Wednesday, 6 September 2017

ABORTION ON JIM JEFFRIES




As expected Jim Jeffries asked me my views on ABORTION.

I basically replied that like on most other topics I am not a dogmatist.

Am I pro-life or pro-choice?

In fact, I am both.

I am pro-life in the sense that I personally believe that human life is sacred from conception to death.

I am pro-choice in the sense that I believe that no church or religion has the right to foist it's teaching on the population of any country.

In that context, I believe that the only people who chose whether Ireland has an abortion, to whatever degree, is a choice for the Irish electorate, and not a choice for pressure groups, whether women's groups or clergy.

Abortion cannot be described as a GOOD THING.

In limited cases - to save the life of the mother, rape etc, you could describe it as THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS.

For instance, there is a massive moral difference a termination to save the mothers life and a termination for financial or materialistic reasons.

This is a very controversial subject.

It's a moral dilemma.

And a moral dilemma anyone involved in would struggle with.

SEAMUS HEANEY'S POEM: LIMBO

A poem about an Irish mother having to drown her baby because it was illegitimate


Fishermen at Ballyshannon
Netted an infant last night
Along with the salmon.
An illegitimate spawning,

A small one thrown back
To the waters. But I'm sure
As she stood in the shallows
Ducking him tenderly

Till the frozen knobs of her wrists
Were dead as the gravel,
He was a minnow with hooks
Tearing her open.

She waded in under
The sign of the cross.
He was hauled in with the fish.
Now limbo will be

A cold glitter of souls
Through some far briny zone.
Even Christ's palms, unhealed,
Smart and cannot fish there. 

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69 comments:

  1. no Church has the right to foist its teaching......I fully agree Pat. But the protection of life is not just the teaching of any particular church, it is a principle held as true by groups as disparate as Roman Catholics, Free Presbyterians etc etc. When Truth is involved it is not down to any denomination it speaks for itself. Yoou on the other hand speak out of both sides of your mouth,

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    1. 00:42 TRUTH! What is truth? Jesus tells Pilate / Us? It's what sets us free. Well there's a lot of scope for interpretation there!
      How free is the learning disabled girl who has been taken advantage of by men / boys likewise challenged, or worse, by those who knew better! How many people mistake sex for love, and not just those educationally challenged. I know a lady with mental health issues who has expressed sheer horror at the thought of something growing inside her! So before we get comments like "She should've kept her legs closed!" Let's consider those points and also how far are we, personally, or as a citizen / church, prepared to go to meaningfully support financially / materially, the ongoing needs of a potential young family and give an unplanned expectant Mum the resources she needs to face the future with hope and confidence? I was very struck by a documentary about 20 years ago heavily critical of Mother Teresa. The suggestion was she used her resources to allow as many conceived children of the poor and uneducated to be born, even if they then died within hours because the resources were not there to keep them alive. Surely better to educate and promote family planning, but oh no, Souls for the "Monster" god to eat, is what came to my mind! I hate abortion, I would like to see all those who hate it too, do all within their resource to make its use as rare as possible, but let's not judge peoples lives we know nothing about, try to remove splinters from eyes whilst almost blinded by the plank in our own. I would like to see the overwhelming "Pro Choice" be "Pro Life." I would also like to see the ending forever of back street abortions and women in the most traumatic of situations not having proper medical care and support. With reluctance I support access to legal abortion.

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    2. 00;42 Its interesting that you talk about Catholics and Free Presbyterians in the one sentence?

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    3. The world is not black or white. I know girls who are 12 who look 24. If someone took advantage of them, I would recommend the morning after pill. You can never say never. The world is more complicated than that.

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    4. When I read 0:42's comment I immediately thought of the single minded perceptions of "Truth" which drive so much intolerance and consequent hostile actions.
      The RC church with it's Thomistic derived singular perceptions and enunciation of "truth" has much to answer for.
      Well said Tom. (Wood, not Aquinas!)

      "The Truth forsooth, will set you free,
      .....just so long as you agree, ....with me!"
      MMM

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  2. Who said that "no Church has the right to foist its opinion"?

