Ministers attending Mass

The rows which follow Nelson McCausland seem to be continuing. Last week Sinn fein put down a motion condemning Nelson McCausland for saying that he would not attend a service of worship in a Catholic church. On Sunday Sequence (37 mins in), Raymond McCartney of Sinn Fein and David McConaghie of the Caleb foundation debated the issue; in addition the moderator of the Presbyterian Church Dr. Stafford Carson said that Mr. McCausland would not be endorsing Catholicism if he attended a religious service in a Catholic church.

Raymond McCartney’s position was essentially that a minister in keeping with their oath of office should attend such a service whilst David McConaghie suggested that it was a fundamental issue of human rights as to whether or not Nelson McCausland was allowed to follow his religious beliefs (by not attending mass).

The interjection from Dr. Carson is interesting and is one position held to within fundamentalism; one which is clearly at variance with McCausland’s. Of course Nelson McCausland is not a Presbyterian but an Independent Methodist and incidentally a highly rated theologian in his own right: in addition it must be remembered that as fundamentalists hold to the priesthood of all believers, Nelson must follow how he feels the Holy Spirit leads him and is answerable to God for his own actions.

  • John East Belfast

    Sammy

    “So let me get this straight – lets say I thought the Jewish religion was a complete load of old tosh and that they were responsible for killing Jesus Christ and I formed an organisation which liked to point out how bad the Jewish religion was and also to tell everybody who would listen to me that their religious leader was a bad dog and perhaps in league with the devil and lest just say I knew that if I organised a march through a Jewish area I would attract a large crowd of often drunken personages who liked to shout anti-jewish slogans and talk about a battle in which the Jews had a damn good thrashing and liked to spend days collecting stuff to have a great fire to burn the leader of the Jewish faith atop.”

    Sammy you would be very welcome to do all that but I dont think you would attract a large crowd (not of followers anyway) and you would be quickly taken away by the men in white coats.

    But you still havent answered any of my direct questions to you about Catholic intolerance to Protestants within their ceremonies whilst at the same time demanding those Protestants attend those ceremonies

    RS

    “So the OO lets their members marry catholics but seeks to encourage the children to be brought up in the protestant faith? Have I got that right JEB?”

    I would say that would be correct.

    However let’s forget the “lets” and “encourage” in the Ne Temere.

    When the local Catholic Bishop told you in the 1950S you had better get married in the RC Church and bring your children up as Catholic somehow I dont think there was a lot of free will involved – as the Ryan Report would be proof off

  • John East Belfast

    Coll

    Are you telling me if a known Protestant went up to the alter the Priest would give him communion ?

  • Ne Temere was replaced in 1970 with the more relaxed Matrimonia Mixta

    Apparently (any Catholic experts out there?)

    It had a total life of 63 years (1907-1970) – less than most people. How long has the OO been banging its anti-Catholic drum (and is there any sign of its ‘more relaxed’ replacement?)

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    John

    You have serious avoidence issues ma man. You have dug the hole that you find yourself in.

    Seriously, desperately looking around for some kind of parity is ever so slightly embarressing.

  • John East Belfast

    PE

    lol – I certainly dont feel in a hole ?

    Feigning false concern is when you have really run out of an argument me thinks ?

    I think some of you guys could do yourself a favour by reading some books on the Reformation to see what makes Protestants tick and ultimately what the Scots Irish are doing in Ireland.

    Although I am no expert on catholicism I think I know more about it than you do on protestantism

    Horseman

    “Ne Temere was replaced in 1970 with the more relaxed Matrimonia Mixta

    Apparently (any Catholic experts out there?)

    It had a total life of 63 years (1907-1970) – less than most people. How long has the OO been banging its anti-Catholic drum (and is there any sign of its ‘more relaxed’ replacement?) ”

    I think the key is in their name “Protestantism”.

    They felt/feel the need to protest about catholicism – it has been going on for 500 years.

    As I said you could always do some reading on how it arose

    However there is ample evidence of its softening – the very fact that the NI Presbyterian Moderator made the statement he did is mammoth in itself.

  • Coll Ciotach

    JEB

    I see now what you are getting at.

    Of course he would not. I cannot see the point though. I think it is very elementary knowledge that everyone who recieves the Lord must be in communion with the Church. The Catholic and Orthodox churches believe in transubstantiation and therefore the special character of the Eucharist means more than the mere bread and wine of the deformation sects. From the earliest times this has been the teachings. As Justin Martyr wrote in his First Apology in the 2nd Century

    “This food we call the Eucharist, of which no one is allowed to partake except one who believes that the things we teach are true, and has received the washing for forgiveness of sins and for rebirth, and who lives as Christ handed down to us. For we do not receive these things as common bread or common drink; but as Jesus Christ our Savior being incarnate by God’s Word took flesh and blood for our salvation, so also we have been taught that the food consecrated by the Word of prayer which comes from him, from which our flesh and blood are nourished by transformation, is the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus.”

    In fact in the early Church those who had yet to be baptised were required to leave the Church before communion

  • RepublicanStones

    JEB I suppose the OO is to be equated with matrilineal and patrilineal descent in judaism as well? Sure will we compare a localised bunch of sectarian drum bangers to all the worlds religions?

    ‘ultimately what the Scots Irish are doing in Ireland.’

    Please do tell? Were they Scots Irish before they came to Ireland?

  • John East Belfast

    Coll

    In your post You have illustrated the point I was making earlier. Protestants can’t share in the Catholic Communion because they range from disbelief to horror at the implications of it.

    However each to their own – I would not insist on partaking in something I didnt believe in against the wishes of those who hold it precious.

    Hence McCausland it simply following his own train of conscience in not being there at all.

    The point I was making was that McCausland is being criticised for not attending a ceremony when, lets face it, he is not “welcome” to the Table – he can sit in the back stalls but not at the Table.

    If he chooses not to be there at all is that any more condemnable than the religious thinking that prevents him from taking Communion ?

    I think not.

    However as I said earlier matters of religion are beyond many earthly laws already – and I am happy for them to be so.

