John P. McCarthy

John P. McCarthy is Professor Emeritus of History and former director of the Institute of Irish Studies at Fordham University. He is the author of Hilaire Belloc: Edwardian Radical (1978); Kevin O’Higgins: Builder of the Irish State (2006); and Twenty-first Century Ireland: A View from America (2012).

recent articles

Why Ireland Snubbed St. John Henry Newman

Ireland, particularly its government, is now in the strange position of being simultaneously hostile and indifferent to Catholicism. An indication of the seemingly indifferent attitude toward the Catholic Church by Irish officialdom occurred in connection with the recent canonization of John Henry Cardinal Newman. Newman was the founding rector (or president) of University College Dublin. … Read more

St. Patrick’s Day: Religious Holy Day or Ethnic Holiday?

March 17 is the feast day of St. Patrick, the missionary who brought Christianity to Ireland in the fifth century and who is the Patron Saint of Ireland, as well as the Archdiocese of New York. Observance of the day, whether in Ireland or among the Irish diaspora, has been hybrid in nature: religious but … Read more

After 100 Years, Is Ireland Still Catholic?

January 21, 2019, will be the one-hundredth anniversary of the founding of Dáil Eireann, the legislature of an independent Irish state. This legislative body consisted of members of the majority elected from Ireland in the December 1918 national election to the British parliament. This event was an act of secession by a legally elected group … Read more

Secular Protests of the Papal Visit to Ireland

The closer we get to the visit by Pope Francis to Ireland and specifically to the World Meeting of Families in Dublin the greater seems the criticism, even distrust and outright hostility, of the Church and even the pope. No doubt, much of it is the accumulated effect of the dramatic loss of Faith by … Read more

The New Ireland

Many external observers were startled when they learned the results of the May 25 referendum in Ireland. Close to two-thirds of the electorate voted to repeal a constitutional amendment—passed in 1983—prohibiting abortion and replace it with one that allows the legislature to pass laws regulating the termination of pregnancy. The Government, as well as the … Read more

Irish Pro-lifers Campaign to Keep Abortion Illegal

Ireland may well become the first country to introduce abortion by popular vote. This would follow a thirty-five year campaign by abortion advocates to overcome a 1983 amendment protecting the life of the unborn. The Irish Constitution can be amended by the electorate in a referendum. A referendum put to the people is proposed by … Read more

A Jesuit Philosopher Who Championed Catholic Orthodoxy

Fun Is Not Enough (2017) is the collection of all 125 columns written by the late Father Francis Canavan, S.J., for the monthly catholic eye from April 1983 until November 2008, a couple of months before his death. The book was edited by Dr. Dawn Eden Goldstein, Assistant Professor of Dogmatic Theology at Holy Apostles College … Read more

Ireland Moves Closer to Legalizing Abortion

Recently in Ireland a body called the Irish Citizens’ Assembly took steps long feared by supporters of the right to life. The assembly is not a regular constitutional component of the Irish government. Rather it is a body called into being by the government to make suggestions as to potential constitutional amendments for the legislature … Read more

The Latest Scandal at Maynooth College Seminary

In the midst of the prevailing bad news confronting the Catholic Church in Ireland, ranging from declining Church attendance, constitutional approval of same-sex “marriage,” diminished time allotment for religious education in national schools, and declining number of church marriages, a new controversy has developed regarding the only seminary left in the Republic of Ireland—St. Patrick’s … Read more

The Next Steps in the Secularization of Ireland

The fact that more than sixty percent of the Irish electorate supported an amendment to the nation’s constitution recognizing same-sex “marriage” caught many people by surprise last spring. They may have been clinging to an outdated image of Ireland as a bastion of devout Catholicism. Unfortunately there further disturbing changes that are being advanced. One … Read more

Gay “Marriage” Now Threatens Ireland

On May 22 the Irish electorate will vote on a proposed amendment to the national constitution that would allow marriage to “be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.” Remarkably the proposed amendment allowing same-sex “marriage” has received the endorsement of all major Irish political parties, the governing … Read more

Irish Liberals Have Second Thoughts on Pope Francis

For the past year and a half many Irish commentators, especially those not known for friendliness toward the Catholic Church, have expressed great enthusiasm for Pope Francis. They have interpreted some of his often casual comments about not judging people, about the Church serving as a field hospital, about the need for Church leaders to … Read more

The Story of a Dissenting Irish Priest

Father Tony Flannery has written several books on religious subjects, was a columnist for the monthly journal of the Redemptorist order, and a founder of the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland (ACP). In early 2012 the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) complained about his writings. He was instructed to undergo … Read more

The Irish in America

Right now, in America, all things Irish are hot. Sparked by best-selling books like Angela’s Ashes and How the Irish Saved Civilization; the remarkable contemporary economic prosperity in Ireland; Irish creativity in cinema, dance, and popular music; and the apparent peace settlement in Northern Ireland; this new interest in Irish history and culture has been … Read more

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