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Misguided Pope Outrage! Focus on the real issues!

Misguided Pope Outrage! Focus on the real issues!

Interesting, these complaints about the Pope’s visit! There is a level of outrage on Facebook that starts getting overboard. I don’t have a problem with people not being keen on the Pope or the Catholic Church or this event. I myself am not a big Pope fan and I won’t go to Phoenix Park or Croke Park, but I have an issue with lies and half-truths, just to justify a bigger “amount” of outrage.

Here are some of the arguments:
1) The horrible pope is costing us 32 mio. taxpayers money.
2) Nobody wants to see the Pope, but he will cost us lots of money.
3) Because of the Pope homeless people will have to stay off the streets over the weekend
4) It is the Pope’s fault that I can’t get out of my house on Sunday

Let’s do a fact check on these reasons for outrage:

1) The horrible pope is costing us 32 mio. taxpayers money.
It is indeed estimated that the visit might cost 32 mio, although nobody really knows yet the exact amount. Of the 32 mio I read that 20mio, the Catholic church is paying and the rest is paid by the state. So then it is 12mio instead of 32mio! In addition, the 32mio is not that huge in comparison to recent state visits: When Obama and the Queen where in Ireland, the combined visit did cost 36mio and of that amount about 15mio were paid DIRECTLY to the Gardai.
Interestingly, most of the 32mio will be paid to people and for services or products in Ireland, so that means the money is staying in the economy and then cycling money is often an important process to stimulate the economy. And why is the whole thing costing that much, well because close to 600,000 people have to be accommodated and a international guest has to be protected.
Look at it this way: The promoter of a big “popstar” has discovered that there is an audience that wants to see that performer. The promoter is certainly keen to run the gig and bring the performer to the country. If no one had requested tickets, there would be no gig in Phoenix Park!

2) Nobody wants to see the Pope, but he will cost us lots of money.
When the invite went out at least 500,000 tickets were requested and this is a lot more than “nobody”. Now protesters will tell you that they all have requested 12 or 24 or thousands of tickets and have no intention to use them. You could argue that this is not very tolerant and open minded, but let’s look at it from a different angle. If we assume that the cost of the visit is 32 mio and 600,000 tickets have been given out, then the 24 tickets a protester might have secured will cost 24 x 53 Euro. So complaining about the cost and sitting on tickets sounds a little hypocritical.
If the fans buy up all the (free) tickets, then the promoter has to prepare for a BIG gig. He can not assume that half of the fans won’t appear.

3) Because of the Pope homeless people will have to stay off the streets over the weekend.
Actually I would be surprised if the Pope had requested or even demanded that!! But maybe it is our government who doesn’t want to seem to have nothing done in that area. So why are people criticising the Pope over the homeless situation this weekend and not the government?
Yes, I know, the 32 mio could have helped a few homeless, but it is not that we would provide housing for everyone if these 32 mio hadn’t been spent. Last year we didn’t know yet that the Pope would come and we still didn’t spend 32mio or even 2 additional mio. It is not the Pope’s fault that the money is not spent where it is needed.

4) It is the Pope’s fault that I can’t get out of my house on Sunday.
Ohh, did he make the plans for traffic diversions and restrictions? Sure if he didn’t come, there would be no traffic restrictions, but the traffic restrictions are caused by the large amount of people that MIGHT come (including the unused protester tickets!) and also by the Gardai in Ireland. Not by the Pope or by the Church! Oh and by the way, the Phoenix Park neighbours who complain so loudly should just for a GAA weekend swap with people around Croke Park to realise how good they have it ALL year every year apart from the odd Pope visit every 40 years or so.

There are LOTs of things you can have a serious issue with the Catholic Church over, but people should stick to the real issues like child abuse and hypocrisy and the attitude to women and LGBTs etc. Yes you can get outraged about all that and you have every right to be. But getting outraged with a person or an organisation over nonsense like road closures etc is just weakening the correct and important discussion about all the other issues.

On Monday the Pope is gone again, I wonder what will cause the next wave of outrage. :-O

So, that’s my outrage sorted! LOL

Scandalous Church!

Scandalous Church!

It is less than a week now until the Pope will be in Dublin and up to 500,000 people from all over Ireland will assemble in Phoenix Park for a mass (which seems to me far above the number of normal weekly mass goers, but that’s only an unimportant side observation).

It will probably be the biggest event in Dublin in my lifetime and in addition it is free, but I have decided that I will not go to Phoenix Park. I would have access to tickets and I even could have sang in a humongous 5000 people big choir that sings at the Phoenix Park Mass or in a 1000 people strong choir in Croke Park, but I will stay at home instead.

