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There are important questions for Pope Francis to answer

Pope Francis speaks onboard a plane on his way to Krakow, Poland, on July 27, 2016.
Pope Francis heads to Poland for an international Catholic youth festival with a mission to encourage openness to migrants. AFP/Getty Images
Pope Francis speaks onboard a plane on his way to Krakow, Poland, on July 27, 2016. Pope Francis heads to Poland for an international Catholic youth festival with a mission to encourage openness to migrants. AFP/Getty Images
A group of folk dancers rehears prior to the arrival of Pope Francis at the military airport in Krakow, Poland, Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)
Pope Francis speaks onboard a plane on his way to Krakow, Poland, on July 27, 2016. Pope Francis heads to Poland for an international Catholic youth festival with a mission to encourage openness to migrants. / AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTEFILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images
Pope Francis meets reporters during his flight to Poland, Wednesday, July 27, 2016 to start a 5-day visit. Pope commented on French priest's slaying, saying the world's at war, but it's not a 'war of religions'. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Pope Francis leaves a plane after arriving at the John Paul II International airport Balice in Krakow, on July 27, 2016. Pope Francis heads to Poland for an international Catholic youth festival with a mission to encourage openness to migrants. / AFP PHOTO / JOE KLAMARJOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images
A plane carrying Pope Francis lands at Balice military airport in Krakow, on July 27, 2016. Pope Francis heads to Poland for an international Catholic youth festival with a mission to encourage openness to migrants. / AFP PHOTO / JOE KLAMARJOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images
Pope Francis (3R) is welcomed by Polish President Andrzej Duda (2R) and his wife Agata Kornhauser-Duda (5R) as he arrives at Balice military airport in Krakow, on July 27, 2016. Pope Francis heads to Poland for an international Catholic youth festival with a mission to encourage openness to migrants. / AFP PHOTO / JOE KLAMARJOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images
Pope Francis, with Polish President Andrzej Duda, center, and his wife Agata Kornhauser-Duda attends the welcome ceremony upon his arrival at the military airport in Krakow, Poland, Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)
Pope Francis salutes faithful and pilgrims on his way to the royal Wawel Castle in Krakow, Poland, Wednesday, July 27, 2016. Pope Francis has been greeted in Poland by President Andrzej Duda and hundreds of singing and cheering people as he arrived at the airport in Krakow. (AP Photo/ Czarek Sokolowski)
Pope Francis leaves the Krakow's military airport , Poland, Wednesday, July 27, 2016. The world is at war, but it is not a war of religions, Pope Francis said Wednesday as he traveled to Poland on his first visit to Central and Eastern Europe in the shadow of the slaying of a priest in France. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)
Faithfuls take pictures of Pope Francis arriving at the Wawel royal castle in Krakow, on July 27, 2016. Pope Francis heads to Poland for an international Catholic youth festival with a mission to encourage openness to migrants. / AFP PHOTO / JANEK SKARZYNSKIJANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images
Pope Francis arrives in popemobile for a welcoming ceremony at Wawel castle in Krakow, on July 27, 2016.
Pope Francis arrives for a welcoming ceremony at Wawel castle in Krakow, on July 27, 2016. Pope Francis heads to Poland for an international Catholic youth festival with a mission to encourage openness to migrants. / AFP PHOTO / JANEK SKARZYNSKIJANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images
Pope Francis (L) is greeted by Polish President Andrzej Duda during a meeting at Wawel castle in Krakow, on July 27, 2016. Pope Francis heads to Poland for an international Catholic youth festival with a mission to encourage openness to migrants. / AFP PHOTO / JANEK SKARZYNSKIJANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images
Pope Francis (L) and Polish President Andrzej Duda leave after their meeting at Wawel royal castle in Krakow, on July 27, 2016. Pope Francis heads to Poland for an international Catholic youth festival with a mission to encourage openness to migrants. / AFP PHOTO / JANEK SKARZYNSKIJANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images
Pilgrims cheer near Wawel Royal castle during the second day of the World Youth Days in Krakow on July 27, 2016. Pope Francis heads to Poland for an international Catholic youth festival with a mission to encourage openness to migrants. / AFP PHOTO / Bartosz SiedlikBARTOSZ SIEDLIK/AFP/Getty Images
Pope Francis (C), Polish President Andrzej Duda (R) and his wife Agata Kornhauser-Duda (L) visit the wawel royal castle in Krakow, on July 27, 2016. Pope Francis heads to Poland for an international Catholic youth festival with a mission to encourage openness to migrants. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / FILIPPO MONTEFORTEFILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images
Pope Francis (L) and Polish President Andrzej Duda leave after their meeting at Wawel castle in Krakow, on July 27, 2016. Pope Francis heads to Poland for an international Catholic youth festival with a mission to encourage openness to migrants. / AFP PHOTO / JANEK SKARZYNSKIJANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images
Polish President Andrzej Duda and his wife Polish President Andrzej Duda listen to Pope Francis (L) during a meeting with authorities and diplomatic corps at Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow, on July 27, 2016. Pope Francis heads to Poland for an international Catholic youth festival with a mission to encourage openness to migrants. / AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTEFILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images
Pope Francis (C), Polish President Andrzej Duda (R) and his wife Agata Kornhauser-Duda (L) visit the wawel royal castle in Krakow, on July 27, 2016. Pope Francis heads to Poland for an international Catholic youth festival with a mission to encourage openness to migrants. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / FILIPPO MONTEFORTEFILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images
Polish President Andrzej Duda (L) and Pope Francis visit the Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow, on July 27, 2016. Pope Francis heads to Poland for an international Catholic youth festival with a mission to encourage openness to migrants. / AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTEFILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images
Polish President Andrzej Duda and his wife Polish President Andrzej Duda listen to Pope Francis (L) during a meeting with authorities and diplomatic corps at Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow, on July 27, 2016. Pope Francis heads to Poland for an international Catholic youth festival with a mission to encourage openness to migrants. / AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTEFILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images
Faithfuls take pictures of Pope Francis on his way to the royal Wawel Castle in Krakow, Poland, Wednesday, July 27, 2016. Pope Francis has been greeted in Poland by President Andrzej Duda and hundreds of singing and cheering people as he arrived at the airport in Krakow. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
Pope Francis salutes faithful and pilgrims on his way to the royal Wawel Castle in Krakow, Poland, Wednesday, July 27, 2016. Pope Francis has been greeted in Poland by President Andrzej Duda and hundreds of singing and cheering people as he arrived at the airport in Krakow. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
Pope Francis meets with Polish bishops at Wawel royal castle in Krakow, on July 27, 2016 during World Youth Days. Pope Francis heads to Poland for an international Catholic youth festival with a mission to encourage openness to migrants. / AFP PHOTO / WOJTEK RADWANSKIWOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP/Getty Images
Pope Francis meets reporters during his flight to Poland, Wednesday, July 27, 2016 to start a 5-day visit. Pope commented on French priest's slaying, saying the world's at war, but it's not a 'war of religions'. (Filippo Monteforte/Pool Photo via AP)
Pope Francis meets with Polish bishops at Wawel royal castle in Krakow, on July 27, 2016 during World Youth Days. Pope Francis heads to Poland for an international Catholic youth festival with a mission to encourage openness to migrants. / AFP PHOTO / WOJTEK RADWANSKIWOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP/Getty Images
Pope Francis (C) meets with Polish bishops at Wawel royal castle's cathedral in Krakow, on July 27, 2016 during World Youth Days (WYD). Pope Francis heads to Poland for an international Catholic youth festival with a mission to encourage openness to migrants. / AFP PHOTO / WOJTEK RADWANSKIWOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP/Getty Images

