Dear Editor, Regarding Fr Gerry O’Connor’s criticism of an American bishop’s remarks on the unsuitability of Gay Pride Marches for children (IC 6/6/2019), I would like to ask him if he ever witnessed a Gay Pride March.
In my opinion not even a self-respecting homosexual person would approve of them
Fr O’Connor does not see how theses marches are unsuitable for children even though they are usually of a vulgar nature and they promote gay marriage, which is contrary to the natural law and the vision of marriage given by Christ, of one man and one woman. They are also primarily sexually focused and thus not suitable for children.
Fr O’Connor refers to the sensitivities of his congregation who may have gay sons or daughters. The priest is an apostle of Christ and should preach the Gospel regardless of the sensitivities of the congregation. That means priests should preach that divorce, fornication, co-habitation, abortion, etc., all controversial subjects, are contrary to the teachings of Christ.
When a priest preaches the Gospel on a controversial topic they will no doubt be confronted after Mass by people who are annoyed at what they have heard.
Nonetheless priests must preach the truth or re-evaluate their vocations as apostles of Christ.
Newry, Co. Down.
Heaven for animals? Don’t be so sure
Dear Editor, Your columnist Colm Fitzpatrick has recently (IC 16/5/2019) considered the question ‘Do Animals go to Heaven?’
I would like to respectfully disagree with his conclusion and present an alternative analysis.
Science is increasingly demonstrating the remarkable capabilities and types of consciousness in various kinds of animals.
The importance of all God’s creatures in fulfilling God’s plans is clearly emphasised in Laudato Si’, building on the insights of Teilhard de Chardin and many others, not least the great St Francis. Our anthropocentric view of the animal kingdom reflects the arrogance, violence and ignorance of our species, has contributed much to the destruction of species, and actually has no basis in the teachings of Jesus Christ.
That great poet and Christian Alfred Tennyson encapsulated a more openminded view in his ‘In Memoriam’, expressing the hope
“That nothing walks with aimless feet, that not one life will be destroyed, or cast as nothing on the void, when God has made the pile complete”
We know nothing about Heaven , or life after death, but we trust in Jesus Christ and hope for a continuation in some way of our existence, in the love of God, somewhere beyond space and time, and there we hope to meet our loved ones with God in love.
This hope, shrouded as it is in uncertainty and mystery, is a great support to Christians at times of bereavement. There is no good reason to deny ourselves the possibility and the hope that God might allow us also to experience the continued company of animals we loved, and who loved us during our brief soujourn in space-time on planet Earth .
If you have lost an animal dear to you, be comforted, pray and hope that you will meet again in a land beyond time.
God is close to the broken-hearted and will surely listen.
Clontarf, Dublin 3.
Wrong word, Taoiseach
Dear Editor, You report a Dáil debate in which the question of a new ‘covenant’ between Church and state was discussed and you request suggestions on what that might involve (IC 30/5/2019).
The phrase “new covenant” was, of course, used by Leo Varadkar in his speech during last year’s papal visit. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin last March was reported as complaining that the Irish government had made no further suggestions concerning this “new covenant”.
But, as the Archbishop of Dublin must surely be aware, in the Scriptures a Covenant is made between God and man, not between humans alone. In the Old Testament Covenants were made with Noah, Abraham and David and with the Jewish people as a whole. In the New Testament Our Lord spoke at the Last Supper of the Eucharist he was instituting as a Covenant; the author of Hebrews called him the mediator of a new Covenant.
Leo Varadkar is not God and talk of a covenant between the Church and his Government is therefore hardly appropriate. Perhaps some people have confused ‘covenant’ with ‘concordat’ (the term appropriate for agreements between the Holy See and state) but if that is the case then such confusion ought to cease.
Belfast, Co. Antrim.
Politicians must examine Article 43
Dear Editor, When Eamon Gilmore was appointed Tánaiste in 2011 he proclaimed that the most important social issue of our time was marriage equality despite the fact that hundreds of families were losing their homes as a result of the downturn in the economy. As this matter has been done and dusted along with the Eighth Amendment and the recent divorce amendment, the most important social issue now is the supply of housing.
To that end, I would refer readers to Article 43, sub section 2.1 of the Constitution which states: “The State recognises, however that the exercise of the rights mentioned in the foregoing provisions of this article (sub section 1.1 and 1.2) ought, in civil society, to be regulated by the principles of social justice.”
Sub section 2.2 states: “The State accordingly, may as occasion requires delimit by law the exercise of the said rights with a view to reconciling their exercise with the exigencies of the common good.”
It is now incumbent on the Government and all the political parties to examine Article 43 of the constitution with a view to amending it to limiting the distress caused by the cuckoo and vulture funds since 2008. If half of the commitment put into the marriage equality and repeal the eight referenda by all parties in the Dail and Senate was applied to an amendment of Article 43, it would do a great service to the ordinary people of Ireland. Article 43, 2.2 enables the state to do just that.
North Strand, Dublin 3.