Longford Leader columnist, Mattie Fox
What a truly remarkable woman Mary McAleese is.
She has certainly set the cat among the pigeons this time, in her speech on women in the church.
For someone who was never previously a politician (quite possibly a great advantage) she showed her strength and abilities in bucketfuls while she was our President. Carrying that inner confidence that didn’t need media approval to do her job well.
Her warmth, compassion and inclusiveness was all her own.
Coming so close to Mother’s Day made me think about her ideas.
At my age, I think I am qualified to say that it was the mothers of Ireland who kept the faith alive.
Without them, there would be a very small (if any) Catholic Church today.
Priests came and went, some good, some not so good, but the mother's faith was constant and lived daily in the home.
It was interesting and heartening to watch two priests on The Late Late Show during the past week. Fr Iggy O’Donovan and Fr Paul Dempsey.
Being of different dispositions it gave a balanced view of how the church i.e. clergy, see the idea of women priests.
Fr Iggy O’Donovan saw no reason for women to be excluded, while the more conservative Fr Paul Dempsey was sticking to the party line - yes, women could be ‘involved’ in other meaningful ways, but not as priests.
What does an ordained priest do that a woman couldn’t do?
I think the time has come for an overhaul of our church, from the Vatican down.
Apart from the shortage of priests, there is such an outrageous accumulation of wealth in the Catholic Church worldwide that it actually sickens me.
When so many nations are starving, and refugees struggling, might it not be a time for a complete clear out of assets and a reassessment of what our religion is all about - people, male and female.
The Church professes to support compassion.
Billions of dollars, euro, pounds, and whatever currency you’re having yourself, are all tied up and secured by the Vatican and the Church worldwide.
Where in Scripture is the right to such luxury and wealth allowed, while others starve?