Dear Editor, The events in Afghanistan are tragic to say the least, the future of the population, especially women and girls is shrouded in doubt. Their future under the Taliban, whether that be access to education, the workforce and other basic freedoms is under threat. It is not only women, but all those seen to have been ‘colluding’ with the west over the past two decades, I believe, face severe retribution, hence the desperate scenes witnessed over the past weeks as people try to flee the country en masse.
If this had happened under Trump’s administration there would be justified outrage and condemnation but for some reason Joe Biden, Ireland’s golden boy who was unashamedly supported here by mainstream media, seems to be getting off the hook despite abandoning the people of Afghanistan. While I am no fan of Trump, he has received extreme criticism in the media for far less than abandoning a country to extremists.
The US exit of the country will be criticised for years to come. We must pray for the future of religious minorities, the poor and marginalised, women, children and all those living in fear in Afghanistan as the new regime takes hold. While the Taliban have said they will honour women’s rights within the norms of Islamic law, that could really mean anything as the interpretation of Islamic law varies hugely across the Middle East.
In addition, can the Taliban really be believed when they say they have offered an amnesty to Afghans who worked with the US and the western-backed government? I have my doubts. Who knows if the Taliban’s promises will be upheld in the future, especially when they say private media will remain independent but “should not work against national values”? I hope there are journalists brave enough to keep us abreast of the situation in Afghanistan as the situation seems bleak.
Tallaght, Dublin 24
Who was behind the Big Bang?
Dear Editor, Back in the early 20th Century, scientists, recognising that the universe was expanding, came up with the ‘Big Bang theory’. But one question was; who or what caused the huge explosion?
One of the scientists was a Soviet citizen so it was a matter of some difficulty when the “who or what” was identified as God, or Deus, or Theos or Jehovah.
The Gospels are then available to name Jesus as God etc. And among other things both Jesus and his mother are Jews.
So the RTÉ New Year production, (for which they have robustly apologised) was not only anti- Christian but was anti-Semitic, and anti-Islamic. RTÉ may also have cast doubt on the fact of the expansion of the universe.
Church handled with ‘contempt’ by Govt during Covid
Dear Editor, I was disappointed to read Fr Martin Delaney’s article on the cancelling of the sacraments [IC 12/08/2021], and particularly, his reference that ‘there was no expiry date on the Sacraments’. How can he state this when what was involved was the postponing of the graces available through these sacraments? How is it all right when it involved delaying encounters with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and the receiving of the gifts of the Holy Spirit through Confirmation?
I agree that there is a great need to examine the preparation for reception of the sacraments but that is a separate issue although one which needs to be addressed urgently. I do not agree that this issue was not handled with contempt by the Government when the basis for the cancellation was an off-the-cuff remark from the Tanaiste and when efforts by Church leaders to meet with Government representatives were rebuffed.
Restrictions were necessary at the start of Covid-19, especially because of the state of the HSE. However, it is hard to accept many of these restrictions continuing when disproportionate harm has been done to so many people through delayed diagnosis, etc. With so many people vaccinated, we have to begin to live again, not just exist, and to ensure care is now given to so very many on waiting lists for health care.
Ardeskin, Co. Donegal
We must never allow euthanasia in Ireland
Dear Editor, Niamh Uí Bhriain raises excellent points about the failed ‘Dying with Dignity Bill’ [IC 19/08/2021] which was cast aside for being so flawed. She asked why so many TDs were quick to support the bill despite it being opposed, very publicly, by palliative care experts and many others who highlighted the plethora of issues? It seems in a world of virtue signalling and the dire need to appear progressive in the eyes of the public – many of whom seem unable to critically assess the moral complexities of euthanasia and instead reductively say “no one should have to live with pain” – that many politicians are more interested in popularity.
It must be acknowledged that although this particular bill has been spiked, there will certainly be another to come which won’t be as easy to dismiss.
When this happens, people must speak out and make their voices heard to stop efforts to introduce euthanasia to this country. As Pope Francis says, abortion is an example of a throwaway culture, while this abomination has already been introduced to Ireland, we must never allow euthanasia.
As Mrs Uí Bhriain says: “Deliberately ending the lives of those who need our help the most should have no place in a civilised society.”
Cork City, Cork
Commending the voices and actions of the Faithful
Dear Editor, Just a short note to commend Sr Susan Evangelist’s letter. It was very well written in terms of reflection on what this pandemic has done to our Church and in particular to receiving the sacraments. There are so many mixed messages and I’m delighted to see the Irish bishops giving a green light to administering the sacraments to young people. As Sr Susan said the meaning of the sacraments are much more important than the frills and spills and I hope people with children have read and reflected on this letter.
I also commend Fr John Joe Duffy CC Creeslough who went ahead with his Communion last Sunday with the support of his PP Fr Martin Doohan and his bishop and despite the adverse publicity it brought in terms of breaking rules etc, he went ahead adhering to all the Covid guidelines and facilitated the children receiving this precious Sacrament without any cause for concern. We need so many more voices like Sr Susan and Fr John Joe. Thank you.
Castlederg, Co. Tyrone
Prayer and fasting before media appearance
Dear Editor, If any one of us has to go on a media platform to speak about the Church or defend the Faith, it seems advisable to me, to prepare with prayer and fasting.