Cad Fúinne, Mar Sin?/ What of us, then?
by Colm Ó Tórna (Foilsithe ag Teangscéal/ Áisínteacht Dáilúcháin Leabhar, €10.00/€13.50 post paid; from An Siopa Leabhar, 6 Sráid Fhearchair, Dublin 2; email: email@example.com)
At the outset the author provides a depressing, albeit accurate, description of the prevailing culture. He states that its true nature was revealed in the overwhelming support for the repeal of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, the aim of which was to protect the unborn.
Then there were the various steps taken to loosen the bonds of marriage. He records the scandals which included representatives of Church and State. Notwithstanding a growing affluence, he highlights the general tendency to ignore the plight of the less fortunate in society and the developing gap between the rich and poor.
Ó Tórna states that he writes from a pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-family and pro-religion perspective. And he stresses the fact that the first and most fundamental of human rights is the right to life, which is a basic requisite to exercise any human right.
Ó Tórna illustrates the irrational stance of those who claim that abortion – the ending of a human life – is a human right.
He argues that the optimum place in which to prepare children for their lives in the world is the traditional family structure. For him the most powerful argument for cherishing and treating as equals all members of the human race is the realisation that they all have been gifted their existence by the one Creator.
The author discusses the Irish and European response to the challenges posed by the huge numbers of migrants and refugees attempting to enter Europe. He highlights the ambivalent attitude on this issue in Ireland.
In this regard, he quotes Mahatma Gandhi: “The world has enough for everyone’s need, not enough for everyone’s greed” and “you must be the change you wish to see in the world”.
Ó Tórna describes the response of the European Union to the migrant crisis as at total variance with the Christian aspirations of its founders. He reserves his severest criticism for the members of the UN who make their assistance to the deprived and starving peoples of Africa conditional on their accepting their ‘condom culture’.
The author expresses his hope and confidence that in Ireland the present culture can be transformed into something more positive and life-respecting. He points to the various episodes in the history of Europe when Irish men and women were in the vanguard in bringing back civilisation and learning to a devastated continent.
While the numbers of Irish missionaries – clerical and lay – working in the Third World are less than heretofore, their contribution in this area continues to be significant. In this he sees an earnest for the future.
Ó Tórna suggests a number of positive and well-meaning ways to ameliorate the prevailing culture. However, the task to be undertaken to this end should not be underestimated.
Ó Tórna states that he writes from a pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-family and pro-religion perspective”
So omnipresent is the media in today’s world that it is difficult even to begin to measure its influence. Although the media outlets are mere instruments, those who operate them are generally influenced by the secularist ethos of the State and consumerist philosophy of the world of business and commerce.
As a result, apart from some exceptions, those who work in the media tend at best to be unsympathetic and at worst hostile to the Christian Humanism proposed by Ó Tórna. Thus it is not destined, alas, to be given a fair public hearing.
In the meantime this well-argued counter to our “progressive” culture’s worst features is warmly to be welcomed.