Dear Editor, I thought your last week’s front-page story (IC 25/10/18) about the NI government’s reliance on charities because of failures in welfare reform was very interesting, and just goes to show how much the government there is struggling. Regardless of who is to blame, it’s an absolute disgrace that people in need are being directed to charities by social service agencies because of inefficiencies in the system.
How daunting and embarrassing must it be for a mother or father to seek help from a charity, knowing fully well that this is not their own fault.
Money problems are always a stressful tension point in any family, but this is beyond what should be expected of anyone. To expect families to get by day-to-day by relying on the generosity of charities leads to disorder, fear and panic. A solid structure is needed when rearing kids, and this certainly isn’t helping towards that.
The government needs to take heed of what is happening across the country and realise this isn’t going to go away.
Parents and children are suffering and struggling to make ends meet, so this topic should be at the forefront of governmental discussions. But with Stormont still down, I suspect the problem is going to get worse before it gets better.
Freedom of conscience is most fundamental right
Dear Editor, As Polonius was bidding farewell to his son Laertes in the great Shakespearian play Hamlet, he cautioned: “This above all else to thine own self be true and it must follow, as does the night the day, you can not then be false to any person.”
Most certainly there is no higher expectation that we can have of our medical personnel, doctors and nurses, than that they would be always true to their beliefs. It is only in that way we can trust fully they will do for us in our hour of need or distress that which is best.
Conscience is not divine intervention, rather it is the practical and informed judgement of reason on an individual act as a good to be performed or as an evil to be avoided.
The right to that freedom is at the very heart of daily decision making for every rational person and is so in a very special way for members of the medical professions in their treatment of patients.
If the Government and its Ministers seek to deprive doctors and nurses of the right to act in accordance with their consciences, we as a society are becoming a totalitarian dictatorship. In such a State human freedom to act ethically becomes subservient to ‘dictat from big brother.’
There are still many people alive who lived through the terrible era of 1930s and 1940s dictatorships, when human life ceased to be respected and when a stand for ethical behaviour cost human lives.
Minister Simon Harris, in his rush to introduce universal access to abortion up to at least 12 weeks gestation, should learn that the most fundamental of public rights is that of freedom of conscience. Failure to respect that sacred right will have him numbered among those who disrespect democracy and the people whose rights he was elected to defend.
Cllr Michael Gleeson,
Keeping an eye on EWTN TV
Dear Editor, On Brendan O’Regan’s recommendation (IC 4/10/2018) I watched the beautiful programme on EWTN about Little Nellie of Holy God (Ellen Organ). I really enjoyed it. I think EWTN has a lot to offer.
I find Brendan’s TV and Radio review very helpful each week.
I also enjoy Aubrey Malone’s film reviews. They make me realise there are still worthwhile films being made.
Without faith, success can be the worst enemy
Dear Editor, A few weeks ago I attended a lavish banquet. It was a gathering of mostly Chinese businessmen and their families, all millionaires and multi-millionaires. The air was thick with competitive spirit, designer outfits and jewels, and at the end of the evening an exclusive traffic jam formed in the car park.
As we were seated and the endless dishes started to arrive, a thought popped into my head; ‘Who is the most powerful man in the room?’ The answer I felt was ‘the one who prays, who prays from the heart’.
One Russian Orthodox Saint, Theopan the Recluse, puts it like this: “Prayer bursting from the heart is like a streak of lightning, which takes but a moment to cross the heavens and appear before the throne of God.” A man on his knees is at his most powerful.
Where there is success, cleverness and wealth there is also a feeling of power, being influential, being on top of the world, able to do or accomplish anything.
Many live in this illusion for their whole lives.
Looking into the crowd I could feel that so many would never give God a second thought, as if he was not needed. When crisis does arrive, where will they turn? When the cash gives out or the friends turn their backs or sickness deprives them of strength?
It was a sorrowful realisation, not confined to the rich only but often success can be man’s worst enemy if faith is absent.
Stephen A. Clark,
Vaccines can and do cause injury
Dear Editor, Why has The Irish Catholic published, ‘The Power of Vaccination’, Prof. William Reville’s article on vaccines (IC 25/10/2018) unopposed and as if it is accurate?
Across the country are thousands of ‘vaccine victims’ like my son Jamie who has spent a lifetime of suffering since his first adverse vaccine reaction. Those of us who, out of tragic necessity, have had to study the issue recognise this article for what it is…pure propaganda.
The truth is that vaccines can and do cause injury, often grave injury and even death. The choice to vaccinate should not be made lightly and automatically. To make this serious decision for themselves or their children people need accurate and unbiased information. I would urge you to rectify this unbalanced reporting.
It is important, especially for a Catholic publication to seek the truth in all things.
- Prof. Reville replies: There is massive evidence to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of mass-vaccination programmes and my article simply outlined the mainline medical position on vaccination. Ms Sinnott’s letter cites no evidence to support her assertions and claiming that my article is “pure propaganda” is simply ridiculous.
Will aborted babies be given respectful burials too?
Dear Editor, The recent apparent compassion the Government has over the Tuam babies is ironically not being replicated by compassion for the unborn as they proceed to introduce a liberal abortion regime into our country, which will cause the demise of thousands of perfectly healthy babies.
Will these aborted babies have respectful burials?
Forget the history of Hallowe’en – just celebrate its context
Dear Editor, With Hallowe’en happening this week, I’m often amused by atheists who accuse Christians of idolatry by celebrating a ‘pagan’ holiday. History isn’t clear whether Hallowe’en has solely pagan roots or actually began solely as a Christian holiday – but to be perfectly honest it doesn’t matter which one is true.
The fact of that matter is that Catholics across the world understand it in a Christian context, and celebrate it as the evening before the holy days ‘All Hallow’s Day’ and ‘All Soul’s Day’.
Despite the smug remarks critics of Catholicism love making, there really is no substance to what they’re saying. It’s all sound-bite – and no chomp!