Nothing encapsulates the regime change that occurred in the Irish hierarchy during the 20th century more than the transfer of the Galway bishopric from Michael Browne to Eamonn Casey in 1976. The parishioners of Galway had to say goodbye to the good shepherd that was Bishop Browne; what they had to welcome in return was the wolf in sheep’s clothing that was Eamonn Casey.
As history is written by the victors, all historical accounts of Browne are polluted with the godless anti-Catholic bigotry of their writers. Through their distorted worldview, they thought power and control was what motivated Browne to use his shepherd’s crozier to frighten the wolves away from his flock. What really motivated Browne was the salvation of his parishioners’ souls. He foresaw the eternal punishment that would await his flock if these subversive influences in society were tolerated. His battle to fight off the wolves was waged throughout his 39 year reign. The place where he didn’t think he’d find a wolf was in his successor, Eamonn Casey.
Eamonn Casey was the archetypal modernist cleric of the late 20th century. He was praised by the godless media class for being indifferent towards Church doctrine, while he lived a depraved life in secrecy. Unlike Browne, Casey’s focus was entirely on the gratification of earthly desires, be it lust, pride, or glory. Many naïve parishioners were seduced by his smile and wit.
What lay behind this facade was a wolf in sheep’s clothing who was instrumental in destroying Church teaching and scandalising not only the Galway parishioners, but the people of Ireland at large. To understand this regime change fully, and by extension identifying the fruits of modernism, we first need to look into these two monumental characters in 20th century Irish history in more detail.
Bishop Browne: Ultramontanist Ireland’s last stand
Paul Cullen started the Ultramontanist crusade in Ireland in 1850, while one could argue that Ultramontanism ended with the retirement of Bishop Browne from his Galway bishopric in 1976. When historians look at Irish Catholicism in the 20th century, many skim over Browne and focus on his fellow Ultramontanist crusader John Charles McQuaid, who presided in Dublin. This is a simple mistake to make, although it isn’t surprising considering many historians have a metropolitan slant.
To understand Browne, we must understand how his Ultramontanist identity shaped his demeanour. Irish Ultramontanism consisted of placing strong emphasis on the encyclicals of the Roman Pontiff and their authority as vicar of Christ. Just like they, the Irish hierarchy, were the shepherd of their parishioners, the Pope was the shepherd of them. They saw obedience to superiors in the Church hierarchy as essential if they ever were to fight off the godless forces of liberalism, Marxism, and the new pagan resurgence that was fascism.
Ultramontanism can be seen as a completion of the Tridentine spirit. Browne’s Counter-Reformation zeal can be seen in his avid support of the Fethard-on-Sea boycott of a Protestant shop. This boycott was caused by a Protestant mother breaking her oath to raise her child as a Catholic (as Ne Temere was in force), fleeing the town, and denying the father any chance of seeing his child.
Many subordinates to Ireland’s Ultramontanists clerics may have felt that they were expected to be too submissive towards them. What they may not have realised was that these clerics were voluntarily more submissive to Rome, even following decrees from Rome after Vatical II they previously deemed heretical.
Browne’s stand against Marxist subversion
Browne’s career lasted an astonishing 40 years, all through the tribulations of Vatican II, the modernist conquest of the Church, the 1960s sexual revolution, and the rise of mass media in Ireland that began with the advent of RTÉ in 1960.
All of these afflictions happened all at once and were of deep worry to Browne, but before this infamous decade, Browne had to contend with the subversive foreign influences emanating from Hollywood and Moscow that generally started from the 1920s onwards.
Browne was a respected arbiter in industrial disputes, he resolved a workers strike in 1948 which resulted in the workers getting a pay rise. Even before his consecration as a bishop, Browne was involved in getting the Labour Party to remove the ‘The Workers’ Republic’ clause from their constitution. Thus, ensuring that the Labour Party couldn’t be used as a fifth column for socialist subversives, not officially anyway. Browne was probably one of the leading anti-communists of Ireland throughout his reign. He always made sure to keep a record of people suspected of having communist sympathies.
Even after Pope John XXIII released his infamous papal encyclical Pacem in terries in 1963, where Pope John stated that while the Church still condemned Communism, there was still “good and commendable elements’ to communist ideology”, and considering Browne’s Ultramontanist predisposition, his anti-communist activism didn’t stop. This lukewarm rhetoric from Rome affected the rest of the Irish hierarchy though. Michael O’Riordan, the Communist Party leader of Ireland, was invited to speak at Maynooth seminary in 1970.
Although Browne’s anti-communist preoccupation did subside to an extent after the encyclical, a testament of his fervour compared to the rest of the hierarchy can be summed up in a layman’s account written in The Kerryman at the time. This layman stated that clerics were asleep while communists were taking over the country, except Browne who was “on the ball”. Having hindsight about Gramsci’s ‘slow march through the institutions’ and the Fatima prophecy that the ‘errors’ of Russia would be spread throughout the world unless Russia was consecrated to Mary’s Immaculate Heart, this layman seemed to have been ‘on the ball’ himself.
