Friends of mine have been on the phone to tell me the church in Clonakilty – the church that Jennifer Sleeman boycotted today – was much fuller than usual. All around Ireland, the attendance at Mass held and was higher in certain areas. Also see Jakian Thomist's comments on my previous blog that state thatBBC, and from all around the world. But why did the media at large ignore the large group of committed Catholic ladies who went to the Clonakilty Church today to show their support for the Catholic Mass, and for Mass in this provincial West Cork town? I remember this church from the time that I would pop in as a school girl in West Cork.
The Irish bishops urged people not to ‘boycott’ Mass this weekend. Jennifer Sleeman has commented that this was a sign of how fearful the bishops were that her ‘boycott’ would take hold. This is self-congratulatory guff. On the most basic of levels the bishops were just doing their job – leading the souls of their flock to the Eucharist.
Reluctantly, and with a bit of hesitation, I’m putting up this You-Tube of an interview with Jennifer Sleeman. You can judge for yourselves. We must remember that it’s not as much her fault, as those who are giving this cause such importance and putting more faith in a ‘boycott’, than in Holy Mass. In the video Jennifer holds up some ‘hate mail’ from someone who told her that this ‘boycott’ is the work of satan. I think the writer who drew parallels between Jennifer’s boycott and satanic influence could have made their point more politely and in a more coherent way. But surely, a certain fallen angel would and does delight in people not going to Mass? And wasn’t Jennifer’s aim to encourage as many people, especially women to stay away from Sunday Mass today? Or am I just being an old fuddy-duddy ninny who makes these assumptions? Probably, but we might remember that CS Lewis used to wisely teach that the cleverest trick of the devil is to make people believe that he doesn't exist.