Wise Up Journal
by Brendon Collins
In Dáil Éireann, at the Oireachtas Committee on Europe, a number of politicians attacked the Alive newspaper for giving publicity to the No arguments during the recent Lisbon Treaty referendum. They have called on Cardinal Sean Daley to ban the newspaper from churches throughout Ireland.
This is not an attack on a religious paper, this is an attempt to silence free speech in our country and an attempt to silence the opposition in a second Lisbon treaty referendum. It must be resisted.
These politicians, while attacking the Alive newspaper made no comment, about the blatantly biased coverage of the Lisbon Treaty, presented in the Irish Catholic, which is also available in many churches throughout the country. TV debates were also biased giving at least 75% air time to the Yes side; which was done by inviting three speakers from the Yes side and one from the No side.
The propaganda in the Irish Catholic reached its height when just before the vote, they gave over their entire front page to calling for a YES vote, even decorating it in the colours of the European flag of blue and gold.
We are entitled in a free country to have full access to all the information we need to make a reasoned decision. Not only does the political elite want to ignore our democratic rejection of Lisbon Treaty, they now want to censure the media in advance of a second referendum.
Contact these politicians and demand that they respect free speech (numbers below).
A right-wing Catholic newspaper which said a Lisbon Treaty No vote was a vote for God, should have been banned from churches, politicians have claimed.
TDs and Senators on an Oireachtas Committee told Cardinal Sean Brady the Alive paper confused and offended worshippers trying to make up their minds on the issue.
Members of the Committee on Ireland’s Future in the European Union also said Catholic Bishops should have called for a definitive ‘Yes’ vote instead of releasing a statement that was broadly supportive of the referendum.
By John Cooney
Brady urged to ban priest’s ‘anti-EU’ paper from church
CARDINAL Sean Brady has promised to ask bishops to monitor non-official Catholic Church literature being distributed in churches.
Cardinal Brady yesterday heard complaints from angry politicians who want him to ban the stridently anti-EU Catholic newspaper, ‘Alive’.
Meath Fianna Fail TD, Thomas Burke, told the Oireachtas sub-committee on Europe of how he was “bombarded” while attending Mass during the Lisbon referendum campaign by the anti-EU views of the newspaper.
The monthly newspaper, edited by Dominican priest, Fr Brian McKevitt, is circulated free of charge to Massgoers in churches throughout Ireland.
Mr Burke, said: “The average churchgoer got the impression that it was sinful to vote for the Lisbon Treaty”.
The newspaper was doing damage not just to politicians but also to the Catholic Church, he added.
Cardinal Brady said that Catholics could vote in good conscience for the treaty, but the newspaper was not under his control. A member of the Cardinal’s delegation, Martin Long, director of the Catholic Communications Office, pointed out that only official publication of the Irish Bishops’ Conference is the monthly magazine ‘Intercom’.
Labour TD Seamus Costello said that ‘Alive’ preached hatred of the EU and was particularly critical of politicians who supported the treaty. The sub-committee chairman, Senator Paschal Donohoe, said that ‘Alive’ was taken by Catholics as the voice of the Church, and he asked Cardinal Brady to take firm action against it.
The Cardinal said that he would draw to the attention of his fellow bishops this request to look at the distribution of non-official literature in churches.
Last night, the editor Fr McKevitt remained unrepentant about his magazine’s editorial line.
By John Cooney
Cardinal fires new broadside at EU stance on Church values
Cardinal Sean Brady yesterday warned TDs and senators that the EU must not deny its Christian heritage.
The Primate of All Ireland spoke of the growing scepticism among Catholics at the direction the EU was going on social issues and bio-ethics as he made his first official appearance in the Oireachtas.
And he called on the Government to explain EU law more fully to Catholics who had voted against the recent Lisbon referendum.