Protecting the flock from moral subversion
Like many others in the Irish hierarchy at the time, Browne noticed the subversive influences emanating out of America. From the 1920s onwards, Hollywood and the salacious ‘dance crazes’ swept across the land of saints and scholars, that mainly ensnared the young in its grip. This ‘rage for pleasure’ culminated in the gradual normalisation of debauchery in Irish society. Along with this came the normalisation of immodesty; the RTÉ footage linked below shows a woman remarking that around her town of Tralee she sees ‘plenty of people wearing mini-skirts’.
A good insight to the extent of this demoralisation can be seen in a RTÉ archival footage of the local population of Tralee being interviewed in 1967, when the infamous playboy actor Jane Mansfield, the ‘goddess of lust’, as the Dean of Kerry called her, visited the town for a show. The opinions range from lukewarm disapproval to confident approval, and this is in a decade that we are told that Catholic feeling ruled supreme. The show featuring Jane Mansfield was eventually cancelled but the reason for its cancellation was less to do with the moral subversion it would bring and more to do with the controversy it caused.
American influences brought to Ireland the infamous dance halls, which was the beginning of the trend we are all well aware of now in the current year, where wicked men prey on naïve girls and trick them into agreeing for more than just an ‘innocent drink or a drive in the car’. This sort of immorality, as it always does, led to the ballooning in the numbers of unmarried mothers, which cost the state around £450,000 (adjusted to today’s GDP) a year. Not only did Catholic charitable institutions in England complain to Browne about the alarming increase in numbers, it was also not uncommon for these mothers to hand them over to non-Catholic institutions, which would’ve led to the child being brought up as Protestants.
In 1939, Browne curbed the excesses of these dance halls by lobbying to prohibit dance halls on Saturdays (as ‘such functions seriously interfered with the fulfilment of the obligation of Sunday Mass’), increased supervision, and limited the dance halls ability to stay open past midnight. These set of rules inevitably fell apart after the modernism produced by Vatican II caused Browne to somewhat back down on his condemnation of the potential vice created by these dance halls. The doors eventually fell off its hinges, when in 1968, District Justice Seán Delap, without consulting Browne, gave out licenses for dance halls to be open during Lent and to remain open until 2am.
Another worry for Browne was the profligate state the Galway races descended into. After the Galway races of 1943, letters of complaint started appearing in the Dublin newspapers denouncing the races as worse than what could be seen ‘East of Suez, where there ain’t no Ten Commandments’.
This combination of large-scale public intoxication, gambling, sexual license, general rowdyism into the early hours of the morning caused public uproar. Browne, with the help of the Knights of Columbanus, successfully stopped the ‘pagan revelry’ by lobbying the government and local businesses to tighten up with their regulations. Their clean-up was already hailed as a success as early as 1946.
Bishop Casey: Ireland’s inauguration to modernism
Casey started his career as a Limerick priest, where he was marked out by some priests for his modernism and informality; later on in his career he urged people to drop the customary title of ‘my Lord’ and to just call him ‘Bishop’ instead.
From the beginning, Casey never wanted to be the shepherd of the flock, he was much more concerned about been liked by everyone around him. He must have skipped over the Epistle of James where it states that ‘whosoever therefore will be a friend of this world, becometh an enemy of God’. Later on in his career as bishop of Kerry and later Bishop of Galway, many noticed his taste for the high life; he drove around in either a Mercedes or BMW, befriended notable figures in the media class like Gay Byrne, and had a fondness for fine dining and foreign travel.
Throughout his career he had a lukewarm attitude about his role as a leader in the Church militant. Unlike Browne who saw it as his mission to protect his flock from the temptations of Satan, Casey generally followed what was trendy and approved by our ruling class at the time. He was a vocal supporter of the Dunnes Stores workers who were locked out for refusing to sell goods made in the then apartheid South Africa.
He also took issue with America’s foreign policy, going as far as to refuse to meet Reagan when he visited his diocese of Galway in 1984. Although these are all noble causes to fight for, these causes garnered social approval along with them. He would never have dared to fight for some Christian principle that was socially unacceptable. Browne, in contrast, did that numerous times throughout his career, as I’ve shown above.
The Annie Murphy affair
Casey was originally the bishop of Kerry until he transferred over to Galway to succeed Browne in 1976. Before his move to Galway he was alleged to be sexually abusing children during the ‘50s and ‘60s, his niece, Patricia Donovan, being one of them. This secret life remained hidden, until in 1992 when Annie Murphy wrote a book, cleverly titled Forbidden Fruit, about her affair with him. This was around the time when our ruling class orchestrated an unrelenting attack on Ireland’s Catholic faith.