    However that means that they cant have it both ways and start condemning others by earthly codes they do not follow themselves.

    However also as I said earlier it is SF making the noise about this not the RC Church

  • Fabianus

    This thread was a lot more fun when people were trying to sell us Nelson McCausland as a wonderful theologian as opposed to a wonderful minister. As if a purveyor of Iron Age lies were of any relevance in 2009.

    Now it’s “Jesus Christ our Savior” (the American Jesus don’t you know) “being incarnate by God’s Word took flesh and blood for our salvation, so also we have been taught that the food consecrated by the Word of prayer which comes from him, from which our flesh and blood are nourished by transformation, is the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus.”

    So a DNA test will show this is correct, yes? Believe whatever cretinous nonsense you like but for fuck’s sake stay away from politics and the day-to-day running of Northern Ireland.

  • John East Belfast

    Fabianus

    Yes you offer an entirely different view on all this.

    I hinted earlier that certain Atheists (eg Dawkins) would probably refuse to go to a Catholic religious ceremony as well – not because of doctrinal differences but because they thought it was total hogwash that was damaging to the mind and ultimately society.

    Would they be guilty of intolerance and risk losing their job ?

    Indeed the attack you made in your post on religion should be banned according to certain people on this thread because such a parallel train of thought held by Protestants would be sectarian.

    Out of interest holding the views you did if you were a Minister and were invited to a religious ceremony (Protestant or Catholic) and holding the views you do would you go ?

  • Coll Ciotach

    Fabianus

    Yours is the sort of bigotry which I am totally opposed to. Who will or will not take part in the day to day running of Irealnd will be a matter for the electorate not you

  • Fabianus

    John

    Yes of course I would go. It would be my bounden duty. But I wouldn’t laugh or ridicule the poor schmucks.

  • kensei

    kenseiwatch

    Ok, you are seriously creeping the fuck out of me and that was pure manplaying. I’m loathe to go to Mick but I really do not want a stalker of any description. Please go away.

    JEB

    On a general note you dont seem to be appreciating that the Church’s are “beyond the law” on a whole range of issues.

    What has that to do with fitness for government. The Churches have no requirements or duties to represent everyone. Ministers do. That the Churches fall into a certain legal limbos is a separate issue.

    I cannot see how refusing to attend Catholic Mass could compromise a minister. I cannot see a situation where it would matter. But you went further and stated a general principle, which most assuredly is not the case.

    Turgon

    *Yawn* < - You | The point -> *Yawn* Try the third post here and see if you can beign to grasp the principle: http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/on-the-bizarre-inconsistency-in-standards-in-irish-public-life/. It’s very nice of you to tell me what I meant in my head when I wrote that piece though. I was confused before, like.

    And by the by
    1. It’s rather fortunate I don’t care about winning. What could I possibly win?
    2. Or the ranting on moral failings by a lunatic
    3. Or indeed OMG! not replying cos Turgon might be proved right that I’d be back.

    I am, because I wanted to talk to other, more sensible people. But you know, since I’m here and compassionate, I’ll try explaining one more time.

  • Fabianus

    Coll

    How can you accuse me of bigotry when I’m an atheist? Get a life, and bone up on your definitions while you’re getting it.

  • Reader

    Coll Ciotach: As Justin Martyr wrote in his First Apology in the 2nd Century…
    Did he say whether “This food we call the Eucharist” was gluten free?
    Not being religious myself, I find it *appalling* that someone might be obliged to attend any church service as a part of their job. (Except the Priest/Minister). Have we really moved on from having one established church in the old days, to having every church established in the modern era? Stuff that.

  • kensei

    JEB

    Just back from jujitsu. You can sample a class, but to train you must join the club and adhere to the rules. Some material – like black belt syllabuses are kept from public knowledge and can only be seen once you have attained the appropriate level.

    I have heard many other clubs in other areas do similar.

  • John East Belfast

    Kensei

    The Church has certain beliefs and it expects its adherents to keep to them – certainly not deviate too far.

    Therefore if the Catholic Church has certain religious instructions – such as Protestants not being able to partake in a major part of their religious ceremony – then do you think it is right that Protestant Ministers, with their own religious beliefs (instructed by their own church) should be forced to go to the said ceremony to which they are not as “welcome” as everyone else in the room ?

    I believe certain atheists could take a similar line.

    Also

    “The Churches have no requirements or duties to represent everyone. Ministers do”

    Do you not think a Catholic Minister who say was very Pro Abortion would face severe hardship from the Irish Catholic Church ? Do you think that Minister could represent everyone – or would he follow his own conscience and/or guidance from the Church ?

    The Church dips in and out of State Matters as it suits it

  • John East Belfast

    Kensei

    “I have heard many other clubs in other areas do similar”

    Yes like the Orange Order !

  • Coll Ciotach

    Fabianus

    Since when has atheism precluded bigotry? Perhaps if you can refer me to a definition by any online dictionary?

    I have a successful and happy life thank you, and as far as I know Justin Martyr was not American, but sure why let a detail of over a thousand years between his death and the journey of Columbus spoil your rant?

  • Coll Ciotach

    Reader

    He did not – I would not have thought gluten free was available in the 2nd century

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    JEB,

    “Sammy you would be very welcome to do all that but I dont think you would attract a large crowd (not of followers anyway) and you would be quickly taken away by the men in white coats.”

    Precisely, I tihnk we are making progress with you. You would need to be quite mad or a sectrain bigot to organise such a thing – either through a Jewish area or through a Catholic area. The men with white coats in this scenario are in fact the parades commsission.

    re. Catholic Church and the OO
    You are muddling up a number of things here – the Orange Order to which Nelson belongs organises event which you accurately point out should result in them being “taken away by the men in white coats”.

    The OO is not a religion, it a deeply bigoted, political, sectarian organsisation that organises public displays of sectrianism leading to dreadful community relations. Can you give me a single example of where the Catholic Church has organised such an event?

    Dont tell me Harryville where worshippers provocatively went to mass or even worse Holy Cross where they were provocatively sending their kids to school.

    Get a fecking grip.

