Since the 1960’s, anti-Christian sentiment has only risen in the West, but it has now reached critical mass where even in once religious nations like Ireland, christians face persecution unseen since pagan rule. Recalling Pope-Saint John Paul II’s analysis of Western persecution of the Church in the Iron Curtain era, Bishop O’Reilly said:
The Church here is not subject to the kind of persecution that it experienced in the 17th century during St. Oliver’s ministry, nor as it is in many other parts of the world today. But I don’t think you have to be paranoid to believe that there is a kind of persecution of the Church taking place here all the same. It is not physical persecution but it is no less real for that.
It is more subtle. It takes the form of gradual exclusion of Church people or activities from the public space. There is denigration of religious beliefs, practices and institutions on radio, television and on social and other media. There is often a focus on bad news about the Church to the almost total exclusion of any good news.
This persecution towards traditionally minded British and Irish Catholics usually involves job exclusion or social banishment. They face this both in secular society and within the Church itself due to the high number of prelates that have given over to the prevailing attitude in defiance of Church teaching. More from NCR: