Sir, – Donald Clarke’s latest column (“If you don’t approve of the church then don’t take part in its rituals”, Opinion & Analysis, June 7th), takes the guise of an appeal to his fellow unbelievers not to take part in the rituals of the Catholic Church if they don’t believe in them.
He does, however, manage to get in the usual sideswipes against the church, such as a passing mention of its “sex-hating doctrines”.
The Irish Times now has Fintan O’Toole, Donald Clarke and Eamon McCann serving up regular dollops of anti-Catholic and anti-Christian invective. All of this is “balanced” by the lone voice of Breda O’Brien.
Your newspaper has the right to take whatever editorial line it chooses, and your columnists have the right to express their opinions as they see fit.
However, if The Irish Times has any serious commitment to fairness, it must make more of an effort to represent the huge proportion of the Irish people who are not convinced by the rather hysterical polemics of Messrs O’Toole, Clarke and McCann. – Yours, etc,
Here is the link.
It seems to me that that Irish anti-Catholicism is getting coarser and more stupid all the time. Fintan O'Toole is an old-school Irish anti-Catholic, perhaps in the style of a Sean O'Faolain-- cultured, educated, occasionally gracious, appreciative of the existential mysteries that organised religion seeks to address. At the bottom of the scale there's Donald Clarke, whose writing never shows the least flicker of originality or open-mindedness, or the slightest awareness that there are depths to the human condition that can't be captured in a slogan. I don't know where I'd put Eamon McCann.