Wednesday, March 10, 2010

24Sep1871, Thoughts on the National Church

LISMORE, September 24th, 1871. 16th Sunday after Trinity.
—Lovely and delightsome weather. The meagre be-stuccoed Cathedral, with its frightful pews placed all sorts of ways, but principally so as to turn people's backs on the altar, the pulpit elevated like an object of worship at the end ; the scattered genteel congregation, the ranting clergyman with his two insufferably bad extempore prayers, and the dumb and dead service : all this was very painful. Thank God, the Prayer Book is the Prayer Book, however ! Also there were one or two pretty hymns. Two unsatisfactory clergy have to be kept on here till one or both die or go, when the new arrangements will come into force, and supply the Church, it is to be hoped, with one good man, which is all that is wanted. What a confusion one gets into trying to think what ought to be the National (I don't mean the Established) Church. There is none at present. The Roman is an usurpation, as it is everywhere, and here especially dating from Henry II, on whose behalf the ancient Irish Ch. was clean stamped out by the Pope. Ours is equally alien ; and it seems to me that the best thing to hope is that the Roman Cath. priesthood in Ireland will follow in Dollinger's steps, throw off the Papal tyranny and gradually reform itself. But what a dream that is !

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