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: Inevitable, Progressive Or Political? Essay, Research Paper

Introduction

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The Protestant Episcopal Church of Ireland, was a church indigen to Ireland, pulling its apostolic sequence from the mediaeval Irish Church. It was a church of a minority but was treated by the British authorities as the one lawful and Orthodox church of Ireland, therefore was the Established Church of Ireland.

On July 26, 1869, The Irish Church Bill was passed into jurisprudence, disestablishing the Church of Ireland. This action was taken after a long period of clip, and several factors contributed it being taken. There is besides the inquiry of whether the move was inevitable, political or progressive. We will see that in fact a combination of these three led to the disestablishment of the church, but the procedure towards disestablishment was chiefly political.

Doomed From the Beginning?

In the 16th century, the Tudor Monarchs adopted Reformation rules for the Church of England, and applied these rules to Ireland every bit good. However, unlike England, where the Established Church was accepted by a great bulk of people, in Ireland there was no consensus on the issue of the Church. The Church was that of a minority, and the differences in linguistic communication, troubles in communicating, and the uncomplete control that England held over Ireland intend its? credence was limited.

The bulk of the Irish were non interested in the Established Church of Ireland from the beginning. This raises the inquiry of was it doomed from the beginning? was disestablishment inevitable?

Tithes and Reforms

In the 1830s, there were alterations made in the organisation of the Established Church.

First, the Tithe Composition Act was passed in 1832, which led to widespread protest. Tithes were payments made by Irish land renters to the Established Church. Before 1832, payments of tithes were made in sort. This Act made money payments the regulation, which had to be made by really hapless people, largely Roman Catholics. It was in support of a church which was non theirs, and they gained little, if any, benefit from it. The protest against tithes finally escalated into the Tithe War. This did a great trade of harm to the repute of the Church of Ireland in assorted Irish communities.

As a consequence of these events, in 1838 the Tithe Rentcharge Act was passed, which reduced tithes by one-fourth and made rich landlords and long term rental holders responsible for paying tithes to the Established Church. This was designed to put the load of back uping the Church on the landholders instead than the renters, as many of the landholders were members of the Established Church. But since the renters supported the landholders, the renters continued to indirectly back up the Church.

There were other reforms made to the Church. The Church Temporalities Act was designed to rectify the state of affairs of the Church? s resources being used inefficiently, and implemented several fiscal reforms to the Church and its clergy.

These reforms were implemented by British politicians, and were an early mark of what became a go oning series of demands for reform of the Established Church of Ireland. Many politicians felt at that place? was something unsatisfactory about the position of this comparatively affluent minority church. ? Herein lies the political component in disestablishment of the Church of Ireland. Furthermore, as clip passed politician? s feelings toward the church of Ireland grew from dissatisfaction and a feeling that reform was needed to a feeling that the Church should be disestablished.

Report of the Census Commissioners

In 1861, the first spiritual nose count of Ireland was taken. It showed that out of the entire Irish population of 5 788 415, there were 693 357 members of the Church of Ireland, compared to the Roman Catholic Church, which had 4 505 365 members. This meant that Church of Ireland members were merely one eighth of the population. It besides found that concentrations of disciples were found in important Numberss merely in countries that had been populated with English and Irish immigrants.

This was the point at which force per unit area for disestablishment began to mount. The consequences of the nose count were a strong statement for those opposed to the Established Church.

Political Resistance Saddle horses

In 1865 and 1866, declarations in the British House of Commons called for the authorities to move in respect to the province of the Irish Church on such affairs as ecclesiastical gifts and the possibility of deviating a per centum of the grosss of the Church of Ireland. However, these were opposed by the authorities and failed.

The Conservatives came into power in June of 1865, led by Lord Derby. They were a minority authorities, and as they were looking for support in parliament and in public, they were really flexible on the issues. It bowed to coerce in May of 1867, accepting a gesture for the assignment of a Royal Commission to ask into the Established Church? s belongings and grosss.

Report of the Royal Commission

The Commission reported in September of 1868. In its? study, it proposed drastic cutbacks in the Established Church? that the episcopate be reduced to one archbishop and seven bishops ; that many cathedral corporations be dissolved, and that merely eight deans remain. It farther proposed a important restructuring of parishes and redistribution of the incomes of churchmans.

