Dear Editor, Being from the Republic, I read with astonishment that there is a policy in the North, as well as the rest of the UK, that disallows poorer families to receive child benefit for a third or subsequent child. I would certainly not call myself a bleeding-heart socialist but children should never be put in the firing line when it comes to saving money and encouraging people to return to work. This sort of punitive policy is most certainly disproportionately affecting the larger Catholic families in the North – as they generally have more children than the rest of the UK, as the article states [IC 17/06/2021].
Pro-life Catholics as well as women’s groups across our two islands should be fighting this tooth and nail. When it came to abortion there was no end of debate and campaigning but for some reason children who are already born don’t get the same amount of public outcry despite this horrendous policy.
Pro-life groups and people should look to this as their next big campaign as it is surely turning poorer women to abortion clinics. Not all of us are in the comfortable situation to financially support a newborn baby, particularly if a woman is abandoned by the father of her child. Abortion has been pushed on Northern Ireland even though it should have been a devolved issue, despite this horrific situation, everything should be done to support families and children rather than point them towards an abortion clinic.
The Church has always said married couples should be open to new life, but it seems the government in Westminster wants to make this as difficult as possible for families who are struggling financially and want to adhere to Church teaching. Being Catholic and holding true to the Faith in this day and age seems to be getting harder and harder.
Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin
Thanking the boys with the flower arrangements
Dear Editor, I have just received The Irish Catholic for June 17 and just want to say well done to the boys in Limerick who proudly posed with their flower arrangements on your front page [IC 17/06/2021].
Of all the photos in the newspaper, I can truly say to Ryan, Padog and Paddy you gave me a good laugh so No. 1 to your picture boys. I hope you do well with all your future arrangements.
Keep up the good work and thank you for putting a smile on my face.
Raheny, Dublin 5
An event to be celebrated
Dear Editor, Over the airwaves recently many of us listened to the voice of a young college girl pleading for her, as she saw it, ‘civil right’, to bodily autonomy. “My body is my own to do with as I choose… to manage my own pregnancy when it happens” was her demand. Something which might not have occurred to her in her deliberations is the inevitable consequences of introducing a new citizen to the nation – who will avail of the services, pay taxes, and hopefully contribute to the wellbeing of society. A pregnancy is the concern of a society, not a personal thing. It is an event to be celebrated by the community.
Ingratitude is the deepest hurt
Dear Editor, Well done indeed to former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in remembering Ireland’s debt to religious [IC 13/05/2021]. How easily we forget. Ingratitude is the deepest hurt of all. Keep up the very good work.
Inishannon, Co. Cork
Can all pro-life groups work under the Life Institute?
Dear Editor, Would it be possible if all pro-life groups worked under the Life Institute umbrella? People might be confused if they encounter multiple pro-life groups.
Goatstown, Dublin 14
Finding a peace the world can’t give us
Dear Editor, There is so much fear and confusion in Ireland among Catholics about getting vaccinated against the Covid virus. This does not come from God. Jesus tells us so many times “Do not be afraid”. I sincerely believe that our bishops have been given to us by God. They are his apostles here on earth and if they are encouraging us to get vaccinated then we should trust them. They are our spiritual fathers. We should not listen to all the noise and confusion created in this media driven society. I would urge people to read about St Thérèse and her concept of spiritual childhood. Jesus told St Faustina that one single act of obedience gives him greater glory than long prayers and mortifications. Let us trust these men given to us by God, filled with the Holy Spirit. We will then find a peace the world cannot give us.
Bartlemy, Co. Cork
The surrogacy issue is certainly not simple
Dear Editor, David Quinn’s article on surrogacy [IC 17/06/2021] was interesting and informative. I knew there were ethical issues surrounding it but had not looked into the issue myself but now I am appalled by how one-sided a story I’ve heard so far in the other papers and media I have seen.
The mother and baby homes are a great example, the Government and the Church saw it as an ethical way to deal with a difficult situation, yet in hindsight, it was the opposite – at least in the way those institutions were allowed to operate.
Now we are looking to allow something that is banned in many other EU countries. Do we really want to stop children knowing who their biological parents are? Do we want a situation in which women’s wombs are being used as incubators for other people’s children? Who knows what the final legislation will say – as it is still apparently in the works – but as we have seen in other countries, legislation, once introduced, can be easily amended. The surrogacy issue is certainly not simple. We may yet again have horror stories of women having their children taken from them at birth against their will, except this time it will be by Irish parents and a mother whose womb has been bought for nine months.
Limerick City, Limerick
Dr McAleese view on infant Baptism ‘odd’
Dear Editor, Mary Kenny compares Mary McAleese’s opposition to infant Baptism to that of Baptists, Pentecostalists and Plymouth Brethren [IC 17/06/2021].
The comparison is inappropriate. The groups mentioned by Mary Kenny all base their opposition on their interpretation of the New Testament. We may think their views on the subject wrong, indeed as Catholics we are obliged to do so, but they take a theological position just as we do.
Dr McAleese objects to infant Baptism on the basis of her interpretation of human rights law; she opposes the Church’s teaching on the ordination of women on the same basis. Her position is purely secular rather than religious.
It is odd that a cradle Catholic such as Dr McAleese should see in infant Baptism an offence against human rights rather than the conferring of sacramental grace.
Donegall Road, Belfast