Friday, 16 March 2018

MARY MC ALEESE SPEECH




TO BE HONEST I HAVE NOT AT ALL BEEN A FAN OF MARY MC ALEESE.

I HAVE REGARDED HER AS A SELF SERVING, NARCISSISTIC WOMAN WHO, WHILE SHE HAD CERTAIN CRITICISMS TO MAKE OF THE CHURCH, LIKED TO MIX, WINE AND DINE WITH CARDINALS, ARCHBISHOPS, BISHOPS AND CLERGY.

I have thought that she was an upper-middle-class VERBAL LIBERAL - great at the talking and not great at the acting out?

I have also met and listened to people in her close circle who have told me that "Mary is all about Mary".

Of course, I never met Mary McAleese.

While she invited all kinds of people from Northern Ireland to her residence as President of Ireland - including staunch Northern Ireland Unionists and Loyalists - I always got the impression that she would never send such an invitation to a "non-respectable Catholic" like me. 

I have been told that she is a friend of Cardinal Sean "The Wounded Hearer" Brady etc.


BUT...................................

I was impressed by this speech she gave recently in Rome. 

In the speech, she manages to say a lot of things I agree with.

I'm wondering if she has undergone a change of thinking with regard to Roman Catholicism?

I'm wondering if dealing with her son's homosexuality and gay marriage against the background of RC condemnation has changed her?

What do readers think?

89 comments:

  1. I have met quite a few mothers who cherish the church and who have changed their thinking because their gay son is not getting what he wants. It is like they are saying to God, 'You made my son gay so I don't want to hear anything in the church in anyway critical of my son or me.'

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    1. 00:41, '...their gay son is not getting what he wants.'? And what might that be? How about not wanting to be made to feel that he is less than human through being described as intrinsically or objectively disordered? Or how about not being made to feel that he is unjustly discriminated against when his Church employer sacks him simply for being gay (as has happened in the US), or for being in a same-sex relationship, when he knows that divorced and remarried employees of the same church, for example, are not treated as poorly? Or how about not wanting to be made to feel that his sincere love of another is somehow personally and socially degrading?

      Those mothers 'who have changed their thinking (about the Church) because their gay son is not getting what he wants' were right to do so, for that gay son was seeking what the rest of us have long enjoyed: love and respect.

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    2. I think Mary McAleese was a a founding member of the Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform in ROI before her children were born.

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    3. Lex semper reformanda.

      Well done so Dr McAleese!

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  2. I met her long before she became president.
    She was down to earth, a lovely articulate intelligent woman.
    I was honoured to chat too her, as I was just another woman undertaking a course at the time.she was provost at QUB at the time.
    You misjudged her big time.Pat.
    She never had a big head about herself, she was from Ardoyne after all.
    People do change their views, I have changed my views over the years, it’s callled growing.i expect she changed her views on many things as she studied extensively.

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    1. She has a big gob 00.47

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    2. Yes, 13:18? she is a powerful speaker.

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  3. Wow! What an impressive address! Truth, clarity and rhetoric in a powerful rhapsody for ecclesiological (and ecclesial) change. To be honest, I didn't think Mary McA had such depth and articulation in her. (Did she compose the address herself?)

    The speech deserves to be seminal, but I very much doubt this prospect. Can anyone imagine the reaction of the Polish fathead were he alive to hear these rebellious words? He'd have been absolutely enraged...in a distinctly righteous way, of course. Unfortunately, there are still too many like him (Cardinal Kevin Farrell?) at the Vatican.

    To me, the most disspiriting thing about the occasion was the absence of Church 'hierarchy', a sign, probably, that Dr McAleese's words have fallen as much on stony ground as on the fertile soil of more enlightened hearts.

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  4. MourneManMichael17 March 2018 at 01:20

    As I said in a recent comment Pat: Surely it's a reasonable thing to respond to new insights and understandings by considering, and if necessary, modifying previously held perspectives to reflect, and where appropriate, articulate that fresh appreciation.
    To refuse to amend one's opinion in consideration of fresh insights, by obdurately and blindly clinging on to a status quo perspective is not the hallmark of intelligent use of one's reasoning faculties,whether one believes them to be 'God given' or otherwise. With respect to religious and moral matters, to refuse to alter opinion despite fresh understanding seems to reflect a blind and fearful obeisance derived from unthinking childhood and cultural influences.
    So perhaps Mary Mc has changed with age, maturity and fresh perspectives, and let's give her credit for that. Unlike some current politicians of all ilk, she is more free to express sincerely held beliefs rather than spout out banalities designed to bolster constituency majorities.
    MMM

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    1. Why do you bother responding on here MMM as a self described Athethist- better to stfu

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    2. 13:16 Why bother to comment when you cannot spell Atheist?

