Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


Holy See Embassies must be Shut Down!
 
Context
 
In Ireland in 2011, The Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and Fine Gael closed down the Republic of Ireland's Embassy to the Holy See. The Taoiseach and the Tánaiste said that this was done to save money and because it "yielded no economic return". So Ireland wised up and decided to shut down it's Embassy to the Holy See.
 
Reaction

Hopefully other countries will see sense and do the same as Ireland did. It is good that there is an international storm about the closure. It may make many nations reconsider their Embassies to the Holy See.
 
A move dedicated to Our Lady of Knock Queen of Ireland began a postcard campaign to urge the reopening of the Embassy. The postcards were to be sent to elected representatives to lobby their party leaders as part of the drive to reopen the Embassy. The organisation would have got most of its support through the publicity given by Catholic hate rags, Alive! and Catholic Voice. Those papers appeal to a fundamentalist weak-minded readership.
 
Some were upset merely at the thought that the government lied about the reason for the closure. The embassy was cheap to run and it was closed allegedly to save money. Saving money would have only been a minor part of the reason for the closure. But it could still have been a part. The government did not really lie - it merely exaggerated the importance of saving the money! It is typical of the Catholics who have an agenda to refuse to admit this.
 
The Embassy was a very small affair. The amount of fuss created by Catholics over its closure is disproportionate and illogical. Such a small embassy could not help Ireland make a bigger impact on world affairs. The claim that the embassy was a global listening post and losing it is seriously foolish is ludicrous.
 
The front page Irish Catholic of February 16 2012 said that 99.5 % of correspondence to the government was critical of the decision. There was no mention of the fact that this was unsurprising as thousands of those postcards had been sent. However some letters are actually quoted.

"Not only does the decision betray and lack of appreciation for the historic, cultural and religious ties that bind our two states together but the reason for doing so on the grounds that it 'yielded no economic return' is deeply hurtful and insulting to many Catholics." This comment is disgusting. If spending money on an Embassy just because it is a relic and because some Catholics want it to be kept open is a justification then the writer needs the head examined. And the Holy See is not a true state. And what about the Catholics who think the Church should be about doing good and not about Embassies and diplomatic relationships?
 
"I voted Fine Gael in the last election in the belief that they might represent some understanding of Christian values. With the closure of what is so valued by many it seems not so and I certainly will not be voting Fine Gael again."
 
It is beyond belief that anybody would consider the any political party to care much about Christian values when it doesn't do a better job of looking after the hospitals. Money is spent on the luxury of maintaining sectarian schools while people die in hospital owing to poor funding. And Fine Gael introduced divorce in 1995. And it gave away Irish Sovereignty meaning that abortion will be legalised in Ireland at some point. Christian values my ass!
 
Its a disgrace that somebody would refuse to vote a party just because of it got the Embassy closed! Fine Gael from the Catholic point of view could have done some greater "evil" instead such as maybe introduce divorce on demand or abortion! The commentator clearly thinks that the party's neglect of the Health Service of Ireland is a trifle compared to closing down the Embassy!
 
The critics of the decision to get rid of the Embassy usually claim that they will not vote for Fine Gael again. It is alarming that they would be that stupid and fanatical. Its too negative. Even if the closure were unjust, is it enough to make people want to vote Fianna Fail back into power after the mess it left Ireland in? Who are they going to vote for? It is interesting that the introduction of civil partnerships by Fianna Fail did not get the same amount of ire!
 
"If half the world sees the value in good relationships with the Holy See and involvement with it, how do we expect to be viewed in years to come?"
 
Those nations have been misled. The Church though it says a Catholic who refuses to believe what they are expected to believe as a Catholic is excommunicated it still tries to give the impression than there are more Catholics than what there actually are. This is at the root of its power. And this is the driving force behind the Holy See's ability to pretend to be a state.
 
We don't see other nations in outrage over the closure! Don't be so delusional!
 
