I took this photograph on my way home from work today. On the left, are banners for the upcoming Dublin Pride event, an annual march by the LGBTQ community. On the right, flags can be seen flying for the Eucharistic Congress. It’s a remarkable sign of the times, and made me think just how much Ireland has changed since the Eucharistic Congress was hosted here in 1932.
Recently I’ve been doing a bit of research on the Congress in 1932, mainly looking at the anti-communism of Catholic newspapers and magazines at the time. The Irish Monthly, a Catholic magazine of the period, used the year of the Eucharistic Congress to inform readers that there was a coming confrontation between the two ideologies of Christianity and Communism in Ireland. The magazine frequently ran articles around the dangers of the foreign ideology of Communism, and in his article The Coming Conflict: Catholicism Vs. Communism, Capt. T.W.C Curd noted that:
The times are not without their significance for Ireland. In this year of Congress, the eyes of the world are upon her- a Catholic nation with a Catholic government and the social encyclicals of Leo and Pius open books before them.
I suppose, the times are not without their significance for Ireland once more. Just like in 1932, the streets are decorated with flags and bunting. Unfortunately for the organisers of the event though, it seems football is our religion now. Ole Ole Ole.