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    3. MournemanMichael17 March 2018 at 17:16

      Would you mind Anon @ 13:16 if I responded to your comment by asking you what an "Athethist" is?
      Perhaps you could also kindly explain "stufu".
      Thanks.
      MMM

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    4. It was stfu.. Not stufu. Get with it.

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    5. MournemanMichael17 March 2018 at 23:53

      I apologise that I am not well versed in the use of such ?????words, expressions or whatever it is. I still await your kind explanation. I'm sure it will be illuminating, though I'm not sure what.

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  5. Person experience and how we handle them have to influence how we relate to others and practice a religion if we have one. Christian faith is a journey of relationship in faith with God and others. If structures are damaged so will our experience. The mystery of cross and resurrection does not excuse suffering but shows us a way through through Jesus who is Way Truth and light.

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  6. You have gone way down in my estimation over McAlesse. You blow with the wind Pat and you have lost a trusted friend n this one. Will you wise up.

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    1. Good riddance - you display little understanding of either trust or friendship.

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    2. Bishop Pat, I thought you had integrity until you agreed with McAleese. Enough said. I won't be reading your blog again.

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    3. If I found her speech good how can I say otherwise?

      Obviously you are not keen on Mary?

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  7. Is 08.19 saying you disagree with Mary having an opinion too.
    I listened to her interview on Rte, she said she believes the Pope is head of church, but she doesn’t have to believe everything he says,.
    I don’t understand , Pat, how you could have had your initial opinion, she was president , so she behaved as one.

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  8. A Happy St. Patrick's day to you all

    RC_2016Eire

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    1. 10.40 Same to you and everybody else. Im in work Thanks for reminding me

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    2. Sean, it's funny how you can forget when you live in England, as I did for many years. I remember working for a company and being bewildered when nobody was answering on the 17th of March when I phoned our office in Dublin.

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  9. Apart from greatly improving relations between ROI and UK, I don’t know much about her.

    However, her long and distinguished career (see Wikipedia) suggests she is definitely a force to be reckoned with.

    It could turn out to be dramatic example of “an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_McAleese

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  10. Happy Feast Day +Pat

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    1. I was a Sem in Rome and really admired the tradition of the onamastico, in which a person's feast day (eg Pat on St Patrick's Day) is celebrated. It's almost like having two birthdays a year.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Name_day

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    2. 14.44 Paddy's Day was a big day in Rome. Chance to feed the bigshots. The locals wondered what the weed in the top pocket was. Using weed in the old sense of the word that is

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    3. Sean at 16 34: What an inane, unenkughtening comment! Of what relevance is your comment? Useless..

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    4. Surely the locals are well used to the shamrock by now! It's not today or yesterday Irish people have travelled and settled there as they have in every continent of the world.

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    5. Sean Page @ 16.34 It’s Saint Patrick’s Day actually, the man was St Patrick. You have become an Englishman overnight. Who calls him St Paddy.

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    6. 21.17 I do and always have done even when I was in Ireland. I work 24 hour shifts to keep the bank manager happy. I would love to give St Patrick's Day the attention it deserves.

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    7. Saint Patrick is Ireland’s favourite Brit. Many call March 17 Paddy’s Day.

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    8. It's probably not allowed to say this in polite company, but Patrick's father was a deacon and his grandfather was a priest lol.

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    9. And his grandfather a bishop?

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    10. It’s supposed that he returned to Ireland under guidance from Pope Celestine I (422-432). Five years before Celestine, Pope Innocent I died. He had succeeded his father as pope.

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    11. Some very dubious new details on St Patrick's early life emerging from the fevered imagination of at least one poster!
      It is generally agreed that virtually nothing is known of St Patrick's lineage..It is not certain whether he was Welsh or English and some historians have speculated that he could have come across from Scotland . But there is an honesty in the uncertainty . One of those issues where theories abound and Wikipedians have a field day contradicting and "correcting" each other.. It's crazy really.
      His "Confessions" were translated from his slightly incorrect Latin and give an insight into his spiritual ideas and his first impressions of Ireland and its people.

