Taoiseach hails Irish ‘spiritualism’

Enda Kenny welcomes American pilgrims to land of ‘spiritualism’

Enda Kenny’s media handlers are notoriously keen to keep the Taoiseach away from microphones. But, an event welcoming the first transatlantic pilgrimage to Knock at the weekend seemed like a occasion where nothing could go wrong. Nothing, that is, until Mr Kenny declared that Ireland was a place of ‘spiritualism’ – a dualistic belief that promotes the use of so-called mediums to host séances in a bid to communicate with the dead. The practice is specifically condemned by the Church.

Welcoming the pilgrims, Mr Kenny asserted his belief that “they’ve come here not just to see scenery, but to participate in a pilgrimage, and I hope in the land of St Patrick and the place of apparition of Mary they get a deep appreciation of what that spiritualism is, the kind of people we are and the land that we inhabit”.

Now, it seems likely that Mr Kenny thinks that spiritualism and spirituality are the same thing. It’s not the first time that the self-described weekly Massgoer has taken to asserting novel religious beliefs.


Mr Kenny famously told Gay Byrne in an interview that he didn’t believe in God “as a person or as a being”. In the same interview, the Taoiseach said that he doesn’t pray, but does go to Mass to “communicate with that spirit”.

His faith, he said, is in “my god, and my god is that energy and power that I feel”.

Meanwhile, in a further sign of declining standards around the reporting of religious affairs in the mainstream media, The Irish Times elevated Papal Nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown to the rank of cardinal.

In an article describing the first transatlantic pilgrimage to Knock, the self-described paper of reference also got Dr Brown’s Christian name wrong when it reported “the welcoming party at Knock included the Papal Nuncio to Ireland, Cardinal John Brown”.”.