Sidney Lowry writes (‘Voters on both sides are ahead of the political parties, who are in a time warp’ June 23): “The abortion vote in the Republic confirmed what we have known for some time, that the Roman Catholic church has lost its grip on Irish politics.”
I would see this differently.
In my view the overwhelming Irish vote in favour of abortion arises from the Irish Catholic hierarchy’s, especially in Northern Ireland, ambivalent stance on abortion and also on homosexual practices.
For instance, in 2017, Mr Martin McGuinness, an active and senior member of Sinn Fein, an avowedly pro-abortion and pro-homosexual lifestyle party, was given a honourable public Catholic church funeral, including a Requiem Mass, in St Columba’s Church in Derry/Londonderry.
To the best of my knowledge the late Mr McGuinness had never disassociated himself from Sinn Fein, or that organisation’s aggressive pro-active stance on abortion and homosexual practices, even though they are unambiguously condemned as gravely evil in the Catechism of the Catholic church.
I am not aware that any member of the Irish Catholic hierarchy, or clergy, publically dissociated themselves from the public church funeral; the message, as I perceive it, is that the Catholic funeral gave to the Catholic people of Ireland, and the wider world, an impression that abortion and homosexual practices are of no importance in the real world, as far as Irish Catholicism goes.
Utterances offered by the Irish Catholic hierarchy on behalf of the unborn during the recent abortion referendum in Ireland, sounded hypocritical and hollow when voters remembered how the Catholic church had given a senior Sinn Fein activist, in an avowedly pro-abortion political party, an honourable public funeral and seemingly with no questions asked by Irish Catholic clergy about his, or his party’s, stance on abortion and homosexual practices.
Micheal O’Cathail, Fermanagh