Dear Editor, Now that she has broken through the political ‘glass ceiling’ and commands publicity opportunities for her activities distributed from powerful media outlets such as the Fine Gael Press Office, I appeal to Minister Josepha Madigan to use her influence – particularly with the Taoiseach and her Government colleagues – to embrace and champion the “Homeless” cause which is having such a catastrophic social impact on the lives of so many citizens.
In his editorial (IC 14/2/2019) Michael Kelly rightly points out the irony that while highlighting the well documented inequalities in the Catholic Church, the Minister sits happily in a Government that presides over some of the most discriminatory social injustices since the foundation of the State. I refer to the fact that almost 10,000 people are living in homeless accommodation and the biggest scandal is that almost bordering on 4,000 of them are children.
If we are speaking of ‘equality’ it should be noted that these 10,000 people (both male and female) together with another ‘sizeable chunk of the population’, share equal amounts of misery and lack of care for their wellbeing.
In 50 years of journeying with people in need, I have never seen such undignified day-to-day living conditions, particularly for the young families who have been betrayed by those in power. It is a tragedy to note how far we have moved from the fantastic aspirations of those who subscribed to the 1916 Proclamation that vowed to “cherish all the children of the state equally”.
Likewise with so much pride in our European Union participation, could Ms Madigan and her colleagues explain the deficit in complying with our obligation to fulfil the following declaration that Ireland signed up to many years ago?
Universal Declaration of Human Rights – Article 25 (1948):
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
Finally I appeal to Ms Madigan to take immediate action to relieve the plight of the following:
l The rough sleepers most at risk of dying on the side of the road tonight. (This risk rating is the highest in the 50 years I have been involved in homelessness.)
l The families who have been betrayed by successive failed ‘Action Plans’ and simply cannot wait for the Government to ‘get it right’. These families need immediate Christian/Humanitarian action so that they can live life to the full with respect and dignity as God intended.
Bro. Kevin Crowley OFM Cap., Capuchin Day Centre,
No tapping in church
Dear Editor, When a country loses its moral compass it must also lose its many blessings, because it has turned its back on God. What next? Now we have a money-making machine, a card machine, in the Holy House of God (IC 21/2/2019). Did Jesus not go into the Temple and make short work of the money-changers?
Go up it or over it, a card machine should not be in the house of God. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, please bin it. Bin it.
We already have church collection plates, monthly envelopes and the shrines. I do believe that when we are grateful for what we have, what we have becomes enough.
Ballinteer, Dublin 16.
Sunday isn’t just about football
Dear Editor, Having read the review of Gamechanger (IC21/2/2018) one comes away with a view of an athlete that has given much to her role as a Mayo County stalwart.
Nevertheless, with such biographies, they only hint at a faith life, with the omnipresent grainy photos of reception of the Sacraments of initiation and after that nothing much else.
How refreshing it would be if the example set by Limerick’s Cian Lynch, whose counter cultural engagement with faith shows that Sunday isn’t just about football!
Fr John McCallion,
Clonoe, Co. Tyrone.
We must not allow ourselves to be forced to ‘look away’
Dear Editor, Various media commentators have criticised those who would congregate in public areas, in the vicinity of doctors’ surgeries and hospitals, saddened by what is now taking place there, under the guise of healthcare. Without exception all those taking part are trying to say: “We are here to help”.
It is strange indeed, that so much attention is given to those outside such clinics, while so little of the spot-light is shone on the horror unfolding inside. Calls for exclusion zones is merely normalising this attitude of ‘looking the other way’.
The impression is promoted that women always feel thoroughly informed, and sufficiently supported financially, socially, emotionally, etc., to make what is an irrevocable decision. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Again and again, women have been so grateful for the presence of those willing to reach out to them, in their crisis, letting them know that there is both help and understanding available.
In the recent past, the Government through the HSE has rendered the work of Cura and Life Pregnancy Care Service, inoperable: the counselling, accompaniment, pregnancy support, supervised access for fathers, parenting courses, post-abortion-trauma, etc. HSE funding would require them to act as accomplices to the abortion industry.
Into this vacuum, various groups are forming out of necessity, to meet the need, and so replace what the HSE has torn down. The most notable of these GiannaCare, has found itself catapulted into the limelight. Their professionalism and willingness to help, deserves to be more widely known.
Lee Road, Cork.