Article 40 – Marriage! Church v State
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First Published in ‘The Catholic Voice’, Ireland, July 2015

Two Claimants to Jurisdiction over Marriage

In looking at authority, we have seen that in any given situation, or place, or time, there can be only one ultimate authority. We have also seen that a clash inevitably arises where more than one person or group claim to be that ultimate authority. We also know that in Ireland, there have been two claimants to jurisdiction concerning marriage for quite some time now, and that the recent referendum which re-defined marriage as the state knows it, has seen the claim of the Church vanquished in favour of the claim of the State.Read the rest

Article 39 – Marriage! And The Ultimate Authority
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First Published in ‘The Catholic Voice’, Ireland, June 2015

There is only ever one Ultimate Authority

I want to dwell a little longer on the subject of authority and to reflect briefly on the implications for the exercise of authority in Ireland that may come about as a result of the ‘Yes’ vote in the recent marriage referendum. I am speaking of authority in the sense of the power to determine, to have jurisdiction, and the right to control and command.

Now in any given situation, or place, or time, there can only be one ultimate authority. As Catholics, we of course know that God is the ultimate authority, but there are varying and different levels of authority.Read the rest

Article 38 – Marriage! Another Prophetic Voice
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First Published in ‘The Catholic Voice’, Ireland, June 2015

The Wisdom of the Foreigner

As I begin this article I have before me a magazine, produced in Ireland, by an American couple who came to live here in 1979 to promote Natural Family Planning. As is sometimes the case, the eyes of the foreigner can see more clearly the blighted landscape that is no longer noticed by the native, because it has become all too familiar to him. This American couple quickly became aware that all was not healthy in ‘Catholic’ Ireland and, in an effort to help Irish Catholics, they began publishing a magazine in 1984 which they continued until their departure from Ireland in 1991.Read the rest

Article 37 – Marriage! Couples Betrayed
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First Published in ‘The Catholic Voice’, Ireland, May 2015

Priests who fail to uphold Church teaching on contraception, damage Marriage

Our third child was born by caesarian section in December 1992. The following year we moved from County Tipperary to a parish in Co Sligo. We got to know the parish priest quite well and on one occasion when my wife was speaking with him on the subject of marriage and children he told her that perhaps it was time for her to go and talk to her doctor about birth control.

When I subsequently tackled this priest about his remarks to my wife, I asked him whether or not he would uphold Church teaching on the matter of contraception if he were preparing young couples for marriage.Read the rest

Article 36 – A Faithful Irish Bishop Speaks
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First Published in ‘The Catholic Voice’, Ireland, May 2015

The Last Episcopal Voice in Ireland to speak out against Heretical professors

In a previous article I mentioned that one of Ireland’s Archbishops, in 1970, issued a letter that was to be read out at every Mass in his diocese on account of the heretical statements made by one of the professors at Maynooth to the Irish Medical Union. This professor’s statements, contradicted Church teaching on contraception. The archbishop, who was the last episcopal voice in this country to publicly challenge the heretical positions of the Maynooth professors, also issued a statement in 1971 which addressed the issue of legislation which would permit the sale and distribution of contraceptives.Read the rest

Article 35 – Marriage! The Prophet Continues
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First Published in ‘The Catholic Voice’, Ireland, May 2015

The Bishops did not express disapproval of Contraception Legislation

We are looking at the year 1978 when the Irish Bishops issued a total of three statements, none of which expressed disapproval of proposed legislation which would make the sale and importation of contraceptives legal in Ireland for the first time. We are also looking at the comments of one prophetic professor of moral theology and canon law in regard to those statements, particularly to the statement issued in April of that year.

Again I want to make it very clear that these articles are not simply about criticising bishops but we must also be very clear that our bishops, being human, can and do make mistakes, and if they cause confusion to the faithful in certain statements that they make, then there is an onus on other members of the faithful to speak out and to offer fraternal correction always in a spirit of charity.Read the rest

Article 34 – Marriage! The Prophetic Voices
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First Published in ‘The Catholic Voice’, Ireland, April 2015

The Prophet is Derided in his own Country

Whilst these articles deal in the main with the Catholic understanding of marriage and what has gone wrong with marriage in this country, it is impossible to deal with this subject without every so often, taking a look around at the prevailing climate of the times. In my last article I mentioned that God always sends prophetic voices amongst His people. However, more often than not, the prophet is derided in his own home and it is often the case that it is only the death of the prophet and the passage of time that allows us to look back and see the light that was shining in the darkness.Read the rest

Article 33 – Marriage! Ireland, Stronghold of Faith?
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First Published in ‘The Catholic Voice’, Ireland, April 2015

Ireland, a Jewel in the Catholic Crown?

The Ireland of 1968 was a very different place from the Ireland of today in certain respects. Ireland was regarded as a stronghold of the faith, a jewel in the crown of the Church with a proud history of missionary work and evangelisation throughout Europe and beyond. This faith was reflected in our laws. Divorce was illegal, the sale and importation of contraceptives were illegal, there was no pornography on sale in our shops, these same shops were mostly closed for business on Sundays and holy days of obligation, abortion was illegal, homosexual acts were illegal.Read the rest

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