Cork priest hits out at parents who choose nonbelievers as Godparents

Roisin Burke The Echo Cork.

Barefaced lying in the face of God” should not be tolerated by the Catholic community according to a Cork priest.

Gurranabraher Parish Priest Fr Tomás Walsh has denounced parents who are selecting nonbelievers as Godparents to their children as well as couples who chose to get married in a church simply because it is a nice building.

The priest, who has served in the Gurranbraher community for the past three years, told The Echo that disrespect at these special catholic occasions such as Baptisms, funerals and marriages, was a “big problem.”

“It is becoming increasingly impossible to conduct Baptism ceremonies with children running wildly around the church – and adults, obviously only present for the celebrations afterwards, not caring about the disturbance they or their children are causing.

“This is happening in every church in the country but ‘political correctness’ forbids one from speaking out.”
Fr Walsh also spoke out about Godparents who had “no faith at all” and who have “no intention in overseeing the child’s faith formation” making a promise in the church and “lying in the face of God.”

“Even more outrageous is the presence of Godparents who believe nothing themselves and are permitted to make promises to God that they will oversee the faith formation of the God-child.”

The Gurranabraher priest said that he also has an issue with couples who come to him, looking to be married in the church, who had little faith themselves.

Fr Walsh said that he tried to assess couples when they first come to him in order to decide if they were God-fearing people, but said that too often, people give the right answers.
“There are a number of alternatives nowadays for getting married. A church is not the only option and I always stress this to anyone thinking of getting married in a church. It is a charade if you do not have faith themselves.”

Finally, Fr Walsh mentioned guests of funerals and weddings being disrespectful and disruptive to the ceremonies.

“People come because they are invited, they don’t even pretend to have faith, they are in and out of the ceremony, just waiting for it to end so they can party in the hotel after.”

Priest slams use of cigarettes and cans of booze as symbols of dead loved one’s life at funerals

By Ann Mooney The Echo

A PRIEST has hit out at funeral-goers who use symbols like fags and beer cans to commentate a dead loved one’s life.
Controversial priest Fr Tomas Walsh spoke out about gifts and long tributes in the Cork Northside Gurranabraher newsletter.

Fr Walsh reckons a can of beer should not be brought to altar during a funeral as an offertory gift
Writing about items being brought to the altar as offertory gift, he said: “Bringing things such as a can of beer, a packet of cigarettes, a remote control, a mobile phone, or a football jersey does not tell us anything uplifting about the person who has died.
“Surely items such as a flower, a family photograph, a prayer-book or rosary reveals far more about the person who has died — and the loss he/she is to the family who grieve.”

Fr Walsh also expressed frustration with eulogies that go on “for as long as the Mass itself.”
The cleric — who has previously been outspoken about couples choosing godparents for their children who lack faith — said a funeral Mass is simply about praying for the dead.
He said: “A Requiem Mass is essentially the coming together of the family along with the believing community to pray for the person who has died.


I think that Fr Walsh makes very good points.

If people do not believe it is not appropriate for them to promise to help to bring children up in that faith.

And to do so, for social reasons is not authentic.

Neither is it authentic for people who dont believe to get married in a church because it’s a cute building.

The reason to get married in church is to ask God’s blessing on your marriage.

I think that people should be true to their beliefs and principles.

If you are an atheist that is good – but get married somewhere secular and with the services of a humanist celebrant. They are everywhere now.

I also agree with Fr Walsh about inappropriate items in an offertory procession.

Using cigarettes and cans of beer are tacky to say the least.

That procession should represent a person’s life and good quality.

Who wants a send off as a boozer and smoker?

On a priest’s coffin they normally place a stole and a book of the gospels.

Hypocrisy and tackiness do not add to a ceremony. In fact they detract from it.