"While the Holy See and the Irish Hierarchy may be justifiably faulted for their actions (or lack of action) in recent years, surely the proper way to remedy those deficiencies is through diplomatic channels rather than throwing a tantrum and acting unilaterally?".
 
The Church must make rules and laws that safeguard children. All organisations must.
 
The argument is saying that the state needs to be close to the Holy See to do this. This is rubbish. The state needs to have good laws in place. That is all that is needed. The Holy See let Ireland down by inaction over clerical child abuse but that does not change the fact that the problem was bad Irish laws in the first place.
 
The state can watch and negotiate with the Church in Ireland without having an Embassy to the Holy See.
 
And the Church does not improve itself through diplomacy. It only established some child protection rules because it was forced to and for centuries did nothing to protect the innocent. It persistently refuses to be transparent on exactly what it covered up and how and why.
 
"What bothers me and my many friends is what seems to be at the root of the strange move of the embassy closure - namely the growing secularist agenda that is being now openly promoted by the Tánaiste and his party."
 
True secularism is neutral on religion. If it is not then it ends up favouring one religion over others. Thus getting rid of the Embassy to a religion is only right. Catholicism habitually misrepresents secularism and highlights the stupidity of the aggressive secularists as if they reflected true secularists.

Keeping Church and state separate is not "strange".
 
Ireland has established excellent economic relations with China. True Catholics would try to destroy that for they see this as helping to support a Communist nation that persecutes the Catholic Church. We are better off with the secularists than the true Catholics in power! A lot of them are of the ilk of Michael Voris of Real Catholic TV who wants a world in which only Catholics have the right to vote.
 
Silly Pat the Cope Gallagher, MEP, claimed in Strasbourg that the decision to close the Embassy was against the will of most of the people! This is nonsense for most blogs and comments support the closure. We all see that most people we know don't care.
 
Most people who want the Embassy reopened just want to take away the rights of others by undermining the separation of Church and state. This is very obvious in the work of the Ireland Stand Up campaign with its prayers and etc on the postcards. There is no concern for how the relationship is supposed to benefit the country. It is all about exalting the power of the papacy.
 
Mary Kenny on page 5 of the same issue of the Irish Catholic asked if the Vatican (she should say Holy See) could really be considered a state. She said that she thinks that Geoffrey Robinson who wrote the The Case of the Pope is over-legalistic (Since was she an expert in law? Can't she provide any examples of his over-legalism? Who does she think she is criticising an analysis by a top lawyer? Is she trying to make out that the letter of the law does not matter that much when it says the Holy See is not a state? Is she doing this to confuse and manipulate?) when he gives his reasons for stating the Holy See is not a state. She feels he ignores the fact that in history and culture it is treated as a state and that is just as important as laws and legislation. We make tomorrows history and culture today. Its time for change. To make that change its important that every nation scrap its Embassy to the Holy See.
 
Creating an Embassy to some some warlike religion - maybe an Islamic sect - would make more sense than creating one to the Holy See.
 
The controversy to get the Embassy restored is strange. People who claim that the Embassy being open will help Ireland to value the Church, marriage, life and denominational schools are clearly showing that they care about Church laws not people. To value marriage would require discouraging cohabitation. It would encourage the Catholics to say that they oppose homosexual acts as wrong and dangerous and not because they hate homosexuals. The Catholics will pretend that it is not a personal attack but a moral argument. Morality is the view that we are obligated to do certain good things and if we don't then we should suffer for it in retribution. Morality is vindictive. So the Catholics are lying.
 
The homosexuals in a loving relationship will inevitably see all opponents, and Catholics in communion with Rome are the worst, of that relationship as enemies. What about their rights and needs?
 
The Church teaches that sex in itself is not an act of love and only becomes such in the context of marriage - and not just marriage but marriage recognised as real and valid by the Catholic Church. This implies that the state should not allow civil partnerships for gay people and should not protect their relationships.
 
