The power of faith-based charities


Sir, – The news that the HSE is to cut services despite more funds (Front page, December 15th) is a cause of considerable concern for service users.

It also must be examined in the context of the wider campaign being waged to ensure the Sisters of Charity have no role in the new National Maternity Hospital. Such a prescriptive position is misguided and ill-advised as it may lead to a chilling effect on other faith-based charities which provide key services in the area of health, education and social outreach.

Before the advent of the welfare State it was primarily faith-based charities that provided those very key services.

With the welfare state now in decline and cuts now being the order of the day the call on these faith-based charities will only grow.

It is their faith-based ethos, anchored in their constitutions, which defines them and makes them unique.

It gives them a greater sense of mission and compassion that is often absent from other providers. They are conviction driven, as opposed to being commercially driven.

The housing crisis is a prime example of the State inability to tackle such an issue in an meaningful way. The Fr Peter McVerry Trust has been to the fore in making a penetrating impact. Far from being pilloried faith-based charities such as the Sister of Charity need to be supported and encouraged. Who will stand in the gap if they are gone? – Yours, etc,



Co Wicklow.