Dear Editor, I was interested to read in Niamh Uí Bhriain’s article [IC 29/10/2020] that it is likely that euthanasia will kill the same number of people as coronavirus in the Netherlands this year. This is a shocking statistic, and I fear for the introduction of the ‘Dying with Dignity’ bill in Ireland.
I noticed a similar statistic in relation to abortion. In 2019, nearly 7,000 babies died through abortion. This year more than 2,000 (mostly older) people died because of Covid-19, less than one-third of the likely numbers of babies to die due to abortion.
I do not know if the number of people actually saved by the strenuous and costly efforts of the State is known. However, it is ironic that the ‘just’ State is funding on the one hand the deaths of vulnerable babies, while at the same time also funding the saving of lives of vulnerable older individuals.
I am 86 myself, and do not want to die of Covid-19 or anything else. How much more important is it that a little baby who is starting out on her journey into this world, should be allowed her chance at life? Life is precious.
Douglas, Co. Cork
Prayer is our best weapon against virus
Dear Editor, At present we are denied public worship. This is particularly difficult in this month of November, the month of the Holy Souls. The offering and attendance of Mass at this time is of great importance.
Public health restrictions were rigorously adhered to.
I would ask fellow Irish to pray the Rosary that we are allowed our constitutional right to practice our faith. Prayer is the best weapon we have to beat this virus.
Raheen, Co. Limerick
Write to TDs to stop ‘outrageous’ candle tax
Dear Editor, It was alarming to read on your front page [IC 12/11/2020] that the Government are planning to introduce a tax on candles that will ultimately mean churches have to pay a huge amount more for candles than they do now.
At a time when the Church in Ireland has been financially devastated by the closure of churches for public Mass due to the pandemic, to introduce a tax on such an important item is unthinkably callous. Many churches have been able to draw a modest income – albeit nowhere near enough that is needed – over this year due to people giving donations to light candles. This is due to the fact that private prayer is still allowed. Introducing a tax at this stage will be another nail in the coffin financially of an already struggling Church. Candles have always been part and parcel of religious worship and that has been reflected and respected previously in Irish tax law – provided the candles fit certain parameters. This must be met with a strong response. People must write to their local TDs to condemn this attempted change to Ireland’s finance bill.
It is not uncommon for Governments to underhandedly attempt to bring in legislation while the public’s attention is fixed on other events. Without a doubt, this is what’s happening now, the Government are using the Covid-19 pandemic as a smokescreen to introduce this tax and it must be stopped.
When abortion is taxpayer funded but candles for religious worship are subjected to outrageous tax, we must ask ourselves what kind of society is being created and how far can it go before people make their voices heard?
This can not be allowed to happen and must be highlighted to, and subsequently addressed and stopped by, our politicians if there are any left in the Oireachtas who care about religious practice.
Waterford City, Co. Waterford
‘If I’m to take a risk, it will be to go to Mass’
Dear Editor, It’s good to see that someone is standing up for Irish Catholics and the Constitution in Ireland. In your recent edition you reported on Declan Ganley’s case against restrictions on religious practice [IC 12/11/2020], cases similar to this have been taking place in Europe and I was surprised up until now this has not happened in Ireland. I was hoping our good hierarchy might have been at the fore of this legal charge but perhaps it was wishful thinking.
We need to be able to attend Mass and receive the Eucharist now more than ever. Living in times such as these not being able to attend Mass is heart-breaking and online worship can never be a substitute although you’ll have many people who like to sit at home in their pyjamas arguing that it’s the best thing since sliced bread!
Catholics have continued to go to Mass in all types of difficult circumstances and to argue that a pandemic is reason enough to completely stop all religious activity except for private worship at home or even in a church – which some people are – is just simply not good enough. It is prudent to be careful and to stick to the basic public health guidelines as I am no denier that this is a serious virus, however a certain amount of risk is part and parcel of life and if I’m going to take any risks over the next few months without a vaccine it won’t be to visit a friend, it will be to go to Mass.
Dundalk, Co. Louth
‘Sycophantic’ commentary about Biden’s presidency ‘galling’
Dear Editor, The sycophantic commentary from the parish of Cooley, as well as the president of the US Bishops’ Conference over the Biden/Harris election was truly galling! [IC 12/11/2020].
That Archbishop Gomez would invoke Our Lady’s intercession for a presidency that will be engrossed in an orgy of killing the unborn, as well as the denial of conscience of religious is an added insult.
More appropriate would be a warning of excommunication, rather than an attempt at ecclesial realpolitik.
Regarding the comments of the parish of Cooley and their pastor, one does hope that ignorance was on show concerning these immoral acts now in the pipeline for the US. David Quinn’s excellent article [IC 12/11/2020] should go some way in clarifying and inject a dose of reality to the exuberance to the election of this man and woman of blood!
Fr John McCallion CC
Coalisland, Co. Tyrone
Clergy still manage to turn good news into bad news
Dear Editor, When I read Bairbre Cahill’s latest piece in the [IC 12/11/2020], I was saddened by the fact that we – the clergy – still manage to turn the good news into bad news! Could I recommend a wonderful book as a corrective to what she heard: The Spiritual Genius of Saint Therese of Lisieux by Jean Guitton translated into English by Felicity Lang. There is a section of a chapter entitled ‘Purgatory, A Realm of Love’. The book is available in paperback on the internet at a very moderate price.
Fr John Joyce
Kiltegan, Co. Wicklow