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Modern Irish society through the decline of the Catholic Church

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Political changes.
    1. The relationship between the State and the Church.
    2. The scandals.
  3. Cultural changes.
    1. The constitution.
    2. The media.
    3. The women, the family, the education.
  4. Economic changes.
    1. The 'Celtic Tiger'.
    2. The European Union.
  5. Social changes.
    1. The abortion's debate.
    2. The contraception's debate.
    3. The divorce' debate.
    4. Others.
  6. Conclusion.
  7. Bibliography.

The Catholic Church has had a central part in the Irish society's life and identity since its independence in 1922. The State conceded huge areas of social policy to the Catholic Church. By linking patriotism with morality, the Church acquired a complete control over politic, cultural, social and economic matters. However, this is no longer the case and the Church is now directly influenced by the other countries. Through a series of examples in different areas, we will show how the Irish modern Society has changed, through the decline of its central power: the Roman Catholic Church. In Ireland, there used to be a peaceful cooperation between the Church (moral teaching) and the State (laws) . However in front of the weakened Church, the State has begun to gain more and more power and no longer supports the institutions of the Church. The State has proved its growing independence in building its own schools, hospitals, and welfare systems.

[...], the Irish Times. (Number with religion? in North increases). [Online]. Available from: N.html [accessed 05 March 2006]. Mac Carthy P. (Abortion in Ireland Historical Perspective and current campaigning). [Online]. Available from: [accessed 17 February 2006]. Quinn D. (Books in review: Ireland's Holy Wars: The Struggle for a Nation's Soul). [Online]. Available from: [accessed 18 March 2006]. of Irish Catholics attend mass: survey). [Online]. Available from: [accessed 21 March 2006]. Spiked. (Why Ireland said no). [...]

[...] Savage R.J & Smith J.M Sexual Abuse and The Irish Church: Crisis and Responses. [Online]. Available from: rch21_papers [accessed 07 March 2006]. Waghorne R. An Emerging Conflict: A Survey of Church & State in Ireland. [Online]. Available from: [accessed 09 February 2006]. Wood, K Women priests: where has it led? [Online]. Available from: qqqx%3D1x-qqqt%3D-qqqs%3Dnews-qqqx%3D1.asp [accessed 07 March 2006]. Inglis p.77. Inglis p Coakley & Gallagher p Brown p Brown p Lee, 1989.p Savage R.J & Smith J.M Inglis p.257. [...]

[...] Moral Monopoly: The Rise and The Fall of the Catholic Church in Modern Ireland, University College Dublin Press Küng, H The Catholic Church, A Short History, Weidenfeld and Nicolson Lee, J .1989. Ireland 1912-1985 Politics and Society, Cambridge University Press, Tovey & Share .2003. A Sociology of Ireland. Second Edition. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan Reports Mac Gréil, M .1991. Religious Practice and Attitudes in Ireland. Survey and Research Unit, Department of Social Studies, St Patrick's College, Maynooth, Co. Kildare Internet resources Websites CORI: Conference of Religious of Ireland. [...]

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