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ireland, irish, ulster, ireland, irish, ulster, Sinn Féin, Irish America

Let's 'See' what Pope can do: Francis visit makes sense

(John Coulter, Irish Daily Star)

Pope Francis needs to come to Ireland as soon as possible!

The Catholic faith, and indeed the entire Christian Church, is in crisis and Christendom needs a 'big hitter' on the Emerald Isle to knock sense in Ireland's warring clergy.

There will always be elements on both sides of the sectarian divide who would welcome a papal visit to Ireland like a hole in the head.

Protestantism's lunatic fundamentalist fringe, known as the 'fundies', will oppose Pope Francis because they see him as the so-called Biblical Anti Christ.

Perhaps these tub thumpers could point out the Scriptural verse where Pope Francis, or the role of pontiff, is actually named as the Anti Christ?

Then there's the 'red brigade' in republicanism – lapsed Catholics who have turned their backs on the Catholic faith and embraced the idiotic teachings of Godless Marxism.

Sections of the Prods-only Orange Order are also getting their red, white and blue knickers in a twist at the thought of the Holy Father setting foot in Loyal Ulster.

But a papal trip north would help the Prod Marching Orders get a real focus on their supposed Christian identity and ethos.

When a Prod joins the Orange, during the ceremony – dubbed 'Riding The Goat' – the applicant must pledge to uphold the Qualifications.

These clearly state: "He should by all lawful means, resist the ascendancy of that Church, its encroachments, and the extension of its power, ever abstaining from all uncharitable words, actions, or sentiments, towards his Roman Catholic Brethren."

Perhaps Pope Francis could remind the Order of its obligations towards "all lawful means" – that is, obeying the rulings of the Parades Commission over Drumcree and the Ardoyne Shops.

And it's clear from the joining oath that fellow Catholics are to be treated as "brethren" too. This means the lodges should insist that accompanying bands don't hammer out The Sash, or Derry's Walls as they pass Catholic chapels.

But the real benefit of a papal visit would be for the Irish Catholic Church. The Irish bishops, like the fictitious 'Bishop Brennan' from the hit comedy, Father Ted, need a kick up the arse regarding clerical sex abuse, and allegations of cover-ups.

The word 'priest' must come to mean a term of respect and trust within the community; not the abbreviated jibe – Paedophile Ring In Every Small Town!

The Irish Catholic Church is in crisis. The abuse scandals have seen thousands of chapel-attendees abandon the pews.

While many Catholics are still retaining their Christian faith and moving to the growing Pentecostal movement in Ireland, even more Catholics are leaving the Christian faith entirely.

The Pope needs to kick start the Christian faith again in Ireland and see a spiritual revival which St Patrick's brought to these shores.

How many young people do not want to join holy orders, become clerics, nuns, or reverends for fear of being falsely branded a paedophile?

The Pope must allow celibacy to be optional, allowing clerics and nuns to marry. He must restore faith in the clergy.

Pope Francis has set out his moral stall clearly against gay marriage. He has kept the Catholic Church firm on this conviction, while Prod denominations such as the Unitarians, and elements of Anglicans have ditched Biblical teaching on homosexuality.

Loyalists should remember that Pope Alexander held a Te Deum celebration on learning of King Billy's Boyne victory.

Hopefully on his visit to Ireland, Pope Francis will dedicate a memorial to King Billy's Dutch Royal Blues, the elite Catholic Orange troops who sealed William's victory in July 1690.

But first of all, we need to get Big Frank to Ireland before Islamic radicals generate the spin that to bring him to the Emerald Isle would be a gross insult to Allah and Mohammed. Time is not on the pontiff's side.

April 13, 2014
________________

This article appeared in the April 7, 2014 edition of the Irish Daily Star.

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