Catholic Arena

Monaghan priest Fr. Sean Mulligan has become something of a cult hero with internet audiences in the past year, regularly admonishing the government for lockdown inconsistencies and for targeting Catholics for unfair treatment.

In his latest homily, Fr. Mulligan, a former Monaghan GAA player, has condemned the Irish government for its inconsistencies, some of which have included regularly allowing large numbers at Black Lives Matter protests and at Friday Prayers in Mosques while sending Gardai to priests when congregations show up for Mass. Fr. Mulligan also spoke out about the impact on people’s mental health that was arising from the lockdown.

Interestingly, he also spoke out against the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) who are linked to the ruling Fine Gael party. Fr. Mulligan said that they did not speak for priests like him when they said:

The ACP is concerned about calls for an Easter return to community worship.

ACP members have significant misgivings about re-opening churches for Easter ceremonies, believing it to be a premature and potentially detrimental move.

The tension is indicative of a growing generational gap within the church, with the older generation increasingly determined to alienate younger people by sticking to the outdated and rigid traditions of the 1970s while a younger generation prefer to get with the times and move on with the world as it is in 2021.

With an upcoming Synod on the Irish Church in the works, priests like Fr. Mulligan and forward thinking laity need to get organised to have their voices heard. In a recent Zoom Call, the ACP membership dwelled on buzzwords like ‘cultivate’ and ‘renewal’ whilst mentioning the countless committees that their members are on, never mentioning young people but repeatedly mentioning women and the laity, without specifics on what this could entail. One woman spoke proudly of how Ireland should model itself on the Colombian church, which has seen a massive fall in practising Catholics to Evangelicalism in recent years. It is in this climate that Fr. Mulligan’s seem more sorely needed than ever.

You can hear Fr. Mulligan’s speech in full: