Belfast priest says united Ireland is now irrelevant, praises Queen
Fr Eugene O’Neill’s comments provoke strong reaction
“That is not in any way to minimise the role of misbehaviour and crime in the church but everyone has to put their hands up if they’re guilty and I felt therefore that it was a very dishonest statement and pretty cheap politics.”
The priest, partly brought up in Dublin, expressed his shock at the Irish government’s recent decision to close its embassy at the Vatican.
“There’s a continual critique in the South and a lack of recognition of any positive role for faiths, any positive role for the churches, not recognising the vast effort that they make in social services and the good that they do,” he claimed.
“Something strange is going on while, at the same time, in the United Kingdom the tide is going the other way.
“When you read that, when you read what David Cameron said, when you see how the Pope was welcomed to Britain - it was amazing - when you see that and how the British diplomatic service engage on the ground with churches, it’s telling a different story.
“So I was asking myself more fundamental questions like: Why in a state whose head of state is in fact the leader of a church, the Church of England, it seems to be a more open space for faith, debate and cooperation.
“Whereas in a republic it seems to be a very cold house for Catholicism and in fact Christianity, where there is a really powerful hostility, exclusion, aggression.
“I also found it interesting in the last few days to see the touching of the hem of the Chinese vice-premier by Michael D Higgins who I remember as a schoolboy was out protesting against Ronald Reagan.
“We know China’s human rights record - still the biggest executor in the world, oppression of massive numbers of Christians, Falun Gong or anyone opposed to them - don’t we have values beyond the economy?”
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Everyone disregard my post that is unfinished. I hit enter by mistake, sorry.Spanish judge slams Ryanair’s sexist air hostess calendar
Chuck I didn't realize that you had a great sense of humor, that was to funny. I actually had to watch it two or three times before I came to my decisThe New York Times questions Ireland’s highly-praised economic recovery
Maybe the Times should question Obama's recovery.Bah! Humbug! The ten worst things about Christmas (PHOTOS)
And to you Chuck a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year. I have my New Year resolution already and that is to stop antagonizing you, enough is en