It is not the Pope that gets me to stay away, I actually think he is one of the most progressive Popes (if these two words “progressive” and “Pope” are even compatible) that ever was in that job. But I also think that he is heading a rotten organisation that refuses to see its own rottenness.

I am raised catholic, I would call myself somewhere between “a la carte” catholic and “spiritual” (whatever that means!) and even go to mass regularly because I am involved with a Gospel Choir, so I am definitely not a church hater. I even think that the community that a grass roots church provides is a positive thing, but so is a community that a sports club or music club or even an atheist group provides.

But the thing that gets me really upset and annoyed is when there is hypocrisy.

300 priests in Pennsylvania abusing thousands of kids and a few years ago the scandal in Boston and all the cover ups and Ireland had its own scandalous Church. How can these animals look in a mirror?

I know plenty of great and caring priests and nuns and I know that not everyone is like that, BUT an organisation that can have that level of horrible behaviour that even condones or at least covers it up is rotten to the core and should be broken up!

Catholic Banana Republic – Part 956: The Dail Prayer

Catholic Banana Republic – Part 956: The Dail Prayer

It seems that there is no end of stories that show how entrenched Catholicism is in Irish politics (and parts of the society). Two weeks ago the scandal about the religious order that might own the new National Maternity Hospital and will probably enforce the catholic ethos for procedures that are carried out in the hospital, was in the media headlines. This week the Dail debate and vote about a daily prayer raised eye brows and baffled people.

As before, I want to point out that I am raised catholic, would still define a version of catholic inspired spirituality as my religion and go to mass without any feeling of guilt despite my total and complete objection to ANY influence of any church on the state.

Any kind of faith or belief should be a completely private matter and has absolutely no place in a political or state context. A state has to be neutral and should be at a home for followers of all or religions or none.

However, things are different in Ireland and the clocks are running a few hundred years behind, it seems. This week the Dail decided that they would stick to the daily (catholic) prayer and that they would force members of the Dail to stand up. In addition they added a 30 second silence to the prayer.

Apart from the fact that no religion-specific (catholic or otherwise) prayer has a place in a parliament in 2017, the chosen prayer is utterly clumsy and outright nonsensical. This is how it goes:

“Direct, we beseech Thee, O Lord, our actions by Thy holy inspirations and carry them on by Thy gracious assistance; that every word and work of ours may always begin from Thee, and by Thee be happily ended; through Christ Our Lord. Amen.”

Come on, who would talk in that language nowadays, can they not at least use modern language?

But even if it was a modern prayer, it has no place in a parliament. Give the members of the parliament another minute so that they can whisper their prayer to themselves in quiet or in a prayer room or similar. Once they have prayed for help (and boy do they need it!), then they can come in to the parliament.

Only in the Catholic Banana Republic called Ireland, 97 out of 133 members of the parliament would vote in favour of keeping a discriminating Catholic prayer.

…and by the way, stuff like this is NOT helping Christianity, instead it does exactly the opposite!

National Maternity Hospital – Get the religious orders out!

National Maternity Hospital – Get the religious orders out!

It is puzzling to the highest degree how Irish politics – even in 2017 – still colludes with religious organisations. Sure there was a long history of influence and there are still plenty of politicians who still don’t understand that no church or religious organisation should be allowed to interfere with the state, but do we have to wait until they are dead before things will change?

The newest scandal is the fact that the Sisters of Charity, an order of Catholic nuns, will own the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) next to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Ballsbridge. They will not just have some shares or get a percentage of the profit, no, they will OWN the hospital. You might wonder if they will build it or buy it because if you and I own something, we usually have to pay for it? No! They won’t have to pay for it! The fact that they are owning the land on which the National Maternity Hospital will be built seems to be enough to give them ownership. That is shocking!

The Sisters of Charity were one of the religious organisations that proved in the past that back then they were NOT able to look after the welfare of mothers and children. And after the swamp was cleaned, regrettably the Sisters of Charity didn’t provide the compensation payments that they had promised to the “redress scheme”. For many, this is the reason why they are totally against that religious order to own the NMH. I agree that that definitely can’t be ignored, but for me it is even a bigger problem that the separation of church and state should just never allow such intermingling.

Keep the interests separate from each other and you won’t get into dodgy or tricky situations when certain treatments could interfere with religious principles. The Department of Health claims that they are in charge and won’t let anybody interfere, but there can’t be any guarantee for that.

The solution? Buy the land from the religious order! I think the Sisters of Charity should pay what they owe regarding the compensation that they are due, but at the same time, the state should fairly then pay for and afterwards own the land the NATIONAL Maternity Hospital stands on. There is NO other option!

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