The Influences of the Great Famine on the Catholic Church

1273 Words Jan 30th, 2018 5 Pages
Dudley Edwards in the 1950s, stated ‘’it was but a period of greater misery in a prolonged age of suffering’.
Around some 3.3 million people were completely dependent on the potato for survival while almost near up to 4.7 million relied on the root as the main item in their diet. Historian James Donnelly, junior, believes, ‘It was above all the poverty of such a large segment of the Irish population that made the Great Famine so destructive of human life’. In 1845 a disease reached Ireland from continental Europe via England. Between 1846 and 1849 the Irish potato crop failed three seasons out of four. By 1849 the worst was over. But the distressing nightmare of those 6 years 1845‐51 had created radical and long-term changes on the Irish society. The greatest change was the decline of the population and this was due to deaths from hunger and disease and emigration. The famine was a watershed in the history of Ireland. Its effects permanently changed Ireland’s demographic, political, cultural and religious landscapes.

The Famine was observed as an important period for religious life, because it saw all the churches face challenges to their spiritual authority, or their status. Religious leaders and the churches were under increasing pressure for its ideas, its education and its cultural activities. In spite of all this there was an increase in religious dedication, and this is…
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