Catholicism In Ireland Essay

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The history and development of Catholicism in Ireland have been complex due to the various invasions that the island experienced throughout the centuries and to the imposition of Protestantism of behalf of the English in the sixteenth century and later. This complexity partly accounts for the close relationship between Catholicism, Irish nationalism and Irishness. In fact, Catholicism played an important role in “confirming the sense of national identity” (Brown). For this reason and for some peculiarities it had, the Catholicism practiced in Ireland has been defined by some scholars as “Irish Catholicism” (cf. Brown; Dowling; Jordan; McCaffrey)
As for rurality and Gaelic culture, it can be said that one of the main reasons that favoured the
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Catholic faith also became more than a simple matter of religion for the Irish; according to the historian Patrick O’Farrell, it was “a set of values, a culture a historical tradition a view of the world, a disposition of the mind and heart, a loyalty, an emotion, a psychology—and a nationalism.” (308). In part, this shows why Catholicism was deeply connected with the concept of…show more content…
Around 60 percent of the Irish people lived in the countryside (Brown) and only around 15 percent of the people spoke Irish fluently (Brown; Dowling 41), but more that the 90 percent of the Irish people were Catholic (Brown; Dowling 41). Therefore, Catholicism was the strongest bond between the Irish people, especially because the Gaelic language and part of the Gaelic tradition had almost been lost by the time the Irish started fighting for freedom, as we also see in the previous section (cf. Kiberd, Inventing 650; Jordan;

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