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  11. To People who disagree with Pat, but who were trusted friends of his for a long time
    I say you weren’t a very sincere person, we don’t fall out with our friends over a difference of opinion.i would not.

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    1. 11.52 Exactly. So many on here go for the person instead of the argument. I would like to see allot less anonymous posters on here too.

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  12. The good, faithful lifelong dedicated Catholics are really getting sick of the incessant drip drip information about molesters, cover uppers, sadists etc who were allowed a carte blanche reign of terror. The boys at the top need to wise up fast. You have more love for your canon laws than you do for the vulnerable at the bottom of the pyramid. What would Christ make of that? He'd be furious. I try to remain faithful to the mass and the sacraments, but I do feel for people who just walk away in disgust. They have not been served well.

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    1. 12:32, you are both right and wrong at the same time.

      Right about the boys at the top wising up; but you obviously don’t understand what Canon Law is/does. You have swallowed the media disinformation about it.

      For if Canon Law had been correctly followed, the Church would not be in the mess it is in. It is precisely because they DID NOT follow Canon Law that abusers were allowed to run amok.

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    2. 16:06 Yeah! Right! As if reading the relevant canon law was going to stop a criminal.

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    3. The Murphy Report makes precisely the same point as 16:06

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    4. 00:19 it wasn't the reading of Canon Law that would have stopped abusers but it's application could have. The Murphy Report concluded that Canon Law had collapsed in Dublin with dire consequences and even Dermo admitted this publicly to Pope Benedict.

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    5. Impossible to apply something without first reading it. No apostrophe required @09.36.

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    6. If the Gospel and the law if the land had been adhered to it wouldn’t have happened. No need to introduce canon law.

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    7. If Canon Law had been correctly followed the abusers would have been OUT ON THEIR EARS IMMEDIATELY! As it was, they were taken by the hand because of “psychological reports” and because bishops felt they should be “merciful and understanding”. With catastrophic consequences!

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  13. Pat I requested your three books from the library and enjoyed every one. There are some cracking anecdotes. I know that some here accuse you of whipping up anti-clericalism but you write with great affection about the good priests you knew growing up or worked with later. Your vignettes about the president of Clonliffe and about Archbishop McQuaid were funny and interesting.

    My only quibble is that occasionally you wrote "despite being conservative, he [e.g. McQuaid] was compassionate" as if these were positions at opposite poles.

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  14. And your fascinating book about the hand in glove relationship between the hierarchy and the Irish News inspired me to buy the paper for the first time in years. Was that your QUB MA thesis?

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    1. It still has "Pro Fide et Patria" over the leader column, sometimes called the editorial. Your excellent book Pat is very helpful in teasing out the balance between the two. I was very struck, for example by this nationalist newspaper's reporting of pro-Humanae Vite statements by English bishops in the months before the Irish bishops pronounced.

      Although I'm a very conservative Catholic I think HV is a nonsense. Natural Family Planning using charts, thermometers and swabs isn't very natural and the desired outcome is the same as when using the pill, i.e. the avoidance of pregnancy. It's only the technology used that's different.

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  15. My mother was Irish and my father English. I know a lot about English history but I am curious about my other ancestors. Could anyone recommend a good book which gives a good wash on Irish history. I know that the Brits treated the Irish very badly. I would like the book to be well balanced.

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    1. Robert Kee's 'Ireland: A History'. Excellent read, and historically well balanced, in my opinion. A seasoned journalist's perspective on Irish history rather than the portentous tones of a scholar, so it makes for a highly enjoyable read. You won't be disappointed.

      (An interesting aside: to my knowledge, Dr Ian Paisley criticised Kee for referring, in the book I think, to Paisley's role in Northern Ireland's history as 'a snippet'. I suppose we all are tempted at times to think we are more than bit players on the historical stage.)

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    2. The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish History, Oxford University Press, 2014, 800 pages - a good place to start.

