‘I’m not so sure I like Christians’

The new tolerance

Sir, – It is unfortunate timing indeed that Salvador Ryan’s attack on what he terms “so-called Christians” (“‘I’m not so sure I like Christians very much these days. Or, specifically, Catholics’”, Rite & Reason, January 23rd) was published during the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity.

The octave is a time each year when Christians of all stripes come together to try to give common witness to our shared belief in Jesus Christ, and his power to heal our divisions.

Mr Ryan correctly draws our attention to the divisive nature of some interactions, particularly on social media. However, in referring to his fellow believers as “so-called ‘Christian’ or ‘Catholic’” he is in grave danger of the very sin he rails against: othering people whom he disagrees with to such an extent that he would put them outside of the Church.

It’s a basic theological truth that every baptised person by virtue of that sacrament is a Christian. The fact that one does not like their particular expression of Christianity does not change this simple truth or put them in the category of “so-called”.


One of the reasons why I am a Christian is because the Church has room for both saints and sinners. The Church is, as Pope Francis is so keen to remind us, a big tent. This sinner for one is grateful for this fact.

Faith, however inadequately lived, deserves respect and not ridicule. – Yours, etc,



The Irish Catholic,


Dublin 18.

Sir, – It was hilarious to read the criticism of “those who shout the loudest about their ‘Christian’ or ‘Catholic’ identity” by someone who used a daily newspaper to do precisely that. It was almost as funny as the criticism that “invective is so often directed at fellow Christians” by someone who had just compared his fellow Christians to frogs. I love this ironic, self-parody: more Salvador Ryan, please! – Yours, etc,