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Guest Column

Excommunicating John Walsh
By John Walsh
Mar 9, 2014 - 12:12:10 AM

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Well well well! 'tis a right fine mess you've gotten yourself into now Little Jack! - me Ma used to say when me shenanigans got me into trouble. And sure it is that I've gone and upset some people in me printed musings.

'Blind am I?' Mr. Tellis 'Could you be telling me exactly how blind I am because I'll be beggered if I know exactly what it was I was saying about Mr. Swank that upset ye'. (K. Tellis Letter)

Now I have it in me records that of Mr. Swank - or Reverend is it? - that I only wrote:

  • Most of that guys writing is short and to the point, and I'm guessing that he has a lot of followers, but he does raise the ire at times if you know what I mean. He'd make a fine preacher in the north of Ireland, except his sermons are too short.

And isn't it a preacher's job to raise the ire of the saints and make them think about what he is saying? And so I think he does a fine job indeed.

But when I was thinking about the timing of your letter, I realised that perhaps it was not so much mentioning the good Reverend's name that upset ye, but that I come across as a typical Irish Catholic. Yes Irish Catholic I said. None of this Roman Catholic nonsense if you please. The first time I heard such an expression I was as lost as a sailor in a desert.

But I'm not angry at you Mr. Tellis. No! Not at all, for I do think I understand that it was just this poor Irish beggar's Catholicism that stirred up the unpleasant memories for ye.

So they excommunicated ye did they? Well ye be in fine company now that's for sure! And didn't they do just that to the likes of Galileo? The poor laddie had to sit in the fires of hell for 400 years till a kind heart took pity on him and un-excommunicated him.

Excommunication is like a glass of fine Irish Whiskey with Water. An abomination! Excommunication is an utterly useless waste of time, words and effort if you ask me. I understand the Biblical meaning and purpose of it, and that frock wearing nancy that did it to ye was nowhere near the mark.

It's like that anonymous letter writer - Mrs. Captain Sandy - said, for many a top dog it's a case of 'Do as I say and not as I do!'

But I think the excommunication thing isn't what bothered ye the most now is it? Bein good Catholics as they were, many of the fine people ye associated with in the Knights of Columbus turned their backs on ye now didn't they?  It's a tragedy that it is!

And what other choice did they have I ask? Did they not find themselves in the same boat as yeself now? "Challenge the Church?" ye say? Is suicide no longer a sin?

Faith is a personal thing Mr. Tellis. A man's relationship with his Maker is very personal. But church? Now that's a different kettle of fish to fry. Church is a very special society of people of - outwardly at least - the same persuasions and opinions.

Excommunication means just that; cutting ye out of yer communion with those of like mind. It's a terrible cruelty and punishment to bear for standing up and speaking what ye believe in. But ye know, sometimes a man has to make a choice. He bites his tongue for the sake of peace, or opens his mouth and wears what comes his way.

You paid the price man, and isn't that the message of the Good Book? Archbishop Caiaphas may have decided that it was better for one man to perish lest his personal little nation falter, but in the end there comes resurrection.

Those who would serve the Almighty must be prepared to suffer Mr. Tellis. It says so in the Epistle of Peter. Over and over again it says so. And like one of God's own you have suffered sure enough! So Mr. Tellis....

Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet and let the bitter memories fade from your life as the mist mid morning.

May love and laughter light your days, and warm your heart and home
May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons bring the best to you and yours!

John Walsh.


John J. Walsh, a Catholic, is originally from Ireland; went to high school and university in Australia, and later moved to the U.S.A. Fearing the hot blooded protestants and not wanting to reach heaven or hell faster than is God's plan, his personal email address and other particulars are not available for publication. You may however Email him at: johnjwalsh_magic @live.com


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