    Please do remember that though that is your opinion (and there will be no shortage of people to agree with you on a blog like this),there are millions of people who do recognise that one of the primary reasons the Church was founded in the first place was to guide, instruct and lead its members to fulfil their mission here on earth as preparation for life in Eternity.That is the sacred role of the Church and the Ordained members bear great responsibility in that respect. The lay members have a share in that mission. I am a lay person but I know that every priest and particularly every bishop has undertaken to understand and never lose sight of the fact that he has an important teaching role. That is a crucial function which he must never neglect or marginalise because it is the very command of Christ Himself -"Going therefore teach ye ALL NATIONS,baptising them in the name of the Father etc". Through our Confirmation in particular we get the courage to speak out and to be advocates for Christ's Word as he expects of us. Do the priests who read this blog agree that an awareness of their teaching and preaching role was part of their formation?In what ways does the Church strive to spread God's Word as he specifically requested? Why do you think the Church was founded in the first place? I speak out with courage when I see the need because it is a mission assigned to me as one of those members. I don't worry about the inevitable criticism.It will always follow as sure as night follows day! Why should I worry when I remember on Whose behalf I speak! And my "right" to speak and lead by good example is therefore a genuinely Divine right which you have no earthly power to deny me. Listen, you who have ears to hear!

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    1. A succinct reply +Pat, and to the point!
      03:51 seems another one seemingly possessed of the only possible singular truth, and a belief in the rght to foist it
      MMM

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    2. I cannot see the word "dominate" in the that powerful post at 3.51. Only in your perception of that what you saw in what that poster said...The poster predicted correctly on that one too..

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    3. When Jesus taught he gave people the choice to a accept or walk away.

      Why can't his followers allow people the same freedom?

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    4. Perhaps because the rights of others - that is the defenceless unborn - are being infringed upon?

      The unborn is either a human person or not and abortion is either morally wrong or not. If indeed abortion is wrong then we are essentially dealing with the murder of the unborn. How can one argue that we should just simply stand by? The goal of democracy can never be freedom for the sake of freedom because freedom is never the ultimate goal but rather a means to an end. The goal of freedom is to allow people to do good not to give them some inalienable right to do wrong.

      It's the same with racism or black slave trade. Many people used to see it as completely OK (and unfortunately still do today). Should the Church (and others) not have spoken against this grave evil out of fear of imposing 'their will' on the rest of the society?

      Jesus said to render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar and unto God what belongs to God. Surely the dignity of the every human person does not belong to Caesar but indeed God alone?

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  3. I'm atheist and pro life. This is the only existence we will have and to deny someone's the right to exist is morally outrageous and an affront to human nature. To set out critera outlining conditions when human life can be terminated is a very bad and dangerous direction to take society.

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  4. I agree that abortion is a human issue rather than an issue belonging to any church. However churches have the obligation to witness to Christian values which may not be the same as legalistic principles. Human life is sacred. An unborn baby is not the same thing as a bad tooth

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    1. Thank you, Sean. I'm with you on that and thank you poster @3.51for your clear-sighted reminder of our teaching mandate from Christ, Himself. You are inspiring!

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  5. Oh Pat, your hatred of the church even clouds your judgment on such a serious moral issue as the protection of life. If the principle involved is in itself true - as it clearly is christian people have a right to seek to have it enshrined in law. As your previous comment states the protection of life enjoys a unique unanimity among Christians of every hue on our island. So see your strange and confused stance for what it is - an inability to see anything of value in the teachings of Catholicism.

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    1. It would be so easy if we lived in a world where EVERYTHING was black or white.

      Real living is try trying to explore, with integrity, all the grey areas of life.

      Black and white thinking, especially in religion, has created Isis.

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    2. No.... It's straying away from the principle of having respect for ALL human life which has been one factor in the creation of Isis.

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    3. O God help us, we are now even using Isis to defend our arguments. As a man, it's the woman's right to decide and choose when it concerns her body. Just leave religion out of it, that's what's wrong with the world we live in.

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    4. No, our religious beliefs are a very important part of the reason for our existence in the first place. They are there to give us God's guidance, especially on important issues that affect our relationship with Him and with each other.

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  6. Pat, we all know there are grey areas in every moral, human dilemmas. On so impirtant an issue as THE FUNDAMENTAL.RIGHT TO LIFE OF THE UNBORN CHILD, we cannot ever equuvicate as God's people. LIFE IS SACRED FROM CONCEPTION TO DEATH AND INTO ETERNITY. To beging to chip away at this most fundamental right to life is to play God.

