Mary McAleese’s comments wide of the mark

Dear Editor, Our former President’s remarks about Pope Francis left a stale taste in my mouth.

Dr Austen Ivereigh was right to dismiss Mary McAleese’s claims that Pope Francis carries a “residual element of misogyny” that blinds him to the risks of insufficiently empowering women in the Church (IC 19/03/2015). Speaking as a woman, I too think she is wide of the mark.

What really left me uneasy, however, was her description of the Pontiff as “good”, “gentlemanly” and “decent”. Really? This is the man who has single-handily transformed people’s perceptions of the Church in his two short years in office.

Thanks to Pope Francis, committed Catholics, who have persisted valiantly in their faith despite Church scandals locally and globally, are beginning to feel they can lift their heads up again.

Not to mention the positive impact the ‘Francis Effect’ has had on lapsed Catholics or those who have felt neglected by the Church in recent decades.

For me, Mrs McAleese’s critic, Dr Ivereigh is spot on in the title of his excellent biography on the Pope. Francis is indeed a ‘great reformer’.

Yours etc.,
Eileen Fitzgibbon,
Co. Mayo.