In fact, we would urge that the Church immediately pull out from involvement in all of the 3,013 schools and all of the hospitals for which they are responsible in this State.
The issue of these establishments being built on Church-owned property could be a bit of a problem, but I’m sure the Church would be amenable to allowing the State buy these lands from them.
The dilemma the Church would be faced with is that because the lands and monies for the majority of the hospitals and schools were either brought in by their own members as ‘dowries’ or donated by people to the Church, they would not be able to give the lands and properties to the State as a gift, even if they wanted to do so.
As the Church is a charity, it must hold the said lands and properties in trust for the Catholic people of Ireland.
The obvious solution would be to allow the State to buy them out for State use. While they’re at it, we would urge the State to reimburse the wages to religious who worked without payment in the past; one wouldn’t want the State to be indebted to the Church if the separation is to be complete.
State independence from the Catholic Church is imperative. We are sure that even though the cost to the State would be significant, independence would be very beneficial to both sides.
That way the Catholic Church could deal with moral issues such as abortion and contraception, and the State could deal with everything else.
Mind you, the workings of the Church concern me.
If they are supposed to be a ‘secret society,’ as Ms O’Donnell alleged, they’re not very good at keeping secrets... we all know they’re there!
Florence Horsman Hogan
10 Seaview Wood