The respect for life that Catholics go on about really means that abortion must not be allowed even to save the mother's life. The argument that abortion these days is a lie and a distraction from the cruelty of the Church. Abortion would still be banned if most women needed it to survive. Also, in poorer parts of the world abortion is needed to save the woman.
 
And denominational schools are about conditioning the young and isolating them from points of view that do not square with the Church.
 
Some people who are against the closure do not realise all this. They have got very upset at the thought that the government has lied about the reasons for the closure. Few believe that the Embassy was indeed closed to save money. They think it was done to spite the Holy See. I think the spite was one of the reasons. The prime reason was to separate Church and state. If the state had admitted that the prime reason was to separate Church and state and to live by not aggressive secularism but true secularism and that a benefit would be saving money this would have been much better. It would have prevented having the irrational knee-jerk reaction they took.
 

Ireland has had diplomatic relations with the Holy See for 1500 years from the time of Patrick who was sent by Pope Celestine and for tradition alone it should be restored.
 
This argument is a lie. The relations have only existed since the formation of the Irish Free State. The argument smacks of desperation. Celestine was not head of the Church but merely bishop of Rome. The Irish Church had to be brought under Roman control centuries after Patrick.
 
Those who use the argument cannot seriously think we will agree that spending lots of money on the running of an embassy to the Holy See is justified for the sake of a tradition!
 
The Holy See was among the first to recognise the Irish Free State. To slap it in the face by closing down the embassy is disgraceful in that context.
 
The officials of the Holy See at that time did this. They are dead. Maybe if Benedict XVI had been pope back then it would not have been recognised. And the Church had a mercenary reason to approve of the Irish Free State. The Irish Free State became a Catholic theocracy. Should we be grateful then for its approval?
 
And the recognition led to the Church having near-absolute power over Ireland. Why then should we be grateful for its recognition of the Free State?
 
The Church works for the rights of children
 
Because of Catholic doctrine about the holiness of priests and their role as representatives of Jesus, the priests enjoyed a huge level of unquestioned access to children. The faith itself created extensive opportunities for sexual abuse. It will still for many families. It is unhealthy how the doctrines about the priest lead to the glorification of the priest.
 
The age of consent in the Holy See is 12.
 
We are told that a certain percentage of priests are or were abusers. That only refers to the priests that got caught out. The real percentage is bigger. We would be horrified at the true scale of the sexual abuse. It tends to be the priestly paedophiles who got caught out because they had an irresistible urge to abuse. What about the priests who rarely abused children and who did so merely because as celibates they were so anxious for sexual activity that anybody would do?

The child abused by a priest will experience a fear and a shame that is higher than that for children abused by anybody else.

Its the fear of going to Hell for telling.

The fear of turning people off the Church which can take them to Hell. For example, they might stop going to Mass and that is a sin that deserves everlasting torment.

Its the fear that one is guilty of being abused and going to Hell.

Its the fear that one will not be supported as most victims do not come forward.

Its the fear that very few allegations lead to the criminal being convicted.

The victim will often be warned against going to the police.

The priest is often moved away from the parish to keep the victim quiet.

The Church claims to have put child protection procedures in place. It has only done this because it has been forced to by the law and anger of the people. It still refuses to open its secret archives up to the police. Many dioceses are under suspicion of having burned and destroyed or hidden the files.

The Code of Canon Law, Canon 489 commands each diocese to keep secret archives.

"...a secret archive, or at least in the ordinary archive there is to be a safe or cabinet, which is securely closed and bolted and which cannot be removed. In this archive documents which are to be kept under secrecy are to be most carefully guarded." Documents are not permitted to be removed from it according to the law. Only the bishop has the key.

Canon 489 forbids any documents to be removed from the secret archive under any circumstances and only the Bishop is permitted to have the key to it.

The archives contain information about crimes against Canon Law including acts of clerical sexual abuse which break the law of celibacy.

The Church has no interest in releasing the documents. That shows how grudging it is in relation to helping victims and helping justice be done despite the lofty noble words condemning the abuse.
 
