Dear Editor, Your coverage of Facebook’s short-lived attempt to censor the Iona Institute’s ‘Still one of us’ (IC16/5/2019 and 23/5/2019) has been eye-opening and alarming, not least as it should remind us of how Facebook and Google shut down pro-life advertising ahead of last year’s referendum on repealing the Eighth Amendment.
During that episode, readers of The Irish Catholic might remember, pro-abortion campaigners welcomed Google’s decision in press releases dated the day before its official announcement, inevitably raising concerns given links between Ireland’s politicians and large tech multinationals. Google, remarkably, refused to explain their decision beyond a vague and unsubstantiated comment about electoral integrity being compromised.
Such episodes should be distressing, regardless of whether we are pro-life or not. Indeed, there seems a deeply troubling tendency in Ireland today to excuse all manner of chicanery around referendums if it’s in a good cause – the conduct of multinationals, the OSF funding used by Amnesty and others to campaign for a referendum, offers of rewards for the destruction of posters, the whole ‘Home to Vote’ charade, political stances being taken by the IDA and An Garda.
This ‘ends justifies the means’ attitude is not merely morally bankrupt, but is folly of the highest order. Do people perpetuating and excusing this conduct really expect that it won’t be used against them at some point? And when that happens, what defence will they have?
Lucan, Co. Dublin.
As predicted, the floodgates have opened
Dear Editor, It now looks certain that we will have well over 12,000 aborted dead by year end. That’s 12,000 plus children who won’t be in our families, schools, workplaces or lives. So much for the lying promises of anti-Eighth Repeal politicians that abortion would be “rare” and “ safe” and that “the abortion floodgates would not open”.
If you were one of the 42% of the electorate persuaded by anti-Eighth campaigners to vote Yes to legalise this abortion slaughter, or not vote at all, you were conned. The deadly killing results are now clear. Has everyone noted the deafening abortion silence from anti-Eighth politicians and campaigners now? Your taxes are funding the abortionist doctors and chemists, enriching them. That money comes from services for mums, to their detriment. We need new, genuinely pro-life, anti-abortion politicians and proper support for women. Use your vote.
Harold’s Cross, Dublin 6w.
The pregnancy wasn’t just lost, it was a wanted baby
Dear Editor, One can only imagine the devastation experienced by the couple who terminated a pregnancy because of an initial diagnosis of a fatal foetal abnormality, but which later proved not to be the case. This case is both a family tragedy, and also a tragedy for all the health care staff involved.
But what was striking in the reporting of the case in our mainstream media was the dilemma for many editors in how to refer to the ‘lost pregnancy’. Clearly even for our liberal-minded editors, using the term foetus was deemed insensitive as the lost pregnancy was for the parents, a ‘wanted baby’. To solve their dilemma editors used neither the term unborn baby or foetus, but simply referred to a ‘lost pregnancy’.
Thank goodness for The Irish Catholic, a paper that can apply the logic of every pregnant mother who is expecting a ‘baby’.
The mirage of Cassino
Dear Editor, Peter Costello sums up the Cassino campaign well (IC 23/5/2019), that it was a mistake, especially the February 15, 1944 bombing of the Abbey. Prior to that tragedy, the German commander General Von Senger und Etterlin, a devout Catholic, had done much to save the art treasures of the Abbey as well as escorting the Abbot and his monks to safety. General Alexander’s decision to allow the bombing came down to that despite the holiness of the place, Allied lives mattered more. Ironically, the bombing created the perfect defensive position for the Axis, and killed over 50,000 dead. Alexander’s cousin was at the time abbot of Downside Abbey!
The late, great military historian, Richard Holmes observed that “Cassino was a mirage to keep the Allies guessing and which turned out for them, an obsession that swallowed logic…”
Fr John McCallion,
Clonoe, Co. Tyrone.
Dear Editor, I am very pleased to read this week (IC 16/5/2019) that Pope Francis has given his approval to pilgrimages to Medjugorje. Once a year, for the past 20 years, I have had the pleasure of going there with a small group. There is something there for everyone! I would certainly recommend a few days in Medjugorje to anyone who would like to have more purpose in their lives; or to anyone whose faith has been shaken by the sins of others.
As one young person put it: “I would not have swapped that trip for the Lotto!”
Strandhill Road, Sligo.
What of the consequences?
Dear Editor, Marie Collins’s concerns about the Church’s new rules for tackling abuse and its concealment seem depressingly well-founded (IC 16/5/2019). While the regulations themselves seem good, such that nobody should now be able to claim ignorance or confusion over what to do when abuse or suspicions of abuse are brought to their attention, Mrs Collins is utterly right to say that this isn’t really worth a whole lot if there are no clear consequences for failures to follow the regulations.
The Church should surely be modelling best practice, and in many ways it looks as if it’s now doing this at the very highest levels, but without sanctions the rules stand as little more than discretionary guidelines. Do we really need another set of aspirational guidelines, no matter how high-minded? There need to be clear sanctions for shepherds who harm their flocks!
Inchicore, Dublin 8.