  • Fabianus

    Coll

    Atheism precludes bigotry because it isn’t an opinion.

  • Fabianus

    Coll

    Just realised what you meant by Justin Martyr. I was actually poking fun at your American spelling of “saviour”. No theological argument there at all. As if.

  • Danny O’Connor

    Fabianus
    Some of the most intolerant people I know are atheists- they hate religion,particulary Christianity,atheism involves a choice,therefore it most certainly is an opinion,in the USA people in many positions have to say happy holiday instead of happy Christmas,not because it offends Jews or Muslims but because it offends Atheists.

  • Sever

    I don’t give a shit whether McCausland is a United Methodist, Richard Dawkins’ greatest fanboi or a fucking Buddhist. If he doesn’t want to attend a Catholic Mass he is 110% right not to do so.

  • Sever

    @Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    “The issue is surely not about the right and wrongs of Nelson’s conscience* but rather if someone with his type of conscience and one that operates in the way it does, should hold such an office – to which the answer is probably ‘NO’ as there is a clear conflict of interest betwen his personal and mimisterial roles. For him to hold this office and allowing this debate only does damage to his party, his religion and his ideology – which does not unduly concern me but the damage it does to the wider perception of Norn Iron is a concern.”

    —-

    Absolute and utter bollocks. From start to middle to end. By your reasoning a Muslim or a Jew or (god forbid) an atheist could not be a Minister in Northern Ireland

  • Reader

    Coll Ciotach: He did not – I would not have thought gluten free was available in the 2nd century
    Flesh and wine are gluten free – in the 2nd Century just as they are now. Bread isn’t.
    So – is the Eucharist safe for Coeliac sufferers?

  • Coll Ciotach

    I would presume not

  • Fabianus

    Danny O’Connor

    Some of the most intolerant people I know are atheists-

    I suggest it’s time to look for new friends. The atheists I know are among the most tolerant people you could meet. We have to be. We’re surrounded by ignorant cretins forcing their shite down our gullets at every opportunity. McCausland isn’t even the worst of them.

    they hate religion,particulary Christianity,

    Can you blame them? It abuses children while they’re at their most vulnerable, brainwashing them with utter nonsense and turning them against other children of a different faith and none. Shameful and unforgivable.

    atheism involves a choice,therefore it most certainly is an opinion

    What a ridiculous statement. Atheism is an absence of opinion/belief. We atheists have no opinion about deities because we reject the existence of such non-entities.

    ,in the USA people in many positions have to say happy holiday instead of happy Christmas,not because it offends Jews or Muslims but because it offends Atheists.

    Really? That’s not what I heard. And if true don’t you think it was very tolerant of them to wait for over two centuries? How long will the atheists have to wait before one of their number can be president? Or even be allowed to join the boy scouts—yes, banned by the oh so tolerant Christians.

    Anyhow must dash, a few atheist friends of mine and myself are planning on flying some planes into tall buildings and blowing up the Paris metro.

  • kensei

    JEB

    The Church has certain beliefs and it expects its adherents to keep to them – certainly not deviate too far.

    Therefore if the Catholic Church has certain religious instructions – such as Protestants not being able to partake in a major part of their religious ceremony – then do you think it is right that Protestant Ministers, with their own religious beliefs (instructed by their own church) should be forced to go to the said ceremony to which they are not as “welcome” as everyone else in the room ?

    I believe certain atheists could take a similar line.

    I don’t disagree, and traditionally those not able to receive communion should leave before the conscrecration anyway. No one should be forced to attend a religious servcie against their conscience. I just don’t accept the general point that private beliefs cannot compromise your ability to do a public job. If Nelson came out and stated that the Pope was the AntiChrist and the organisation encouraging people to hell, how exactly can he claim to make fair judgements with regards to funding Cathlic organisations?

    All it would take is one controversial decision and there would be an almighty kick up, and the whiff of prejudice would hang over the whole thing.

    It should be also pointed that theologically Nelson would have more problems with Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and so on. Does he refuise also to attend those services. If not, then a charge of hypocrisy might very well stick.

  • japsei

    “If Nelson came out and stated that the Pope was the AntiChrist and the organisation encouraging people to hell, how exactly can he claim to make fair judgements with regards to funding Cathlic organisations?” If, if, if, if, etc, etc. Any actual evidence that this might be the case or there has been any chat about the anti Christ? Or is it just a “hunch” straw man?

    ” I just don’t accept the general point that private beliefs cannot compromise your ability to do a public job.”

    Oh well-thats OK then. How the fuck do you suggest the majority square away the current DFM incumbent with his past and his present incarnation?

    “It should be also pointed that theologically Nelson would have more problems with Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and so on. Does he refuise also to attend those services. If not, then a charge of hypocrisy might very well stick.” Why don’t you actually ask him?

    Utter fucking lazy self opinionated bollocks. I know!!Here’s a novel idea-why don’t you actually ask him instead of jerking off while rammimg your words down his throat? No?

  • Seimi

    ‘and traditionally those not able to receive communion should leave before the conscrecration anyway’ – kensei

    I’ve attended a few (admittedly only a few) masses in recent times. At Communion time, the priest said something along the lines of – Anyone who feels unable to recieve Holy communion, because of their own religous beliefs, or because of their personal circumstances, please feel free to come forward, cross their arms over their chest, and recieve a blessing.
    I think this is very open and welcoming. Personally, I would not feel excluded at this point. I was born into the Catholic faith, but long ago drifted away from it, and see this invitation as applying to me as much as anyone else.
    Recieveing a blessing from a member of another religous belief is not something anyone should be against. I have recieved offers of similar blessings from different, non-Catholic churches in different places around the world over the years, and I accepted each one as a sign of friendship. Indeed, one of the nicest I recieved was from native American/Canadian elders in Alberta, Canada.
    As to Nelson McCausland not attending a Catholic service, that’s entirely up to him. Though as a Minister here, if he is invited in that capacity, he should really think about what he says about equality etc. before refusing. I don’t think anyone would invite him to such a service just to humiliate him or anything like that. Rather, it should be seen, by all involved, as a gesture of peace and goodwill between different beliefs.

