The wisdom of Pope emeritus Benedict

The wisdom of Pope emeritus Benedict

Dear Editor, How to sad to read [IC 7/5/20] that Pope emeritus Benedict XVI feels that there has been an attempt to silence him in retirement.

There has certainly been a sense from some ideologically driven voices within the Church to present him in opposition to his successor Pope Francis. Unfortunately, this has come from people who would describe themselves as liberal as well as people who would describe themselves as conservative. It is clear to me that there is a continuity between Benedict XVI and Francis. It is also evident to me that both men share a genuine affection for one another and a deep love for the Church and the People of God.

The institution of a Pope emeritus was never going to be an easy thing to navigate in the Church and there will certainly be lessons for the future. Benedict XVI is a man filled with wisdom and humility – a strength of character displayed in his initial decision to relinquish the papacy in 2013. I wonder, though, with the benefit of hindsight might the Church and indeed the papacy be better served if Benedict had of stuck to what seemed to be his original plan: to accompany the Church in silence in his retirement.

Just a thought.

Yours etc.,

Alan Smyth,

Drogheda, Co. Louth.


Oursenseofsin has vanished

Dear Editor, I wish to congratulate Maria Steen on her splendid , timely and courageous article on sin [IC 30/4/20]. The whole sense of sin has vanished from our Catholic consciousness. The vast majority of Catholics have no knowledge, or very little, knowledge of the Commandments, or the teachings of their Church, with the result that they don’t know the difference between right or wrong. It’s a case of pleasing oneself, and forget the consequences.

People attend Mass when it pleases them and go up and receive Holy Communion, even though they may not confess their sins in the Sacrament of Penance for years.

Why don’t our bishops and priests point out to the Faithful that they must always receive Holy Communion in a state of grace? They could easily make that announcement at the beginning of Mass. To do so would be a great act of charity and mercy, and many souls would be saved.

Yours etc.,

Eilis McNamara,

Glin, Co. Limerick.


Return to prayer would be a blessing

Dear Editor, Hundreds of column inches have been written about how 2020 will change us forever. Many commentators confidently predict that the coronavirus pandemic will fundamentally change how we view the world. Perhaps they will be correct.

We can certainly hope and pray that the fragility of our world which is being exposed at the moment will help people to understand that we are one family and we are all dependant on God.

A return to prayer and the importance of Faith in daily life would certainly be a blessing.

Yours etc.,

Peter Kirk,

Dungannon, Co. Tyrone.


More hypocrisy from NHS on saving lives

Dear Editor, Recently the commentator Douglas Murray of The Spectator has asked, in the light of the current praise for the NHS, is it taking on aspects of a secular Church?

With the weekly Thursday ‘clap’ of support, together with politicos and others out doing themselves in offering praise for the 75-year-old institution, it would appear so!

However, with the new chant of “save lives, protect the NHS” a darker aspect emerges that rings hollow.

The NHS’ close alliance abortion and its defence of the practice with near dogmatic zeal proves the hypocrisy  of this new chant.
Until worldwide medicine rediscovers the Hippocratic Oath in its purity by which it was first envisioned – not to kill the unborn – then the current adulation of the NHS could be viewed as a something that would make the Charge of the Light Brigade look like a sensible military exercise.

Yours etc.,

Fr John McCallion,


Co. Tyrone.


Fuelling the car but not the soul

Dear Editor, It is high time to allow the faithful to attend public Masses in their local churches. Morning Masses from Monday to Saturday are not crowded so no problem maintaining social distances. The same applies to Eucharistic Adoration.

Weekend Masses are generally well attended so the crowd could be handled as follows: the elderly and those not at work could attend morning Mass on Saturday or go to a morning or evening Mass on Monday.

It is ironic that I can refuel my car at any petrol station but cannot refuel my soul. We can buy food and alcohol in our supermarkets but cannot feed our spiritual lives in our local church

Jesus said that “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”. So he is well able to protect his followers from the coronavirus. Indeed, in Psalm 91, God tells us that “you will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday”.

God also says that “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (II Chronicles 7.14).

So if people say more prayers this will end the  coronavirus pandemic.

Yours etc.,

Liam de Paor,

Carrickane, Co. Cavan.


A source of inspiration in tough times

Dear Editor, I wanted to write to express my sincere gratitude to you and all at The Irish Catholic for the way that the newspaper has continued seamlessly in what must be difficult times. It continues to be a source of inspiration, information and hope at a time when many of us are anxious and even frightened by daily news of the coronavirus pandemic.

The newspaper continues to highlight the positive things that are going on and the work that the Church does to try to reach out to people in very difficult circumstances. I am delighted that I am still able to get the newspaper in my local church even though we are no longer having public Masses. I love to see the many creative ways in which parishes all over the country are responding at this very said time.

Yours etc.,

Breda Ennis,

Castleblaney, Co. Monaghan.