I can vividly remember the atmosphere of which Mary Kenny complains in this passage from her excellent book (which I highly recommend). Of course, recourse to the words of the New Testament or "what Jesus said" are a favourite tactic of those attacking Church teaching-- as though everybody could interpret Scripture infallibly, and as though such "common sense" exegesis hadn't already caused war after war, schism after schism. It must also be added that, by the 1980's, the Irish had less need of bringing Christ to Africa than of getting Christ from Africa-- as the presence of so many African priests in Ireland proves.
But the general point, I think is, is a fair one (and Kenny's book is fair-minded throughout). The same situation seems to obtain in America, a point that has been made by Edward Feser here.