  • kensei

    japsei, presumably “kenseiwatch”

    Oh well-thats OK then. How the fuck do you suggest the majority square away the current DFM incumbent with his past and his present incarnation?

    His past incarnation was squared through, um, the whole peace process thing. You might have heard of it? Last time I checked Unionism was party to those negotiations and you know, a majority voted to endorse the outcome. SF members as DFM or FM was always possible, and it’s somewhat late to complain about it now.

    His past incarnation isn’t in the job. If you can bring up an example where his present beliefs compromise his ability to act impartially in his position, I might very well agree.

    Why don’t you actually ask him?

    I don’t know him.

    Utter fucking lazy self opinionated bollocks. I know!!Here’s a novel idea-why don’t you actually ask him instead of jerking off while rammimg your words down his throat? No?

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hypothetical

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/if

    How about you try reading what I actually said, you obnoxious little shit? Or avoiding jumping into discussions with other people to be needlessly offensive? No?

  • kensei

    Seimi

    That is typically the practice I have seen recently too. But it’s a modern thing.

  • Seimi

    It is a modern change kensei, but a welcome one. And one which may hopefully allay the fears of people such as JEB on this thread.

    ‘What if he went up to the Altar though – that would be a bit of a laugh wouldnt you say. Who would be intolerant then ?

    If I were Nelson I would go to the next Mass and do just that and see what happens’

    What I mentioned above would happen John. However, if Nelson, or yourself, or any non-Catholic, were to approach the altar uninvited, just to gauge the reaction – that would be extremely rude. It could very well be seen as making a mockery of the mass, and would be ‘intolerance’ on your part, not the churches.

  • Seimi

    Hmmm… perhaps ‘church’s’ is what I meant…?

  • Driftwood

    It could very well be seen as making a mockery of the mass

    It does a very good job of that by itself.

    Voodoo mumbo jumbo, and there are people who take this shite seriously????

    At least Zeus and Thor had a bit of credibility.

  • Seimi

    Whether you or I take these things seriously Driftwood, is neither here nor there. Millions of others do.

    Credibility suggests you have some proof of the existence of Thor and Zeus. Do you? 🙂

  • Driftwood

    Of course I have proof, Thor speaks to me every night, and I once met Zeus in the back bar of Lavery’s. Very nice god, bought me a pint.

  • Seimi

    Zeus was barred from Lavery’s years ago. Something about golden showers…

  • japsei

    “His past incarnation was squared through, um, the whole peace process thing. You might have heard of it? Last time I checked Unionism was party to those negotiations and you know, a majority voted to endorse the outcome. SF members as DFM or FM was always possible, and it’s somewhat late to complain about it now.”

    Where exactly was there any fucking complaint about the DFM per se? Where did I suggest any opposition to the Belfast Agreement? It was not me that conflated his past actions with his current activities. I merely pointed out that the principle of suggesting that a Minister can be all things to all men in terms of what they believe is a bit thick and that isolating one member of the Assembly in such a manner is utterly absurd. But you already know that.

    Lets try a different tack here. How about you reading again what YOU actually wrote about beliefs and therefore fitness to hold office?; to wit:

    ” I just don’t accept the general point that private beliefs cannot compromise your ability to do a public job.” ie the implication being in this context that McCausland’s refusal to attend an RC service is indicative (apparently) of a possible bar to his effectively discharging his Ministerial duties. Based upon what EVIDENCE was my question? Which of course was ignored and not answered. Likewise your avoidance of approaching the man directly. I’m sure your absence from his Xmas card list does not preclude approaching him on line? If you’re going to talk shite at least try and back it up with a shred of credible evidence. Otherwise you just end up looking stupid, uninformed and a bit intolerant yourself frankly.

    The point being of course, unless you’ve got special “all seeing” mind reading powers (or hold a Ju Jitsu grand poohbah belt and a Masters Degree in Applied Bollix etc yawn), it’s probably best not to jump on the band wagon and invent a whole belief system on someone elses behalf in order to score cheap political sectarian points. No? That sort of thing could get someone killed.

    “How about you try reading what I actually said, you obnoxious little shit?”

    You need to calm down and take a deep breath. I believe thats called playing the man?

    “japsei, presumably “kenseiwatch”” Er, no actually…..

  • Driftwood
  • Danny O’Connor

    fabianus
    just because I know people doesn’t mean that they are friends.
    Atheism is a choice not to believe in God – agnosticism does not rule out the existence of God ,so there is no choice involved.
    Christianity,Islam and Judaism ,at least do not advocate the mass murder of unborn children.

  • John East Belfast

    Kensei

    I think McCausland has already indicated that he is prepared to go into a Catholic Church – just not for religious ceremonies.

    My own view is that is fine.

    Religious ceremonies will have inoffensive and sometimes offensive bits and we dont want to live in a society where people cannot exercise their own religious liberty as per their own conscience.

    The notion that every Govt Minister should be expected to go to every event in the country, even if it goes against his own moral mindset, is with all due respect just daft.

    Lets say that Belfast got its first Lap Dancing Bar – could be argued part of the Belfast Tourist scene by some – so would he be expected to go to the opening ceremony of that as Minister responsible for Tourism ?
    Would he be guilty of not representing all of his constituents ?

    Or what if Abortion is ever extended to NI would a devout Catholic SDLP Health Minister be expected to attend the opening ceremony of it ?

    Or what about a Hindu Minister being expected to attend an Islamic religious ceremony which included the ritual slaughtering of a cow ?

    In my opinion this whole issue was a cheap political stunt by SF and McCausland has no case to answer.

    Once we start making laws that govern how people think then I am really out of here

  • Peter fyfe

    Jeb,

    You managed to compare the Catholic mass to lapdancing, the ritual slaughtering of an animal and abortion all in a few sentences. Good to see you can tackle the subject without prejudice.

  • Zeus

    peter fyfe

    So…What’s the big deal?

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    John

    Laugh all you want, i think it is funny the extremes you are going to as documented by Peter Fyfe. Ken has already pointed out the obvious regarding entering other churches, lo and behold you come out with this cracker;

    ” he is prepared to go into a Catholic Church – just not for religious ceremonies.

