Wednesday 21 August 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Church misogynists will get a shock when they meet God'

'The Roman Catholic (male) hierarchy, is as obstinate as ever in its misogynistic clericalism' (stock photo)
'The Roman Catholic (male) hierarchy, is as obstinate as ever in its misogynistic clericalism' (stock photo)
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Here we are in the 21st century, a time when much information is available to the world in an instant. Sadly, Roman Catholic Church hierarchy has become so obsessed with earthly power and Roman Empire trappings, spirituality takes a low place on their agenda, if at all, locking them in a different age.

The Roman Catholic (male) hierarchy, is as obstinate as ever in its misogynistic clericalism. The old furphy that “Jesus chose only men as his apostles” is wheeled out yet again to totally exclude spiritual women from the priesthood. After all, wasn’t it the women followers of Jesus who discovered the risen Christ on Easter Sunday?

WB Yeats, in ‘Ireland and the Arts’ (1901), wrote: “We who care deeply about the arts find ourselves the priesthood of an almost forgotten faith and we must, I think, if we would win the people again, take upon ourselves the method and fervour of a priesthood. We must be humble and half-proud... We must baptise as well as preach.”

Change ‘arts’ for spirituality, a gift given to male and female without distinction by God, but deliberately rebuffed by misogynous males who (tragically) imagine women have little or no role in the Church.

What a shock these guys will get on their death bed, when they meet a male/female God and the female God says: “Without a (female) mother you would not have been born. Why then did you fear spiritual females?”

Declan Foley

Berwick, Australia


Sinn Féin correctly sticking to its republican principles

I disagree with Tommy Roddy (Irish Independent, Letters, April 3). Sinn Féin has stuck to its principals of not pledging an oath of allegiance to an unelected English monarch. I am republican, English, nominally Protestant and not offended by Mary Lou McDonald marching behind an ‘England out of Ireland’ banner.

Yes, SF could have secured Kenneth Clarke’s motion but why should SF MPs (or any MP) swear allegiance to an unelected head of state to achieve this? A reunited Ireland is the only long-term solution for Ireland. Sinn Féin is highly relevant today and in the future for Ireland.

A referendum on the UK monarchy is also relevant and long overdue. At least in the Republic of Ireland any child can aspire to the supreme office of state.

Dominic Shelmerdine

London, UK


Varadkar an unlikely but skilful saviour for Ireland

As I wrote in my published letter in the latter part of 2018, Brexit is an emotional issue, not a strictly rational one. It is about sovereignty for the British; taking back control of their own destiny. Nothing I have seen since then has disproved my hypothesis.

Likewise it is an emotional issue for us in Ireland. And our concerns are directly at odds at this stage with those of Britain. As the late great Peter Sutherland consistently reiterated, our accession to the EU put us on an equal footing with Britain, when for hundreds of years we were the mere whipping boy of the British Empire.

Leo Varadker understands this. Facts, figures and statistics cannot compete with visceral and overwhelming emotional political imperatives.

He has kept his cool in the face of unhelpful sniping from Micheál Martin. He understands Sinn Féin’s and the Northern Nationalists’ position and he has not buckled in the face of the DUP’s disastrous flirting with arch Brexiteers.

We cannot return to a hard border nor the possibility of a return to the appalling misery and sectarian murder and mayhem experienced in the North for 30 years.

The backstop or a form of it is essential.

Leo has found himself in the middle of this Scylla and Charybdis maelstrom and acquitting himself as skilfully as our last great practitioner of the art of realpolitik – Bertie Ahern – one of the principal architects of the Good Friday Agreement.

Let us stand behind Leo, an unlikely saviour for Ireland but an accomplished one. Cometh the hour cometh the man.

Maurice O’Callaghan

Stillorgan, Co Dublin


England’s tolerant society vanishes in Brexit divide

The veneer of a tolerant, civic, pluralistic, progressive England is gone – watching the dysfunctional pantomime in the House of Commons and abusive rhetoric spewing outside Westminster is deeply shocking.

Complex issues requiring careful debate, specialist knowledge and expertise are reduced to simplistic, semi-literate, populist, aggressive sound bites with no attention to detail.

The febrile atmosphere all reminds me of the tribal rhetoric of the ‘Troubles’. England now has its own two tribes, Remainers and Leavers with an irrational hate of each other – the tribal tags of a diminished society.

Bernard Guinan

Claremorris, Co Mayo

Irish Independent

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