Dear Editor, Your front page story last week (08/06/2017) about Bríd Smith’s comments that the Church should be thrown in the “dustbin”, depressed me more than anything else. I have gone past the stage of anger and outrage, at how easy and popularly acceptable it has become to attack the Catholic Church. I would imagine I am not alone in this.
Anti-Catholicism is so pervasive now in Irish society that I feel worn down by it and more than a little nervous of putting my head above the parapet to voice a different opinion. In your editorial you rally Catholics to become better at standing up for ourselves and to call it out when we see bias and unfairness. You are right, of course, but I think we need a little boost or advice in how to go about this correctly.
It would be good to have the bishops lead the charge, but I understand their reluctance to engage with a hostile media who will probably portray them as the bad guy. Maybe it is time for priests who have a good relationship with the media to stand up for Catholics. Fr Brian D’Arcy and Fr Tony Flannery always seem to get a sympathetic ear when they speak to the media, could they not speak out against anti-Catholic prejudice?
It would also be good to hear more lay voices – who are trained in dealing with the media – to speak up in defence of their faith as well. What ever happened to Catholic Comment? This group seemed to disappear after the same-sex marriage referendum. I would suggest now is a good time for them to be contacting the media to give a different perspective and to be looking for volunteers to get involved, especially with an abortion referendum expected next year and possibly clashing with a papal visit for the World Meeting of Families.
I want to be able to stand up for myself as a Catholic, but I need help and I don’t want to feel like I am fighting alone!
DUP in good company in their pro-life attitude
Dear Editor, It was hardly surprising to see Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) stance on abortion being identified by parts of the media as a ‘problem’.
As Arlene Foster’s party settles down to its ‘temporary little arrangement’ with the Conservative party, there are attempts to cite its anti-abortion belief as being backward-thinking, old-fashioned or socially unacceptable.
So, too, is its opposition to same-sex marriage being put forward as a reason why the DUP are not acceptable to play any role in government, even in a supply-and-confidence situation as now exists with the Conservatives.
Whatever about the past behaviour of the DUP – and that is questionable – its right to oppose abortion should be upheld by all democrats, and its opposition to same-sex marriage leaves it consistent with the views of 17 of the EU’s 28 states and with 74 of the world’s states.
The print media in Britain was quick to label the DUP as being ‘religious’ with faint chuckling from commentators at how modern democrats could possibly have faith in a creator. Some within the DUP have even been labelled ‘creationists’ because they believe the book of Genesis and, indeed, the rest of the Bible too.
It seems the DUP is going to have to rely on its faith since the British media already has it condemned.
Donnycarney, Dublin 9
We have given birth to a cold-blooded political class
Dear Editor, David Quinn’s article of May 25 makes for hugely interesting reading – ‘Enda Kenny was the best secular Taoiseach secular Ireland ever had’.
Basically he seems to be saying that Mr Kenny has no principles beyond that basic one of holding on to power. In other words he is the first outright disciple of Niccolo Machiavelli it seems, to emerge in the politics of this state. This is without doubt an event of historic importance for Ireland.
Equally important to note is that the electorate as a whole does not seem to be greatly bothered! Fine Gael, itself, as David Quinn mentions, experienced no qualms in expelling the seven TDs and Senators who voted against his abortion law of 2013.
Lucinda Creighton got short shrift when she founded Renua as a party in Dáil Éireann opposed to the introduction of a regime of abortion on demand.
So what have we got? It seems we have given birth to as cold blooded and as determinedly atheistic a ruling class as ever haunted the corridors of power of the old Soviet empire!
Galway mosque attack a cowardly act
Dear Editor,I sincerely hope that the recent attack on the Galway mosque by cowardly stone-throwers is not a sign of what we can expect in the future.
We were all left disgusted by the terror attacks in Manchester and London and it is frightening to see these events happen so close to home. However, our answer must be to throw our support behind those communities in any way that we can, not be to lash out at innocent Muslims at prayer.
It was a malicious, unprovoked attack carried out by criminals and does not represent the attitude of the general Irish population.
Congratulations to new bishop
Dear Editor, Congratulations to Fr Alan McGuckian SJ on his appointment as the new Bishop of Raphoe. I’m delighted to see an Irish speaker come to the fore and I hope he will promote the Irish language as much as possible in his new position.
I note that Fr McGuckian will be our first Jesuit bishop in Ireland. With an SJ in the highest office possible in Pope Francis and Blessed John Sullivan recently beatified, it really feels like the Jesuits are on the rise!
Blasphemy laws are actually far from being nonsense
Dear Editor, No one can dispute, “The Almighty God does not need blasphemy laws”; laws are for us mortals (IC 11/05/2017). If the three great monotheistic faiths, the Jews, Christian and Muslims could agree to respect each other’s concept of God it would have great benefit for mankind. I do not know enough about the Eastern religions to say if it could be added to the fold but I suspect they might. Blasphemy laws are far from nonsense! The atheists will always be a problem.
John N. Walsh,
Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.
Another attempt to quash Catholic ethos in our schools
Dear Editor, I wonder if Ruth Coppinger’s Bill (Equal Participation in School Bill) is designed to achieve what Oliver Cromwell and his successors tried and failed to achieve, that is, to quash Irish/Catholic ethos by banning the teaching of Christian doctrine in our schools.
That old adage comes to mine, “Man/woman dressed in a little brief authority, most ignorant of what they are most assured, plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven as make the angels weep”.
Bray, Co Wicklow
Angelus bell has gloomy tone
Dear Editor, The Angelus bell as broadcast on RTÉ has tones of doom and gloom, so unlike the beautiful angelus prayer which announces the Good News and honours the Mother of God. A change of bell and background of scenery from sunrise to sunset might be the answer.
Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny.