Dear Editor, Conor Donnelly (Facebook Community) referred to Catholics being told to vote for Republicans in the US. I wonder if he is aware that no Democratic candidate can be accepted unless he/she supports abortion, which means that those voting for a Democrat are endorsing abortion.
I fail to see how any practising Catholic can now support the Democratic Party in the US. Since President Trump was elected he has made strenuous efforts to curtail the funding for abortion both in America and overseas, where aid was only given if abortion was promoted.
Regarding abortion, it is disappointing that in Fr Bill Dailey’s otherwise excellent article (IC 31/10/19) he did not list abortion in his reference to ‘real evils in the world’. When it is acceptable to kill innocent and helpless babies, how can there be respect for any life. St Mother Teresa said that abortion was the greatest evil in the world and I am sure that I am not the only one who agrees with her. Just because abortion is now legal in Ireland it does not mean that we do not have a duty and obligation to speak up and say that it is not being done in our name. Otherwise we are complicit in this dreadful evil.
Co. Donegal .
Contemporary yoga must be reconsidered
Dear Editor, Bishop Phonsie Cullinan came under the spotlight last month for his critical comments about yoga and mindfulness. It’s true that the Christian meditative and mystic traditions can have a huge impact on one’s spiritual life by drawing us closer to God and making us more holy.
However, to deny that there are no goods to be found in other forms of meditation is damaging. There are so many Christians throughout the world who use yoga as a means to deepen their Faith and commitment to Christ.
I think one important aspect of this whole conversation that needs to be highlighted is that people on both sides of the debate are using the word ‘yoga’ but are using it in different senses. Yoga with a capital ‘y’ stems from the Indian holy texts called the Vedas.
However, yoga in the western world is so fundamentally detached from that original idea that to compare the two is laughable. The yoga that most people practice today is just a series of breathing exercises and stretches – and nothing much deeper than that. Don’t worry, yoga teachers are not in cahoots with the devil.
It’s vital to have real people in your life
Dear Editor, I was touched to read Maria Byrne’s article ‘Not good to be alone’ (IC 24/10/19) which addressed the topic of loneliness. She mentions that while online social media sites like Facebook do have their benefits in terms of interacting and connecting with others, ultimately they cannot replace physical human interaction.
It doesn’t matter how many ‘friends’ you have on these sites or how much traction your posts get – what matters is who you have in your life in the real world. The online world has given young people a false sense of security but when the devices are switched off, who do they turn to?
Maria recommends taking your children to gatherings where they can meet other people and have genuine interactions, like a catechism class. It in an environment like this that young people can begin building up long-lasting friendships.
Arklow, Co. Wicklow.
Great hopes for The Two Popes
Dear Editor, I rarely get excited about movies but the new film The Two Popes has really got me intrigued.
It’s going to be released in a few weeks and tells the story of how Benedict and Francis must find common ground to forge a new path for the Church. It’s received rave reviews already by film critics but it would be nice to see how a Catholic audience reacts to it.
The most fascinating aspect of the movie is how similar the actors playing the Popes look – Benedict is played by Anthony Hopkins and Francis is played Jonathan Pryce. The resemblance is uncanny!
Former President’s analogy was most tenuous
Dear Editor, I was shocked to read that Mary McAleese has compared St John Paul II to a misogynist who condoned rape. Anyone familiar with his work would be aware that he was an erudite theologian who praised the sanctity and beauty of sex.
He would never have even remotely suggested that sex is permissible when a woman is unconscious. His lectures on the Theology of the Body raised up what sex is and means: it’s a union of two free persons engaging in the conjugal act, opening themselves up to each other and the possibility of life, all under the tutelage of God.
In the last few days, Ms McAleese has come out defending her comments and has suggested they’ve been misinterpreted by Catholic media. She says she was using the quoted passage as an analogy to describe the position and role of women in the Church – as passive receivers.
If that’s the case, it’s a very convoluted and tenuous analogy and it gave the impression to its listeners that this is an attitude or belief that St John Paul II endorsed. She should think more carefully next time she makes a public engagement!