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Showing posts from August, 2021

The Eisenhower Legacy

  The Eisenhower Legacy                Gerry OShea Dwight Eisenhower, better known simply as Ike, was elected twice to the presidency of the United States, in 1952 and 1956. He was a popular Republican leader with approval ratings that, according to Gallup, at times exceeded 75%. No wonder, considering he ended the Korean War, balanced the national budget and presided over eight years of peace and prosperity. He called his approach “the middle way,” indicating a strong desire for bipartisanship, but he also asserted clear presidential leadership at crucial times. For instance, he sent the 101 st Airborne Division to Little Rock, Arkansas to escort Black students into desegregated classrooms, past a defiant governor and an angry white mob. He also steered through congress a Civil Rights Act in 1957, admittedly watered-down to accommodate Southern sensibilities.   He appointed Earl Warren, a fellow-Republican, to the Supreme Court, a decision that had very positive consequences fo

Irish Catholicism - Old and New

  Irish Catholicism – Old and New         Gerry OShea I was an altar boy in the community where I grew up in the 1950’s. I recall well the opening prayers at mass. Priest: Introibo ad altare Dei (Translation: I will go to the altar of God) Altar Boy: Ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam (Translation: To God who brings joy to my youth) The parish of Kenmare in County Kerry had three priests assigned in those years and for many decades afterwards. One of the three was the parish priest who was called an archdeacon. In the 1960’s this honorific was sidelined in favor of Canon, deemed to be somewhat lower in the ecclesiastical pecking order. Some local luminaries protested this belittling of the traditional designation. Only one other town in Kerry had a parish priest with that title so there was a certain diocesan status accompanying the name. The bishop was informed of the local discomfiture about the demotion, leading to the restoration of the old order. The arch – as he

The Synodal Way of the German Catholic Church

  The Synodal Way in Germany             Gerry OShea   The two countries with the most affluent Catholic churches, Germany and the United States, are both dealing with serious ecclesiastical crises. Last year over 400,000 members left the church in Germany while the numbers departing in the United States are estimated at double that figure. The main reason for this mass exodus centers on the church’s failure over many years to deal with an epidemic of clerical sex abuse in many schools and parishes in both countries. Thousands of boys and girls were molested by priests and brothers who were trusted by parents to care for their children. This horrific betrayal by church authorities is the main cause of the Catholic crisis. By 2016, the American church had paid out over 3.8 billion dollars in settlements to survivors, and, in July of this year, Norwich, Connecticut, became the 26 th diocese to plead bankruptcy as they face court cases from dozens of alleged abuse victims. Most o