    My own view is that is fine.”

    In the name ae the wee man! unintentional comedy how a bout ye;¬) Here was me thinking the whole point of churches was *drum rolls* religious ceremonies!

    I could give a shit if odious wee men choose to body swerve religoius ceremonies, it is the selectivity and reasons behind the selectivity that is the point here.

  • kensei

    Where exactly was there any fucking complaint about the DFM per se? Where did I suggest any opposition to the Belfast Agreement? It was not me that conflated his past actions with his current activities. I merely pointed out that the principle of suggesting that a Minister can be all things to all men in terms of what they believe is a bit thick and that isolating one member of the Assembly in such a manner is utterly absurd. But you already know that.

    I simply stated that while people are entitled to their personal beliefs as absolute, they can have consequences in terms of public office because it may form a conflict in interest when they must act fairly. Or at least be seen to do so. In some cases that may be a statutory duty.

    That does not mean he has to be “all things to all men”. Never satted that. I also didn’t bring in MMG, YOU did. I’m sorry that my response assumed you knew what I was actually talking about and I replied on that basis.

    ie the implication being in this context that McCausland’s refusal to attend an RC service is indicative (apparently) of a possible bar to his effectively discharging his Ministerial duties.

    HONK! No. Me:

    I cannot see how refusing to attend Catholic Mass could compromise a minister. I cannot see a situation where it would matter.

    And that wasn’t the first time I expressed that opinion. But I was discussing a general principle. Nelson is basically irrelevant to it.

    Based upon what EVIDENCE was my question? Which of course was ignored and not answered.

    Because er, I don’t disagree? And I have already given several examples of where a private belief might compromise you for public office?

    Likewise your avoidance of approaching the man directly. I’m sure your absence from his Xmas card list does not preclude approaching him on line? If you’re going to talk shite at least try and back it up with a shred of credible evidence. Otherwise you just end up looking stupid, uninformed and a bit intolerant yourself frankly.

    You still appear confused. I didn’t state Nelson would or wouldn’t attend a Jewish ceremony. I said IF he did attend, he would be open to charges of hypocrisy. Just musing on a theme in a discussion with someone else. It doesn’t actually 1. imply he is a hypocrite 2. require me to know what he actually things. There bes the awesome power of the hypothetical.

    I’m sorry I didn’t immediately think “Oh1 I must phone him to ask him!”

    The point being of course, unless you’ve got special “all seeing” mind reading powers (or hold a Ju Jitsu grand poohbah belt and a Masters Degree in Applied Bollix etc yawn), it’s probably best not to jump on the band wagon and invent a whole belief system on someone elses behalf in order to score cheap political sectarian points. No? That sort of thing could get someone killed

    Lets review that I said:

    It should be also pointed that theologically Nelson would have more problems with Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and so on.

    This is an absolute fact unless debates on transubstantiation trump a complete rejection fo Jesus as Saviour.

    Does he refuise also to attend those services.

    Question: I don’t know the answer. I suppose I could pop along to his blog and ask, but I’m really just thinking out loud here.

    If not, then a charge of hypocrisy might very well stick.

    Important words highlighted. I didn’t state he would take those actions, nor did I state if he did he would automatically be a hypocrite.

    Apparently this is enough to be lethal these days. If I clap my hands and say I believe in fairies will he come back to life?

    You need to calm down and take a deep breath. I believe thats called playing the man?

    I’m quite content to respond in kind.

    “japsei, presumably “kenseiwatch”” Er, no actually…..

    In which case there is two mental fuckers out there with some kind of weird obession about me. I know I’m pretty, but you can’t posisbly know that. What is it exactly?

  • kensei

    JEB

    First up, tactless dude.

    Hypothetical: minster believes lapdancing is immoral. His department is responsible for granting applications for new ones. His morality means he feels compelled to reject every application despite it being perfectly legal. Should he be appointed to that post? Take a similar example regarding Sunday opening. Health minster might take a similar line on abortion clinics if its was extended here.

    Alternatively, lets say an SF minister makes very controversial statements regarding the OO. Subsequently there is a funding decision which greatly cuts OO funding and puts more into the Feile, or GAA. It might be very well be the right decision. But its hard to say that there isn’t a conflict of interest that hasn’t muddied the waters. He’s absolutely entitled to his beliefs. But it’s hard to argue it hasn’t complicated his ability to do his job.

    Once we start making laws that govern how people think then I am really out of here

    I don’t care what people think. I’m only interested in the consequences that might flow from them. Why does no one listen?

  • Peter Fyfe

    Zeus,

    I really do not care where Nelson goes as long as I can avoid the occasion. JEB makes his argument ridiculous by comparing prayers and the eating of a disc shaped object, I will leave it for others to decide what that is, to the murder of a baby or lapdancing. Do you see no problem with this when you are trying to have a reasoned arguement?

    Let me point out, nobody is required to eat that disk shaped object but Nelson finds offence in it or he doesn’t want to be expelled from his lodge. It is one of the two, I know what sounds more believable for a man who jumped party to look after himself. It is quite clear he has no problems with powersharing when he will have a job in it. Forgive me if I don’t fall for his principled stance.

    I had a thought there, it hurt. Here goes, many OO supporters argue it is a religious organisation so its processions are a religious act I am guessing. Why do Catholics not have the right to have these religious ceremonies foisted upon them if Nelson would not attend a catholic ceremony in his capacity as a minister? The poor people of Ardoyne don’t get a salary and pension for putting up with parades. I know that these parades in no way could be of a political nature or could they?

  • Peter Fyfe

    Why do Catholics not have the right to have these religious ceremonies NOT foisted upon them if Nelson would not attend a catholic ceremony in his capacity as a minister?

  • japsei

    Hang on Ken-this is starting to smack of the usual lastwordery. You last two responses to me vary considerably in their points of contention.

    Let’s start by stripping away all the shite in order to avoid any further “confusion”.