Although the stories about these depraved priests were legitimate, they were used as a battering ram to attack the Church. Research data shows that the probability of abuse is the same in the Church as it is in secular institutions, even The Guardian acknowledged this truth. When abuse happens in Christian organisations, the organisations Christian ethos is blamed, when the same abuse happens in secular institutions, men are blamed for their supposedly intrinsic abusive demeanour. So when it comes down to it, either the Church or men are blamed when abuse happens – how convenient.
What’s revealing about this scandal is that Casey was initially adored by the media class and modernist Catholics. The only people that didn’t like him were the traditional Catholics who felt demoralised knowing that this worldly prelate was assigned by the Pope to be their shepherd. The opinions of modernists and the media class towards Casey can be seen in the Gay Byrne interview of Annie Murphy.
One YouTube commenter aptly described the interview as ‘the biggest ambush since Béal na Bláth’. Both the modernist Catholics in the audience and Gay Byrne, who is a good representation of the sentiments felt in the media class, were in complete denial about it being a scandal.
The audience, with the help of Gay Byrne, started nit-picking different details in the book as a means to cast doubt over what happened to Annie. It also seems as if Annie felt pressurised by the audience, and by Gay himself, to sing the praises of Casey so their fantasy of what he was like wouldn’t disappear. Even though Casey at the time of this interview admitted that the child was his, Gay and that one lady in the audience still tried to cast doubt over this fact. The unscrupulous character of Gay comes out in the end when he tries to get Annie to agree that ‘if [her] son is half as good a man as his father, he won’t be doing too badly’.
Another clip from the RTÉ archive shows what the people of Galway thought about the scandal when it broke. One lady on the street was in complete denial and asserted that Casey was a ‘good man’ and that Annie ‘destroyed this man’, while a younger lady disapproved of how Casey handled the situation. A lady who worked with him described the incident as a ‘mistake’, and ‘the only wrong thing he did was love a woman’.
An example of how the clerics felt during that time can be seen in the modernist priest at the end who advocated for ‘welcoming him back totally’. Another clip here shows the exact same lukewarm and indifferent attitude towards the situation. None of them pointed out the injustice of him breaking his vow of celibacy to God, deserting Annie and his child, and then trying to cover up the whole thing.
The moral of the story of this tale of two bishops
Many historians skip over the fact that Casey was initially adored by modernist Catholics and the media class for his lukewarm Christian predisposition. What Ireland should have realised, when all the modernist priests – whom they adored for their indifference towards sin – were revealed to be pederasts, was that modernism was the cause. Was it really a coincidence that almost every single perverted priest was a modernist?
None of the Ultramontanist clerics that preceded them, like McQuaid and Browne, were ever involved in the sexual abuse of children. The love and the fear that these clerics had for God made sure that they thought twice about diverging from the moral law. They knew that Heaven was only the final destination for a few obedient followers of God and that the fire and brimstone in Hell would torture their soul for all eternity if they disobeyed. McQuaid for example, queried the nurse on his deathbed about whether or not he’d make it to heaven, even after living the noble life he lived.
Casey on the other hand probably held the modernist position that everyone just goes to heaven, except maybe a handful of evil racists or mass murderers. This sort of mindset of course would lead him to the conclusion that there are only earthly consequences to his earthly actions.
The sexual abuse in the Church, as I’ve pointed out earlier, was similar in frequency to other institutions, but the Church should be placed at a higher standard for they are our shepherds. If the hierarchy is no different than the rest of the world, how are we supposed to convince non-Christians that the Church is the one true Church?
The link between modernism and sexual abuse is undeniable, it is no coincidence that the abuse happened when the Vatican II spirit reigned triumphantly in the Church. We should have realised that modernism was a failed experiment. What ended up happening, as we are all well aware, was that the revolutionaries in our media class blamed the abuse on the fact that the Church just had too much power, apparently.
A secondary propaganda point they disseminated was that priests are hypocrites for saying one thing and doing the complete opposite, and then from that it somehow proves that living a Christian life is impossible and we should all just stop trying to control our vices. Being happy and nice was all you needed to do for these modernists, except when it comes to the supposed racists and sexists the media class doesn’t like, then being nice to them was the last thing you should do. We can see the consequence of this double standard when you ask these nice people what they think of Trump and Brexit.
What should have been their Achilles heel (as the media class fully endorsed modernists like Casey), was turned into one of their greatest weapons in attacking the Church. It’s amazing what one can achieve if you control the media. They went from promoting modernist priests as the ideal to denouncing clerics altogether; the public seemed to be too naïve to understand what was happening.
Maybe the public liked that they were now in a coalition of sinners, with the media class, against the moral law. Pederast priests are no more, what we have left in the hierarchy are the effeminate and the lukewarm. Time will tell if young zealous traditionalist clerics will take their place and restore the Church to its rightful place in society;.