Dear Editor, A headline in your newspaper [IC 09/07/2020] ‘New Government could ‘kick Churches out of education’ warns Senator’ saddened me deeply. I was educated in a Catholic school many years ago (too many years) and am proud of being a Catholic. It was free education for which I am very grateful.
During the 1950s there was a lot of unemployment and my parents certainly couldn’t have afforded to pay for six children to be educated otherwise.
We only had one half hour of religious teaching each day. The rest of the day was centred around the very necessary teachings to enable us to learn how to read, write, and do arithmetic and spellings. All the essential knowledge to grow up and reach our potential in society. But most importantly, to get back to religious education, it taught us the difference between right and wrong. How to have respect for one another and also to respect ourselves. It also instilled in us the fact that each one of us was important. The Church played an important role in preparing us for First Holy Communion and Confirmation. You will know that during these past four months many children have been disappointed because these sacraments couldn’t take place.
Our churches had to close due to the coronavirus.
During this lockdown thanks to technology most of us were able to attend Mass via webcam. All over Ireland (and indeed the world) our priests celebrated daily Mass bringing comfort and solace to so many of my generation who were ‘cocooning’.
They were a beacon of hope during a very troubled and anxious time. They prayed daily for all the wonderful doctors, nurses and all the people working on the front line putting themselves at risk in order to help save others.
I believe the Catholic faith which we were brought up with played a very important part in our lives during this crisis.
I would ask the Government not to exclude religious teachings from our education system.
Helping financial future of parishes
Dear Editor, We are all overjoyed and thankful to return to Mass, receive the Eucharist, to meet our priests and community. We now have an opportunity to show our appreciation and thanks as the Church collection baskets are available for donations.
I did a little calculation which might be of interest. If you normally put €5 in the basket each Sunday, your diocese is at a loss of €80 from you since March. These Sunday collections are needed to run our parishes and the Government are not likely to assist us. Let’s do the right thing and help out as best we can.
Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin.
‘Abuse’ to deprive priests of marriage
Dear Editor, Mary Kenny [IC July 16/07/2020] in her loyal attempt to defend the unjust clerical law of enforced celibacy asserted that a married clergy is not the answer to the growing crisis in Catholic ministry. Nobody is making that claim. However, it would be one small step in the direction of much needed systemic reform.
It is an abuse to deprive any man of the option to marry as an entry requirement to any vocation or ministry. Such clerical abuse may lead to further crimes and cover up. Enforced or mandatory celibacy is an unjust, outdated and dangerous imposition by a small group of ancient Church fathers who were imbued with misogyny and a negative attitude towards sexuality. The Catholic People of God have not voted for the medieval law which has led to Eucharistic famine worldwide.
It seems to me that it is not possible to evangelise people today in the language of sexism, misogyny, patriarchy, authoritarianism, homophobia or negative views about sexuality. The Good News of Jesus Christ must be about selfless love, compassion, justice, equality, inclusion, liberation and joyful celebration.
Dundrum, Co. Dublin.
Keeping informed and vocal on abortion
Dear Editor, Thank God for The Irish Catholic and its coverage of the shocking number of abortions carried out here in 2019. As the bishops said in their statement it is ‘staggering’ to see the contrast between the grief expressed over the Covid-19 deaths and that for the 6,666 babies killed here in one year through abortion. It was great to read the articles by David Quinn and Brendan O’Regan while the media practically ignored the issue.
Was a decision made to ignore these tragic deaths to avoid embarrassment for those, like the Taoiseach, who stated there would be no increase in abortions here after the referendum?
What is equally staggering is the contrast between the coverage prior to the referendum, especially from journalists openly campaigning for abortion, and the silence now. How can a claim be made that we have a media which seeks to tell us the truth and is balanced and fair? It most certainly is neither and is now blatant in censoring what issues are to be reported on and what are to be ignored.
It is vitally important that we keep ourselves informed on this vital issue and that we do not remain silent. The aim of those who are pro-abortion is to make it acceptable and to ensure that those opposed to this barbaric practice are silenced. It is our duty to ensure that this does not happen.
Ardeskin, Co. Donegal.