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Transforming Post-Catholic IrelandReligious Practice in Late Modernity$
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Gladys Ganiel

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198745785

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198745785.001.0001

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Holy Cross Benedictine Monastery

Holy Cross Benedictine Monastery

(p.174) 9 Holy Cross Benedictine Monastery
Transforming Post-Catholic Ireland

Gladys Ganiel

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents the findings from a case study of Holy Cross Benedictine Monastery in Rostrevor. It describes how Holy Cross became the first Benedictine monastery to be established on the island for 800 years, before discussing how it is an example of extra-institutional religion. Holy Cross is seen by many as outside of the institutional Irish Catholic Church, because the monks have been willing to critique institutional responses to sexual abuse by clergy. The chapter also explores how Holy Cross functions as a haven for Christians from various traditions, empowers Catholic laity, creates safe spaces for Christians from multiple traditions, and inspires ecumenism. People who visit Holy Cross told stories of individual transformation. Though small-scale, these changes in people’s behaviour can be seen as contributing to wider processes of religious and socio-political transformation, as well as reconciliation.

Keywords:   Benedictines, monasteries, Irish Catholic Church, extra-institutional religion, clerical sexual abuse scandals, reconciliation, ecumenism, individual transformation

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