Dear Editor, I was pleased to read an article in your publication (IC 03/10/19) praising the efforts of climate activist Greta Thunberg. Despite her age, this young girl has rallied countries and political leaders around the world to be more environmentally conscious and shed light on how detrimental our current carbon consumption really is.
At just 16 years old in the face of a disability, she has stood in front of world leaders and demanded that they change their ways. That’s brave.
The author of the piece, however, outlines that her noble actions have been derided by many.
“She has been called a puppet of the left, insulted and belittled based on her appearance, her Asperger’s, and the highly emotional manner in which she delivered her speech.
“She’s been told to sit down, to go home and take a walk in the park, to leave the business of worrying to the adults.”
Why the hate and vitriol? Why demonise someone who is only trying to make the world a better place? Even if she is wrong about the apocalyptic future we are heading towards – which is a big ‘if’ given the clear scientific consensus pointing in that direction – isn’t she still making a positive impact? Isn’t she still helping us by raising awareness about sustainability, the effects that pollution can have on environment, and that we are all called to be stewards of the planet?
For those believers who are doubtful of their ecological responsibilities, remember that the Book of Genesis instructs humanity to take care of the planet. Animals, insects and vegetation are all part of God’s creation – not materials to be abused.
Newry, Co. Down.
Isn’t it time to talk about euthanasia in Ireland?
Dear Editor, Mary Kenny writes that the next moral talking point in Ireland will be about euthanasia (IC 03/10/19). Regardless of religious belief, this topic is a sticking point for most people, especially if you have watched a loved one die after a long spout of suffering or pain.
I think this country needs to have a conversation around euthanasia and make sure it doesn’t reduce down to two polarising teams on either side of the issue. It’s a very complex and nuanced topic. For example, Ms Kenny rightly notes that in the Catholic tradition, the teaching of double effect can come into play. While high morphine doses increases the likelihood of inducing death, the intention is to alleviate the pain and so the act is morally fine.
The Church is insistent that people should live up until their natural deaths. But what does natural even mean?
We have medicines and surgeries that prevent death, but had they not been invented those in need of such medical interventions would have died long ago naturally. It doesn’t make sense that we can extend our natural life span but can’t cut it short.
Trócaire must fight the right battles
Dear Editor, The CEO of Trócaire has said that the Government is contradicting its climate change policy after Leo Varadkar opened a renovated runway in Knock airport the day after a global climate strike (IC 26/09/19). I appreciate the sentiment from Trócaire but I do find it slightly ridiculous.
All of us use aeroplanes to travel even those who work in Trócaire. The renovation should be applauded, rather than criticised for some virtue-signalling publicity.
Are Trócaire going to condemn all politicians who drive to work rather than getting a bus? Learn to fight the right battles.
Change has potential to work both ways
Dear Editor, It’s been 40 years since Pope St John Paul II visited Ireland and I think for those who remember the event, it can be jarring to reflect on how much this country has changed. Millions turned up to see the Pope in Phoenix Park in 1979, enthused by their Faith and eager to hear what this holy man would say.
Contrast that with last year when less that 200,000 showed in up for Francis. Ireland has always been associated with Catholicism, but I think this connection is dwindling away.
A lot has changed in those 40 years: the clerical abuse revelations, the internet, popular atheistic movements, and move back towards communism/socialism. All of these factors and many more have altered how we understand religion and what role in plays in our everyday lives.
If anyone had told you 40 years ago that the Catholic demographic would be the outlier in Ireland today, there’s no chance you would have believed them. But here we are.
Yet there is hope. If Ireland can change so rapidly in 40 years, there’s no reason to think that down the line it can’t speedily transform itself into a country that embraces religion once more.