The Archbishop of Armagh was addressing the Oireachtas sub-committee on Ireland’s future in the European Union, which was established by the Government in the wake of the Lisbon defeat to advise on ways of resolving the impasse between Ireland and the other 26 member states. Dr Brady was invited to explain his views following his major speech last August to the Humbert Summer School, in Co Mayo, in which he said that EU hostility to Christian values on issues such as marriage, the family, and stem-cell research, might have been a factor in the referendum rejection.
Dr Brady told Oireachtas members that the Catholic Church was hugely supportive of EU ideals but had been disappointed at the failure of the governments to make direct reference to God in both the failed Nice Constitution and the Lisbon Reform Treaty.
But he acknowledged the Irish Government had tried hard in the negotiations to obtain recognition of God and of Christianity’s contribution to the making of European culture in the statement on EU fundamental law. Dr Brady said the great “vision and energy” of uniting the peoples of Europe which inspired its founding fathers appeared to have been lost in the bureaucracy governing 25 nations, especially on social issues.
He instanced how, during the summer, he had visited Tory Island and was aghast at how EU fisheries regulations had harmed the island’s way of life, and he wondered whether “Ireland would become the Tory Island of Europe”.
There was widespread apprehension in Ireland, he added, that the judgments of the European Court might taken precedence over the Irish Constitution, which was rooted in support of marriage, the family and the right of Catholic schools to employ Catholic teachers.
Another apprehension was the way in which some EU directives were being applied that did not take account of the rights of the Church and faith-based communities to organise freely and in conformity with their religious convictions.
Dr Brady praised the Government for being the first EU member State to set up a forum for structured dialogue with churches and faith communities, but he said this needed to be developed further.
Belfast priest Fr Tim Bartlett, who liaises with the Stormont government, told the sub-committee that the EU had done a lot in bringing peace and stability to the North, but a perception had grown that the application of EU directives on social and ethical issues did not take account of the situation of the Churches and faith communities.
Many Christians now felt that EU law was “a Trojan horse” encroaching on their beliefs and values, he added.
Cardinal Brady and Fr Bartlett, however, came under criticism from Fianna Fail Mayo TD Beverley Flynn for not having taken a stronger pro-Lisbon stance last May.
Ms Flynn said that the statement was 90pc supportive of the treaty, but that he remaining 10pc left an element of doubt in the minds of Catholic voters who took any statement from the Church as “very serous and with very high relevance”.
Contact these politicians and demand that they respect free speech (a call is harder to ignore than an email):
Thomas Byrne TD for Meath East
East Coast / Donacarney Constituency Office – Colpe, East Donacarney, Co Meath Tel: 041 98 135 20
Joe Costello TD
66 Aughrim Street
01 618 3896
Fianna Fail Mayo TD Beverley Flynn
Newtown, Castlebar, Co. Mayo.
Tel: 094 9027035
Senator Paschal Donohoe
01 618 3689
Lucinda Creighton, TD (Fine Gael)
55 Shelbourne Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 2.
Tel: (01) 6183527
Timmy Dooley, TD (Fianna Fáil)
8 The Old Forge, Tulla, Co. Clare.
Tel: (01) 6183514 or (065) 6891115
Michael McGrath, TD (Fianna Fáil)
Kilmoney Road, Carrigaline, Co Cork.
Tel: 021-4376699 (Office 9-5pm) 021-4919689 (Home).]
Billy Timmins, TD (Fine Gael)
Home Address: Sruhaun, Baltinglass, Co Wicklow
Home Phone: 087 815 9090
Leinster House: Tel: 01 618 3384
Senator Deirdre de Burca (GP)
2 Killarney Villas, Bray, Co. Wicklow
01 274 5402 (constituency office)
Senator Pearse Doherty (Sinn Féin)
Senator Ronan Mullen, (Independent)
Seanad Eireann, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dubiln 2
Fón: 01- 618 3930
Senator Phil Prendergast, (Lab)
6 Marlfield Road, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary
052 – 24380, 086-8555472