Dear Editor, thank you for your considered and may I say temperate response to the cringy attention-seeking comparison by Fr Roy Donovan of the Church to the Taliban (The Irish Catholic, October 14, 2021). In Jason Osborne’s article, Fr Donovan is at least clear in admitting that he used the extreme language precisely in order to grab attention. It’s sad, really – but a pattern that has emerged from some clerics who, it appears to me at least, will do anything to get a little bit of attention in the media.
It is grossly offensive to compare the exclusion of women from the ministerial priesthood to the savagery that the Taliban is currently visiting upon the hard-pressed people of Afghanistan. However sincere an Irishwoman may feel about not being allowed to preside at the Eucharist, I for one find it very hard to believe that her experience is the same as those poor women who are now in hiding in Kandahar because the Taliban has forbidden them to go to their jobs as teachers.
Perhaps I am out of touch, but I fail to see that an Irishwoman not being allowed to deliver the homily at Mass is in anyway comparable to the desperate mothers in Afghanistan who are risking everything to get their daughters out of Afghanistan to save them from the fate of being sex slaves for the Taliban fighters.
Perhaps Fr Donovan might reflect on the reality of the horrible parts of the world he so glibly speaks about.
Crumlin, Dublin 12
On guardian angels
Dear Editor, “Do we have guardian angles?” asks your columnist Fr Ronald Rolheiser OMI (The Irish Catholic, October 7, 2021). Fr Rolheiser writes that he does not know. According to him, “Scripture scholars don’t give us a definite answer but rather suggest that the question can be answered either way”.
St Matthew, an apostle who walked with the Lord, wrote in his Gospel, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father, who is in heaven”.
Surely, it is clear that the “angels of these little ones” are in fact their guardian angles by another name?
Safe, legal…now local
Dear Editor, the latest twist in the juggernaut that is the culture of death will surely be the push to force even more doctors to participate in the grubby business of what Pope Francis has referred to as “hiring the hitman”.
During the 2018 abortion referendum, we were assured by Leo Varadkar that abortion if legalised would be safe, legal and rare. I see from the recent pro-abortion rally outside the Dáil that the word ‘rare’ has been dropped (more than 13,000 in two years can hardly be described as rare, I suppose) in place of ‘local’.
Clearly the next phase is to try to force the many local doctors who have refused to become involved to act against their consciences. Will we have any politicians who will stand up for them? I won’t hold my breath.
Navan, Co. Meath
The mission goes on
Dear Editor, thank you to Chai Brady for his wonderful feature on the ongoing work of Irish religious abroad – particularly the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (The Irish Catholic, October 14, 2021). One of the things I look forward to most in The Irish Catholic is reading about the work of missionaries that continued unabated. To be sure, there are not as many as there were in the past and they are getting older but we should be rightly proud of the work they continue to do tirelessly to bring the Good News of Jesus wherever they are.
To look at the secular media, one would imagine that the amazing Irish missionary movement is a thing from a bygone era – something to be looked back on with a mixture of pity and nostalgia.
But, no – the work goes on and I thank you for keeping it before our eyes.
Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford
Last one out, turn out the lights
Dear Editor, I’ve had mixed feelings about the proposed national synod of the Church in Ireland that the hierarchy has proposed. That being said, I cheerfully set my misgivings aside when I heard the excellent points made in The Irish Catholic by people like Bishop Paul Dempsey and Bishop Fintan Gavin about the need to recalibrate the Church and ensure that the voices of everyone can be heard.
It’s clear that the approach of the so-called Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) is to go full nuclear ahead of the synod given the deeply offensive language about the Taliban (The Irish Catholic, October 14 2021).
My prediction? We’ll spend the next five years fighting about things we’ll never agree on delaying the real work of bringing Christ to people and at the end of the five-year process? We’ll have a drab recommendation about setting up a pastoral council in each parish. Meanwhile, further ground will have been lost and the few that remain can rearrange the deckchairs a little before turning out the lights.
Oh well, while the light goes out in the land of saints and scholars the Faith thrives elsewhere.
Belfast, Co. Antrim