Dear Editor, We in the Republic of Ireland have had the most anti-Christian government in Europe for the past eight years.
We have had legislation redefining marriage, legalising abortion and now proposals leading to quickie divorces. In addition religious symbols have been removed from hospital wards and corridors and every effort is being made to remove religious teaching from our schools.
In 2013 the then Government leader introduced abortion legislation into Irish law for the first time, despite having publicly promised before the election that he would not do so – some action from an individual who claims to be a practicing Catholic.
Had Eamon de Valera as Taoiseach attempted to introduce similar legislation it is doubtful if Archbishops McQuaid and Fogarty would have remained silent.
The Marriage Act 2015, which gave legal recognition to same sex marriage, changed the centuries old definition of marriage, and marriage in the Republic of Ireland can no longer be defined according to the historic doctrines of Christian faith.
We have so-called practicing Catholics who propose, support and vote for legislation which is contrary to the fundamental teaching of the Catholic Church and some of those people continue to actively participate in the celebration of the Mass, both as Readers and Ministers of the Eucharist.
In recent years the leadership of the Catholic Church in Ireland, with a few notable exceptions, have been silent on what is happening in the country. Maybe it is time for Church leaders to move on from continuously apologising for the sins of the past, which was a very dark period in the Church’s history.
It might be time now to address the sins of the present in society and not be shy to confront civil leaders and the liberal left media who together are attacking the Christian ethos of the nation.
Ballymote, Co. Sligo.
Science can bring people closer to God
Dear Editor, There is a widespread false assumption that science and faith are in conflict with one another. Recent studies, moreover, have demonstrated that this is one of the commonest reasons given by young people who decide to jettison their Christian faith. And in modern Ireland we have a real difficultly in that in the mainstream, catechetical initiatives are neither intellectually robust or apologetically fruitful in face of scientific worldview. Thankfully, an association of Catholic scientists are hosting their Third Annual Conference this month at the University of Notre Dame, in Indiana. The overall theme, ‘What does it mean to be human?’ will feature cutting-edge talks from Theistic Evolution to Modern Cosmology.
There is a rich vein of scientific intellectual history running through great figures of deep Christian faith, such Johannes Kepler, Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton etc., all of whom consistently affirmed their scientific studies brought them closer to God, and not farther away.
Thus the case can be forthrightly made for enlisting the scientific project in the New Evangelisation, as expressed by St John Paul II in his 1997 encyclical Fides et Ratio.
Incidentally, at this year’s conference, Prof. Maureen Condic, a neuroscientist and embryologist of the University of Utah, will be honoured with the St Albert Award, for her courageous scientific and philosophical defence of the humanity of human embryos.
Malahide, Co. Dublin.
When does Church act?
Dear Editor, When a new covenant, “in which the Church and faith-based organisations are no longer at the centre of Irish life, but one in which they still have a place” is spoken of by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, I wonder what is envisioned.
Will the Church be expected or allowed to pick up the pieces of a broken secular society, without making the input that could have prevented the brokenness in the first place?
I hope our Bishops will take warning from Cardinal Newman, due to be canonised soon, who said : “All Churches must examine their consciences as to possible inordinate links with the political structures surrounding them. Such a liaison paralyses the Church’s essential prophetical task of proclamation, and, worst of all, takes the Church’s eyes off Jesus, our unique consoler and companion along the roads of history and the byways of the world.”
Raheny, Dublin 5.
‘Trifling issue’ shows need for higher standards
Dear Editor, Mary Kenny’s article asking whether there is a moral dimension to the Maria Bailey saga (IC 30/5/2019) beggars belief.
Yes, she’s right of course to say that there are moral dimensions to the question of liability and to how we should be honest with ourselves and ask if we should take responsibilities for our mishaps, since accidents do happen.
And yet, Mrs Kenny also argues that Ms Bailey did nothing wrong, but instead “just showed poor judgement in making a federal case out of an incident which, though evidently painful for herself, was nevertheless trifling”.
Ms Bailey had originally claimed that after her fall from a swing in 2015 she had not been able to run for three months; it subsequently transpired that she had ran a 10km race just three weeks into that period. Well, she told RTÉ’s Seán O’Rourke, her 53-minute-56-second running time hadn’t been good by her standards, although it was just 44 seconds slower than her time in the same race the previous year, and while over a minute slower than her 2013 record, it was over four minutes’ faster than her time in the 2012 race before that.
I’m not sure that this kind of stuff counts simply as errors of judgment. Perhaps Ms Bailey has indeed done nothing legally wrong, but in discussions of moral dimensions we should consider higher bars than whatever the State happens to think the law should be at any given point.
Drogheda, Co. Louth.