Dear Editor, The Open Adoption Bill 2014 was sponsored by Anne Ferris and initiated on March 11, 2014. That Bill never progressed past stage two and has since lapsed.
The Adoption (Identity and Information) Bill 2014 was sponsored by Fidelma Healy Eames, Jillian van Turnhout and Averil Power. It was initiated some four years ago on November 11, 2014, and passed the Seanad on February 18, 2015. That Bill never progressed past stage four and has since lapsed.
The Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill, 2018 was sponsored by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs two years ago this week, November 23, 2016. It is currently at second stage, having passed the Seanad. It has not progressed past second stage.
The Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018, was sponsored by the Minister for Health and initiated on September 27, 2018 and is currently at stage three, having progressed much faster than any of the three mentioned Adoption Bills. It is expected that abortion will be available in this country as early as January.
The enthusiasm with which Simon Harris is attempting to rail-road his abortion Bill through the House is odd, given that a bill which enhances modern, holistic adoption, proposed by the Minister for Children, seems to be sidelined and largely ignored by the mainstream media.
Surely a bill which isn’t near as controversial as the abortion bill, one which, if enacted, would help women in crisis pregnancies and offer a positive alternative to abortion, should be supported with at least an equal amount of energy by the government?
Tuam, Co. Galway.
Charity should be given without being asked for
Dear Editor, As the Christmas season descends the Irish human welfare charity industry cranks up production. In the run-in to Christmas day sob stories will be issued and heart-strings plucked all aimed at financial extraction from your purse.
Implied in the charity message is that somehow it is your responsibility that your fellow human cannot get their act together. This guilt-tripping is aimed at those who just get on with life and orient to self-help themselves to overcome life’s difficulties.
As a nation we enjoy suckling the teat of human misery. Irish people seem to be at their happiest helping those who wallow in the milk of ‘oh-woe is me’.
High profile human welfare charities are addicted to their public self-importance image and numerous opportunities to pontificate as a pompous windbag on the fragility of the human condition. Not for them the aim of every charity which is to disband having achieved what they were set up in the first place for.
To solve a recognised human need and then to put in place a support structure before closing down. The Irish charity industry needs downsizing alongside a realignment of personnel and resources.
There will always be those in an eleemosynary state within our society. But we must never forget the adage; charity should be given without being asked for.
Fews, Co. Waterford.
No Irish Church hostility to suffrage
Dear Editor, In his most recent column (IC 22/11/2018) Gabriel Doherty notes that the paper’s coverage of women’s enfranchisement in 1918 is “a corrective to those who suggest that the Church was uniformly hostile to the cause of female suffrage”.
In many European countries, priests and bishops supported giving their female parishioners a voice in the future, so it is good to know Ireland was no exception.
These columns are a wonderful antidote to the lazy ‘bad old days’ guessing that passes for much of modern Ireland’s understanding of its past.
Lucan, Co. Dublin.
People pulling together
Dear Editor, We visited some friends in a town where a recent typhoon gave rise to extensive landslides on the mountain roads and many deaths as a result.
The biggest loss was when over 30 people ran into a five-storey concrete government building, ironically for safety, and the whole mountainside slid off, destroying the structure and bringing it down on top of them. The townsfolk were in shock and many in mourning.
Where nature’s fury had done its worst, the gentle hand of God was there in its wake. Only a few days had passed and most of the townsfolk were involved in helping to find the dead and cleaning up the town. The men dug, the women brought them food and water. There were Novena prayers in the homes of the dead in the evenings attended by many; and there was no recrimination; there was worship and praise, thanksgiving and prayers for mercy for their loved ones.
As they pulled together in necessity, the mercy of God soothed the weariness of their hearts.
It is a praying community, used to clinging to God in good times and bad and this is their anchor and strength. It was quite a privilege to be present to witness this.
Stephen A Clark,
Grace of God
Dear Editor, With reference to Colm Fitzpatrick’s article on Limbo and the last line therein (IC 15/11/2018). Far be it from me to take issue with The International Theological Commission in regard to their grounds for the hopes, that unbaptised infants will be saved. How comforting! There perhaps but for the grace of God goes God.
Jesus asked that the children be brought unto him. Would such a loving God punish infants for sins they had not yet committed, or for choices with regard to salvation, that they never had the opportunity to make? That this sort of nonsense is still out there, makes me glad for one that God is above all these petty and pointless human considerations.
Ballygall, Dublin 11.