pm
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revelation
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ha!

I'm an irish catholic...which means I'm not actually a practicing catholic at all...I do believe in god, but its hard to explain what catholicism means to most irish people...its not really about religion...more about tradition...some of my country men and women may disagree. But for the most part, people my age and younger are disillusioned with the church after all these scandals...and the new pope isn't too popular either...so thats where I am on the catholic scale!

So, I just wanted to say that, Tez...I had to laugh at your description of the story you were told in CBS...I can remember being told the story of fatima in primary school when I was about 7 or 8 and basically couldn't sleep at night for a few nights after, worrying about this awful prophecy...I was sure we were all doomed. I can remember being scared about armageddon and eternal damnation in the fires of hell quite a lot while I was a child...and this was supposed to be good for us??? I'm not that old either...we are talking about the 1980's when I was in primary school. No wonder their are so many messed up totally messed up people in Ireland!!

I thought that there would me major hulabaloo and the world would hold its breath waiting on the pope to open this letter (which I too thought had been written when the child first got the "message" from the apparition of the virgin mary). Turns out it was opened in 2000 and I didn't even know!! And turns out its some cryptic message which could be interpreted in numerous ways....typical....what a sham!!!

Its funny, but generally in Ireland, people from the US are looked down on for being stupid...basically, if you show any real emotion at all in Ireland you are labeled as stupid or mad by the ignorant mass's...we have a lot to learn about taking care of ourselves obviously and we have no right to slag off the americans really...when domestic abuse and child abuse is still rampant here.

Fingers crossed the change of attitude which seems to be seeping into irish society will gain some momentum.

Thanks for the memory Tez...a bad one though it was, it serves to remind me where I have come from!

Thanks,
Rev.

January 21, 2007
6:46 pm
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Thanks Rev.

I'm an Aussie living in Australia. Did you think I was an American?

The Irish migrated in their droves during the potato famine as you well know - 6 million I believe. Many went to the US, others to Canada and some came to Australia. All of my ggfs and ggms on my father's side migrated in 1850s-1860s to Australia from Limerick, Clare and Kilkenny, met, and married in Australia and pioneered the rugged high country of North Eastern Victoria. You might have seen the movie, The Man From Snowy River? It's about the mountain horsemen and their riding skills. My gf, who died when I was sixteen, was one of those horsemen. I knew him as a 92 year old man. Even though he was born in Australia he still had an Irish accent. This is because the Irish immigrants banded together for protection against their British colonial masters. How these Irish men and women came from farming the green fields of the Emerald Isles and became such great horsemen I don't know. As for those Irish women, how they bore so many kids in the wild mountain country in a strange land without their own mothers for support, beats me. Their ability to adapt and endure must have been forged in their home country under the tyranny of the bloody English yoke!

I was educated by Irish Christian Brothers who were full of anger, hate and frustration. I think that they were never satisfied with either their religion, their celibacy or their adopted country. I have very few if any happy childhood memories. Apart from having dysfunctional parents, I largely blame Catholicism for that. I guess that I brought something to the equation as well. With a lifetime's experiences, I've pulled myself up by my bootstraps pretty well now.

It was very gratifying to hear a dear old Irish nun say to me many years ago: "We Irish clergy have a lot to answer for, you know." I presume she was talking about facing her maker. If a loving God exists as she believed He did, then I'm sure she would be in heaven with Him now.

I'm not a Christian at all now. I've thrown those shackles off my mind. I think we create our own heaven and/or hell in our own minds, now and in the hereafter. I'm with William Blake on that one. He said: "The mind is its own place, and in itself can create a heaven out of hell or a hell out of heaven."

As for Americans being stupid, I doubt that. But I do think they are a little insular. Many seem to know very little about the rest of the world. Many Americans seem to think kangaroos jump down the main street of Sydney. Amongst others, I guess that you can thank Steve Irwin for that. Unless you go out west a fair distance you won't even see a 'roo. I live about 40 kms outside the capital city of Brisbane. We only see the odd wallaby and usually that's because they are dead beside the road. Unfortunately Irish and Pommies alike we have decimated the wildlife including the Australian Aborigines - not a proud heritage!!

January 21, 2007
7:21 pm
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sleepless in uk
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Ah Rev you may be ten years younger or so than me but our memories of school religious instruction are so similar its scary.

And Tez, the Christian Brothers? I was taught at a catholic grammer school by Irish catholic nuns and had the same fear of almost everything that gave any pleasure...:-0. Man they liked to take out their frustrations on us kids. I never can understand now why we didnt say anything at home, probably because we would have got more of the same! I guess by the time you went to school Rev the abuse would have been much more subtle. With us in the 70s it was pretty much out there in the open.

My predessors also came across from Ireland to Liverpool, at the time of the Easter Risings.

I have the same view as Tez, I blame the celibate disturbed nuns for having put me off religion. I figured anything those twisted mean cruel women believed in must have been worth running from.

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