I guess that the crucial question — at this moment in time — is whether St. Patrick’s Day parades have anything to do with St. Patrick. In other words, are these events connected, in any meaningful way, with Catholic tradition, doctrine and history? I know that, in the past, it has been easier to argue that these parades — especially in America’s major urban centers in the Northeast and upper Midwest — have been testimonies to Irish culture, pride and political clout. The archbishop may be there, but the essence of the event was found in the presence of local politicians who needed the votes of Irish laborers.
But what is the reality right now, at this moment in church-state history?
You can find some clues in the rather stock Reuters report about the pro-gay-rights pressures on Guinness — which were successful — to pull it’s sponsorship of the New York City parade.