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Bishops and the Catholic Church should not intervene in civil and secular matters

It’s no time since the Vatican’s representative here wouldn’t go before a parliamentary committee to account for Rome’s actions in respect of the abuse of Irish children at the hands of their priests here.

The Vatican said it was a state and thus slithered away from accountability, insulting our TDs and Senators in the process. Now in the midst of a referendum of the people concerning civil law, its bishops, not one of whom were selected or approved by Irish people, are intruding into our secular affairs.

If any other state’s representatives in Ireland dared to tell us how to vote they would get short shrift.

Churches here are highly privileged, being subsidised by the Exchequer for the reason that the advancement of religion is classified as a charitable activity.

The advancement of politics is not a charitable activity. It’s time to replace our system of hidden endowment of religion by every citizen with a more open one, like that in Germany, where taxpayers opt in to be members of a church and have a levy of eight or nine per cent of their income taken to remunerate their chosen church.

It’s a no pay, no services method, as opposed to a little involuntary endowment of religion by everyone in the state.

John Colgan

Dublin Road

Leixlip

Co Kildare

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