Friday 21 October 2016

Letters: Church’s ‘reality check’ reaction

Published 07/06/2015 | 02:30

Sir - I have to give Willie Kealy kudos for his well-written article that appeared in the Sunday Independent (May 31).

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I was born in Ireland and have been living in Vancouver, Canada, since 1976 and have been following the Yes vote and the lead up to the referendum.

This article is extremely well-written and very thought-provoking and I sincerely hope the church sits up and pays attention. I believe young Ireland has spoken and the atrocities of the past will never be allowed to be repeated.

Many a young life has been destroyed by what has happened in the past. The clergy has to lead by example and good deeds and stop the pontificating. When I visit Ireland with my family every couple of years (as I have a brother and three sisters there and numerous nieces and nephews), I am amazed at how empty the churches are and how few young people are in attendance.

You have certainly provided "food for thought" to the clergy of Ireland!

I only hope they listen. They have an opportunity, let's hope they do not throw it away!

Noeleen Cassidy,

Vancouver, Canada

Brought up in Ireland of fear

Sir - I was fascinated to read Willie Kealy's article 'Church's reality check won't be very pleasant' in your Sunday Independent (31 May, 2015).

I am middle-aged and was brought up a devout Catholic, and I can still shiver with fear at the sight of the collar. The Ireland I grew up in was an Ireland of fear, of hellfire and brimstone. I could never understand why this God of love was out to get us.

As I grew up not just physically but spiritually I began to realise that it was not God who had the problem with humankind - it was the clergy.

I think the man-made rule of celibacy has proven to be the undoing of the church. Most of us after a long day at work come home to our partners, share our thoughts and get a comforting hug and a different perspective on what we perceive as a difficult day or a serious problem.

Looking at the photograph that accompanied the article - a handshake between Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and Minister Leo Varadker - I thought it looked timid and cold.

The Archbishop is a liberal, open person but I couldn't help wondering if he was mentally looking over his shoulder with one eye on the hard-liners in the church who could not countenance what he was doing.

Finally, congratulations Ireland for shaking off the shackles of fear. The Catholic Church has a bright and vibrant future - but not with the hawks who are incapable of reaching out Christ's hand to a floundering people.

Let's embrace the fundamental teaching of the real Christ and let's all share and practice Christianity.

John Browne,

Roscrea, Co Tipperary

Jesus would not have changed

Sir, Willie Kealy's reference in his article (Sunday Independent, 31 May) to bishops asking themselves the question 'What would Jesus do?' reminds me of hearing this question being asked in the context of whether Jesus would make exceptions for hard cases.

This would be to go against His own teaching in particular circumstances where people have been treated unfairly or where they are suffering greatly. There is no evidence that He went or would go against His own teaching.

Yes, he was full of compassion and love for the downtrodden and the lost - but he also gave clear and more challenging teaching than went before.

An example of this is his teaching on marriage, where he affirmed marriage between a man and a woman, already well-established, but added the condition that marriage was for life. This was before the sacrament of matrimony was established.

Despite a heart full of love and compassion for the suffering people involved, Jesus would not be able to support marriage between people of the same sex.

Eileen Gaughan,



Sunday Independent

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