Monday 26 September 2016

Letters: Love not power must be the dynamic of the church

Published 06/06/2014 | 02:30

Pope Francis: is facing history of
church abuses head-on. Photo: Reuters
Pope Francis: is facing history of church abuses head-on. Photo: Reuters

* Fact of history; Christ founded the Christian church. He commissioned the apostles and their successors to guide his church, not by power but by love. For the first three centuries they obeyed him, for the most part.

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Since then, with few exceptions, the church leaders have disobeyed him. They have blatantly ignored his command and have governed the church by naked power, in direct contradiction to his clear instructions.

No doubt, many church leaders were well-intentioned, but grossly wrong-headed, in failing to remember Christ's basic principle, love not power.

All these terrible abuses have resulted from the hierarchy's gross betrayal of Christ, and his adamant command. Francis is the first pope in 1,700 years to face this glaring fact of history head-on.

Anyone commenting today on the church should be professional enough to make this clear distinction. The church is one thing, the way it has been governed is something altogether different.

For example, would all these abuses have happened, if women had not been systematically excluded from any say in how his church was run?

For the believing Christian, the church is Christ at work in the world, in spite of the weaknesses of mere men.




* When a celebrity dies, the press shouts it from the rooftops, while an unmarked grave discovered in Tuam, Co Galway, hardly made the headlines.

The bones of 800 children were heaped together in an undignified manner. They all had one thing in common – they were born or brought into this world outside of the sacred sacrament of holy matrimony.

Oh, the disgrace. I'm sure these were the words used when the pregnancy was announced, followed by "what will the neighbours think?" Send them away before disgrace is brought on our doorstep.

We must remember this was the time when Ireland was ruled by the crozier and a long-nosed man who caused a civil war.

A child's grave cannot speak.

Nor justice ever be done to those who caused the suffering and pain.

Be assured it will happen again and again.

Rest easy little ones. At least you are at peace.

The crozier now has little power, sacred vows become obsolete.

Someone once said: This must never happen again. I forget who that was. Do you remember, anyone?




* So, in many homes up and down this country, meal portions have been cut dramatically. Young children make their way to school on an empty stomach, and parents fret over how the mortgage will be paid because one of both are unemployed.

Then comes May, June and as the colleges and secondary schools close for the summer, the drastic decrease of young people in this country is plain for all to see. Most have gone on J1s, instead of sitting at home penniless for the summer. None can get jobs in this country. Why? Because of the absolute greed from businessmen and women. It disgusts me.

For those left at home, there is the constant nagging to get a job that pays good money, not to use it to go out and drink and smoke and other things young people are accused of, but in many cases to put two days' food on the table. Yet, on a quick estimation, only 15-20pc of jobs pay that and for every one of those there are thousands of applications.

Were the powers that be to take a trip to the airport, they would see tears as parents say goodbye to their children, and vice versa for, in some cases, three months due to the lack of morality this government, who are the cause of all this and can't give all of its people equal rights, nearly 77 years to the day since the constitution was agreed by the Irish people, let alone give its young people decent pay.




* The subject of trade unions has always been a contentious one in this country; the Lock-Out of 1913 being probably the most striking example of how trade unions can divide opinion. Members and supporters of trade unions point to the need for a representative body for workers, while those of a different mindset often accuse unions of disruption or 'holding the country to ransom'.

If anything ever emphasised the need for trade unions, however, the situation at Bausch & Lomb in Waterford does just that. The prospect of 200 people losing their jobs and the remaining 900 workers having their wages cut by one-fifth would be bad enough if its Waterford facility was loss-making and the cuts were a necessity to ensure viability.

However, as far as I'm aware, there has been no statement from the company that indicates that the Waterford facility is not profitable. The justification being put forward is that the cost base at Waterford is 30pc higher than its facility in Rochester, New York.

God forbid that workers in two different cities, on two different continents would face two very different costs of living and two very different sets on taxes.




* Last night I had a dream that a thousand candles shone brightly from the windows of Aras an Uachtarain, welcoming all those homeless poor souls eking out a pitiful existence within earshot of Phoenix Park.

President Michael D Higgins, driven by a sense of deep and innate humanitarian philanthropy, had thrown open the doors of his expansive abode to offer succour and shelter to the most destitute.

Children played on the manicured lawns safe in the knowledge that they were, at last, well fed, cared for and human. For the first time in years their parents felt protected, away from the dehumanising ravages of austerity and poverty.

This extraordinary gesture and leadership sparked off a wave of kindness and demonstrated, even to this government, as well as to people of all hues, the compassionate and immediate way to deal with a scourge that has been allowed to explode beyond crisis point.

Alas, as with all dreams, I woke up to the reality of life in Ireland, a land skewed between those on the inside who have plenty and those outside the pale who have nothing, and, as ever, never the twain shall meet.




* I am one of the 'bureaucratic overpaid public sector employees' to which Betty Kiely refers (Letters, May 31) and wish to point out that from October 29, 2013 local authorities no longer issue drivers licences. From that date it was handed over to a private company called NDLS.

Ms Kiely was talking to employees of this company and not public sector employees.

No doubt, she was one of the general public who was baying for the blood of public sector employees and for changes to be made. This is the future for the general public as local authority services are eroded and privatised, so get used to it. Every service will be centralised and the public will have to deal with more 'employees with robotic functions' on the minimum wage.



Irish Independent

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