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Columnist could learn something from the Pope

I don't mind that come-day-go-day newspaper columnists can spout their own opinions. That's the job. But is it not a bit rich when they advise people better placed than they to "button it", as Nuala McKeever did in reference to His Holiness the Pope (Life, February 16)?

I mean, in addition to lecturing the Pope about Jesus Christ - which would certainly be his "specialist topic" on Mastermind - Nuala advises the Pope to acquire "a sense of perspective, a sense of his own importance in the great scheme of things, a sense of humility".

Now, I don't think anyone can find the present Pontiff guilty of these. What he is gladly guilty of is reaffirming the core beliefs of the Church which he leads.

This Pope is regarded as a positive force in the world. His views on social justice, equality, compassion and the need for personal and political change have been widely welcomed.

But those views derive from the full range of beliefs which he holds dear - they are not add-ons to his faith, any more than his views on marriage, personal morality, the divinity of Christ, or the resurrection of the body after death are disposable ingredients.

Without his views on Christ, the Pope would be a silent man.

Maybe Nuala would prefer that the Pope's voice was not raised on behalf of disabled people, the poor, the hungry and the oppressed, and all the other causes in which she herself believes? But I don't think so.

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People worldwide want to hear what this man has to say, even if it diverges from their own views. His integrity and his humanity call for attention.

They also call for moderation and respect.

A little bit of those in Nuala's world wouldn't go amiss.


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