    1. The subject of this thread is Nelson McCauslands refusal to attend an RC service and the implications that this is perceived, by some, to have on his effectiveness as a Minister. You commented thus: “I just don’t accept the general point that private beliefs cannot compromise your ability to do a public job.” Are you now telling me, despite what other gems you have posted, that this statement does not directly relate to the subject in discussion?? Yea right. It also would seem to directly contradict this: “I cannot see how refusing to attend Catholic Mass could compromise a minister. I cannot see a situation where it would matter.” Yes, I’m happy to admit that I do find that confusing.

    2. My response (distilled) was that it was ridiculous to expect every Minister to hold coincident opinions or views with the entire electorate. Expressed as follows: ” I merely pointed out that the principle of suggesting that a Minister can be all things to all men in terms of what they believe is a bit thick” (“in terms of what they believe” being the key words here) ie we should not and cannot expect the DFM’s beliefs (FOR EXAMPLE) to coincide with those of all the electorate.

    3. Therefore, it would appear to be a bit silly to contend, in principle, that McCausland’s refusal to attend an RC service should be held up as an example of his inability to carry out his job effectively. Unless:

    a) You are seeking to be offended without being in possession of all the facts and having fully discussed with McCausland the full reasons behind his decision and his position.

    b) Wish to shit stir in order to obtain some kind of political capital out of this. “There bes the awesome power of the hypothetical.” Indeed.

    4. An attempt to put words into another’s mouth should be exposed and utterly rejected-especially when the topic under discussion has the potential to enforce or create more misunderstanding and strife. Judgements based on clarity and fact tend to have more integrity. “I don’t know the answer. I suppose I could pop along to his blog and ask, but I’m really just thinking out loud here.” If you want to “think” aloud in a public space don’t expect other people not to get involved-whatever the stage of the conversation.

    Now, I can’t (be bothered to) dredge out of the rant above where we may coincide on the above points but that’s my take on it in a nutshell.

    ““japsei, presumably “kenseiwatch”” Er, no actually…..

    In which case there is two mental fuckers out there with some kind of weird obession about me. I know I’m pretty, but you can’t posisbly know that. What is it exactly?”

    That you talk a lot of utter shite perhaps?

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Peter

    Yep it is the obvious question that cannot be answered because of the settled mindsets that one lot’s civil liberties are more important than the other lot’s Article 8 rights. Of course the rest of the world would just shake their heads at the former’s cheek, not on these islands though.

    I think a thread on competing rights could be in order.

  • kensei

    1. The subject of this thread is Nelson McCauslands refusal to attend an RC service and the implications that this is perceived, by some, to have on his effectiveness as a Minister. You commented thus: “I just don’t accept the general point that private beliefs cannot compromise your ability to do a public job.” Are you now telling me, despite what other gems you have posted, that this statement does not directly relate to the subject in discussion?? Yea right.

    Sammy

    I agree but I can’t actually think of any situation whereby not going to Mass compromises Nelson’s ability to his job. On that basis, the SF motion is wrong.

    No one should be compelled to attend any religious services

    I cannot see how refusing to attend Catholic Mass could compromise a minister. I cannot see a situation where it would matter. But you went further and stated a general principle, which most assuredly is not the case.

    It also would seem to directly contradict this: “I cannot see how refusing to attend Catholic Mass could compromise a minister. I cannot see a situation where it would matter.” Yes, I’m happy to admit that I do find that confusing.

    In general, I like ice cream. I don’t like strawberry ice cream though. Do you grasp how these statements do not contradict?

    The rest is worthless being that (1) I haven’t suggested anywhere that a minster must be able views to all men, simply that whatever views they hold should not interfere with their duties to act impartially. This is particularly true if the views are expressed publicly (2) I’m not offended, not have I suggested anywhere that I am. (3) Nor have I stated Nelson’s refusal to attend Catholic services makes him unable to carry out his job. In fact I have stated the opposite. I have stated that if he doesn’t carry through his logic to its conslucion, he may be open to charges of hypocrisy. But that was an aside. (4) I haven’t actually stated that Nelson believes anything one way or another.

    I’m sure the deaths threats are flooding in to him.

    That you talk a lot of utter shite perhaps?

    Yup, I spout a lot of bollocks. Hardly uniques among commentators. Or politicians. Or pundits. Unsure as to why this qualifies me for special internet stalking hate.

  • japsei

    “Sammy

    I agree but I can’t actually think of any situation whereby not going to Mass compromises Nelson’s ability to his job. On that basis, the SF motion is wrong.

    No one should be compelled to attend any religious services

    I cannot see how refusing to attend Catholic Mass could compromise a minister. I cannot see a situation where it would matter. But you went further and stated a general principle, which most assuredly is not the case.”

    Ken-I must admit to not having read the above in its entirety and with that in mind I would like to offer you my total and unreserved apology for my comments and playing the man-not good. My error was to see only an “attack” and not the full picture. That was foolish and inexcusable.

  • Thereyouarenow

    Did you ever hear the one about the guy on his death bed and the Vicar/Priest (it does’nt mattter in this situation) comes to comfort him and give him his last rights.
    So priest/vicar/minister is chatting away about religious stuff and the like.

    Asks him if he sorry for his sins

    Any last requests and so on

    Then Minister/Vicar/Priest asks him if he renounces Satan.

    Death bed guy answers

    “Do you think its a good idea to fall out with anyone in my position”

  • kensei

    japsei

    Ok. I’m probably not clear enoguh and easy to get the wrong end of the stick.

  • John East Belfast

    Peter, PE, Kensei

    I have made 3 points on this thread

    1. I dont think Ministers should leave outside the door their own morals, conscience and religious observance when conducting their duties. For the overwhelming vast majority of duties this will have no relevance whatsoever and we are expendinga lot of hot air over nothing. I also value their ability to be guided by their conscience as more important than popular thinking that they should be all things to all men on all occasions.
    Voters know their views when they elect them and if they feel they are not doing their job properly then they can unelect them.

    2. The Catholic Church has certain religious ceremonies.
    I cant comprehend the concept that Catholic think it ok to specifically exclude Protestants from an important aspect of that ceremony due to religious doctrine and then be upset when a Protestant politely says he will not attend the ceremony at all because of religious doctrine.

