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Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions

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Author Topic: Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions  (Read 5750 times)
Crissy Herrell
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Posts: 3407

« Reply #255 on: February 22, 2009, 12:54:31 am »

St. Bernard was distressed at what he heard of these Irish Culdees, who had no Confession, never paid tithes, and lived like wild beasts, as they disdained marriage by the clergy. In his righteous anger, he stigmatized them as "beasts, absolute barbarians, a stubborn, stiff necked, and ungovernable generation, and abominable; Christian in name, but in reality pagans." This harsh language is not worse than that employed by the Pope, when he entreated our Henry II. to take over Ireland, so as to bring the Irish into the Christian Church, compel them to pay tithes, and so civilize them.

One would fancy, with Algernon Herbert, that the Culdees performed secret rites, and indulged, like their Druidical fathers, in human sacrifice, from the legend of St. Oran being buried underneath the church erected by Columba, to propitiate the Powers, and secure good fortune. In that case, however, St. Oran offered to be the victim, so as to avert evil from bad spirits.

If St. Patrick, St. Columba, and other early Irish Saints had been true monks, why did St. Bernard, in his Life of Malachy, Archbishop of Armagh, 1130, say that up to that time there was not a monk in Ireland? Columba certainly took Culdeeism to Scotland from Ireland. In the Bog of Monaincha are two islands. On one was a monastery for men, their wives occupying the neighbouring Woman's Isle. Giraldus Cambrensis, who wrote of the Community of Monaincha in the twelfth century, called it the church of the old religion, and politely designated as "Demons" all who belonged to that former church. The Abbey church, the ruins of which still remain, and which was 38 feet by 18 feet in size, was erected after the time of Giraldus.

Thus R. F. Gould, in his Freemasonry, had some grounds for saying--"The Druidism of our ancestors must have been powerfully influenced by the paganism of the Empire

p. 286

at the period when Christianity dawned on Britain." He deemed it probable that the early clerics of Christianity, "the cultores deorum, the worshippers of the gods, gradually merged into cultores Dei, worshippers of the true God." So it might be that, as Higgins wrote, "The Culdees were the last remains of the Druids."

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