Danny Boy, the song widely considered to be the Irish anthem, and a staple at Irish Catholic funerals around the world, is banned from Roman Catholic Church funerals in the United States.
As if the Church doesn't have enough troubles and hasn't alienated or driven away enough of the faithful with its boneheaded decisions and criminal behaviour, this arbitrary ruling is causing more anger by the day. in fact, among Irish Americans, the issue is as heated and shameful as the child sex abuse scandal that Church leaders managed to cover up for decades before being forced to drain local parish coffers to pay victims of molestation by priests.
The Danny Boy shame came to light again yesterday at the funeral for a 78-year-old Irish American (and 40-year parishioner) at St. Theresa Roman Catholic Church in Trumbull, Connecticut within the Bridgeport diocese (a diocese that has paid out millions of dollars to settle sex-abuse lawsuits). Among the departed's last request was that Danny Boy be sung at his funeral. But days after an Irish singer had been booked to sing the sacred Irish song at the service, the church pastor phoned the deceased's family to inform them that the song is not "liturgical" in nature, meaning it is not appropriate to be sung or played in church.
The singer was forced to wait miles away, by the graveside.
The lyrics were read from the pulpit during a eulogy, however, while a mischievous bagpiper waited outside the church to play the tune after the service.