    Sorry I cant square that circle ?

    3. Of course it is not the Catholic Church being offended on this issue but SF on their behalf who are only political point scoring.

    As I said McCausland has no case to answer so I thinmk we should move along as there is nothing to see here

  • another angle

    Why not have the funeral at an independent methodists church, then everyone could attend.

  • ulsterfan

    I feel an Inquisition coming on.
    Prods attend the wrong Church and henceforth they must worship at Catholic Chapels first by invitation and then by decree on pain of torture.
    No room for conscience.
    Civil and religious freedoms to be set aide.

  • Fabianus

    Danny O’Connor

    just because I know people doesn’t mean that they are friends.

    What are you on about? And… should I care?

    Atheism is a choice not to believe in God – agnosticism does not rule out the existence of God ,so there is no choice involved.

    Have it your way. Atheism still isn’t an opinion. You’re the only person I’ve ever heard claiming this.

    Christianity,Islam and Judaism ,at least do not advocate the mass murder of unborn children.

    Possibly because it’s impossible. Only a born person can be murdered. And what has such advocacy got to do with anything I mentioned?

  • Owen Lee joe King

    McCausland has every right not to attend any religious service. In fact no politician should attend any religious service. Separation of church and state! What he should not do is offer his crass, bigoted opinions and retain office. In any civilised country he would have been sent packing long ago.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    John

    >>1)I dont think Ministers should leave outside the door their own morals, conscience and religious observance when conducting their duties…< >As I said McCausland has no case to answer so I thinmk we should move along as there is nothing to see here<

  • Rory Carr

    Those among us with a clear understanding of what careerist politicians are capable of in pursuing their ambition would not be in the least surprised if one were to be found attending at a Black Mass and sucking the cock of oul’ Satan himself in an obscene parody of the communion rite if he felt it would play well to his electorate. Indeed playwrights throughout the ages and screenwriters in modern times have grown fat on promoting such a scenario to a public only too willing to swallow it.

    Which is not of course to say that Mr McCausland might be willing to so participate in such outlandish practices. Nor indeed to deny such opportunity to him should he find it advantageous. But then why should he? Where’s the need?

    He belongs after all to a party that grew out of a one-man church that, while purporting to be Christian, expanded its congregation by appealing to the most base instincts of its audience through the preaching of the most vile hatred and intolerance of the Christian religion of the vast majority of of its neighbours on this island, including the suggestion that their religious leader was an anti-Christ and cohort of Satan himself. Its leader, Ian Paisley, clearly had paid close attention to the acuity of the American writer, HL Mencken – the sage of Baltimore, a savage critic of religious and political hucksterism, who once opined that “No one ever went broke by underestimating the intelligence of the American public” and applied that wisdom well in nurturing his own flock.

    McCausland’s own religious beliefs or “personal morality” are not at issue here, nor indeed the competing theologies of transubstantiation or symbolic ritual, of individual biblical interpretation or dependence upon priestly authority. All that matters is that a politician, by risking giving public offence to one set of religionists feels that he can win more electoral points within his own constituency of opposing religionists than he might lose by condemnation from a wider, more sophisticated audience appalled at his crassness who however do not count for much it comes to stuffing ballot boxes.

  • Democratic

    “All that matters is that a politician, by risking giving public offence to one set of religionists feels that he can win more electoral points within his own constituency”

    Does he Rory? – nothing to do with his own feeling then you obviously suspect – fair enough – but please do not present unsupported allegation as fact – it belittles your points…..

    Unless of course you can susbstantiate your claim?…..

    On the extended point – where does this logic leave a theoretical Nationalist Lord Mayor of Belfast in attendence to a memorial for British servicemen for example (and yes I remember Alex Maskey’s half hearted effort) – or does Religious views as always seem to get a different hand dealt than Political ideology for some reason….

  • Peter FYfe

    JEB

    The difference between us is you believe the reason he gave for not attending a catholic service, I don’t. Now that is a matter of personal choice. As pointed out he is willing to sit beside former IRA members as part of his job and this can not extend to a mass. I really do not understand. As pointed out before Nelson has no problem with the sight of ‘religious’ processions being foisted upon unwanting nationalists every July. So let’s face the facts, this is not a principled stance but the same old sectarian garbage we are used to from Nelson. One last question, why would Nelson be offended at not being offered the Body and Blood of christ if he does not believe it is the body and blood of christ? Do pancakes offend him too? How about a round soda?

    At the end of the day though, it was a crass stunt by Sinn Fein to try and make an arguement out of this, no matters of faith should be enforced upon anybody else. What annoys me is they manage to make that muppet a victim in this. Unfortunatley for your arguement JEB, you made some rather ignorant statements on the catholic church throughout this thread making you sound silly and bigoted.

    Fabianus

    Are you trying to launch a radically new dictionary where opinion and murder and many other words change meaning or have you just added conditions to each meaning to suit your arguements?

    Why? Is it because it makes abortion easier to support?

  • Fabianus

    Peter Fyfe

    Take your questions up with Danny O’Connor not me. He’s the one who introduced opinion, murder and abortion to suit his arguments, whatever those may be.

  • John East Belfast

    Peter Fyffe

    You and others are just totally committed to seeing your own point of view on this without listening to the other side of the argument.

    “As pointed out he is willing to sit beside former IRA members as part of his job and this can not extend to a mass.”

    That has to be the most stupid analogy on this thread.

    As I said earlier you could do yourselves a favour by doing some reading on what Protestants believe and their issues with Catholicism – you are commenting from ignorance and I clearly know more about Catholicism than you do about Protestantism.

    Eating the actual Body and Blood of Christ is highly offensive to many Protestants. The praying to the Saints (ie the Dead) is equally offensive. An individual declaring your sins are forgiven is also offensive. Those are three biggies to devout Prods.

    Not to me but to many devout Protestants these issues are offensive – isnt it better they stay outside and hence avoid being offended or giving offence – what exactly is your problem with this ?

