Letters to the Editor

Christianity rapidly diminishing due to huge growth in science and technology

During the last half century there has been a rapidly increasing loss of the sense of the true transcendental or spiritual reality of humanity with a drift into materialism and even atheism.  God’s laws, the Decalogue given to Moses are now largely rejected and the laws imposed by the state used instead to control our behaviour.  Christianity in society is rapidly diminishing due to the huge growth in science and technology which deal only with finite realities, but greatly promote our material well being if wisely used.

I order to counteract this trend I suggested (October 8) that Christians should seek personal relationships with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Two weeks ago I found a remarkable booklet which confirms my conclusion, but expressed in far clearer words with frequent references to Scriptal. The booklet, Faith Which Overcomes the World, by Fr Ramer Cantalamesso, preacher to the Papal household for the last 20 odd years, was first presented at the International Alpha Conference, June 2005. He says that earlier in his life after extensive training for the priesthood he made a disconcerting discovery. He knew all about the person of Jesus but he did not know Jesus in person.  He knew the notion of person from his studies better than the person himself. “Thus it is possible to have an impersonal knowledge of the person of Christ, a contradiction and a paradise, alas, that is all too common.” This is what I was trying to express in my previous letter.

Fr Cantalamesso goes on to say that the living faith in the person of Jesus as Lord of all only comes as a gift from the Holy Spirit. Nobody is able to say that Jesus is Lord except in the Holy Spirit, as St Peter did after the day of Pentecost (Acts 2.36). This anointing by the Holy Spirit is also experienced in the Charismatic Movement.  

I experienced this at one of their prayer meetings for the first time when I was already 10 years old, even though I had received the Sacrament of Confirmation at the age of six.

There is one item (John 16) which is still puzzling. Jesus said “it is for your own good that I am going because unless I go the Paraclete will not come to you, but if I go I will send Him to you”. 

Does Jesus mean the following? At His Ascension the Word, who came down to earth at His incarnation returns to heaven in union with his humanity. Therefore the Divine Humanity, who is Jesus, is union with the Father in glory sends the Holy Spirit to us on earth so that our humanity can be divinized and we achieve the total unity prayer for by Jesus at the Last Supper
(John 17). Does true knowing of Jesus mean us living in Him and He in us? Some theologians maintain that knowing is being in God.
This is fundamental to my claim expressed in several letters that creation, as non-divine living transcendental knowledge, with Adam and Eve being the masculine and feminine genders, committed original sin in the very beginning and was exiled into space-time, our finite and thus distorted state of true life. Creation was already fallen at the Big Bang.

Belfast BT9


No evidence given on ‘little popular support’ for peace initiative

In response to Lyn Julius’s statement that ‘Arabs, with 22 states, begrudge the existence of the single Jewish state’ (October 15), I gave the fact that the 22 states of the Arab League have declared their commitment to the Arab Peace Initiative that would result in the normalisation of relations and the signing of a peace treaty with the state of Israel. Rather than give an explanation on the nature of this ‘begrudgery’ and how it sits with a clear declaration to the opposite Julius (November 5) diverts into other issues. No evidence is given on the ‘little popular support’ of the initiative. The last UN General Assembly resolution on the ‘Peaceful Settlement of the Question of Palestine’, which recalls the Arab Peace Initiative and stresses ‘its importance in the efforts to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace’, passed by 151 states to six. Polls have shown majority support for the initiative amongst Palestinians and in one 2014 poll, majority support amongst Jewish Israeli citizens. The initiative does not use the words ‘right of return’ but a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem based on UN resolution 194, which only gives recommendations for the ‘practicable’ return of refugees, with no reference to their particular background, who wish to ‘live at peace with their neighbours’ and gives alternative principles. In addition this is in the context of a call to ‘seek agreement by negotiation’ for a ‘final settlement of all questions between’ the parties to the conflict. It is difficult to extract from this, a bind upon Israel to see to its own upending of its current demographics. It is correct that normalising relations and renouncing violence ‘is not the same as accepting Israel as a Jewish state’. For example, the peace settlements Israel agreed to with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994 did not require recognition of Israel as a ‘Jewish state’. Surely the principle with the Nation State law is the extent to which it implies discrimination and the denial of parity to Israel’s non-Jewish citizens. This is the principle that saw for example, unprecedented mass demonstrations by Israel’s Druze minority, who are otherwise very pro-Israel, against the law.

Lurgan, Co Armagh


Connolly’s anti-war argument

With last Sunday marking the centenary of the Armistice at the end of the First World War and in light of the controversy in regard to the wearing the red poppy, it is worth recalling the speech of James Connolly, the Irish socialist, which he made in the Square in Tralee, in October 1915. The occasion was a rally organised by Tralee Trades Council to mark the establishment of the first branch of the ITGWU in Kerry. More than 3,000 people attended the rally, and when Connolly addressed the crowd he made the following argument against Ireland’s involvement in the war in Europe:

“I know that we in Ireland had never suffered one particular iota from any European power, but one... this war was not for Ireland, it was not for them no matter who wanted it. They stood for that section of the community who had fought the battles of the world and who had remained at the bottom no matter who was at the top. They would no longer accept the position of inferiority. They say not only are they part of the nation but they are the most useful part of it. No matter who sold Ireland in the past, the Irish working-class never sold it, they always fought for it.”

It should also be noted that Connolly’s anti-war argument was supported by the local branches of British-based unions affiliated to Tralee Trades Council including the NUR and ASLEF.

Tralee, Co Kerry


Disgusted by Gerry Adams

Having read the article in The Irish News (October 30) about Gerry Adams promoting his new cookery/recipes book, my first reaction as a republican was one of anger. How insensitive to the memories of our 10 brave hunger strikers who refused food so as not to be criminalised by Thatcher. At a time when tens of thousands of Irish families are relying on food banks to feed their families, Adams  promotes his cookery book. I’m sure if these families had the money to buy enough food, they wouldn’t be relying on charity. Last year Gerry’s wealth was estimated by one author at almost £1m. Not bad for a man who used to describe himself as a socialist. 

Glengormley, Co Antrim 

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