The Irish Bishops refused to accept the Commission? s proposals. It is likely that the church

work forces feared that if they agreed to the committee? s recommendations, the authorities would make even more than had been recommended. In fact, there was a good opportunity that the Church might hold survived as an Established Church if they had accepted the proposals, at least for a clip longer than they did. However, it is besides true that the drastic inspection and repair of the Church? s fundss that was proposed would hold had serious deductions for the Established Church? s hereafter. Furthermore, by the clip the committee reported, political events had overtaken its? utility. Nevertheless, its? findings still remain insightful into the state of affairs at the clip.

Disestablishment

Benjamin Disraeli, get downing in February of 1868, undertook the leading of the Conservative authorities. On March 30th, of that twelvemonth, Gladstone, the leader of the resistance Whigs, moved a series of declarations covering with Ireland. One of these was

? that in the sentiment of the House, it is necessary that the Established Church of Ireland should discontinue to be as an constitution, due respect being had to all the personal involvements and to all single rights of belongings. ?

The declarations were carried against the Conservatives under Disraeli. He decided to name an election on this of import issue, but was defeated. The new Broad authorities, under Gladstone, moved to present the measure for disestablishment and disendowment of the Church of Ireland on March 1st, 1869.

On July 26, 1869, The Irish Church Bill was passed into jurisprudence, after a great trade of opposition in the House of Lords. Disestablishment of the Church of Ireland began on January 1st, 1871.

Gladstone was a devout cleric, so all was non lost for the Church of Ireland. The colony was generous ; churches and schools soon in usage were handed over to the Church, Glebe houses could be purchased on favourable footings, and? 500 000 was granted to do up for recent private gifts. The British authorities took everything else. This was another political facet of disestablishment.

Why Disendowment every bit good as Disestablishment?

The important issue of the Church of Ireland being the Established Church was non that it was the ceremonial church of Ireland, where, for illustration, the Queen would hold attended church when she was in Ireland. Rather, the important issue was the fact? that it had been to a great extent endowed with land, and the returns of a revenue enhancement on land. ?

Other churches sustained themselves through pulling the support of voluntary members. The Church of Ireland, nevertheless, had the privileged place of support from tithes and from rents on extended belongingss. It was due to this that disestablishment was inseparable from disendowment. Therefore, the whole operation of disestablishment was basically concerned with the transportation of the belongings of the Church of Ireland and its? disposal.

Inevitable, Progressive or Political?

The procedure taking up to disestablishment was an overpoweringly political one. Certain people in public office pressured of all time progressively for reform, and so disestablishment. The procedure by which the Church was disestablished and carved up was political.

One must non bury that the fortunes of the church? s being as in Ireland made its disestablishment a progressive move. The Established Church was that of a really little minority, merely over 11 per centum of the entire population of Ireland. Giving it the advantages it had was an unfair move in respects to the significant Roman Catholic bulk of Ireland. By seting it on an equal terms with the other churches in Ireland and go forthing it to back up itself was the best move for all involved.

Finally, the Church? s disestablishment was most likely inevitable, due to the fortunes environing its being in Ireland. Whether or non disestablishment was inevitable at the clip it occurred is problematic. The Irish Bishops perchance could hold delayed disestablishment for several old ages had they accepted the Royal Commission? s proposals. But in the terminal, it was most likely that the Church would hold been disestablished, given the degree of force per unit area for Disestablishment nowadays at the clip.

Decision

The Church or Ireland is still a minority church in Ireland today. The Church? s rank still remains really near to the degree it was at Disestablishment. Before the Church of Ireland was disestablished, it had advantages over the other churches in Ireland. But even after disestablishment, through the difficult work and committedness of its folds it continued to be a strong church, and continues to be today.

The Church of Ireland? s disestablishment was an inevitable, yet progressive move, but the procedure towards its? disestablishment was a really political one.

Notes:

1 Hugh Shearman, How the Church of Ireland was Disestablished ( Ireland: The Church of Ireland Disestablishment Committee, 1970 ) p. 7.

2 Much of the information in this subdivision from How the Church of Ireland was Disestablished, pp. 8-10

3 R.B. McDowell, The Church of Ireland ( London: Routledge & A ; Kegan Paul, 1975 ) pp. 27-28

4 P.M.H. Bell, Disestablishment in Ireland and Wales ( London: S.P.C.K. , 1969 ) pg. 43

5 Robert MacCarthy, Ancient and Modern ( Dublin: Four Courts Press, 1995 ) pg. 50 and The Church of Ireland pg. 34

6 How the Church of Ireland was Disestablished, pg. 10

7 Ancient and Modern, pg. 50

8 How the Church of Ireland was Disestablished, pg. 12

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