Essays & Images on Cities, Travel and Contemporary Culture. A web journal of James A. Clapp, Ph.D., an UrbisMedia Ltd. Production

Carpe Diem: 2018.06.08 The Yoke



Ireland was supposedly named by the Roman legions who found the inhabitants too irritable and pugilistic, giving up on conquering their emerald isle.  I have experienced Irish ire myself a couple of times; but that’s a personal anecdote for another time.

Eventually, the Romans did conquer Ireland, not with legions, but with insidious bullshit fairytales—the Roman Catholic Church. Most of the Sisters of St. Joseph who taught me in grammar school, and a good share of the Jesuits that later taught me were descended from the St. Patrick (name derived from Roman nobility).  It was the rare Irish family that did not consign a son or a daughter to the seminary or convent (a boozy poet was a third alternative), owing to the tradition of primogeniture.  So, for about a millennium and a half the Irish have been under the yoke of Holy Mother Church and have done the Papacy’s bidding and a good deal of its work.

Iwon’t venture a calculus of how much damage the Church has done to these people, the babies buried and given away, the abuse of the Magdalene laundry girls, and the buggered altar boys, and who knows how much alcoholism to dull the pain of the rest of its repressive dogma.  Maybe Irish monks did their bit to preserve “civilization” during the Dark Ages . . . well maybe it had something to do with civilization. But it was a big price to pay for the hegemony of corrupt and often cruel institution and its ruinous effects that fell heavily upon its women and their deprived rights to their own bodies.

Now, with the repeal of the anti-abortion “8th” the Irish are belatedly throwing off the yoke of the Vatican and after centuries of subservience are again showing their ire.Go, Fighting Irish!