Angelus criticised as `wildly divisive'


The former Minister for Industry and Commerce, Mr Justin Keating, has described the broadcasting of the Angelus on RTE as "wildly divisive".

It says, he continued, that "if you are not Catholic, you are not really Irish". He says he will believe in the sincere conversion of the Catholic Hierarchy to pluralism "when it is they (his emphasis) who insist on dropping the Angelus from RTE out of respect for others who feel it offensive to their culture or belief system".

Mr Keating, president of the Association of Irish Humanists, writes in a personal capacity in the group's current newsletter.

Looking at the world around us, Mr Keating noted: "The marks of Christianity are on everything, and they are there by deliberate intention." The millennium, for instance, is only the year 2000 if you measure years since the birth of Christ, "an extremely shadowy figure whose dates, if he existed at all, are uncertain", he said.

The turn of the year was marked by Christmas even though it represents the hijacking of a much older mid-winter festival and the propagation of a myth about the date of Christ's birth. And the great spring festival, "in Roman times the apotheosis of the god Liber Pater, slain during the Ides of March", is in Ireland claimed by an apocryphal Christian saint, Patrick, "whose celebrated `Confession' was not heard of until some 400 years later".

He is all in favour of myths, but what he objects to "is the teaching of Christian myths . . . to tiny, defenceless children as `facts'."