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Showing posts from September, 2020

Priestly Celibacy

  Priestly Celibacy                Gerry OShea St Augustine is recognized as a distinguished Doctor of the Church with learned writings dealing with obscure topics like the Christian idea of three persons in one godhead. However, his pronouncements in the area of sexual ethics have done serious damage to the Christian story. Until his mid-thirties he lived the life of a libertine who, in his own words, “was a slave to his sexual impulses.” He had a concubine who bore him a son. His mother, Saint Monica, pleaded with her son to join the Catholic Church and leave behind his wayward lifestyle. The family was well-off and the matriarch felt her son’s partner should not be a commoner but ought to come from an aristocratic family.   Augustine was baptized at age thirty-two and, similar to many converts throughout history, he spent the remainder of his long life as a very committed Christian. He was ordained a priest after his son died and later was appointed Bishop of Hippo where his l

Trade Unions in America

  Trade Unions in America                  Gerry OShea In April of last year some of the heads of the country’s biggest banks appeared before the House Financial Services Committee in Washington to address questions about various monetary issues and for a general review of the banking industry ten years after the Financial Crisis. These men – yes, all men – also knew they would face some questioning about their own salaries, all in annual multi-millions, which some members of the committee considered a bit brazen especially after their unimpressive leadership in the banking crisis. Congresswoman Katie Porter from California used her time on the mic to deal with a constituent’s concerns. She explained that a woman, Marie, had contacted her with a very challenging story. She is a single mother working for JPMorgan Chase and earning a post-tax annual salary of $29,100. The congresswoman documented her expenses for food, housing, childcare and the cost of running her 12-year old car.

The Irish War of Independence in 1920

  The Irish War of Independence in 1920         Gerry OShea After the 1916 Easter Rebellion was crushed, Michael Collins, the future leading Irish revolutionary, reportedly said to one of his colleagues as they were marched off to jail that an Irish army should never again directly confront the military might of the British Empire. He promised that the next time they would face England on their terms, not as doomed targets in open warfare. After the Sinn Fein victory in the December, 1918, Westminster elections, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) started a guerilla war, where local battalions of their forces ambushed Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and British army groups on patrol or just moving from one place to another.   While they were very short of weapons, they took advantage of their superior knowledge of the local terrain and used the powerful element of striking first in surprise attacks to inflict serious losses on the enemy before withdrawing to nearby mountains or other

Perspectives on Religion

  Perspectives on Religion               Gerry OShea Who are your gods? was a common opening question when educated Greeks met their counterparts from other Mediterranean regions during what is called the golden era of their culture in the 4 th century BC. It was widely accepted that all tribes had gods with stories that explained how the human race started and what rules the deities expected people to obey. Brian Friel touched on a similar theme in his wonderful play Dancing at Lughnasa. Fr. Jack is sent home from his ministry in a leper colony in Uganda, heroic work that should guarantee an abundance of prestige and admiration in his birth place in County Donegal where his five sisters live. However, it emerges that Jack talks admiringly about the tribal customs and beliefs that he experienced and celebrated as a missionary for many years. He never criticizes Catholicism but he identifies more with the gods he experienced and the way of life and culture he was part of in the