Conservatism and Irish life

 

A chara, – Leo Roche (May 18th) is categorical: “ ... there should be no means whereby the Catholic Church can input into the formation of policies or directly influence decision making at government level”.

Mr Roche is modest in his target. The same reasoning would apply to say that there should be no means whereby Ibec or the trade unions or professional associations could input into the formation of policies at government level, nor the Society of St Vincent de Paul, nor any voluntary organisation. Even the political parties, apart from those chosen by general election. Not to mention those powerful formers of public opinion, the media, and letters to newspapers.

Once elected, then, there should be no reason for a government to want input from any organisation or individual outside itself.

Exclude one, exclude them all. Fair is fair. – Is mise,

PÁDRAIG McCARTHY,

Sandyford,

Dublin 16.

Sir, – Leo Roche states that “Liberalism may not have all the answers” and his letter seems to bear it out.

In effect his letter represents liberalism as supportive of a caste system that fundamentally renders a specific group of people incompatible with active participation in a democracy.

His letter clearly states that a religious cultural organisation to which a majority of citizens attest membership should be deprived of any means whereby it can input into the formation of policies. His letter further claims that Irish society would be all the healthier for that. So much for pluralism.

Perhaps what he really wants to assert is that Ireland should not be a theocracy. All can agree with that. But an absolute atheistic secularocracy is a repressive alternative. – Yours, etc,

NEIL BRAY,

Cappamore,

Co Limerick.