Dear Editor, It was refreshing to read your comment piece (IC 16/1/20) about the need to set aside old-fashioned political loyalties in the context of next month’s general election.
Far too many people with deeply-held religious beliefs are willing to leave them at the door when they go to the polling booth. Both the main parties – Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil – have given short shrift to people of faith in recent years.
Our votes are increasingly taken for granted and our views looked down on as if they were something from another generation. They are not, universal values like the inalienable right to life hold whether political parties agree or not – that is why we call them universal.
Aontú offers the only real pro-life alternative for people who continue to value the right to life and prioritise the unborn.
Peadar Tóibín deserves huge credit for the stance he has taken and when we eventually overturn this unjust law permitting the targeting of the unborn he will be recalled as a true hero of conscience who stood up for his principles.
I have never voted for any party other than one of the dominant mainstream parties. Your reflections have convinced me that the time is now right to set aside that and embrace change and vote for the change that I want to see in society.
On February 8, I will be voting for Aontú and hoping to break the stranglehold on Irish politics that leads to a situation where one in three voters are substantially unrepresented in the Dáil.
Fatima provides proof for God’s existence
Dear Editor, Fr Rolheiser’s very interesting article ‘Proofs for the Existence of God’ (IC 09/01/20) will hopefully help some of those who in growing numbers in recent times have rejected God, and query his existence.
In Fatima there is also proof of the existence of God in what is often referred to as the Miracle of the Sun. On October 13, 1917, around 70,000 people saw what looked like the sun rotating madly. Soon afterwards they saw what looked like the Sun “dancing” in the sky. Finally they saw what looked like the sun leaving its place in the firmament, falling close to the earth and then turning back to its normal position.
Understandably scientific studies have been virtually unanimous in concluding that these scenes did not actually happen. There is scientific evidence that very unusual meteorological conditions could have caused the extraordinary spectacles.
However, science has to accept the fact that three children predicted 92 days in advance that at midday on October 13, 1917, people would see something miraculous.
The proof of the prediction is not based on any evidence provided by the Church but by the evidence unintentionally provided by the anti-clerical newspapers. In reporting on what was supposed to be happening in Fatima a number of journals could not resist the temptation to poke fun at what they perceived as the crazy forecasting of the exact time and place of a miracle.
Portugal’s leading daily O Seculo warned its readers, sarcastically, to be sure to be there at mid-day by the sun, so as not to miss the “miracle”.
Fatima does indeed provide proof of the existence of God because the prediction of the exact time and place of the great spectacle in the sky is wholly beyond the powers of natural reason.
Consider your vote
Dear Editor, Mary Kenny’s excellent article ‘Reaction to the Eighth will be viewed differently 40 years hence’ (IC 09/01/20) is to be commended for outlining the reasons why people will come to regret the legalisation of abortion in Ireland, but hopefully we don’t have to wait 40 years to bring about change.
Irrespective of how you voted in the referendum if the thought of thousands (the exact number to date has not been revealed nor will it before the election) of unborn babies being legally killed annually, troubles you, quite simply you can do something about that this year. Don’t vote for any TD who voted for the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Act 2018. Instead vote for the pro-life candidates in your constituency and change will come about.
Fingal, Dublin 15.
A heart-felt ‘thank you’ from all at Trócaire
Dear Editor, I would like to thank your readers for their ongoing generosity in support of Trócaire, the overseas development agency of the Bishops’ Conference. Donations to Trócaire save and change millions of lives in the world’s poorest countries. From families fleeing war in South Sudan and Syria, to farmers trying to grow crops in the face of droughts in Kenya and Malawi, your readers’ support is a lifeline to many.
That support was evident once more over the Christmas period. I wish to reassure your readers that all of Trocaire’s work is inspired by Catholic Social Teaching, which is its mandate. It is firm and faithful in its commitment to the values and teaching of the Church.
I was asked recently whether Trócaire funded abortions in Africa and was happy to put this person’s mind at rest by assuring them that Trócaire does not fund, support or promote abortion in any of its work.
As an agency working on the frontlines to deliver support to the world’s most vulnerable people, Trócaire is the embodiment of our Church’s mission.
With so much need currently in our world, this mission has never been more deserving of support.
Bishop William Crean,
Chair of Trócaire,
Medjugorje pilgrimages prove we have some magnificent leaders in our Church
Dear Editor, You recently published an article (IC 09/01/20) about Bishop Fintan Monahan of Killaloe being one of the first Irish bishops to lead a pilgrimage to Medjugorje. Fair play to him! I am so grateful for his leadership, and for Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly who will lead a pilgrimage later this year. We truly have some incredible apostles at the helm.
However, I’d like to also acknowledge the efforts of Bishop Phonsie Cullinan of Waterford and Lismore, who was the first Irish bishop to lead such a pilgrimage. Last August, with the help of Fr Patrick Cahill of Holy Family Mission, Bishop Phonsie led 40-plus Catholic young adults to Medjugorje, the week after the Vatican said it was okay for bishops to lead pilgrimages. I was there, and it was a profound week of peace, prayer and community.
Thank you Bishop Phonsie for your bravery in continually leading the Catholic faithful with such steadfastness, in the face of such mockery. You are a truly an apostle of Christ and the Catholic youth of Ireland respect you enormously.
‘Showbands’ attack on the Church is a sour note
Dear Editor, In a week which we have already seen the Irish media intimidate a Catholic speaker from entering the country we also see the derogatory merry-go-round continue.
In a show about the showbands scene in the 1960s in Ireland, the producers did their utmost best to portray the Catholic Church as the evil menace to a fun and freedom seeking society. Not only that, its current advertising pulls no punches in describing the country at the time as “priest-ridden”.
It’s a negative adjective which is only used for things such as debt, insects or disease.
And so the attack on what is now just a remnant Church continues unabated.