Faith, hope and opinion


Sir, – Donald Clarke’s latest column (“If you don’t approve of the church then don’t take part in its rituals”, Opinion & Analysis, June 7th), takes the guise of an appeal to his fellow unbelievers not to take part in the rituals of the Catholic Church if they don’t believe in them.

He does, however, manage to get in the usual sideswipes against the church, such as a passing mention of its “sex-hating doctrines”.

The Irish Times now has Fintan O’Toole, Donald Clarke and Eamon McCann serving up regular dollops of anti-Catholic and anti-Christian invective. All of this is “balanced” by the lone voice of Breda O’Brien.

Your newspaper has the right to take whatever editorial line it chooses, and your columnists have the right to express their opinions as they see fit.

However, if The Irish Times has any serious commitment to fairness, it must make more of an effort to represent the huge proportion of the Irish people who are not convinced by the rather hysterical polemics of Messrs O’Toole, Clarke and McCann. – Yours, etc,



Woodford Drive,


Dublin 22.

Sir, – Donald Clarke’s article on participation in church rituals claims that “people of faith” is “a self-definition that positively revels in rejection of logical thought”. This is, at best, misleading. For some people at least, faith is the only sensible option when mere logic proves inadequate. That is not to reject logic, but rather to accept that human reasoning has its limits. Is it possible to think outside of logic and yet not reject it? Isn’t that what we do when we appreciate a sunset, enjoy music or rejoice in a friendship? Thankfully, we have more than one way to perceive and understand ourselves and our surroundings. – Yours, etc,


Moanbane Park,


Co Kildare.