‘Frowning Looks and Lots Of Finger-Wagging’



Rev Patrick Burke, centre, Anglican Rector Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny

Further to calls by the UN for Ireland to hold an abortion referendum.

Church of Ireland Rector Patrick Burke writes:

So the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is saying Ireland “must” hold a referendum on abortion. And since they want us to to repeal the Eighth Amendment to address the committee’s concern at our “highly restrictive legislation on abortion,” presumably that means they are saying we “must” vote Yes as well. Who knew the UN had so much power?

But wait! Their “must” is contained in a list of recommendations in a report; and a recommendation is something that can just as easily be rejected as accepted. So really this is less a “must” than a “this is what we think you should do” said in a hectoring tone accompanied by a frowning look and lot of finger-wagging.

That makes a lot more sense. After all, the last time I looked, the UN didn’t have the authority to dictate to member states how they manage their internal affairs; and certainly none of its multitude of committees doesn’t have that power. Therefore, the only thing we “must” do with this report and its recommendations is politely nod and smile, and then do as we ourselves see fit

There you go now.

Irish Times Letters

24 thoughts on “‘Frowning Looks and Lots Of Finger-Wagging’

  1. Eamonn Clancy

    Ha! The UN. Like anyone takes them seriously. Remember Sebrenica and countless orders against Israel?

  2. Medium Sized C

    Same could be said for Churches.

    Although the last bit is right, we should do as we see fit.

  3. phil

    Ah rev would you relax, it not like they are saying that we have a large group of people in this country who talk to and believe in imaginary beings , and should consider if its wise to allow them operate road vehicles, come into contact with children or elect them to decision making jobs that impact society as a whole….

  4. edalicious

    Somebody should re-write that letter, replace all the references to “the UN” with “the RCC” and flip the stance on abortion and then send it in to the Times. It would make far more sense than his letter.

  5. tony

    The fact that its a Protestant saying this makes it more palatable. They work harder too and make delicious preserves and chutney.

  6. Joe

    He’s right though.

    And for the record, it is possible to be pro-choice and to think that the UN committee is a sham.

  7. Clampers Outside!

    He speaks for 2.81% of the country… apparently. The 120k COI members. We should listen to what he says.

    It is important that we hear what the minorities have to say in a democracy, then…. “the only thing we “must” do… is politely nod and smile, and then do as we ourselves see fit…”

    1. The Old Boy

      The C of I has been politely nodding and smiling for the past 90 years. Take a step back, avoid conflict and carry on as ever – it was the only way to survive in such a predominantly and often aggressively Roman Catholic country.

  8. Nially

    The sheer number of letters this goon has in the Irish Times is unreal. You’d think he didn’t have a real job at all.

    1. Mr. T.

      Oh you think?

      They don’t believe most of the rubbish which forms the basis of Catholicism.

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