Monday, 17 June 2013

Telling it like it is!

British Prime Minister, David Cameron, is chairing the G8 Summit that began in Northern Ireland today.

He received a letter from Pope Francis that goes beyond "wishing you well with your discussions" type of greeting. Basically the Pope said there will be no change in the "rotten system" - to quote Dorothy Day - until the dignity and value of the human person is recognised.

Concern for the fundamental material and spiritual welfare of every human person is the starting-point for every political and economic solution and the ultimate measure of its effectiveness and its ethical validity.

The goal of economics and politics is to serve humanity, beginning with the poorest and most vulnerable wherever they may be, even in their mothers' wombs.

Every economic and political theory or action must set about providing each inhabitant of the planet with the minimum wherewithal to live in dignity and freedom, with the possibility of supporting a family, educating children, praising God and developing one's own human potential.

This is the main thing; in the absence of such a vision, all economic activity is meaningless.

In this sense, the various grave economic and political challenges facing today's world require a courageous change of attitude that will restore to the end (the human person) and to the means (economics and politics) their proper place.

Money and other political and economic means must serve, not rule.

Fundamental Christian, indeed human, principles.

Pope Francis ends: I wished to share these thoughts with you, Prime Minister, with a view to highlighting what is implicit in all political choices, but can sometimes be forgotten: the primary importance of putting humanity, every single man and woman, at the centre of all political and economic activity, both nationally and internationally, because person is the truest and deepest resource for politics and economics, as well as their ultimate end.

As we have come to expect from Pope Francis - he tells it like it is.

Let's hope someone is listening!

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Friars' Letter: Defending Life

Below is a letter to our local TDs (members of parliament) in which Irish Franciscan Friars (OFM) express their deep concern about proposed legislation that would introduce abortion into Ireland.

Debate about this fundamental issue is often contentious and bitter. In keeping with the Franciscan spirit the tone of this letter seeks to be prayerful and courteous.

Franciscan Friary


The Lord give you peace.

I write to you as an Irish citizen and also as a Franciscan friar, guided by the Gospel vision that inspired St Francis of Assisi. At the heart of that vision was a profound reverence for life.

As you are so well aware the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill has aroused intense discussion. The proposed legislation has raised grave concerns for many, particularly about its likely unintended impact on the protection and care for human life in our country.

I wish to echo the compassionate approach expressed by Pope Francis who has said: “We must listen, support, and understand in order to save two lives: we must love and support the mother in every way we can and also respect the smallest and most defenceless human being, to take all possible steps that can preserve the child’s life, to allow that child of God come to birth.”

I realise that you carry a major responsibility as you reflect on this most important matter – literally one of life or death.

I promise to pray for you as you fulfil your duty as our elected representative.

Yours respectfully,