    You are giving the tired old line about Protestant bigotry because Protestants have doctrinal differences with Catholics. Do you just want Protestants to believe what you believe ?

    “you made some rather ignorant statements on the catholic church throughout this thread making you sound silly and bigoted.”

    I didnt distinguish between the Mass and the specific Celebration of it for which I apologised. But apart from that please give me the other biggoted examples ?

    “One last question, why would Nelson be offended at not being offered the Body and Blood of christ if he does not believe it is the body and blood of christ?”

    Nelson would probably fall into the category above – ie he would be offended by being offered it – that is why he chooses to stay away I suspect.

    However other Protestants would be offended because they would believe it was only symbolic of the Body and Blood of Christ and hence would have no problem taking it. However they would be refused it because of such a belief. Such Protestants would then feel that it is wrong for a Christian Sacrament such as Communion to exclude other Christians.
    Such Protestants – in protest – might then decide that rather than be excluded would then stay away. However are you saying they should jsut ignore this offense and go anyway?

    You just cant/wont see the other side of the argument on this will you ?

    I have absolutely no problem with Catholics having their own doctrines – I am just against them being forced upon Govt Ministers as supposedly part of an inclusive brief.

  • Fabianus

    Eating the actual Body and Blood of Christ is highly offensive to many Protestants.

    The very belief is also offensive to the intelligence of sensible people. But hey if some Roman Catholic wishes to provide us with proof that it’s possible who am I to call him a liar and a charlatan?

  • Actually there was no strict legal Church requirement against attending Hyde’s funeral. Canon 1258, paragraph 2, of the 1917 Code of Canon Law did permit “passive or merely material presence” at “the funerals, weddings, and similar solemnities of non-Catholics”. As often the case, conventions were considerably stricter at the time in Ireland because it was felt (especially after the Great Evangelical Crusade) that Protestant ministers would use funeral or marriage services to proslytize Catholics, or otherwise direct anti-Catholic sermons, a not entirely unfounded suspicion given the contemporary political situation.

    In the days before Henry Cooke it was not unknown for some Presbyterian families to ask Catholic priests to baptize their children because there was none of their ministers about to do it.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    JEB

    Thanks for ignoring me!

    >>Eating the actual Body and Blood of Christ is highly offensive to many Protestants. The praying to the Saints (ie the Dead) is equally offensive. An individual declaring your sins are forgiven is also offensive. Those are three biggies to devout Prods.< >I have absolutely no problem with Catholics having their own doctrines – I am just against them being forced upon Govt Ministers as supposedly part of an inclusive brief.<

  • Fabianus

    Prionsa

    With respect mate you’re wasting your “breath”. We all know the real reason why Nelson won’t attend. He’s a bigot, plain and simple but he’ll use any argument that sounds halfway reasonable to camouflage this. And I’ve little doubt he’ll be as bigoted against any other denomination that doesn’t subscribe 100% to his narrow little view of the world.

    Nelson and people like him were almost the ruination of this place. We can still wrest it from the sweaty grasp of the bigots. Urge religion to take a back seat in public affairs. Let it return to where it belongs: in the churches and chapels. Oh and ffs keep it off the streets.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Fab

    >>We all know the real reason why Nelson won’t attend. He’s a bigot, plain and simple…<

  • John East Belfast

    PE, Fabianus

    As said Protestants have problems with certain key aspects of RC Doctrine – Transubstantiation, Mary (her immaculate conception and assumption), Sainthood, Papal Infallibility, the absolution of sins are the biggies.

    Such doctrinal difference manifest themselves from Indifference and Bemusement to outright abhorrence.

    Not knowing Nelson McCausland any better than either of you I suspect he will clearly fall into the latter. That would stop him being in the same roon whilst such practices were being performed.

    Does that make him a bigot – in my minds no – I am firmly of the opinion that a bigot hates the person and not just the doctrine. I dont know him well enough to accuse him of that and neither do either of you. However you can judge a man by his actions and speech – but for the reasons I have given I dont think his attitude to RC doctrine should be interpreted as you have done.

    “Could you please answer if you reckon Nelson would be right to bodyswerve other Christian denominations that offend him, and considering that non-christian services might enrage him should he boycott these also? Do you also consider this behaviour normal outside the sub-normal context of N.I.? ”

    There arent any other Christian denominations that have RC doctrines as above – that is why the RC Church thinks it is the one true church and all those of the Reformed faith are in error.

    You also need to consider the very term Protestant – the Reformation was about the Christian Church and ultimately led to a split from the Church in Rome – they were “protesting” against RC doctrine.
    500 years later for all Protestants those doctrinal differences clearly remain but for some they are still worth getting in a lather about.

    As I say you really could do yourself a favour by doing some reading of Protestantism and its origins.

    As for would similar views be held by Protestants throughout the world – yes it would fall exactly into how I have described it above.

    What makes NI so different is that our political fault lines also run in parallel with our religious ones hence it adds fuel to the fire and hence what are religious differences often get confused with political ones and visa versa of course

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Hello John

    Just slagged you for not answering me here then I check my e-mails and low behold ye huv, good man!

    Must say though you have written a lot without actually answering my points. Can’t be bothered repeating them so it’s upto you should you wish to, though your defence of the guy has surprised me. Honest no patronising, but I thought you had moved on from that tribal keek, obviously not.

  • John East Belfast

    PE

    We must be talking past each other because I am afraid I could accuse you of not answering my points.

    As for defending McCausland I am defending the ablity for people to have religious doctrinal differences and then act with their conscience in accordance with them – I would defend anyone to do that

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    John

    Lets get serious now.

    You have repeatedly ignored my point regarding should Nelson bodyswerving other Christian denominationsw or even non-Christian denominations, since there will be parts of these religions that cause him offence. Informing me that there are less differences between prod churches does not cut it, and you have ignored completely non-Christian religions. Nor have you taken on board me pointing out that he need not participate in the mass or take part in the sacraments at all. You have also bodyswerved the fact that politicians all over the world will mix with parts of the community that they find alien to them.

    Might be time to stop showing yourself up John.