Dear Editor, I read Bishop Denis Brennan’s comments on a vocation being “an adventure” with interest (IC 15/06/2017). Other newspapers who had covered Bishop Brennan’s homily at the ordination in Horeswood, Co. Wexford, had only mentioned his comments warning the new priest about having the “anger/hostility people have for the Church in general directed at you”. But thanks to The Irish Catholic I now see that the bishop had many positive and practical things to say to Fr Billy Caulfield about the “adventure” ahead of him.
I liked his reference to the “heroism of the ordinary” and I think that could be said for a lot of things, particularly marriage, parenting and caring for elder family members. We often have to contend with the slog of keeping a household going and it is in all the little mundane things of life that we show our love for others.
As Bishop Brennan says it takes a special kind of courage and plenty of staying power, and I worry if young people today with their short attention spans, thanks to all these screens, will be up to the task for the next generation.
Anti-Catholic bigotry is in politics and media
Dear Editor, Secular anti-Catholic bigotry is a fact of current Irish political and media discourse. The Catholic Church courageously opposed abortion of babies in the womb so pro-abortion and anti-eighth-amendment attackers demonise and denigrate pro-life Catholics and Catholicism, media-aided every chance they get.
The vicious anti-Catholic attacks on the Sisters of Charity who have given lifetimes of service without personal enrichment, whose only crime is opposing abortion in our hospitals, shows modern, secular, anti-Catholic, pro-abortion bigotry in action.
Catholics and others, need to reject bigotry at the ballot box, on their doorsteps and in their media. Boycott pro-abortion media and politicians who disrespect you.
Wise up to their agenda for Ireland – Marxist, secular, pro-abortion, with religion driven out of education and public life.
Harolds Cross, Dublin 6W.
No compassion without tragedy or hurt
Dear Editor, The recent slew of terrorist attacks and a major fire in Britain must be leaving people there wondering what’s gone so horribly wrong and asking themselves just what they’ve done to deserve such tragedy.
The answer, if there is one right answer, is that they have not done anything to deserve it. It is life, it happens or it is caused; it has always been so and it probably will always be so. But there is one aspect of these events that is worth noting.
The reaction of the local communites in London (after now three terrorist attacks in recent months and the atrocious Grenfell Tower fire) and Manchester has been little less than amazing, and in stark contrast to the slow response from some of the local authorities who have responsibility for the welfare of citizens.
The people on the ground responded with kindness and compassion immediately – they cradled the dying and tried to heal those hurt; they are trying to rebuild damaged lives. But the fact is that without such tragedy, there can be no sign of compassion.
Without sadness, without hurt, compassion cannot be expressed. Compassion, one of God’s greatest gifts, can be a fickle friend. It is the light that follows darkness.
Christians need to unite against secular onslaught
Dear Editor, Perhaps it’s time for all Christians to unite as Christ intended when the first Christians were formed.
All over the world there are hundreds of fragmented Christian groups, which are sadly, sometimes at war with one another.
Christians are being murdered daily in many countries, but our governments cast a blind eye and fails to bring the countries responsible to account.
Pope Francis risked his own life weeks ago visiting Coptic Christians when he heard of the cruel massacre of their congregation as they prayed.
In our own country, young people are held to ridicule, even in our universities, when they confess to holding a Christian ethos and abiding by the Commandments.
It is worth noting that we have more crime now that modern society has abandoned the sin factor. Taking the name of God in vain, stealing, because that’s what I want; murder, because that’s what I want to do and hope I won’t be caught in the act, and so on.
We in Ireland should consider is this the country in which we are happy to bring up our children in a safe and loving environment.
Sean McDermott Street visit never part of Pope’s schedule
Dear Editor, I refer to Mr Patrick Fleming’s letter (IC 08/06/2017) which so positively captures the preparations, and atmosphere, around the papal pilgrimage to Ireland of Pope St John Paul II.
I wish, however, to formally correct the record in relation to the planned itinerary for the late Pope’s visit which covered September 29, 30 and October 1, 1979. Notwithstanding media reports to the contrary, a visit to Sean McDermott Street in Dublin city was never part of the late Pope’s schedule while in Ireland.
I trust this clarifies the matter.
Bishop Michael Smith,
Bishop of Meath,
Time to stand up to anti-Catholic bias
Dear Editor, Greg Daly’s article (‘TD accused of “intolerant populism” on Church’, IC 08/06/2017) told of the most recent attack on the Church, but this time in the Dáil by a politician, Brid Smith TD of the People Before Profit Party. Ms Smith stated during a debate on the Tuam Mother and Baby Home, that the Catholic Church should be “put in the dustbin of history where it belongs”.
Surely it is time Catholics challenged such biased and generalised attacks on the Church. Ms Smith may not appreciate that the actual term ‘Catholic Church’ means a visible society of baptised Christians professing the same faith under the authority of the invisible head (Christ) and the visible head (the Pope and bishops), so her comments were really an attack on all practicing Catholics. I do not think Ms Smith would attack all Muslims for the actions of those involved in the terrorist attacks recently in England.
Human rights should include inside the womb
Dear Editor, Irish law provides care for pregnant women and restricts abortion. The UN Human Rights Committee finds this “cruel and inhumane”. This ignores the human rights of the human lives in the womb – we’ve all been there and had our human rights respected. Shouldn’t we continue to do this for all of tomorrow’s Irish children?