Gathering for Eucharistic Congress
Sir, – Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, in his address to the International Eucharistic Congress, commented that “A divided squabbling church will not attract young people but only alienate them” (Home News, June 12th).
By describing the divided church as a “squabbling” one, he does an injustice to those of us in the “We are Church Ireland” movement and others who argue for reform in the Catholic Church, as my dictionary defines squabbling as “quarrelling about trifles”.
I would like to remind our archbishop that very many committed Catholics, especially women, do not regard their reform agenda as a “trifle”. The exclusion of gay people, divorced and those in second relationships from full communion in our Catholic church is most certainly not a trivial issue for them. The exclusion of women from full ministry in the church is surely not a trifling matter for them as they see their exclusion as a denial of their Christian equality due to them. For far too long the laity, the non-clerical people of God, have been treated as children with no real part to play in our church and we when we do speak out for reform in our church we are called to order by the big parent and told to stop squabbling as unruly children as if we had nothing substantial to contribute.
Until Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and the rest of our hierarchical clerical church begin to accept the non-ordained in the church as their true sisters and brothers who are led by the Spirit and have the good of their church at heart, alienation within the Catholic Church will continue where major cracks in walls and foundations are conveniently painted over and ignored. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Irony of ironies. Richard Dawkins lectures Catholics on not being up to speed with their church’s teaching. This from a man who, in the course of a recent BBC radio programme, was unable to name the correct title of Charles Darwin’s work on evolutionary theory; and who confounded the felony, when being pressed on same by declaring “Oh God, I can’t remember it”. So to apply Dawkins own logic to himself, it appears he isn’t really au fait with his own atheist bible, and worse still he seems to believe in God. A veritable double whammy! Stalin used the phrase “useful idiots” to describe naive western atheist cheer leaders in the 1930s/1940s. Judging by the sychophantic reaction of many in Ireland to Mr Dawkins, it appears the heirs to these useful idiots are still with us. – Yours, etc,