Taoiseach’s visit to Belfast and controversial views


Sir, – St Mary’s University College, Belfast, is a revered Catholic institution that has a mission to train Catholic teachers to assist in the faith formation of Catholic children and young people.

On June 8th, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was present in the college to launch Féile an Phobail 2018. He signed the college visitors’ book and, during his address, promoted the abortion lobby’s designs on the North of Ireland, opining that citizens in the North should have access to same “rights” as citizens in the 26 counties and Britain – including effectively so-called “abortion rights”.

There are other more suitable venues where Féile an Phobail 2018 could have hosted Mr Varadkar on that occasion other than St Mary’s.

His comments there are a grave scandal, an insult and an affront to faithful Catholics and many other of their fellow Christians all over Ireland.

His being allowed to use the college premises and stage in this fashion is a betrayal of the ethos and the mission we, as Catholics, must all the more faithfully maintain and live in these times.

It is totally unacceptable that persons, no matter who they are, no matter what position they hold in society, whose views are entirely incompatible with the church’s teaching on such a crucial moral issue as abortion, should be afforded a stage to broadcast their views in a Catholic establishment.

It is imperative that Catholic institutions, if they are to remain worthy of the name, disentangle themselves from any association with establishment figures – and any persons or organisations, whosoever and whatsoever – who promote an agenda or ideologies that cannot be reconciled, in any way, with what it means to be a faithful Christian and Catholic, in Ireland today. – Yours, etc,