JUST as Ireland is changing, religious observance is changing. If Pope Francis does visit Ireland he will find a country very different to the one his predecessor Pope John Paul charmed so dramatically in 1979.
During his visit — nearly 40 years ago — John Paul had a chance to see the Angelus played at six o’clock every day on national television, a daily tradition since RTÉ began television broadcasts in 1962. In those days that call to prayer had a robustly Catholic character and reflected the dominance of that church. It must have reminded all non-Catholics that they were part of a largely voiceless minority.
Today the character of that encouragement to pray if you wish, or reflect on life if you prefer, has changed radically and very much for the better.
RTÉ are launching a new series of short films to replace the current Angelus to better reflect the diversity of today’s Ireland. This change will also highlight the fact that no one creed has a monopoly on virtue but rather achieving that state is something most of us, whatever our beliefs, aspire to.
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