Northern Ireland's purpose should be to rid itself of the past
We continue to hear of people getting death threats in Northern Ireland. It has been a persistent factor affecting a large number of people during Northern Ireland’s history and is not the hallmark of a civilised society. There seems to be so far to go.
There appears to be a total lack of the common good or a greater good, just the poison and negativity we continue to hear. Northern Ireland is truly a very sick place and will always try to fool people into thinking life can only be a vicious sectarian struggle. But life can be a lot better than that and it is up to people to see through it all and insist on an improvement, rather than the resignation to evil.
Brexit will present great challenges for all the people in Northern Ireland and the Republic. Brexit could mean that people ironically end up fighting for their lives in economic terms, rather than physically threatening each other.
We also hear of the continuing impasse in trying and break the deadlock, but it looks as hopeless as ever, on top of the negativity of Brexit, which will compound problems significantly. Northern Ireland should have a purpose and that purpose should be to rid itself of the past and attitudes to do with the past. Rid itself of the cancer and malady which makes life into hell rather than heaven. We were given a lush green and plentiful earth, yet all people seem to do at times is pay tribute to it by their contempt for each other, in actively making it into hell. Evil should not be forgiven, but Northern Ireland needs to rise above it all which can be the only answer. As far as justice is concerned – ‘the guilty mind needs no accuser’, and there can be a kind of justice which torments the wrongdoer without ever going to court. It deprives the evil doer of contented soul and it is not long before it eats away at them – especially in old age when they have alienated everybody around them because of their way of life. Victims and their families may have the satisfaction of a self-tormenting soul heavy with compunction or regret, and not realise it. No-one is evil 24/7/365 and in those moments – rare though they maybe for some – where there is no evil, the light can shine through and incarcerate an individual by showing him or her the darkness which they were part of.
There is nothing to be gained out of a bitter way of life and everything to lose. Give yourselves a break and come out of the darkness and into the light so you can be healed and the greatest justice done to yourselves and others.
Shanbally, Co Cork
Many throughout history identified Pope as anti-Christ
Fr Patrick McCafferty in his letter (October 29) says it is insidious for anyone to say that the Pope is the anti-Christ, or to preach the gospel to Catholics.
On the first point, there were many throughout history who identified the Pope as the anti-Christ: 2Thess 2:4 “he as God sitteth in the Temple as God”. Incidentally, whatever position Peter may have been given there was no succession mentioned; also it is the Word that is inspired and infallible, not Peter (or the Pope).
Be that as it may, 1John 2:18 tells us “there are many anti-Christs”. So it would be of little use to identify the Pope and then be deceived by another. What is of most importance is how we are affected by these false religious leaders. 1John 2:27 “Ye need not that any man teach you..”. The Holy Spirit guides us into all truth (The Word)” John 16:13.
The word anti means to be against. This would cover any religion outside of Christianity and those who profess to be Christian but oppose or fail to promote the gospel; or preach a false gospel by adding or taking away from it. “He that is not with Me is against Me” Mt 12:30.
On the second point, The Lord commissioned His disciples to teach all creatures, that would include Catholics and Protestants. The world and Churches are full of mixed messages on the way of salvation. So it is not for the preacher to decide who is and isn’t saved, but preach to all.
The gospel is good news to all those who find themselves “weary and heavy laden” Mt 11:28 from trying to fulfil the endless rituals set up by the false churches: they’ve tried their best but find they’ve “come short of the glory of God” Rom 3:23.
Cushendall, Co Antrim
Arrogance of the English knows no bounds
The action of those on November 5 in burning a model of Grenfell Tower was abhorrent and distasteful. Yet very English I thought. And it brought to bear the full force of outrage that British press could muster. It left me thinking about the institution that is bonfire night and what it celebrates. It is lauded as the saving of parliament and King James from Catholic extremists and the burning of Guy Fawkes’s effigy is an acceptable way to do so. Much like the Twelfth where again Catholics are at the centre of the flames that have extinguished the threat from within and the parish ideology that threatened parliamentary democracy. There is no mention of the context that led up to the attempt of blowing up parliament. The injustice, discrimination, and inequalities that drove these men to this extreme is the real crime. The same crime perpetrated against the Catholic community in Ireland that led to centuries of oppression, violence, hate and mistrust that persists to this day.
Look at the treatment of James McClean because of his refusal to wear a poppy. He is vilified by that same press who fake moral outrage at the Grenfell incident. He and his family are subjected to intolerable abuse. And yet the press portray it as something he has brought upon himself. The arrogance of the English knows no bounds. The same vile abuse and attacks is targeted at Neil Lennon in Scotland all originating from the same source – a hatred of all things Irish and Catholic.
There is nothing new in any of this. Guy Fawkes and his comrades should be seen as freedom fighters whose lives we, as Catholics, should celebrate with as much fanfare as the English celebrate their deaths.
Sleepwalking towards technocracy
Our impasse, created by a row over issues that will never be agreed on, has allowed Northern Ireland to be run by senior civil servants. This resembles, in many ways, the usurping of a democratically elected government in Italy back at the beginning of the decade. Only, this time, it’s the British government acting as overlords.
Northern Ireland is sleepwalking towards technocracy while many important questions remain unasked. For example, where is the money earmarked for restoring Belfast city centre, following the Primark fire, coming from?
Ardboe, Co Tyrone
Time to grow up lads
Leo Varadkar says “relations are frayed between Eire and Uk because of Brexit”.
And whose fault is that?
It’s because our taoiseach and tánaiste have not stopped dictating to Britain since their referendum became a democratic result.
Instead, Leo’s government on behalf of the undemocratic EU has been throwing shapes and going on like we are totally in charge of the UK administration and its decisions.
They are an embarrassment with their floundering about.
Bantry, Co Cork