Dear Editor, Gabriel Doherty’s comments in your front-page story this week (IC 24/1/2019) have really shown up the ignorance and intellectual shallowness of our political classes.
That the Taoiseach should have thought references to private property and the Common Good in our Constitution derive from socialism rather than from basic Catholic social teaching points to an outlook embarrassingly ill-informed about politics, religion and history.
Mr Varadkar’s presposterous claim leaves one longing fondly for the time – not long ago – when one of our TDs stood up in the Dáil and criticised Bunreacht na hÉireann as the handiwork of a priest. That Joan Collins TD was talking nonsense without saying, of course, but at least she recognised that our Constitution from the first bore a deep Catholic influence. It seems the Taoiseach does not even realise that.
And if Mr Doherty is right, it looks as though Mr Varadkar isn’t alone. Did none of those who spoke in the Mansion House for the Dáil’s centenary session really think that the Democratic Programme approved by those present at the first Dáil’s first meeting was the work of one man, and a deeply socialist document? At the height of the Russian Civil War?
Ours was a famously conservative revolution, one where the left was a fringe element – even in the 1916 Rising, the high tide of Irish socialism in many ways, the Citizens’ Army was a minority of a minority, and one that still devoutly prayed its Rosary.
And as anyone familiar with the history of Masses for the dead of 1916 and the Conscription Crisis of 1918 should realise, when we won our independence we did so while standing upon the shoulders of the Irish Church.
Rathfarnham, Dublin 14.
Is RTÉ television worth watching anymore?
Dear Editor, Articles appear regularly in your columns criticising RTÉ, a TV channel which is undoubtedly very biased and propagandist and run by people of an anti-Christian persuasion.
I get the impression however that RTÉ deliberately broadcasts programmes containing material which attacks Catholic beliefs in the mischievous expectation of provoking a reaction in the many still loyal Catholics in Ireland. I believe RTÉ is however becoming less and less relevant in the lives of younger people here and may presently not enjoy the advertising revenue it once did.
May I suggest a different approach; other than comments in your Media Watch section, simply ignore RTÉ and its producers as totally irrelevant, with none among them with anything of value whatsoever to contribute to modern life. An attitude of complete indifference towards their propagandist and unedifying broadcasts and absolutely no comments or mention of the station in your newspaper columns whatsoever, outside Media Watch, might be far more effective in pulling their fangs.
Your paper would do well, I feel, to concentrate instead on a positive promotion of the benefits of living as a true Christian. Cultural Catholicism, often promoted and allowed by high ranking Irish clergy, has weakened the Church and disappointed many true Catholics here, and your paper would serve Christians well by helping further erode this pernicious form of devotion.
Engaging in journalistic skirmishes with the likes of RTÉ is, in my view, beneath your very informative newspaper’s mission of promoting the real benefits of genuinely living the Gospels.
Dundalk, Co. Louth.
Dear Editor, Regarding Greg Daly’s article on the lack of appreciation for the Church’s role between 1914-1923 (IC 24/01/2019) we have to realise that we aren’t in the ascendance anymore and no matter what is said, the history of the Church will always be associated with mad evil nuns and pederast clergy. With such films as Song for a Raggy Boy, and the current drivel of director Vino Nikei Cellar Door, which will no doubt be rushed to DVD time for any remains discovered at the Tuam homes, the truth suffers while the myth endures.
Fr John McCallion,
Clonoe, Co. Tyrone.
Part-time, dabbling Christians will simply fall away
Dear Editor, I refer to the excellent insights in the Editor’s Comment of January 3, 2019. You quite rightly state that “some of our faith-based institutions have become secular and in some instances hostile to religion”. It is worth noting that such institutions are often supported and under the patronage of our shepherds, the bishops.
You observe that “the Christian of the future will be an intentional one” – part-time dabblers just going through the motions will indeed fall away from lack of interest. But surely intentional Christians also require intentional shepherds who can remain relevant and active in the support of their flocks and those institutions under their patronage?
On a recent television programme, one shepherd declared that he was “not the protesting type”. I suppose if one feels they have nothing worth protecting, then there is no need to protest. Such a spirit sadly speaks of the lukewarm and non-intentional spirit of leadership that has sadly left us struggling intentional Christians to the wolves – a media and political class set upon dismantling and undermining the position of faith and morals, which are vital to maintain the true good and dignity of all within society.
One wonders who will protect us from this unrelenting movement of secularism and often strongly anti-faith message of the current age. Only the shepherd who seeks to defend and speak the Gospel undiluted.
In our hope for such shepherds we can be confident, for Christ has assured us he is with us “to the end of time”. History proves this for the Church has been graced with Christ-like leaders such as the recently canonised Oscar Romero, who was not only willing to protest when the truths of the Gospel and human dignity were being undermined, but was willing to pay the ultimate price for such holy protest.
Newbridge, Co. Kildare.