WHAT DOES THE EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS SHOW ABOUT THE CULTURAL IDENTITIY OF THE NEW STATE?
HOW IMPORTANT WAS THE EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS IN ASSERTING THE CULTURAL IDENTITIY OF THE NEW STATE?
• Brief description: July 1932 saw the new Irish State entertain thousands of churchmen who came from all over the globe for the 31st Eucharistic Congress. There were incredible scenes of devotion, a papal mass in the Phoenix Park, a live papal broadcast from Rome and it was felt to be a milestone for all who attended it.
• Purpose of essay: What does it show us about the cultural identity of the new state as it emerged from British domination and how important was the Eucharistic Congress in asserting that cultural identity?
1. The importance of the Catholic religion.
2. The close relationship between politicians and the Catholic Church.
3. The confidence of the new state as it deployed its resources to provide a spectacular occasion.
4. The monolithic nature of Catholicism - the implications for minority groups such as Protestants and for relations with Protestant-dominated north.
• In order to show importance of Eucharistic Congress in asserting cultural identity other manifestations of cultural identity should be examined such as art and literature and perhaps the new emphasis on language and new symbols such as flags, stamps, coinage etc.
The Eucharistic Congress shows the importance of the Catholic religion in the new state.
• Catholics 93% of population following partition; Protestant-dominated north is separate.
• Catholic Church hierarchy saw chance to make a Catholic state; it now operated in a different environment. Before independence it operated in a multi-denominational, cosmopolitan environment in which the Catholics had to tread with care; now it was in a homogeneous state in which the Church could impart social and moral stability.
• Politicians wanted to build a state that would reflect Catholic values which almost...