Wednesday 23 October 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Free will is a gift and we can’t blame others if we misuse it'

Pope Francis. Photo: Reuters
Pope Francis. Photo: Reuters
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Brendan Butler (Irish Independent, Letters, February 28) is correct when he states, “Pope Francis cannot conveniently blame an outside agency like Satan as being the malignant force responsible for this global Church evil”. And, “scapegoating Satan is not acceptable”.

Alas, the Catholic Church hierarchy appears to be of the opinion it can fool God, as it fools itself. As I have stated in previous letters, ‘free will’ is a most important gift for each human being. We are obliged to realise the absolute responsibility that comes with free will, when we “accept” God into our life. It means we are obliged to educate and inform ourselves on life, think deeply and judge solely on facts. We cannot blame Satan for any immoral decision we knowingly make, nor for sexual abuse of others, weaker than us.

Declan Foley

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Berwick, Australia

We don’t just need to win – we must play with flair and style

I’m fully supportive of Maurice O’Callaghan’s letter of February 28 re the status of the Irish rugby team. It was not the defeat to England at “Fortress Aviva” that hurt so much as the terrible sub-par performance of Schmidt’s marauders. Even the victories over Scotland and Italy leave much to be desired. But the squad does have a spate of injuries.

However, why does the selected team play so badly when regular players are injured? If, as Joe contends, the replacements “fit in seamlessly”, we do not see much of that. By all means front up against France and Wales – we have no choice if we don’t want to get blown out of the stadiums. I also concur with Mr O’Callaghan concerning ‘Ireland’s Call’. With all due respect to Phil Coulter, it’s a bit of a dirge. What really counts is an Irish performance.

Please don’t win or lose ugly. Play with flair and style. Otherwise Joe Schmidt may have to adopt Tom Kiernan’s advice to a sloppy Irish squad back in the 80s. Anyone old enough to remember Kiernan as head coach will also remember what he said. “Go – green machine.”

John W Condon

San Francisco, USA

Irony not lost as Trump tries to call the shots in Vietnam

I wonder what Ho Chi Minh would have thought about the former draft dodger and now US president being in his beautiful country seeking dialogue with the North Korean president.

Paul Doran

Clondalkin, Dublin

Being happy without money can come at a heavy price

Bill Linnane’s article about having or not having money reminds me of being told about a book called ‘How To Be Happy Without Money’. One snag, you needed €20 to buy it and find out.

Tom Gilsenan

Beaumont, Dublin 9

Hogan’s narrow view risks alienating a pool of expertise

Your newspaper quotes Phil Hogan as saying “there is a danger for Irish personnel seeking promotion or work in the EU service from ‘badging’ by UK citizens getting Irish citizenship” (‘Fears Ireland will lose clout as UK Eurocrats play the ‘granny rule’’, Irish Independent, February 11). Mr Hogan should reflect on the advantage to Ireland of having a group of Irish EU officials with a detailed insider knowledge of the UK political scene as the EU seeks to grapple with the complexities of developing a post-Brexit relationship with Britain. No other EU member state will have such a pool of expertise so readily available. At his second inauguration, President Higgins spoke of Ireland as a “diasporic and migratory nation”.

The Irish diaspora in Britain is exceeded in size only by that in America. How does Mr Hogan think his comments will go down with them, particularly his reference to “UK citizens getting Irish citizenship” as though they were foreigners applying for naturalisation rather than Irish citizens by descent? If Mr Hogan’s colleagues in Dublin share his narrow outlook they would be advised to omit Irish communities in Britain from their programme of St Patrick’s Day ministerial visits.

Ed Kelly

Address with editor

Scouting Ireland must give its members happy memories

The first sentence in your editorial (‘Scouts’ survival depends on winning back parents’ trust’, Irish Independent, February 28) caught my eye: “Childhood memories, both good and bad, tend to be for life.” So true. Take it from one who knows. So, Scouting Ireland, get your house in order and give your members good memories.

Brian McDevitt

Glenties, Co Donegal

Irish Independent

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