The Irish Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster slams the Irish National Transport Authority’s move as sectarian discrimination.
Ireland’s National Transport Authority has announced free use of mass transit in Dublin for anyone who has a ticket to Pope Francis’s mass in Phoenix Park on Sunday, August 26.
In hopes of easing what will likely become a traffic nightmare in the capital city, the NTA said in July that, “Every bus, train and tram is being used for this event and for the safety of the travelling public if you have a ticket for the Phoenix Park, you will be allowed to travel for free within Dublin on the day of the event.”
Some, however, are deeming this as discrimination to non-Catholics.
The Congregationalist Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of Ireland (@CoFSM_Ireland on Twitter), which describes itself as “Interested in the separation of Church and State, and the Freedom of Religion and Belief,” has engaged in a war of words with Ireland’s National Transit Authority over the decision.
While many doubt and even denounce the legitimacy of The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the organization remains steadfast in its belief of separation of Church and State, thus the debate over the NTA’s free transit for mass-goers.
On July 27, @CoFSM_Ireland tweeted the letter they sent to the NTA requesting free transit for a ritual event they’ll be hosting at Dublin’s La Dolce Vita restaurant on the same day and time as the Pope’s mass.
It looks like @Pontifex will be in the Phoenix Park, at exactly the same time when our Church plans to gather there. Since @TFIupdates has offered free transport on production of a @WMOF2018 ticket, we've written to @TimGaston3 asking for our congregation to be treated equally. pic.twitter.com/ycMWfgjm6u— CCoFSM of Ireland (@CoFSM_Ireland) July 27, 2018
“No matter how ridiculous their rites and rituals, all citizens of Ireland should have their right to the freedom of religion and belief fully respected,” the letter states.
The letter goes on to highlight the laws that the NTA’s decision may be infringing upon, as well as an invite to the Pastafarian ritual event at La Dolce Vita, outside of Phoenix Park.
On August 8, @CoFSM_Ireland shared the NTA’s response letter which said that free transit for the Pope’s mass ticket holders is a matter of crowd control, as well as a recognition of the Pope as a head of state.
Hi @TFIupdates, thank you for describing why you propose to ask your staff to discriminate against the adherents of our Church, by charging us higher fares than Roman Catholic passengers using the same services. I have explained why this is both unconstitutional and illegal. pic.twitter.com/2XACSlnWPF— CCoFSM of Ireland (@CoFSM_Ireland) August 8, 2018
In response to the NTA’s denial for free transit, the @CoFSM_Ireland continued to slam the NTA as sectarian and discriminatory.
Planning to attend another religious service in the same place at the same time? Tough. Free transport (funded from public money) is for Roman Catholics only. @TFIupdates requires non-Catholics to pay, while Catholics travel on the same services for free. https://t.co/3r3KYhateV— CCoFSM of Ireland (@CoFSM_Ireland) August 15, 2018
On August 21, @CoFSM_Ireland clarified that they were not intending to protest the Pope's mass, but rather host their own ritual event instead.
Our Pastafarian ceremony is a very rare event also. We've absolutely no interest in micturating on anyone else's ceremony and we will not be holding any description of protest. We only want to be treated with equality by @TFIupdates, because sectarian discrimination is illegal. https://t.co/qyzCsJpePr— CCoFSM of Ireland (@CoFSM_Ireland) August 23, 2018
Again on August 22, the @CoFSM_Ireland slammed the NTA's choice as "sectarian discrimination."
Our Church is also having a 'rare event' in the Phoenix Park area on the same day at the same time. Those attending the Roman Catholic event travel for free. Those on the same transport service, attending a non-Catholic event must pay full fare. That's sectarian discrimination. https://t.co/FtzGcdHkWE— CCoFSM of Ireland (@CoFSM_Ireland) August 22, 2018
What do you think - is NTA’s move to offer free transit to mass-goers discriminatory? Let us know in the comments