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There are important questions for Pope Francis to answer

I am not surprised that someone like Alf McCreary condemns my position as bigotry. However, I would like to ask him what he thinks of the official teaching of the Church of Rome. After all, in my letter all I did was quote from the official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. Does Mr McCreary agree with what Rome says and teaches?

No doubt if and when the Pope comes to Northern Ireland, Mr McCreary will go and welcome the Pontiff to this part of the world. When he does, could I suggest to the religious correspondent that he might ask Pope Francis a number of questions.

First of all, what does the main doctrine of the Jesuits mean? That is, the doctrine of the direction of intention.

Could he also ask the Pope to explain why on one of the walls of the church of the Jesuits in Rome there is a unique plaster cast? It depicts Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit movement, with his foot on the neck of Protestantism. I am sure every Protestant in NI would love to know about this plaster cast.

Also, another interesting question Mr McCreary could ask the Pope is to explain papal infallibility and the Pope's claim of jurisdiction over every country in the world? And why the Pope claims that the Roman Catholic Church is the One and Only True Church?

There are many other questions I could give to Mr McCreary to ask Pope Francis but these will do to start. If he can get the answers to these questions then Mr McCreary will maybe begin to realised that the bigotry he refers to comes from a different quarter.

John Gray

Free Presbyterian Church


It's a complete myth that OAPs get it easy

When I read some comments about pensioners being so pampered in the newspapers and even by some MPs, I think that I am living in a different country.

It is widely and regularly stated that pensioners have escaped the cuts imposed by the Government and that they don't contribute anything to the economy.

In fact, UK pensioners have the third lowest pension in Europe, and of 27 industrialised countries we are paid the 25th lowest. The so-called 'triple-lock' of a 2.5% annual rise is small recompense for what we have endured since Maggie Thatcher abolished the link between the State pension and average earnings in 1980. If this hadn't happened we would be receiving £194 per week without any means-testing. Instead, we receive £155.60 a week, which is £20 less than the Government poverty figure for older people of £175.

The belief we don't contribute to the economy is completely false. The Government contributes £30bn to cover for pensions and benefits, but pensioners contribute £40bn back by paying our taxes, by caring for elderly relatives (saving on the health budget) and by looking after grandchildren (saving on education).

This has all been documented again and again, so we should not have to put up with harmful myths aimed at dividing the generations.



Years of lies over EU led directly to Brexit

Lies are much of the reason behind Brexit. Also for the confusion and chaos since June.

There is ample evidence from the start way back in the Seventies that Ted Heath lied to take us into the EEC. He said it was just a trading block with no constitutional or sovereignty implications. In 1960s meetings the EEC commission chairman had told him plainly that the ultimate aim was federation and, despite subsequent Foreign Office letters - recently released - confirming this, he deliberately told us this was not the case.

When public opinion forced him, David Cameron, armed with the strong bargaining tool that the UK is second biggest net contributor to EU, went off promising to secure changes that would allow us to stay. Germany, France and notably Poland, who claimed child allowance from the UK for Polish resident children as "part of the Polish economy", just laughed and vetoed any change. But he came back and claimed success anyway. He lied.

Cameron's hubris and belief, like Heath, that we're all stupid and he could con us all again not only led to his own downfall, but left us with this post-referendum shambles. Thinking himself fireproof, he made absolutely no plans for Brexit.

Realising he'd shot himself in the foot he instantly ran away, showing his promise to tough it out regardless had been just another lie. Given all that, it's a bit ripe for all the remoaning whingers to pillory Theresa May, who from a standing start, has to pick up the pieces of Cameron's failure.



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