Posts Tagged ‘Stalin’

‘Email to ISIS’ by Michael Murphy is magnificent

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Michael Murphy, psychoanalyst and author of A Chaplet of Roses – Twenty-four Poems,  had a fascinating discussion on the RTE Radio 1 ‘Today’ Show with Sean O’Rourke on Monday 16 November. Hosted that day by Keelin Shanley, the 8-minute clip explores the Terror attacks in Paris and asks what drives people to carry out such attacks?

Five minutes into the clip, the peerless and regrettably former RTE newscaster reads from his ‘Email to ISIS’ in his new book. It is brave and sure, providing a brilliant synthesis, overview and critique of the insanity of dangerous religious ideas.

You can listen to the full eight-minute interview by clicking here which would be time very well spent but if you’re pressed for time, you can scroll forward to his extract from ‘Email to ISIS’ which begins five minutes into the clip.

I think it should be part of any religious studies syllabus in any school which truly wishes to educate rather than to indoctrinate pupils. Seminaries of all religions should regard is as compulsory reading too.

How better the world would be had its wisdom been known to the Crusaders, the Inquisition, Hitler, Stalin and of course the newest manifestation of intolerance and tyranny: ISIS.

The complete poem can be found in Michael Murphy’s new collection A Chaplet of Roses which is available in all good bookshops.

Censoring priests and the Vatican’s breach of UN Declaration of Human Rights

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Does it not bother Catholics that what they hear from their priests and bishops isn’t necessarily what those selfsame clerics actually think or believe themselves? Or that those who mouth the Vatican line might have more akin to parrots than pastors?

Article 19 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights enshrines self-expression as a fundamental human right: ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.’

Does it bother you that well-known and unknown Irish Roman Catholic priests, are, as we speak, denied that fundamental human right by the Vatican?

If it is true that books have been bought and pulped on the instruction of the Vatican, does that not unnerve anyone? Can anyone think of other regimes that burned books and suppressed ideas?

The trite argument that priests signed up to a body of belief and that they can’t pick and choose is simplistic and silly. For instance, the tradition of a married priesthood has a longer tradition within the Roman Catholic Church than that of compulsory celibacy. The ‘you-can’t-pick-and-choose’ brigade might remember that when they cling limpet-like to the Vatican’s current stance.

Does anyone really want their priests to be unthinking indoctrinated automatons who have abandoned their intelligence and critical faculties to become mindless minions of the Vatican?

There are those who argue that priests who can’t swallow the Vatican’s current dictates should simply leave. Simply? What of a man who has spent his entire adult life as a priest? A man who is entirely financially dependent upon the Church, without whose priesthood he has no job, no professional identity and no wife or children to go home to?

Besides, why should thinking Catholic priests allow the current Vatican clique to usurp onto themselves the mantle of Catholicism? The Vatican manifestly breaches the Church’s own teaching on conscience. Thomas Aquinas was clear that one must always follow one’s conscience even when it means disobeying the pope. The current repressive, censoring, anti-free speech, anti-discussion Vatican regime has little in common with the openness engendered by Pope John XXIII or the vision of the the Second Vatican Council.

Given that freedom of expression is a fundamental human right enshrined in the UN Declaration of Human Rights, are we to stand idly by while the Vatican violates that basic human right through its censoring and silencing of fellow Irish citizens?

Hitler, Stalin and Mao burned books and silenced dissent. Chilly company, Benedict.