Mary McAleese on ‘codology’ and theology


Sir, – Never mind women as priests. How about Mary McAleese as Pope? – Yours, etc.


Letterkenny, Co Donegal.

Sir, – How uplifting to hear Mary McAleese’s brave condemnation of the Catholic Church as “a global carrier of the toxic virus of misogyny” (Patsy McGarry, Home News, March 8th). She is to be commended for her probity in speaking out against such a very powerful institution. I was reminded of similar elation I felt back in autumn 1990 when I first heard of Mary Robinson’s election as the first female president of Ireland.

In stark contrast to Ireland and other Catholic countries, the Lutheran Church of Sweden is known for its liberal position in theological affairs, in particular the issue of homosexuality. When Eva Brunne was consecrated as Bishop of Stockholm back in 2009, she became the first openly lesbian bishop in the world.

The present Primate of the Church of Sweden is Antje Jackelen, Sweden’s first female archbishop! The Catholic Church has a long way to go in order to give women equality in its church but Mary McAleese’s voice may well initiate a movement towards much needed change. – Yours, etc,


Gothenburg, Sweden.

Sir, – Our former president has launched a severe attack on the Roman Catholic Church, its servants and its teachings. In the latter regard, she believes that the church is misrepresenting Our Lord, Jesus Christ, as misogynistic, homophobic and pro-life, whereas she knows that He was in favour of only liberal policies.

Since, at this stage, Mrs McAleese appears to have nothing in common with the church, perhaps she might consider changing her allegiance to another, more accommodating church, as it seems to me that her main complaint is that the Roman Catholic Church is not the Church of Ireland – apart from the pro-choice bit, of course. Given her towering intellect, however, I’m sure she’ll be able to bring them around to her point of view, perhaps even in time for the referendum. – Yours, etc,


Rosses Point, Co Sligo.

Sir, – I found Mary McAleese’s address at the Voices of Faith conference inspiring (Patsy McGarry, Home News, March 9th). It had the clarity of biblical prophecy.

I suggest that those of us who agree with her forensic dissection of misogyny in the Catholic Church show our solidarity with her by absenting ourselves from the chrism Masses celebrated in cathedrals during Holy week. One of the purposes of the chrism Mass is to celebrate the male priesthood. How can we condone inequality while claiming to proclaim the inclusive and liberating message of Jesus Christ. – Yours, etc,


Belmullet, Co Mayo.

Sir, – Mary McAleese for pope. She would get my vote – if I had one . . . oh well, maybe in 100 years time! – Yours, etc,


Clontarf, Dublin 3.

Sir, – It is commendable that our former president publicly admits that the Catholic Church has been the “global carrier of the virus of misogyny”. But where was this virulence toward the church during her presidency? I grew up with Mary McAleese as president. I would have appreciated her anger 20 years ago. – Yours, etc,


Clarke’s Bridge, Cork.

A chara, – If former president Mary McAleese is looking for female voices in the Catholic Church, perhaps she should best look to the many thousands of female saints the Catholic Church has canonised. None of them were advocates of abortion and same-sex marriage or directly challenged the Catholic Church on the matter of women priests – all matters which are contrary to Catholic teaching. Regarding women priests, perhaps, in her hubris, Mary McAleese would like to fight St Peter for the keys. (Catechism 553). – Yours, etc,


Florence, Italy.

Sir, – During her many years in public life, Mary McAleese has spoken both to me and for me, but never more-so than in her address at the recent Voices of Faith conference in Rome.

I was raised, like most of my generation, as a “God fearing” member of the Catholic Church. Having, throughout my life, witnessed its grievous wrongdoing, the arrogance of its theocracy and its propensity to exercise exclusion, I have become utterly disillusioned with the institution, and yet I have “hung in there” in the ever fading hope for a miracle of enlightenment.

Mrs McAleese has encouraged me to hang on a little longer, maybe, just maybe the light she casts will begin to illuminate a horizon for an institution fit for purpose. – Yours, etc,



Sir, – It is with some bemusement that I read about Mary McAleese’s tirade against the Catholic Church in Rome. (Home News, March 9th).What next for this self-appointed guardian of women’s rights?

Can we expect her to launch a similar tirade about the Muslim faith and its treatmentof women in Riyadh? How about the Jewish faith and the participation of women as rabbis in Jerusalem?

It amazes me that some very vocal critics of the Catholic Church in Ireland are loathe to criticise other religions who treat women as the Muslim and Jewish faiths do! – Yours, etc,


Ballina, Co Mayo.

Sir, – Are the remarks of Mary McAleese not a little late, by about 2,000 years? – Yours, etc,



A chara, – Maith an bhean! – Is mise,


Harold’s Cross, Dublin 6w.