Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,No Doubt Irish Music and Religion (118* d) RE: Irish Music and Religion 25 Jan 03

We'll try that again.

Thanks to both Doubting Thomas and Promoter for providing links to online versions of the Comhaltas constitution. I am now more certain than ever that both of you are attempting to justify eliminating the Catholic ethos from the organization, by attempting to remove the music, song, and dance from it's cultural contexts. Well, the Comhaltas constitution won't allow you to get away with it, as it is very clear the organization's stated mission, aims and objectives includes promotion of Irish arts, language, and culture, which of course can (though is not required to in the constitution) include a mass as part of the branch activities.

I cannot stress enough that I believe you are dead wrong in the definition you are using for "non-denominational". That doesn't mean non-religious, and nowhere in the constitution does it say religious activities are prohibited. That would be silly in any organization whose mission is to promote Irish arts, language and culture, as the Gaelic mass is a long standing tradition in the Irish language community. I also note that the organization has a clause which allows both "clergy and lay" to have a special status within the organization for assisting in the promotion of Irish arts, language and culture. So I'm afraid you lads are just plain dead to wrong.

Here are the relevant excerpts from the constitution. I have bracket my remarks thus []. I begin with the opening paragraphs of the constitution:

Comhaltas, which was founded in 1951, has today over 400 branches of the movement at home and abroad. Through Comhaltas, the traditional musicians, singers and dancers are organised and presented in the various events promoted by the movement.

Educational facilities have a high priority in the movement's programme, and it is through its numerous classes and courses that exponents of the native arts are given the opportunity of developing their artistic abilities in this sphere of our native culture.

[There lads, they've covered it right there: "developing artistic abilities in this sphere of our native culture" means they are fully within their rights to hold Gaelic mass where the musicians can perform in a setting which promotes "native culture" which of course includes a Gaelic and/or English mass, as the native culture is predominantly Catholic, as you noted.]

Comhaltas concerns itself with the development of an environment conducive to the Aims and Objects of the movement; this is reflected in its work in the field of radio, television, films and other areas of the communications media.

Through publications, records, sessions, concerts, céilithe and other educational-recreational projects, the movement continues to mould our music, song and dance as integral and potent components of community life.

["other educational-recreational integral and potent components of community life" certainly would be inclusive of a mass]

Irish, the native language of Ireland, is afforded a special status in Comhaltas and the movement is unreservedly committed to its promotion.

[Again, Gaelic mass is one common way of promoting the Irish language in it's native community, which, BTW, is Irish for those of you who aren't interested in the language or cultural aspects of this organization]


(d) To foster and promote the Irish language at all times;
(e) To create a closer bond among all lovers of Irish music;
(f) To co-operate with all bodies working for the restoration or Irish Culture;

[I note that (f) in particular allows for co-operation with church bodies interested in restoration of Irish culture]


3 An Comhaltas shall be non-political and non-denominational. Membership shall be open to all who are in sympathy with the Aims and Objects of An Comhaltas, and who undertake to abide by its Constitution and Rules.

[This was the one that Promoter told us to watch out for, and I see nothing in this clause which forbids members of any religion. Perhaps this is where the two of you are confused. This clause states you can't forbid anyone from becoming a member based upon their religious or political views, which of course allows anyone of any faith or political persuasion to join. This clause doesn't concern itself with the activities of the organization, but the terms of membership. So if this is the clause the two of you are leaning on, you've been shot in both feet]

4 The Organisation shall have authority to invite a person or persons, clerical or lay, who need not necessarily be members to become patrons during his/her lifetime. The CEC shall select a Patron on the grounds that he/she has shown sympathy with the work of the Organisation, or interest in its activities or regard for its Aims and outlook. He/she may take part in all the activities of An Comhaltas; but he/she shall not have the right to vote at any meeting of the Organisation.

[And there you have it. The organization allows for clergy special status within the organization. Hardly a constitutional clause that "forbids" religious participation, eh?]

18 All functions held under the auspices of An Comhaltas shall be in keeping with the ideals of An Comhaltas and the Clár for such functions shall be submitted for prior approval to the immediate superior governing body.

[Looks to me like this clause also allows for mass to be held in conjunction with Comhaltas activities, as it can certainly be argued that a mass for the Irish community "shall be in keeping with the ideals of An Comhaltas"]

Post to this Thread -

Back to the Main Forum Page

By clicking on the User Name, you will requery the forum for that user. You will see everything that he or she has posted with that Mudcat name.

By clicking on the Thread Name, you will be sent to the Forum on that thread as if you selected it from the main Mudcat Forum page.
   * Click on the linked number with * to view the thread split into pages (click "d" for chronologically descending).

By clicking on the Subject, you will also go to the thread as if you selected it from the original Forum page, but also go directly to that particular message.

By clicking on the Date (Posted), you will dig out every message posted that day.

Try it all, you will see.