Archbishop needs to be listened to

Archbishop needs to be listened to

Dear Editor, Archbishop Eamon Martin’s appeal that the issue of abuse not be treated as a political football within the Church (IC 21/2/2019) is a powerful and wise call, and one that urgently needs to be heard.

Too often over recent decades have advocates of married and women priests treated the abuse crisis as an opportunity to push their causes, while at the other extreme those who have long believed the Second Vatican Council a catastrophic misstep have taken to claiming the abuse crisis is simply another fruit of the council, one that could be undone by turning the clock back to 1952 or thereabouts. And that’s without looking at those factions who see the case of erstwhile cardinal Theodore McCarrick as a convenient stick with which to hit a Pope they dislike anyway.

It’s not really the case that the Church can’t be trusted to reform and police itself, but surely it must be recognised that the clergy, at any rate, have failed in this, and that it’s time for God’s ordinary faithful people to take the lead in battling abuse.  Denying this would, surely, be the essence of clericalism.

For all that abuse in the US tends to dominate global headlines, it looks as though our own Irish experience in suffering from and fighting against abuse are ones the Church should look to more.

We really have an important story to tell.

Yours etc.,

Maura Fitzgerald,

Belfast, Co. Antrim.


Articles on other denominations are most welcome

Dear Editor, I wish to congratulate you on the article by Colm Fitzpatrick ‘Is there any mission to the Jewish people?’(IC 14/2/2019). Indeed, I have also appreciated many articles of recent times which you have published coming from other denominations than our own. I believe that represents a refreshing and hopeful sign that affects us all. Thank you.

Perhaps you would be interested in the following quotes from a booklet I picked up in the Catholic Patriarchate in Jerusalem in October 2017:

From Cardinal Martini, Archbishop of Milan (July 9, 1984)

“If the Christian Church feels called to be a critical conscience, especially in Europe, to warn of the tragic events and questions which beset all of us, then in this mission it will find the strength of the religious and moral doctrine of Judaism at its side […]

“I am convinced that a profound knowledge of Judaism is vital for the Church, not only to overcome the longstanding ignorance and to favour a fruitful dialogue, but also to deepen its self-understanding[…]

Every schism and division in the history of the Christianity deprives the Church of possible precious contributions, and this produces a certain deficiency in the vital balance of the Christian community. If this is true for every great division in Church history, it is especially true of the first great schism which deprived the Church of the aid which would have come from the Jewish traditions.”

He then cites some deficiencies or weaknesses in Christian practice which are the consequences of this absence…In 1993 he continued his thought, concluding: “We have lost our Jewish roots, and this wound is still open. It is only by returning to Jerusalem that the Church will be healed.”

That same year the Pontifical Biblical Conference expressed the same idea. “The wealth of Jewish learning placed at the service of the Bible, from its earliest origins until the present day, is an aid of vital importance.”

Yours etc.,

Ena Gray,



Claiming to be Catholic

Dear Editor, I would like to commend you for your excellent column in The Irish Catholic of February 14.  It is tiresome listening to the hypocrisy of those who refuse to accept basic teachings of the Catholic Church and still insist on calling themselves Catholic.

As you stated, Ms Josepha Madigan “launched a broadside against the Catholic Church and expressed the view that Catholics need to speak up for the values that they expect the Church to uphold”.  That is certainly rich coming from her when she presided over the Fine Gael campaign to legalise unrestricted abortion here and still claims she is a Catholic.

What unashamed hypocrisy. I agree with you that “real bravery is displayed by those Catholics who stand by their faith and speak up for inalienable values like the right to life regardless of the risks”, and not by those like Ms Madigan who claim they are still Catholic while opposing its raison d’etre.

Yours etc.,

Mary Stewart,

Donegal Town, 
Co. Donegal.


Read St Paul

Dear Editor, Those priests who sexually abused people probably should never have been priests at all. Furthermore, St Paul in Titus 1: 5-7 does not demand that presbyters be celibate. It only came in later for some reason.

Finally, I do not believe seminaries are necessary at all. Those who are being trained to be priests could just go for three nights a week to an educational college to learn biblical studies and liturgy.

Yours etc.,

Colm O Connor,

Goatstown, Dublin 14.


The evil will triumph when the good do nothing

Dear Editor, Because Jesus told us in Garden of Gethsemane, all who draw the sword will die by the sword, is the introduction of abortion causing our country’s logjam? All sin is self-destructive and we can’t bargain with God. We must reap what we sow as the Gospel tells us.

At 80 years of age and after a long life of work and prayer that sustain me, it makes me feel very forlorn to have abortion hanging over our country or any country, because when blood flows from abortion Satan will have his day and evil will triumph when the good do nothing.

But, le cúnamh dé – repentance will save the unborn, save ourselves and save our country. Ag criost an síol, ag Críost an fómhar, in iothlainn Dé go dtugtar sinn.

Yours etc.,

Bridget Sherlock,

Mitchelstown, Co. Cork.