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

Enniskillen

It's a complete myth that OAPs get it easy

Pope Francis exchanges gifts with Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny and wife Fionnuala during a private audience on November 28, 2016 at the Vatican. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Alessandra TarantinoALESSANDRA TARANTINO/AFP/Getty Images
Pope Francis exchanges gifts with Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny and wife Fionnuala during a private audience on November 28, 2016 at the Vatican. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Alessandra TarantinoALESSANDRA TARANTINO/AFP/Getty Images
Pope Francis exchanges gifts with Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny during a private audience in his private studio at the Vatican, Monday, Nov. 28, 2016.
Pope Francis meets with Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny during a private audience on November 28, 2016 at the Vatican. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Alessandra TarantinoALESSANDRA TARANTINO/AFP/Getty Images
Pope Francis exchanges gifts with Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny (L) during a private audience on November 28, 2016 at the Vatican. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Alessandra TarantinoALESSANDRA TARANTINO/AFP/Getty Images
Pope Francis laughs with Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny and his wife Fionnuala, during a private audience on November 28, 2016 at the Vatican. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Alessandra TarantinoALESSANDRA TARANTINO/AFP/Getty Images
Pope Francis talks with Taoiseach Enda Kenny during a private audience on November 28, 2016 at the Vatican. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Alessandra TarantinoALESSANDRA TARANTINO/AFP/Getty Images
Taoiseach Enda Kenny and wife Fionnuala with Pope Francis in the Vatican.
Pope Francis meets Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Rome.
Pope Francis laughs with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and his wife Fionnuala, during a private audience on November 28, 2016 at the Vatican. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Alessandra TarantinoALESSANDRA TARANTINO/AFP/Getty Images
Pope Francis talks with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, left, and his wife Fionnuala, during a private audience in his private studio at the Vatican, Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, pool )
Pope Francis talks with Taoiseach Minister Enda Kenny, right, during a private audience in his private studio at the Vatican, Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, pool )
Pope Francis talks with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, left, and his wife Fionnuala, during a private audience in his private studio at the Vatican, Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, pool )
Pope Francis exchanges gifts with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, right, during a private audience in his private studio at the Vatican, Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, pool )
A Swiss Guard enters in the Apostolic Palace before an audience between Pope Francis and Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the Vatican, Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, pool )
Pope Francis exchanges gifts with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, left, and his wife Fionnuala during a private audience in his studio, at the Vatican, Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, pool )
Pope Francis attends a private audience with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, in his studio at the Vatican, Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, pool )

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.

Pensioner

Belfast

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.

DISSENTER

Carrickfergus

Belfast Telegraph

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