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I was recently invited to celebrate the 50th anniversary of my graduation, which was in 1967, at UCC.
I declined, in a letter to the president, which said:
“Dear president, I wish to acknowledge receipt of your invitation to the golden jubilee reunion taking place this coming September 1, in UCC.
“When I read the order of the day, and saw that the first item was mass in the Honan Chapel, I decided I had no option but to refuse the invitation.
“What has religion to do with the 50th anniversary of my graduation from UCC? UCC is not a Catholic institution. It is non-denominational. The Honan Chapel is built outside the boundary wall for that reason.
“The university is funded by the State, a secular republic. So why is mass included in the order of the day?
“In this year, of 2017, has UCC learned nothing from the history of the last 50 years?
“The Catholic Church has wielded immense power over much of that period. It was a largely malign, divisive institution, which has done damage to our country, from which we are now recovering.
“The mass, as an opening event, is divisive. It does not represent the 10% of the population who profess no religious belief. What about graduates of other religious denominations? I was astonished, and saddened, when I saw the mass listed as the opening event. I thought we were living in more secular and enlightened times. It is more reminiscent of the middle of the last century. It is, as a golden jubilee celebration, 50 years out of date."
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