‘Churches and sexuality’

 

Sir, – It’s hard enough being a minister of one of the mainline Christian churches without having to read editorials from a major national newspaper that invent things about one’s church.

I refer to your editorial “The Irish Times view on churches and sexuality: a relentless obsession” (June 10th). In this editorial, it is clearly stated that the Presbyterian Church in Ireland has barred same-sex couples from its services.

This is simply untrue. Every single person and group is welcome at Presbyterian churches no matter what their age, gender, race, sexuality, religion, team they’re supporting in the Women’s World Cup, opinion on 1990s dance-music group M People, or view on whether anyone can stop Dublin making it five-in-a-row. Everyone is welcome at Presbyterian services.

Furthermore, the tired claim that Christian churches are in decline across the island should be addressed.

Certainly, it’s true that the hobby of turning up at Mass or a service at the weekend is losing out to other hobbies. There is a long-overdue removal of church control over aspects of Irish society.

The reality, though, is that there are countless churches growing across the State and new ones popping up almost monthly where people are discovering or rediscovering faith in Jesus Christ. The vast, vast majority of those I’m thinking of are ones that teach enthusiastically and graciously from the Bible week in week out about the God of hope and love. – Yours, etc,

Rev ANDY CARROLL,

Donabate

Presbyterian Church,

Donabate, Co Dublin.

Sir, – In your editorial you ascribe a relentless obsession with sexual matters to the Christian churches. My experience has been the opposite. In nearly 25 years of practically daily Mass-going I have yet to hear a mention of sexual morality over the pulpit, not a peep. This despite the Catholic Church having developed a magnificent theology of the body, enthralling in its beauty. Put simply, the church teaches that all sexual activity should be characterised by an indissoluble union between the partners and an openness to new life.

Where there is a veritable obsession with sexual matters is actually in the prevailing culture – advertisements, films, television programmes, books and, yes, newspapers.

The tragedy of the matter is that the church has been cowed into silence in the face of an avalanche of hedonism which is corrupting most of society, particularly the young. – Yours, etc,

COLM FITZPATRICK,

Castleknock,

Dublin 15.