Dear Editor, The unelected Secretary of State Brandon Lewis is preparing to impose a further horrific abortion regime on the North, riding roughshod over the wishes of the vast majority of the population here who wish to save the lives of both mothers and their unborn babies from this murderous onslaught.
Abortion is exclusively reserved for the Assembly. This means the secretary’s actions amount to nothing less than a coup d’etat, effectively making redundant ministers’ positions, neutralising my vote, and throwing democracy into the wastebin, just like recent events in Myanmar/Burma. Further, it means any decision taken by the Assembly can now be disregarded according to the secretary’s latest whims.
As a prolife voter, I ask your readers to write to their MLAs and demand they stop this genocide of, and discrimination against, the unborn by withdrawing their parties from the Executive in response to this unconstitutional power grab. Bringing down the Executive will mark a return of democratic accountability and power restoration to elected ministers answerable to the people of Northern Ireland. It will also save the lives of the – as yet – unconceived children now at risk of being murdered in their mothers’ wombs and prevent the well documented traumatic post abortion effects on mothers.
Limavady, Co. Derry
Pro-choice politicians must be sent ‘sterner message’
Dear editor, The recent decision to push abortion by Westminster on the NI Assembly was met with a somewhat “forceful” response by the northern Church leadership. However, I feel that it did not go far enough. Likewise, calling upon local political action could be viewed as practical, but what of these local politicians who may welcome Brandon Lewis’ decision? I personally feel that enough is enough, especially when such political leadership cannot bring themselves to reference the unborn child’s humanity, but instead tailor it with the indifference of being a “pregnancy”!
To these progressive political views, an unborn child is an inconvenience, whose removal is nothing more dramatic an act than one would remove lint from a coat.
The whole process of accompaniment is very well and good, but these politicians and their acolytes need to be sent the sterner message of canonical sanctions and refusal of Holy Communion, for the good of their souls and a determined act of solidarity to the unborn. The example set by St Ambrose towards the Emperor Theodosius I in 390AD is a case in point, as it too was over the matter of the death of innocents!
Fr John McCallion
Coalisland, Co. Tyrone
Indebted to those who pushed for Knock’s international recognition
Dear Editor, News that Knock Shrine has been designated an international Marian and Eucharistic shrine by Pope Francis [IC 11/03/2021], during a special address by video link from the Vatican, is to welcomed.
And the recognition is of special significance, given the apparition of St Joseph in Knock in 1879. Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary petitioned the Holy See to redesignate the Mayo pilgrim site. On August 21, 1879, 15 pilgrims claimed to have seen an apparition on the gable end wall of the Knock church. They said Mary, St Joseph and St John the Evangelist were observed standing nearby.
The witnesses to this even stayed viewing the apparition for two hours in torrential rain, reciting the rosary and subsequently submitted evidence of seeing an apparition of Mary, St Joseph and St John the Evangelist at the gable end of the church in Knock. We are indebted to the efforts of Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation and Archbishop Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam for this historic milestone without whom this international recognition would not be possible. Heretofore Pope Francis visited Knock Shrine in 2018 as part of the World Meeting of Families.
Church statement on couple blessings raised hackles
Dear Editor, The Vatican’s recent re-statement of Church teaching, in which only couples aspiring to live a married life, may have their relationships blessed, has predictably raised the hackles of those critical of everything distinctively Christian. The evasion and ignorance underlying so much of this commentary is so tiring and stifling.
Wouldn’t it be strange if the Catholic Church acquiesced with anything that is destructive of God’s life within us?
To be authentic the Catholic Church must repeat and represent in every generation Jesus Christ’s call to ‘Repent, and believe the Good News’. For us who are members of his Church, this means that we have discovered that God loves us more than we can ever imagine.
At the same time, we also discovered that our sin – our refusal to follow his will and our stubborn reliance upon ourselves – thwarted our happiness and diminished our contribution to those around us.
With great personal pain, Jesus has revealed to us and made it possible for us, to share in God’s mercy. We have found that Jesus’s promise to give us “life and have it to the full” requires us to unreservedly abandon ourselves to him.
Finally, in our struggle against the snares of this world – ever-present, perverse, and pervasive – the discernment of the Church he founded, is indispensable. Let us thank and praise God for this clear, considered, and compassionate re-statement of authentic marital life as it was presented to us by Jesus Christ.
Lee Road, Cork.
Why is March 25 not a holy day?
Dear Editor, The edition of The Irish Catholic in my hand was dated March 25, the date on which we celebrate the visit of God’s angel to Mary, when she said yes let it be done. God as promised took on human form, a form which became visible when he was born nine months exactly later on December 25.
While I do not decry the status of Christmas, it is a source of mystery to me why the annual celebration of his arrival on earth is not elevated to that of a Holy Day. Surely the two events have similar meanings for the Christian community.
Coincidentally, March 25 marked the end of one year and the beginning of another in the medieval calendar. This was the day when taxes on land were paid. When the Westminster Parliament joined the rest of Europe in the late 18th Century to fall in with the Gregorian calendar, days were added for tax purposes which is why April 5 up to recently marked the end of the UK and the Irish tax year.
Rathfarnham, Dublin 16