Jokes about rape and God on RTÉ ‘highly disrespectful’

Jokes about rape and God on RTÉ ‘highly disrespectful’

Dear Editor, I am a very regular RTÉ viewer and a supporter for years. I have enjoyed many beautiful programmes over the Christmas season – and even watched repeats, with great pleasure!

However, I must object in the strongest possible way, to the sick joke re ‘God’s rape’ of an individual on NYE. I had settled down in the midst of a horrible pandemic to watch something light and entertaining but was disgusted by those remarks.

Firstly, to joke about rape in a society so bedevilled by this outrage, and at a time when so much domestic violence has been reported over the Christmas period and in these pandemic times, must be very hurtful to victims.

Secondly, in case the two women presenters were not aware, the Christian calendar celebrates the Feast of Mary, Mother of God on January 1 – exactly one week after Christmas Day, the Feast of the Incarnation – God-among-us. This Christmas Feast is foundational of all Christian belief. For your producers to make a mockery on Irish television of this tenet of my faith (and that of millions of others worldwide) is shameful, and very low form indeed. In fact, it is insulting, highly disrespectful and in very, very poor taste – no way acceptable.

I would feel equally angry and hurt were the basic tenets of any other world faith, such as Islamism, Hinduism, Judaism blasphemed – though that is less likely to happen on RTÉ, I know.

I appeal to the Director General of RTÉ to remove the item from RTÉ Player and offer a proper apology to the people of Ireland. The brief, last-minute item on RTÉ news (January 3) was neither fulsome or heartfelt. It came across as a duty to be executed. A warning (about what?) that “some people” may be offended is no substitute, suggesting that only the ‘exceptions’ might take offence! Well, I consider myself to be an ordinary, mainstream member of Irish society and I intend to make my voice heard when necessary. I encourage all other mainstream Irish people to do likewise. We deserve much, much better!

Yours etc.,

Margaret McConalogue

Ballynagard, Derry


Abhorred at blasphemous content on RTÉ show

Dear Editor, I was abhorred at the utterly offensive and blasphemous content of the RTÉ’s NYE countdown show. It was incredibly insulting and hurtful to people of the Christian faith.

Insulting Almighty God and His Blessed Mother with content like such as that has absolutely no place on public television, and indeed has no place anywhere on a public or private forum – period. It is a mockery of the Christian faith and for practising Catholics, like myself, it is utterly degrading and contrary to our beliefs. And what’s more there isn’t an ounce of truth in it. Shame on anyone that insults our God in such a fashion. It is neither funny nor humorous. RTÉ need to remove this clip immediately from their player. It is sacrilegious and unfit for any public platform day or night.

God shall not be mocked.

Yours etc.,

Aisling Bastible

Clontarf, Dublin


Charity runs both ways regarding sermons

Dear Editor, When I read Mr Dwan’s letter on the quality of sermons [IC 24/12/2020], it reminded me of a story I heard (and have used on numerous occasions) which I thought I’d share with you.

A Churchgoer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to Mass every Sunday. “I’ve gone for 30 years now,” he wrote, “and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can’t remember a single stand out sermon.  So, I think I’m wasting my time and the priests are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all.”

This started a real controversy in the ‘Letters to the Editor’ column, much to the delight of the editor.

It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher: “I’ve been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this: They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!”

When you are down to nothing, God is up to something! Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the possible.

Thank God for our physical and our spiritual nourishment. It can’t all be gourmet quality. Most of our sermons speak of charity and surely that runs both ways.

Yours etc.,

Brendan Madden

Willington, Dublin


Archbishop Eamon Martin should be commended for warm words to Unionists

Dear Editor, Archbishop Eamon Martin is to be commended for his generous words of warmth to the Unionist community on the forthcoming centenary of the coming into being of Northern Ireland [IC 31/12/2020]. Also commendable is his criticism of many Nationalist and Republican politicians to engage with the process.

Whilst the archbishop is honest and open about his nationalism and his anxiety to bring the unionist community along with him, he should also remember that he speaks first of all as a Catholic archbishop. As such, he must be aware that some of his flock may wish to retain the present constitutional position. They must not be forgotten. In fairness to the archbishop he did not use the term Protestant in the context of unionism. Mother Church is neutral on political boundaries.

We should never forget the anguished words of Catholic Magistrate Thomas Travers to a predecessor of the archbishop which went along the lines of seeking words of comfort for those of his flock who wished to remain in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Yours etc.,

John O’Mahony

Renmore, Galway


Government’s Christmas ‘gift’ was to deny us the Eucharist

Dear Editor, Christmas Day brought a message of hope and joy as Christians celebrated the coming of the light of the world.  In Ireland, the Government gifts to follow Christmas were not Gold, Frankincense or Myrrh but to prohibit church service attendance, to deny the sacrament of the Eucharist and to reduce the ‘right to practice ones faith’ to a non-essential service. Theirs was not a message of light and not the Christmas message.

Yours etc.,

Judith Doherty

Dalkey, Dublin