Dear Editor, In your front page story ‘Vatican urged to block nun’s hospital transfer’ (IC 21/11/19), you quoted Fr Gerry Kane as saying: “I think that the Church in Ireland has been doing the work of the State for far too long…it is time for us to have stand-alone Catholic institutions, like Catholic hospitals, Catholic schools and Catholic third level institutions, alongside secular ones. Then people can choose.”
I couldn’t agree more. But where is the money to come from for a Catholic hospital? Is our Government interested in giving people that choice?
Given that the Church has indeed been doing the work of the State, in terms of provision of hospital care, for a long time, could this be an opportune moment to demand that the State offer at least some kind of quid pro quo for this valuable asset, e.g. to commit to provide a separate, independent Maternity/Obstetric/Neonatal facility, in line with Catholic ethical standards, as part of the overall plan?
This would be a facility a woman could choose to attend with the security of knowing that the life of her unborn/newborn child will be fully respected; where if she requires a C-Section, for example, she will not have to enter a theatre where another woman’s unborn baby has just been destroyed; where, should she discover that her unborn child has a disability, she can trust that she and her child will be offered the best possible care, as well as all the encouragement and practical support she needs to be able to care properly for her child, rather than being counselled to end her pregnancy; and where nurses, doctors, and other pro-life hospital personnel can work in a safe and peaceful environment.
My, but isn’t Mary McAleese a very angry woman!
Dear Editor, As a regular reader of The Irish Catholic I could understand Michael Kelly’s reaction to Mary McAleese’s assertion that the paper he edits has become “a fetid trough of fake news…” Nothing angers us more than a false accusation.
Might I say that I think Mary McAleese herself is a very angry individual, and not only since she was barred, under the direction of Cardinal Kevin Farrell, from taking part in a conference to mark International Women’s Day in 2018, which was scheduled to take place in the Vatican.
She is an accomplished and highly intelligent woman who believes it is wrong that women are effectively excluded from any real decision-making in the Church. There are many, including among the clergy, who share her view.
The analogy she sought to make between the image of a woman’s biological passivity in sex and in their role in the Church is a thought-provoking one. Where she went wrong was by not clarifying that the sentences she quoted were used out of context. Putting Pope St John Paul in an undeserved negative light backfired badly.
Then again anger does sometimes cloud our judgement!
Who’s teaching RSE?
Dear Editor, As parents we have to be very careful about letting outside ‘experts’ in Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) speak to our children. The online videos of some of the ‘sex educators’ are shocking and offensive. These videos are presenting a message which would appear to be neither Catholic, Christian nor worthy of civilized people.
The purpose of education is to foster high ideals and to encourage the proper development of our young people. But in regard to RSE, our schools do not necessarily know what is best. Parents are the primary educators of their own children. We need to be on our guard against any programme or presentation which would drag them down and tarnish their childhood.
Schools must stand up for Church teaching
Dear Editor, From November 11-15, many post-primary schools across Ireland, many of them with Catholic Trustees, are engaged in an LGBTI affirmation week. The project was called ‘Stand Up Awareness Week’ with the stated goal of showing support for LGBTI individuals.
The project was organised by a well-funded group called BELONG TO which provided the Resource Packs and know-how to schools. Many principals in the Catholic schools that took part believed that this project was entirely in keeping with a Catholic ethos.
However, it should be noted that BELONG TO was a very active proponent for abortion rights in 2018, for same-sex marriage in 2015 and, currently, for self-determination of gender in the minds of children.
While it is important to treat minorities with respect and care there is something more than that at work here. Flying the LGBTI flag at the school gate is not just about anti-bullying; it applauds all elements of the new, liberal, sexual morality.
BELONG TO would readily admit that it is totally and utterly opposed to the Catholic Church’s positions on sexuality, marriage, gender and life. Why, then, do we give such a group a platform in Catholic schools? Unless one is totally naive it should be obvious that the anti-bullying issue is being used as a gateway to promote a wider sexual agenda and a very permissive one.
Christians must be ‘inclusive’ is the usual refrain that one hears. But there is more than one strand to the Christian faith: as well as ‘inclusivity’ there is also God’s moral law – challenging, no doubt, but given by Him to promote wellbeing in individuals and in society.
How many of our Catholic schools have the courage to be authentic and stand up for the challenging, counter-cultural, aspects of Church teaching on sexuality?
Fr Eamon Roche,