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    3. Some excellent, readable and balanced books on

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    4. Some excellent ,readable and balanced books on Irish history.
      I recommend
      1) Ireland in History (Abacus Books paperback by Robert Kee

      2)A History of Ireland in 250 Episodes.. Everything you wanted to know. by Jonathan Bardon... also available in Kindle form

      3)Making Sense of the Troubles.. a History of the Northern Ireland Conflict by David Mc Kittrick

      Hope you can get one or more of these and that you enjoy them!
      (From a bookworm)

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    5. MournemanMichael17 March 2018 at 21:36

      Excellent recommendations above. Additionally, to get a completely different perspective and feel read Leon Chris's novel Trinity. Engrossing portrayal of three different personalities from differing Irish cultures whose lives intertwine: country peasent Catholic farmer, Protestant wealthy businessman and a landed gentry type. Very readable and unforgettable.
      MMM

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    6. MournemanMichael17 March 2018 at 23:42

      Sorry! Predictive text typo on mobile! Leon Uris . An American Jewish writer who travelled extensively in Ireland with his wife Jill a professional photographer. Their thematic book on Ireland is fascinating also.
      MMM

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    7. The "bookworm" @ 20.05 agrees fulsomely with MM on his book choice

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    8. 11.49. See reply to 18:06 below.

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  16. I agree with 13.13, I too gave you the benefit of the doubt until you sided with Mary McAleese. You’ve let your side down, Bishop Buckley.

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    1. 16:46 Utter nonsense. Primitive tribalism to see this in terms of two opposing sides - and worse to imagine we or Pat should folliw suit.

      Pat knows the quote from Hamlet.
      This above all: to thine own self be true,
      And it must follow, as the night the day,
      Thou canst not then be false to any man.

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    2. Och aye, dearie! There was Hamlet right enough.....but ye dinnae want to pay heed to that .. Sure widye look what happened to him!

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  17. Happy St Patrick’s day to ye all, girls.

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    1. You too ladies! Are you having a good St Patrick's Day....for McHugh's later maybe?

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  18. You are full of humility Bishop Pat at (14.56)

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  19. If I worked in the Vatican Id be tempted to "leak" a fake letter from Frances allowing abortion! Lies about letters are topical in the Vatican right now! McAleese is a forger too not admitting that the changes she wants to church teaching tear the faith apart. There is no mandate for gay sex in Catholic tradition or the Bible no matter what she wants to believe.

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    1. @17.52 Shows how desperate your position is that you would resort to lying. In Roman Catholic moral theology the end never justifies the means.

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    2. Well, we all may be more than thankful that you (@ poster 17.52)don't work at the Vatican What a shocking thing for you to say
      You are a disgrace.

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  20. Women cannot be in persona Christi no more than a man can be the Virgin Mary. Does Mary think she can be the next Pope?

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    1. Why cannot women be such, 18:15? Jesus became incarnate as a man, yet ontologically, he, as the Second Person of the Trinity, is not a man, but God. And God, as it were, incorporates more than the human gender binary; but he does incorporate BOTH genders Therefore women could, logically, act in persona Christi.

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  21. Mary McAleese's "lecture" was far too stridently feminist with calculated insult and innuendo. She may have done her agenda some damage in the use of some of her words. Screaming and shouting is no way to engage in necessary debate about serious issues. Having said that, I agree with the themes of her reflections and challenges. For many years as a priest I have tried to redress the inequalities and anomalies in my respective parishes where I worked. I have always sought to recognise and affirm the giftedness of people and where and when necessary, in dialogue with the community, discerned various roles for gifted, visionary and imaginative people. Mostly, it was women who would come to the fore and out of my experiences I can attest to the amazing contributions made by them. I have never understood a theology or a spirituality that excludes people, women particularly, from ministry, for whatever reason. I hope the Church will reflect deeply on issues raised by Mary McAleese and do so with imaginative generosity. Words like "codology" and "tyranny" as used by her have a way of undermining her arguments. But, overall I believe she has much to offer and her challenges as I hear them ensure that I, in my role will always treat everyone equally, respectfully, affirming the unique gifts which are evident in our Christian/Parish community.

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    1. MournemanMichael17 March 2018 at 22:16

      An excellent comment father, and indicating you to be the kind of priest regrettably we hear little about. It's unfortunate some of your colleagues misdeeds predominate.
      MMM

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    2. 19.18 If you dont approve of strident language how do you deal with the psalms?

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  22. Pat, i too have gone off you because of your support of Mary McAleese,

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    1. 20.55 See above at 19.05.

