McAleese’s criticisms of Catholic Church


Sir, – It was striking how many trenchant, if wholly justified, criticisms of the Catholic Church and Pope Francis that Mary McAleese felt compelled to make at the Gaze LGBT film festival, (“McAleese accuses pope of ‘bad manners’ after failing to reply to her letter”, August 6th).

She said that orthodox Catholic doctrine had been “very hard on gay men and women, gay children and gay adolescents. It has made their lives, for some of them, actually intolerable”. She also suggested that the recent comments by Bishop Kevin Doran linking the “contraceptive mentality” with support for gay marriage were “tenuous in the extreme”.

More personally, she claimed that Cardinal Kevin Farrell had purposefully arranged an itinerary for the upcoming papal visit to Ireland that excluded her and “was designed to send a message” that she was “not welcome”.

Finally, she accused the Pope of “bad manners” for sending “neither acknowledgement nor a considered reply” to her letter regarding her exclusion from a conference in the Vatican on international women’s day.

As a lapsed Catholic, myself, of several decades duration, I find myself genuinely wondering why Mrs McAleese bothers at all continuing with the Catholic Church? – Yours, etc,


Arbour Hill,

Dublin 7.