Monday, March 21, 2011

Disconnect between St. Patrick's day parades and the faith he came to bring

Credit where credit is due.   During the course of a broadcast on Irish radio on St. Patrick’s Day, Cardinal Seán Brady, Primate of All-Ireland and Archbishop of Armagh, had this to say:

‘ … Today, unfortunately, the historic link between the Christian legacy of Patrick and Irish identity is often ignored, if not out-rightly denied.  This is evident in the increasing disconnect between so many Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations and the faith and hope which Patrick came to bring.  It is part of a wider European problem.  Despite the fact that the roots of European and Irish culture are profoundly Christian there are those who would prefer to deny this reality.

‘Of course there is no contradiction between confident expressions of Christian faith in the public square and a society that is tolerant of other faiths and philosophies of life.  Religious faith is very important to very many Irish people.  This fact deserves due recognition and respect in public life and policy. …’