The Irish Army chaplain should pay closer heed to the message of Pope Francis rather than criticising President Higgins for his lack of reference to Christianity in a recent speech.
This is the view of the Galway Alliance Against War, which has weighed into the controversy following a statement by the chaplain of the Irish Defence Forces, Msgr Eoin Thynne.
Msgr Thynne expressed concern about “the general change in society with reference to the meaning of Christmas”, in particular criticising Uachtarán na hÉireann Michael D Higgins’ for not mentioning Christianity in his Christmas address, and the absence of the traditional crib at the Irish Defence Forces’ HQ.
GAAW spokesperson Niall Farrell accused Msgr Thynne of hypocrisy in relation to his remarks.
“Irish soldiers have been involved in the illegal occupation of Afghanistan by NATO for years now and Irish troops are now involved with the French occupation of its former colony in Mali,” said Mr Farrell.
“The chaplain laments the lack of references to Christ at Christmas, while completely ignoring the fact that Irish soldiers, who are supposedly under his spiritual guidance, breach on a daily basis the teachings of Jesus in relation to killing and war.
“Dare we be bold enough to suggest to Rev Thynne that he pays a bit more heed to the statements from Pope Francis in opposition to war than the lack of Christmas decorations at Army headquarters.”