LIKE MANY A modern Jeremiah, Mgr Denis Faul is better at diagnosing society's ills than at prescribing remedies (Catholic Herald, 23 August). He can bang the back-to-basics drum as much as he likes, but he will find fewer and fewer people dance to his peculiar beat.
He condemns the "recognition of homosexuality" by the Irish state. Yet does not the Catechism of the Catholic Church state that homosexual people "must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided." Rather than focus on the sins of the homosexual, Mgr Faul might do well to consider the compassionate contribution to Aidsand HIV-care made by many gay men, who have shown a love for their neighbour that sometimes puts the Church to shame.
Is Mgr Faul aware of the delicious irony of his condemning homosexuality whilst praising the "great wisdom" of Socrates, a man forced to drink hemlock because, his relations with young men offended Athenian mores?
Whether we like it or not, we live in an age in which the Church has to communicate with more and more people who find their greatest pleasure, and perhaps even their sense of meaning, in drugs and sex.
The reactionary invocation of words like "duty" and "patriotism" will cut little ice here. A different language is needed. Perhaps the most useful role for the Church and for Christians is to lead through the quiet example of our lives rather than by strident preaching (which always carries the risk of self-righteousness).
There is a solution which the Church offers. It is called prayer a word significantly absent from Mgr Faul's jeremiad.
We can pray and we can encourage others to meditate. It is not legislation and social order which enable men and women to live peacefully together. It is when we find the still centre within that we can be at peace with ourselves, our neighbours and our God.
Paul Davies Bristol