CAN ANYONE give me an acceptable explanation why the Church in Ireland does not openly condemn hunger-striking for what it is: suicide?
Pope John Paul has stated clearly that violence and murder (sel(destruction is one aspect of that) can never be the way of Christ, can never be justified by whatever purpose.
Why cannot the Church remind the ones who profess to be Catholics that persons who committed suicide are not give a Catholic funeral and are not buried in sacred ground, having denied Christ by this final mortal sin.
I am a foreigner in this country, politically uncommitted. but appalled at the hprific violence in Ulster between o-called Christians. There seems to be no end to it until the Church there follows the lead given by our Pontiff on this problem.
Mrs J. 'Vanderburg London SW5. BOTH Cardinal Hume and Bishop Cahal Daly have described the fast ao death of Robert Sands as a form of violence. Certainly the much publicised hunger strike has already been responsible for rioting and civil disorder, and we can expect greatly increased troubles when Mr Sands actually dies.
On what grounds then did Mr Sands receive the last rites of the Church, as was recently reported in the Press. The Church teaches that we must repent our sins, resolve not to repeat them and seek to render satisfaction for harm done before we can be sacramentally pardoned.
Since. in persisting in his evil ways. Mr Sands has not fulfilled the necessary conditions for priestly absolution. was not the giving of the last rites (if indeed they were given) a sacrilegious and non-availing abuse of priestly power?
Laurie Tanner Bromley. Kent.