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  7. I have always found the Pro Choice attitude particularly annoying. It is neither one thing or another.
    In Revelations it is said that they who run hot and cold, I vomit out of my mouth.
    Pro-choice could be possibly point to a form of convenient contraception.
    Contraception is sinful as is abortion.
    I am not a theologian - is there any theologian out there who can say which is WORSE?

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  8. Abortion is worse because it's the murder of an innocent life ALREADY in existence. (Contraception is efforts to make sure it didn't exist in the first place..)

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  9. People need to start accepting women who have abortions and who see no problem with it. Saying things that abortion is a necessary evil or just evil is just judgemental tripe. The reality is that the termination of something in the womb that is less advanced than an adult pet is no great deal. Abortion is not a big deal. It is victimised women who are made to feel it is a big deal. Pope Francis has honoured pro-abortion human right activists including the abortionist Emma Bonino as a 'forgotten great' in 2016. The Pope knows privately that Catholic teaching on abortion is rubbish and his actions show that despite what he says about it being wrong.

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    1. The Pope would respectfully disagree with his words and teaching being misconstrued (particularly on such important issues as these. So please do not do it.

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  10. Thank you 11:03.
    My 10:38 problem - is there some lesser form of hell or damnation for using contraception?

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  11. To 11.47
    It would be wrong of anyone to pre-guess how God will judge any soul and we should never PRESUME that He will condemn this or that person to eternal damnation as only He knows the full story of that person's human heart - - his penitence for example - his degree of knowledge of what he is doing wrong - his motivation and intentions and so on. God deals with our judgment with the full facts in a way that our fellow man could never do. Hell is a reality as God has warned us of "eternal damnation" but please be assured that if you are anxious to do what is right then God is fully aware of that and loves you overwhelmingly.

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    1. Why does God "allow" 50% of all conceptions to miscarry/abort.

      Which our moral theologians will answer that one I wonder?

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    2. We don't know the answer to some things this side of Eternity, Pat. Some pregnancies don't progress to full term and a natural miscarriage occurs after a certain number of weeks. This can bring great distress to the mother and very often, the father too. Sometimes good medical intervention (especially nowadays) can prevent that happening if applied in good time at the first sign of a problem. Then there may be the relief of a little "miracle infant" who is premature but fights his way in an incubator successfully to life. (These cases are always heartwarming to us in the Unit.)
      But if even our best efforts fail, the mother (and often father) know that they wished life for their child. They didn't plan his termination by special appointment. They can grieve but they know they did their very best. There is s huge difference in the impact and how it will affect the mother's memory of the circumstances of that day for the rest of her life. Wonderful posters in the past have explained the theology behind these things much better than I have done today. But I see the huge difference in these two things - spontaneous unwanted miscarriage versus a Clinic termination booked in. They are not the same and it's unthinkable to even compare them.

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    3. Bishop Pat, God allows no such things. To believe he does is to presume that he deliberately and wilfully prevents good alternatives.

      God is not so cruel.

      This life is not perfect in so many ways. Therefore imperfect, and tragic, incidents occur. which God is powerless to prevent and stop. (Yes, done things ARE impossible to God.)

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  12. Pat, you're trying to be all things to all people. When you stand for no true principles and float and waver with prevailing ideology, you stand for nothing. Of course we have compassion for people in very difficult moral dilemmas but we can never COMPROMISE ON THE SANCTITY OF LIFE. THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO LIFE OF THE UNBORN CHILD IS PARAMOUNT AND MUST BE UPHELD. Pat, don't pretend you are the only only one with compassion and don't start labelling people with strong, moral PRO LIFE BELIEFS. Your chat with Jeffries I suspect picked your brain too much that you singled this issue out. What else did you both promulgate and agree upon for the masses to hear?

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  13. My interview with UK changed none of my beliefs. However I do find the debate on ABORTION difficult - especially when trying to deal with the absolutists at both end of the arguement.

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  14. Much better to straddle the fence? Beware of splinters in your arse!

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  15. I don't like the nastiness that emerges from the Pro Life people - it is always unchristian the way they behave, just look at the vile Bernie Smith character.

