ARCHBISHOP IN ASTROLOGY ROW; Give to the Poor: Archbishop Brady Says Clairvoyant Fees Could Be Better Spent Helping Those in Need
Byline: ENDA FEENEY
A LEADING Church figure has launched a devastating attack on modernIreland's fascination with astrologers and clairvoyants.
Archbishop Sean Brady said that such practices are a worrying by-product of theCeltic Tiger and a 'vacuous' waste of money.
The Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland went on to criticise thenation's obsession with property, wealth, fast cars, image and sexualfulfilment, and highlighted their often tragic consequences.
These included increased anxiety over financial security, the rise in eatingdisorders and, most tragically of all, suicide among the young.
His comments were made as he delivered a sermon on the theme 'Following Christin 21st Century Ireland' at Knock in Co. Mayo.
He told pilgrims that a reliance on the paranormal results from a fear of thefuture and from insecurities that lurk behind the facade of confidence inmodern life.
'One of the most subtle but disturbing signs of this underlying fear in Irishlife is the increasing reliance of people on practices which claim to unveilthe future,' he said.
'Tragically this has become a whole industry in Ireland - on the internet, onpremium telephone lines, on digital television, in the newspapers and even atfamily parties.
'People who spend money on these pursuits would have more influence on thefuture if they gave their money to those in need. This would make a realdifference to someone's future instead of wasting money, time and energy onwhat is at best a vacuous form of entertainment.'
Archbishop Brady - who was celebrating the Mass of the Queenship of Mary, whichcloses the annual Novena at Knock - also had a wider message about some of theunwelcome effects of the Celtic Tiger.
He said the land of saints and scholars has become better known as the land ofstocks and shares - and has tragically become a land of increasing stress andsubstance abuse as faith declines.
'The truth is that many of those who claim to set Ireland free from theshackles of religious faith in recent years are now silent in the face of thereal captivities of the "new" Ireland,' said Archbishop Brady.
'The increase in alcohol and drug abuse; the pressure to work and consume; thepressure to look good and have the right image; the increase in suicide andviolence; the constant worry about finance and future security.
'It is not religious faith which is leading people to stress and despair; it isthose elements of the "new" Ireland which are increasingly empty of meaning.'
Archbishop Brady criticised the fascination with property, wealth, fast cars,image and sexual fulfilment, and highlighted the impact it has had on financialuncertainty, the climate and environment, on the increase in eating disordersand, most tragically of all, suicide among the young.
He said that people are trying to control a future that is ultimately in God'shands.
'The truth is that more and more Irish people are becoming trapped by theillusion of being able to conittrol their future completely,' he added. 'Theyare putting their trust in an illusion, in things that will not satisfy. …