Hard to find sympathy for a Church displaced from its faithful
The reaction of some Catholic clergy to the result of the referendum serves as a reminder of how the power the Church once wielded was used to fan the flames of the Inquisition and guide the Conquistadores as they slaughtered the native Americans. We might be compelled to think their comments as unrepresentative until we realise that they are fully consistent with their Church’s teachings. Those who thought that the concept of Hell had been consigned to the dustbin of religious anachronisms and replaced with the virtues of compassion and forgiveness should study the comments of Fr McCafferty who states: “Let us be clear. Children who die in abortions go straight to God.”
As a theologian he is well aware that his Church condemned the souls of unbaptised children to lie indefinitely in Limbo. These poor children were being denied in premature (and ultimately painful) death what Fr McCafferty affords a fetus, ie, union with God. If the reward he ascribes to a fetus is deserved then surely these unbaptised children were worthy of at least ‘‘pari passu’ treatment?
It would be banal to revisit other cruelties inflicted by the Catholic Church on young sentient life were it not for the almost daily reports of further scandals.
Against such a track record one could reasonably reflect why those with a valid concern for the unborn should allow their moral compass to be directed by such a discredited organisation.
The Church’s low key approach to the referendum was indicative of its awareness of the harm inflicted by such scandals and that the imminent
‘yes’ verdict would be the fatal blow to its waning influence over a once timid flock. It is difficult to find sympathy for a Church whose intransigence and arrogance has displaced it from the faithful. Any amendment to its rules would be an admission that it has been fallible all along. When it became impossible to justify (morally or theologically) the
Limbo hypothesis (it was never dogmatised) the Church simply left it on the books where it still remains. Conveniently it is never mentioned these days.
The history of the Catholic Church and abortion is convoluted leaving one to reflect on why an omnipotent God could not have left clearer instructions. St Augustine did not consider ‘ensoulment’ occurred at conception although medical science has disproved his theory on ‘formed’
and ‘unformed’ fetuses. And that is the point. Our opinions on moral issues like abortion, assisted death, same sex-marriage etc will change in line with advancement in the sciences and a better understanding of the mental faculties that drive our moral impulses.
Templepatrick, Co Antrim
Multitudes of people continue to hope for the light
I must take issue with G Savage’s assertion that the Reformation has been ‘an unmitigated disaster’
The history of beautiful Geneva best sums up the benefits of the Reformation. Prior to the Reformation the motto of the then city state was Post tenebras spero lucem, ‘After darkness I hope for light’. After the Reformation, however, a new motto was born, to be engraved on Geneva’s coins, Post tenebras lux, ‘After darkness light’.
The Dark Ages was well named, a time of ignorance and oppression when a bloated Church was more concerned with prestige, power and possessions than the souls of the people. The peasant classes were bereft of the scriptures while the Papacy was raising revenue to erect St Peter’s Basilica through the trade in indulgences. With vigour Luther wrote of the perversion of the priesthood: “Here Christian brotherhood has perished, here shepherds have turned into wolves, servants into tyrants, churchmen into worse than tyrants” (Babylonian Captivity of the Church).
The Reformation liberated the Scriptures for general consumption and as a result people throughout Europe learned that they were free to access God for themselves without the Church, the Pope and his priests. No longer was there a hoping for light in a world of darkness, the light had dawned.
Multitudes of people of various religions continue to simply hope for the light, for acceptance with God. The message which liberated Europe from medieval superstitions has the same emancipating virtue, certainty of eternal life replaces a vague wishful hope. When the soul of man rests on Christ alone, our only and our great High Priest, Geneva’s famous motto can be personally adopted – After darkness light.
Rev PETER McINTYRE
Clogher, Co Tyrone
Clarion call a much-needed dose of reality
Fr McCafferty’s clarion call (May 30) was both prophetic and a much needed dose of reality and is in line with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan. The spiritually dead husks of cultural Catholicism needs to go. The chants of ‘joy’ evident from Dublin Castle offer nothing but evidence of a Mephistophelean pact that glories in hatred of God and the unborn, with clearly no desire for eternal life.
The fact that the SDLP have clarified with the likes of Brid Rogers, Claire Hanna and party leader, Colum Eastwood, stating that they support ending constitutional protection of the unborn, speaks volumes. Together with the Sinn Fein leadership, there needs to be much reflection.
Equally the comments of Martin O Brien, alongside Fr Patrick, seem to have been the only ones aware of this evil. Perhaps the wisdom of Galatians 6:7 and Philippians 2:12 would be a starting point.
Clonoe, Co Tyrone
Bring on British-style border
REGARDING buffer zones planned to be installed (out in the wilds) across Ireland by the British to replace their current border, they are having a laugh and taking the Irish for fools. But we are no fools, smuggling is in our DNA – always has been since the British first installed a border in our country. When they bring this zone in every Irish man or woman worthy of the name will be buying wardrobes in Banbridge. They will then call at the British customs, which will probably be at the weighbridge at Loughbrickland, get their paper work stamped and wardrobe checked and proceed to Newry. They will fill it with butter, washing powder, fags, or whatever, head on down through the now obsolete British border to Dublin sell the lot and return home with a good profit and have a laugh at the British. Roll on the British-style Brexit. Right now I’m seriously thinking of renting a unit in which I will sell wardrobes and large kitchen cupboards. Indeed I might die rich yet, thanks to the British Brexit.
Banbridge, Co Down
Sensing an air of desperation
Reading about the proposed buffer zone along the border, I sense an air of desperation in the British government as the deadline for Brexit is rapidly approaching.
It seems a case of kicking the border further down the road, but the only way it will work is if they keep kicking.