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  23. I doubt she will achieve anything, but she was right to sneer and parody the old pooftahs.

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  24. 18:15 I’m afraid it’s not as simple as that.

    Gregory Nazianzus’ celebrated insight clarifies that what has not been assumed by the Christ has not been healed. Humanity in its entirety has been taken on by Jesus. For that reason women are as much or as little capable of being and acting persona Christi as men are.

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  25. I have not read our former presidents speach made in Rome but one thing springs to mind in relation to the church. As Catholics and as Christians we are supposed to believe in the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As things stand for some reason women are not allowed to be priest's or even deacons in the Catholic church but are in other Christian churches. But here is something the little old men that travel to the Vatican to elect popes and to attend meetings were rules are made should think about. Who was present a Jesus birth? A woman. Who was present when he was crucified? Some women. Who were the first to know that Jesus had risen from the death and was no longer in the tomb? Women. So we had women present at Jesus's birth, death and resurrection but we are not allowed to have women stand behind a alter or behind the ambo and to tell us all about Jesus and to do what he told us to do at the last supper. The Catholic church at times can be very good at making up rules as it goes along. T.K.73.

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    1. Maybe you'd be happier in the "Church of Ireland"?

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    2. 09.48 doesn’t like the evidence when it’s presented.
      Maybe you’d be happier in Wonderland with Alice.

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  26. Mary Mc is pretty spot on, certainly about the patriarchy and misogyny of the Church that is still alive and kicking, and which just is not tenable or sustainable any longer. The Church, sadly, has it wrong about so many things, not just about women, who make up over 50 per cent of its membership.

    I've been thinking about the live issues which the Church is confronted with in our time, and which the Church just seems to have got wrong, and thereby sees itself at odds with so many people who now feel that the Church does not figure in their lives any longer, and is an irrelevance to them.

    Such as:

    Issues around women, including the sacramental ordination of women, as spoken about by Mary Mc.

    Issues about sexuality, how people live their relationships and create family, and the Church's insistence of viewing and judging everything through the prism of the loins and genital acts ! That's the first port of call in any evaluation of a person and a relationship. No surprise, I guess, given that its clergy are mostly frustrated and in denial about so much of their own identity and sexuality !

    Issues about power and authority; Mary Mc touches on this in her speech, and that overriding sense of entitlement and abuse of power and authority that the Church and its clergy seem to take for granted. A priest appears to have instant wisdom and authority about almost anything, simple because he is a priest ! Well, some of them in my experience are complete muppets and wouldn't rise above junior management level in a business !

    A very live issue in Ireland at the moment is abortion, and ironically the Church probably has it right here. Life is precious, and in particular life which has no voice and is powerless and innocent. Protecting that right, even if it overshadows somewhat the right of the woman, seems to me to be the right course. All the other issues discussed above are fixable and can develop. Abortion is final, there is no fixing it, because the life has been extinguished. So, erring on the side of caution and in defence of the innocent, powerless unborn life is the right way to go. So, well done Church, you have it right on at least one issue !

    As I said at the top of this, the result of the Church's attitude to these matters is that young people in particular are finding themselves excluded, alienated and see the Church and its teachings and culture as irrelevant to their lives and their concerns. I think the battle is already lost, at least in the West. Yes, I know that Third World countries are booming with Christianity at present. But, it will implode too as the excesses, crimes and abuses of those churches becomes clearer in the decades to come. Not all is well or good in those churches, indeed much is wrong and abusive. People will see this and will question, and the Church will give them the same stonewalling answers that they have given us for decades, namely we are the Magisterium and this is what we say and you have to accept it. Well, Holy Father, Bishops and Priest, people are not swallowing that anymore, but you can't see that. You have lost the plot. It's endgame for you and for the Church as you know it.

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  27. 10:39 has to be one of the most articulate, precise, and level-headed comments ever to appear on this blog.

    Thank you and well said!

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    1. Really?If this was the "most precise" version, thank Heavens we were spared the standard version LOL

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  28. I am trying to predict how you @10.38 could post such fulsome praise for that long text before then text itself appeared !! There is only one way you could predict such a thing.LOL.

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  29. I just looked up the word ‘fulsome’ in a dictionary. I’d advise you to do the same, 18:06.

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  30. And I’d suggest you check your times again and adjust your conclusion.

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