The Church will not re-make itself in the image of Mary McAleese

The Church will not re-make itself in the image of Mary McAleese

Dear Editor, I was getting a little bit concerned about our former president Mary McAleese. It had been several weeks since I had heard her quoted predicting the demise of the Catholic Church. She was clearly keeping her powder dry for a few weeks to maximise publicity for a new book.

Her training as a journalist clearly served her well, and she is a dab hand at clever-sounding little put-downs like her dismissal of the Catholic hierarchy as “little old men”.

Given that Mrs McAleese is in her 70th year, I would’ve expected some greater sensitivity and decorum about ageing.

Mrs McAleese now appears to have moved on from describing Catholic teaching on the male-only priesthood as “codology” to “pure drivel” before admitting in a recent interview that she “couldn’t care less” about the issue of women’s ordination or the idea about a female Pope.

The former president certainly has a strange way of behaving if she believes that appearing obsessed about things is showing a lack of interest. Are we really that far through the looking glass?

Mrs McAleese is clearly a very talented and determined person. She has given great service both as a lawyer and our head of state. I don’t doubt her sincerity on matters of faith, but it may well be time for some real soul-searching and a conscientious reflection on whether her happiness and peace of mind is helped by her remaining in an institution that she so rages against.

The Catholic Church is never going to be the institution that Mrs McAleese thinks that it ought to be because it is never going to cease being the Catholic Church. The reformers of 500 years ago understood this and so started their own religion and many Protestants appear to be quite happy with that.

Yours etc.,

Mary White,

Rialto, Dublin.


The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world

Dear Editor, I particularly enjoyed Jason Osborne’s article ‘Ministering medically and spiritually at the margins’ [IC 17/09/2020]. Sr Carol Breslin has put her life and times to such great use. This it appears in no small way to be the abiding influence of her dearly beloved mother.

She tells us that as a young girl “the MMM (Medical Missionaries of Mary) magazine was always in the house” and this sparked her interest in the missions.

This reminds me of the age-old adage “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world” and also the abiding importance of the home.

Yours etc.,

Maureen Bowen,

Innishannon, Cork.


Priests must be creative in offering Confession

Dear Editor, Apostasy is not a word we hear very often but given that it means the renunciation of formerly held religious beliefs and principles one is forced to admit that Ireland has sadly joined much of the western apostatised world in its abandonment of religious belief and practice.

I wonder how many know that apostasy is one of the signs that the ‘End Times’ are nigh. This is well documented in Sacred Scripture.

This being so it is very unfortunate both for believers and apostates that churches are once again closed in many dioceses with no access to socially distanced public Masses. Even more alarming is the failure in too many parishes to make available socially-distanced Confession. At Easter Pope Francis urged priests to “be creative” in finding ways to bring the Sacraments especially the Sacrament of Reconciliation to the laity.

Many churches have pastoral centres with many rooms ideally suited for hearing socially-distanced Confessions. I am sure that all priests hear Confession by appointment but this message needs to get out to those whose only contact is Mass on the webcam.

Yours etc.,

Ann Kehoe,

Castleknock, Dublin.

Supporting President Trump over his abortion stance

Dear Editor, Dr Cormac O’Duffy quite rightly states that abortion isn’t the only issue in US election [IC 24/09/2020] but it is most definitely the most important at this particular time when it is possible to halt its ever-increasing journey throughout the world.

The right to life is the most basic right. In fact, without it no other right can apply. The issues that Dr O’Duffy mentioned, climate change (a popular one which raises no hackles), refugees, the death penalty, etc. are important and have to be addressed also. I have stated previously that there is no one more opposed to the death penalty than I am and I write to prisoners on death row, but, as it now seems possible to reaffirm the right to life under President Trump, it has to be the determining one in the forthcoming election. More than 60 million babies have been aborted in the US since Roe vs Wade.

It is sad to see Dr Duffy’s reference to his local diocese producing ‘non-partisan materials to help guide the Faithful’ when it is time to stand up and be counted. Perhaps he could look to Ireland and see how that panned out here in relation to the abortion referendum. It is helpful to remember St Mother Teresa’s comment that ‘the greatest destroyer of peace in the world today is abortion’ and it definitely is. It can in no way be justified and it leaves Catholics with no option but to support President Trump in his efforts to abolish it. He has already done great work in support of pro-life and in trying to defund International Planned Parenthood but has been thwarted at every turn by the Democrats.

Finally, I’m with Mother Teresa in defining abortion as the greatest evil today and I cannot see how any Christian or Catholic can refuse to do everything in their power to ensure that it is eradicated. If I had a vote in the US election, I would not like to meet my maker if I didn’t avail of the means of doing just that.

Yours etc.,

Mary Stewart,

Ardeskin, Donegal.


How to join the order in Kylemore Abbey

Dear Editor, With reference to Leonie Gallagher’s letter, [IC 17/09/2020] we have been offering at the abbey, prior to Covid-19, an arrangement she might be interested in.

Those interested write and are encouraged to visit the abbey or send a curriculum vitae. If the candidate is eligible, they work with the nuns and also in the abbey or wherever help is needed. A minimum stay of six weeks is desirable and can be extended.

Accommodation and meals are provided and everyone is encouraged to join the nuns at prayer and attend Mass. Contact with the community is welcomed and instruction is available if requested.

We have met many fine people over the years who share our lives and work but as I stated above, in view of the pandemic, the scheme is cancelled for the time being and we can only hope to resume it in the future.

Yours etc.,

Sr Genevieve Harrington OSB,

Kylemore Abbey, Connemara,

Co. Galway.


What minds do legislators have?

Dear Editor, Pieta House recently called for no more suicide. Five minutes later, the gilded elite men in suits in Leinster House have called for the legalisation and facilitation of suicide.

What kind of minds do these legislators have? Weirdos, I say. All this legalisation talk must be a cause of great distress to Minister McEntee and many others.

Yours etc.,

Colm O’Connor,



Hopes new US judge ends ‘Roe vs Wade’

Dear Editor, Dr O’Duffy’s assertion that abortion is not the only issue [IC 24/09/2020] has been contradicted by the Archbishop of Kansas, who has said it is the only issue.

The Biden/Harris ticket, fuelled by the evil legacy of judge Ginsburg, has exposed the reality with which a Democratic victory will mean to the unborn: their total eradication!

What the castigating of the Trump replacement for Ginsburg shows is the reality that has been exposed by the brave comments of Fr James Altman and others is correct. One can only hope that this appointment will see the ending of Roe vs Wade.

Yours etc.,

Fr John McCallion,

Coalisland, Tyrone.