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    1. Anon 13.44. Praise and thank God for the bravery and courage of BERNIE SMITH who unequivocally stands for the RIGHT TO LIFE OF THE UNBORN CHILD. In her great work of justice and human rights for the unborn, Bernie has faced her enemies who have used poisonous, racist and abusive language in the most horrendous way. You're probably one of them. GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS BERNIE AND HER THOUSANDS OF FOLLOWERS. The unchristian behaviour comes mainly from pro choice, abortion activists because when they are faced with the horror of abortion procedures, they resort to verbal abuse....always.

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  16. Never found anything vile about Bernie Smyth, nor have any of he many thousands of followers!

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  17. The High Priest, Caiaphas, did not value human life equally and unconditionally, which was why he could proclaim, without a flicker of disturbed conscience, that it would be better for one man (Jesus) to die than that the whole nation should perish. Caiaphas missed the redemptive irony of his remark, but his sin remained.

    How many of us have played the role of Caiaphas over the lives of the unborn and (for whatever reason) the unwanted. I shudder to think. But, regardless of numbers, our sin remains.

    When we choose to kill one such life, in 'good' conscience, we are arrogant enough and presumptious enough to believe that God himself morally approves our choice, and even that he would do likewise were he in the same circumstance.

    It is a neat piece of moral sophistry, this argument; the only 'bum' note in it comes from John's Gospel: 'For God so loved the world...'. Not part of the world, but all of it. (And for 'world' read 'humanity'. All of humanity, that is, born and unborn.)

    We ignore this at our peril.

    There is NO difficulty (even that of an unwanted pregnancy) that is beyond divine resolution. But where will Jesus find the requisite faith that would make such resolution possible, since mortal men insist on applying human 'solutions' to these matters, and human rationalizations of them.

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  18. Why do you always feel you have to attack Bernie Smyth? She was subjected to so much hate that it was instrumental in bringing some of us to our senses. Sorry, we cannot continue to support you...

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  19. Thanks MC. Clear and unequivocal....

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  20. Pat I've just finished reading your book 'A thorn in the side'. I read it in a day and laughed out loud many times. What a set of characters and I loved the anecdote that bishop Eamon Casey's defence in his drink-driving case was that the waiter had a heavy hand.

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    1. I also liked your very kind account of Archbishop McQuaid and your visits to him in his retirement in Killeney. He became something of a hate figure in modern Ireland but you mentioned his private care for others. Did you ever discuss theology with him? I laughed also when you said that no matter what happened you would never again share a house with a parish priest. I've never met an Irish PP who had anything other than a huge personality.

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    2. I also read recently Fr Joe McVeigh's biography. He disclosed that a layman tried to book a church hall in the diocese of Clogher for a dance. The PP agreed, but only on condition that the layman guaranteed that there would be no sins, mortal or venial before, during or after the dance. The layman regretted that he could give no such undertaking and the booking was declined.

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    3. In my experience in Maynooth and in the diocese clerical humour is first class. I suppose that in any professional dealing directly with the public you pick up a gag or two.

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    4. Yes, the PP made strenuous efforts to ensure that the parish dance stayed sin-free(even in the slow smoochy numbers) by meandering around the perimeter of the dance hall and occasionally pausing to prod a couple apart with his blackthorn walking stick. His task became harder towards the end of the evening when the revolving glitter ball light in the ceiling started to roll and threw parts of the dance hall into deep shadow. Oh what fun!

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    5. The boul Joe McVeigh reveals that the PP intervened to halt "pagan dances" but then the PP went to bed and the craic carried on regardless.

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  21. Induction of new PP in Cookstown, by Bishop Amy and his sidekick was Brendan Marshall on the night. Who Amy made a big fuss of as one of the Dioceses Seminarians. Special prayer for him. You'd have thought he was getting the keys to the Church. Bishop Amy celebrated mass for his Armagh Priests at Priest requiem mass on Monday in Lissan and his sidekick was Brendan Marshall again. Has Thomas McHugh got the sack? Is Brendan Marshall the new MC for Armagh? Where is Thomas? Amy likes Brendan it seems.

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    1. 15.43... He's busy doing his job in Armagh in which he's pretty good at.
      FYI he's MC in Armagh Cathedral not in any other Church I believe.

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  22. I find it intriguing that the religious right seem to be constantly trying to force all of us to live by their rules - whether it be swings chained up on Sundays, prayers before meals, no gay marriage or no abortions.

