Following the Pope's resignation, Sinn Fein's Martin McGuiness said: "I wish Pope Benedict well... and look forward to the election of the new Pope at a time when the Church is at a crossroads."
Surely, for the Church, it is the Cross – not the crossroads? For the Pope and all Christians alike, the road is straight ahead and well signposted. Jesus said: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one goes to the Father except by me." (John 14:6).
For years, as the IRA attempted to bomb a million Protestants into a united Ireland, there were many murders on many roads and crossroads, all justified by Sinn Fein as the regrettable consequences of war.
Now it is crossroads politics – different policies, north and south, going in opposite directions – but with the common purpose of party votes and party dominance.
Of Pope Benedict, the SDLP's Alasdair McDonnell said: "In our increasingly superficial and secular world, he demonstrated true leadership, which was backed up by principles, scholarly talent and deep dedication to God."
Until recently, these attributes also applied to the SDLP. However, disregarding the fundamental nature of marriage and family life, the SDLP leadership presently abandons morality for moral relativism – ie the notion, vigorously opposed by Benedict, that we decide morality for ourselves and that there are no moral rules as such.
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