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Catholic Church leaders could help Protestants by clearing up the confusion over celebration of Mass

Published 14/10/2016

Belfast Telegraph letters to the Editor
Belfast Telegraph letters to the Editor

Recently there has been comment about the ethicality of members of the Orange Order attending Catholic (Roman/Latin Rite) liturgical services, which, I understand, are deemed to be blasphemous, in particular the celebration of the liturgy of the Eucharist, in the eyes of Protestants.

I would have wished that clerics of the Catholic Church had clarified what is entailed in the celebration of the liturgy of the Eucharist to assist those good Protestants whose scruples might deter them from attending.

In the early Christian Church, the liturgical celebration was divided into two parts: the first part would have consisted of preaching and readings from the Old Testament (and the new Testament, when it became available); believers and non-believers attended.

The second part consisted of the Eucharistic liturgical celebration, which is based on early apostolic tradition and the New Testament; only believers attended. This two-fold division of the Mass pertains.

The Mass is not a continuous re-enactment of Christ's Passion and death. This seems to be a mistaken understanding. Because Christ is God, He is eternal (outside of time) and the Eucharistic liturgical celebration is the same one and only sacrifice that took place on Calvary. The problem in understanding this seems to be that people do not fully appreciate Christ's Godhead and, wrongly, assume that, like us, he is within and bound by time.

I have a few suggestions that may assist the scrupulous: the readings in the first part of the Mass are taken from the Bible. This should not present a major problem to Protestants who wish to attend. The second part (used to be announced by the ringing of bells) is the Eucharistic celebration. Scrupulous Protestants could have removed themselves immediately after the Biblical readings and so avoid being present at the Eucharistic part.

However, if they wish to stay, they could turn what they deem to be sacrilegious celebration into a beautiful Godly prayer by asking the good Lord to forgive their Catholic brethren for their error in scriptural understanding and plead, using Christ's words, "forgive them for they know not what they are doing".


Co Fermanagh

BBC non-story spoils IFA's big celebration

So, the BBC chose to lead their main news bulletins for most of Monday with the non-story that Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop were not invited by the IFA to take part in Windsor Park's opening ceremony.

For the record, Rory McIlroy was actually in the stadium, but did not take part in the Lap of Legends.

Was this because he originally opted to compete for Team Ireland ahead of the Rio Games? Of course not.

Maybe Rory Best wasn't asked because he plays for Ulster and Ireland?

The amateurish reporting of the issue was not even thought through and the story no better that conspiracy theory nonsense.

Get a grip, BBC NI, and try reporting some real news, instead of attempting to take the gloss off what was a wonderful evening for sport in Northern Ireland.


Jordanstown, Co Antrim

Pinter wrote the truth about US 60 years ago

When Boris Johnson and America accuse Russia of war crimes in Syria, isn't this a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black?

While I'm sure war crimes have been committed by both Russia and the Assad regime, at least Russia is on the right side, fighting all the different terrorist groups, whereas America likes to face both ways fighting one lot of terrorists while openly supporting another gang.

It's true that as many as 250,000 innocent victims have died in Syria's civil war (a UN estimate) and many of them at the hands of the Assad regime, but how do these figures compare to the 650,000-plus people who were killed in Britain and America's immoral and illegal invasion of Iraq? And what war crimes will America commit when it bombs Mosul, one of Iraq's largest cities, to drive out Isis?

What amazes me is the moral certitude of it all. The great Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter described it like this: "It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn't happening. It didn't matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the US have been systemic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people talk about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power while masquerading as a force for universal good. It's a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis."

He wrote this in 1958 - and it has only gotten worse.


By email

Shoppers hitting north bad for jobs in south

The recent sharp decline in the value of sterling has generated stories of southern shoppers flocking over the border to take advantage of cheaper prices in the North.

The real story, however, is rather one of retailers down South protecting their already high margins and refusing to lower their prices in recognition of the fact that a lot, if not the majority, of the goods they sell are sourced from the UK and are, hence, now costing them less.

Leaving aside the odd percentage differences in VAT, in theory it shouldn't matter which side of the border you buy goods from.

What matters is that UK manufacturers are becoming more cost-competitive versus their Irish counterparts, which, if it persists, will be bad news in the longer term for employment prospects in Ireland.


By email

Sinn Fein should fund railway upgrade itself

I read with interest Sinn Fein's call for £3bn worth of funding for an upgrade of the Belfast to Dublin railway line. Considering their comrades in the IRA bombed this line dozens of times, causing tens of millions of pounds of damage, has Sinn Fein considered funding any upgrade from their own coffers?


By email

Translink spokesman not living in real world

So, Translink wants Belfast City Council to end free parking in the city at Christmas. What a surprise.

Having listened to their spokesman on The Nolan Show, I wondered where he had been living recently. Buses have 40-50 people on them? At rush hour, possibly, but for the rest of the day, I see them with only one or two passengers on them. Not a mass transport system, then.

Could he explain why buses didn't use bus lanes when they could? No. Perhaps the £2m extra revenue has something to do with that. Where does that cash go (but that is another question)?


Saintfield, Co Down

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