    Why can't they focus on living their lives according to their own self-selected rules, and allow people with entirely different beliefs to live theirs?

    On the subject of abortion, there is a wide range of views, all of which have some validity. Just because a particular set of churches or groups oppose it does not mean it is some kind of absolute truth which should be imposed upon everyone.

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    1. And the answer is: "a 'holier than thou' intolerance founded on absolute perspectives invariably linked to childhood imprinting of this nature subsequently reinforced and strengthened by association with the like-minded!"
      Quod erat demonstrandum.
      MMM

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    2. 16.35. It is absolutely imperative and a moral duty of Christian churches to boldly proclaim the SANCTITY AND DIGNITY OF THE UNBORN CHILD. Who else is speaking up for, and, defending the right to life of the unborn child? Not you obviously..Incidentally I am a Catholic and proud yo be so and I am not of the relugious right. An easy label to discredit genuine Christians who have deeply held relugious beliefs and principles. Nothing wrong with that!

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    3. 21:17. I respect your chosen values, and your right to express/proclaim them and even to promote them. I respect your right to try to persuade others to adopt your views and beliefs. Nothing wrong with that at all.
      I do not however accept that you have a right to impose them upon me through law, preventing me from doing things which my own values find acceptable. This is the realm of the Taliban.

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  23. Who's the new PP of Cookstown? Where's the old one going? Hope it's not Portydown.

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  24. Brendan Marshall had a vomit inducing Pope Francis lite twitter account. All very Dali Lama/Thought for the day. Wtf was he getting up to in Maynooth though?

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    1. Charming!? - - You sound (@ 17.31. like the sort of friend everyone shouldn't have.

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  25. Why, oh why, Magna, can you not write like this all the time and behave like this all the time?

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    1. Surprise, surprise, Magna moved out of his dark imprisonment to a moment of enlightenment today at 14.28. Miracles do happen. Must be all the prayers offered for his well being!!

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    2. I should very much appreciate your prayers.

      And for those of you who have prayed for me, my deep thanks.

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  26. 15.43 Meaning of your post is very unclear because of the verbal confusion in the first two sentences.

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  27. 20.15. MMM...Why be so judgmental of those who, through knowledge, education and considered thinking, hold definite and deep views on moral issues? I learned much from my upbringing, through my parents, priests and religious. I aporeciate what they taught and gave me by the witness of their Christian lives. It was the foundation for my own moral, spiritual and human growth and development. I make no apology for that. My own education and learning leads me to believe in THE ABSOLUTE, INVIOLABLE RIGHT TO LIFE OF THE UNBORN CHILD. I will never equivocate on this belief and principle. I do not possess "a holier than thou intolerance" towards anyone who differs from me. You, however, seem well capable of your own "atheistic intolerance"! QED.....

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    1. And of course you are fully entitled to your views which I respect. From what you say it seems you are an educated thoughtful person: again, one worthy of respect.
      In answering Anon@16:35's query concerning religious intolerance I gave what has been my personal experience and additionally the perspectives put forward by many analytical writers on the matter.
      MMM

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  28. Gorgeous has left the building.....so Dublin sources have confirmed. Thank heavens Dublin has been spared the ordination of a seriously disordered individual, there are quite enough of them at present. His friend is to be chaplain in St.Vincents Hospital, Elm Park. Quite a comedown from boss in Marlboro St. A kick sideways?

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    1. I hear he's going to you as you need help with your Pastoral and parish work that REAL clerics are doing Pat or to help you make mockery and slag others and that part you are a master!

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  29. So no Rev Gorgeous?

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  30. Pat, if M. Byrne has left, it's no occasion to be so self righteous. The guy needs our prayers. Thankfully, with proper guidance, wisdom and prayer he will not advance any further. Remember, you too at one time were "seriously disordered" to use your own words. Not a nice place to be & certainly no one deserves the derision, judgment and slandetous condemnation in their personal struggles. Plesse don't resort back to bitchiness and nastiness!

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  31. O'RIELLY OR WALSH?

    Will gorgeous get ordained? Isn't he a cleric as a deacon already?

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  32. St Vincents is more than sideways, more like a kicking

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  33. If you have an ectopic pregnancy or sepsis, then abortion is a very good thing indeed. It is the ONLY thing which will keep you alive.

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