Friday, March 7, 2008

Bloody Irish

There is heartburn among some concerning St. Patrick's Day. As the optional memorial (yes, optional memorial) of the venerable bishop falls within Holy Week this year, the liturgical calender is scrub of it. This has not stopped some, however, from marching forward with plans to hold St. Patrick's Day parades during Holy Week, which I think is in bad taste.

First, I find the way in which Irish Americans celebrate their ethnic pride to be bordering on hedonism and idolatry. The statement of one Hibernian organizer of the Columbus St. Patrick's Day parade sums up the problem. After the Bishop of Columbus requested the parade be moved to coordinate with the liturgical celebration on Friday, March 14, the organizer refused saying: "We are born Irish first, Catholicism comes second."

Outrageous! Church leaders have been sensitive (I would argue overly so) in moving the memorial to the week prior in order to maintain a certain prayerful sobriety for Holy Week. Yet even with this reasonable request, parade organizers have pounded their chests and screamed about their Irish pride. The lack of respect for the Church and the bishops is totally unnecessary, proving again that this celebration has strayed far from its roots, which are firmly planted in liturgical celebration. Another pitiful illustration of the commercial takeover of a Christian holiday. Consume, consume, consume!

I pray that St. Patrick intercedes to remind his people that being Irish is not about morose hedonism (at least I hope there is something more to being Irish) and that proper preparation for the remembrance of Christ's passion, death and resurrection should be more important during Holy Week than a hundred pints.

Mason Slidell


Tuppence said...

Mason, Mason, Mason

To use the word "bloody" in the manner of your headline is a grave insult. You might as well have said "filthy" or "f---ing".

Read your profile, then read your rant. What's wrong with that picture?

The optional memorial for St. Joseph has been moved as well, to Saturday. Are Church leaders being "overly sensitive" to Italians as well?

Most St. Patrick's Day parades and celebrations have been moved. In fact, the Columbus one is the only instance I have heard about that is being disrespectful to the Church, and I imagine that organizer is catching a lot of flak from all quarters. Yes, his statement is outrageous, but not as outrageous as lumping all the celebrations together and using Columbus as the example of the norm.

Or would all of this be more palatable to you if, instead of one hundred pints, we were talking about one hundred shots of bourbon?

Markel & Mason said...

New York's wasn't moved.

Tuppence said...

The Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn, as well as every other scheduled parade in the state of NY is NOT on the 17th. Nor in the states of NJ, MA, CT, PA. Or the cities of San Francisco and Chicago.

On the 17th, there will be Mass before the parade in Manhattan, and Cardinal Egan will be on the reviewing stand, so I guess he's cool with it.

Why are you attacking Irish Catholics as a group? The New York parade began in 1764, when Catholics in Ireland still suffered under the Penal Laws.

Lots of people enjoy the parades, and while I wouldn't touch green beer with a barge pole, I understand a lot of people drink it.

For a wild and crazy guy, you're a real spoilsport.

Markel & Mason said...


St. Joseph's Day is a Solemnity, not an optional memorial.

Mason Slidell

Markel & Mason said...

Also, as a former resident of New York myself, I happen to know that the parades in other boroughs and counties are never on the actual St. Patrick's Day as not to compete with the Manhattan parade.

So, that the parades in other boroughs are not on the 17th this year is of no consequence, since those parades are never on the actual day.

I will give credit were credit is due and I am glad to see that parades in other cities have been moved.

Mason Slidell

Tuppence said...


Thank you for giving "credit where credit is due" and condescendingly allowing that perhaps all Irish celebrating St. Patrick's Day don't deserve your insults.

St. Joseph's Day is indeed a solemnity, and I apologize for my mistake -- to St. Joseph.

Again, the organizer for the Columbus parade quoted in your piece is the only organizer that I have heard of as being disrespectful. As I said, Cardinal Egan will be on the reviewing stand in NY, so I really think he doesn't have a problem, nor does he think the organizers are being "outrageous".

But you still do not seem to see the inherent contradiction between your incredibly uncharitable screed against the Irish, especially those celebrating St. Patrick's Day, and your own profile.

Motes and beams, Mason, motes and beams.

Markel & Mason said...

I am glad you have had your say Tuppence, I suppose we will have to agree to disagree on the profile business.

And for the record, Markel is a scholastic, not a priest yet.

Mason Slidell