The Vincent Twomey argument goes, "Even on economic grounds it could be argued that there may well be a price to be paid in the long run: Irish businesses, especially subcontractors, who tender for business overseas tend to get the contracts, I gather, in the face of other competitors, all other things being equal. This is because of the debt so many of the countries of Africa and Asia feel toward Ireland as a Catholic country, whose priests, nuns, brothers and laity laid the foundation for their educational and health services – and who educated most of their present- day leaders. If our Government shows no respect to that patrimony, why should they?" Father Vincent Twomey is Professor Emeritus of Moral Theology, Maynooth, and author of The End of Irish Catholicism?
 
Outlandish! No wonder even the most rabid Catholics didn't take it seriously.
 
The vast majority of the Africans will not even know of the closure of the embassy. Of the few that do know, they will not read it that way. Twomey thinks the Africans are immature enough to stop respecting the Church just because the Irish government doesn't. Shades of racism?
 
Diplomatic circles are growing in their awareness that religion has an important role to play in helping international security and peaceful coexistence.
 
Why don't we have an embassy to Islam or the Church of England? What is so damn special about the Holy See?
 
The Holy See needs to be recognised as a state so that the Pope can be independent of political pressure. It has happened in the past where Popes were the pawns of the secular rulers.

This argument is sheer desperation. Bishops have a certain degree of autonomy. Why not make each bishop's palace a state too? The pope can be independent in a secular world. The secular is been undermined where the state has an embassy set up for a religion!

Those who want the Pope to be independent care little for the independence of other leaders such as the Prophet of Mormonism or the Dalai Lama.

The popes funnily enough were never doctrinal pawns of the secular powers. They were political tools at times yes. The argument seems to be based on the failure to see that we are not in the tenth century anymore.
 
The Holy See is a global force and voice and a listening post for the nations that enter into diplomatic relations with it.
 
Its has a voice yes but what use is that without credibility?
 
The Holy See makes a laughing stock of morality. It does its best to make sure that families and communities will pressure everybody to conform to the Church. It sticks its nose in the milestones of life, birth, growing up, marriage and death.
 
The Church recognises that an ectopic pregnancy will kill the mother. The Church forbids abortion as the sin of murder. So it forbids the removal of embryo in the fallopian tube as that would be abortion. Instead it allows removal of the tube itself with the inevitable death of the embryo. What a load of hypocrisy! The woman is mutilated in the name of religion! The implication is that you can kill indirectly and its not murder then! The Catholic serial killer to be will gain much inspiration from that doctrine! Good way to manipulate the conscience!
 
The Church cannot openly advocate evil for even it will not get away with it.
 
It makes its evil look like mistakes. And it sets the stage so that its teaching will bring out the worst in the unsuspecting. That is why it teaches a morality without credibility.
  
One reply to all the arguments for the reopening of the Holy See embassy is that any alleged benefits can be won without having a Holy See embassy. Amnesty International has a better track record than the Holy See and your country does not need an Amnesty International Embassy.
 
Those Catholics who campaign for the reopening of the Embassy to the Holy See were determined to see to it that the Irish Government would Pope Benedict XVI to Ireland for the Eucharistic Congress in 2012 thus making it a state visit that the tax payer will have to fork out for. It is unfair to take the taxes of people who oppose the Church to pay for that. Let the bishops invite him and pay the bill themselves. It is even argued that if the pope wants to come he must still be received as a head of state.
 
The USA established formal diplomatic relations in 1984. Ronald Reagan and the wily John Paul II were responsible. Russia in recent years appointed the resident envoy to the Holy See to an ambassador. Arab nations have been fooled into creating diplomatic relations with the Holy See.

Read more: http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Dublin-Bishop-slams-decision-to-close-Irelands-Holy See-embassy-133522533.html#ixzz1dgsTUet4
 
Conclusion
 
The Holy See maintains formal diplomatic relations with 176 countries. Hopefully more nations will follow Ireland's lead and scrap their embassies to the Holy See.