Learning from the Past
As time passes there are fewer of us around who remember the confidence of the Catholic Church
in Ireland before the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). Perhaps it would be helpful to cast our mind back and ask where this confidence came from? Was the Church in Ireland always so sure of herself? Was there another time, analogous to our own, when the Irish Church was struggling in the wilderness, borrowing Joyce, “to forge in the smithy of (her) soul the uncreated conscience of (her) race”? The late Emmet Larkin, one time professor of British and Irish history at the University of Chicago, wrote The Making of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland 1850-1860, which was published in America in 1980.