TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has been likened to Adolf Hitler for his 'blistering attack' on the Pope.
Massgoers were shocked to see an editorial comment in last weekend's Togher Parish bulletin headed 'Heil Herr Kenny!' and refering to the Fine Gael leader's recent comments in the Dail after the release of the Cloyne Report.
And it asks what is next for the Catholic Church and the Pope in Ireland - 'Perhaps we might try and find a way to build new bridges with the Shankhill Road people. A 'No Pope Here' sign on the Dail gates would definitely be a draw for Shankhill Road people and marchers from Portadown!'
It condemned the Taoiseach's outburst in the Dail on foot of the reaction from Rome to the Cloyne Report, remarking 'the last European leader to make such a blistering attack on the Pope was the ruthless German dictator Adolf Hitler.'
Former Drogheda based Fr Thomas Daly PP told the Drogheda Independent on Monday that the article was intended to give an opinion and it was up to those interested to read it and decide for themselves on its content.
However, there has been talk of little else around the Togher area since the weekend.
'It's incredible. His comments have really hit hard with a lot of people,' one shocked parishoner stated.
Another indicated that the parish priest
may well be challenged on the contents of the article by unhappy locals.
Furthermore, members of the Protestant community have also reacted with some annoyance at the 'Shankhill Road' jibe. A MASS bulletin has sparked a raging debate in the Togher area after it likened the Taoiseach with Adolf Hitler for his attack on the Pope following the Cloyne Report.
'The last European leader to make such a blistering attack on the Pope was the ruthless German dictator Adolf Hitler,' the bulletin read.
It states that happened after Pope Pius XII condemned the Nazis during WWII when a threat was made to kidnap the Pope.
It didn't happen due to fears of a publuc outcry in Italy and around the world.
'But our Taoiseach does not have that problem. His Dail speech was greeted with shouts of jubilation by almost every journalist and TV pundit in the country,' the pamplet continues.
'Is this the new Ireland? Is this the fulfillment of the dreams of the founding fathers?, ' No Pope here'. Is this the way forward for a new and better Ireland? Perhaps we might try and find a way to build new bridges with the Shankhill Road people. A 'No Pope Here' sign on the Dail gates would definitely be a draw for Shankhill Road people and marchers from Portadown!'
It also asks how did Mr Kenny's speech go down with those that visit Knock in their thousands every year, part of his own constituency.
'Perhaps he might also keep in mind that the profile of Knock was hugely raised by the visit of a former Pope ( John Paul II) in 1979 to the shrine. If history teaches us one lesson, it must surely be a call to be careful about the canonisation of political leaders. Even Hitler had to face that reality. A cautionary tale.'
The comments have led to a furore in the parish.
'The reaction to the Cloyne Report could have been termed 'fair comment' by the Taoiseach because people were upset by it. But comparing it to Adolf Hitler is a bit rich,' one local man stated. 'I think the bulletin went too far'.
Another can see more arising from it. 'I think the parish priest will be challenged about it and I know the Protestant community in this area are not happy.'