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Fiscal friction

• Given the exclusively economic focus of the fiscal treaty, one might have hoped, on this occasion at least, to have been spared the habitual arguments about abortion, which, despite dire predictions, has not materialised as the result of the passing of any EU treaty over the past 25 years.

It is disappointing, therefore, to find this and related topics being reintroduced in David Quinn's article (Irish Independent, April 30), which intimated that pro-life and pro-family voters may vote against the treaty because of dissatisfaction with the Government's attitude to these matters.

I have always thought that one of the distinguishing features of religion is that it is based on principle, not on trade-offs or moral blackmail. There will surely be other more direct and appropriate electoral opportunities to pass judgment in due course on the Government's handling of such issues.

To the credit of the papacy, it has always been unequivocally and consistently pro-EU in a discreet way, whatever its irritations from time to time with the EU. Every Pope in the past 70 years has had direct experience of the totalitarian tyranny that cost millions of lives in the 20th Century, 50 million alone in World War Two.

While not the sole cause, the EU has been hugely successful in allowing the vast majority of the post-war generations to grow up and live their lives in peace. If fundamental values are what matter, then Irish Christians should look at the bigger picture. Perhaps continued support for the EU and its institutions is an existential matter both for ourselves and for others.

Martin Mansergh
Friarsfield House, Tipperary

Irish Independent