Questions for Bishop Smith

Dear Editor, I can’t help but wonder what Bishop Smith, Fr Patrick Mulcahy and the rest of the ‘ban the eulogy and all traces of humanity from funerals’ wing of the Catholic Church made of the carry-on at the funeral of the late, great Seamus Heaney. There you had piper Liam O’Flynn celebrating with Port na bPúcaí (the Fairy’s Tune), Brahms’ Lullaby played on a cello, non-scriptural poetry being read and the un-ordained son of the great man having the temerity to speak about his father with humour and compassion inside the sacred confines of the church building. Maybe the problem could be solved by a two-tiered church, with this secular intellectual flummery allowed for one section of society, and the other ordinary muckers and grubbers told to sit down quietly and like it or lump it, often listening to homilies from priests who mean well enough but who never actually knew the deceased. This would surely cement the unpopularity of what is often seen as a heartless institution. It certainly doesn’t seem to be the welcoming kind of Church that Pope Francis strives for.


Yours etc.,

Gerry McArdle,

Dublin 1.