Message From Pope Francis
Myself, Maria and our friend Stephanie decided that we needed to approach a major celebrity in order to publicise the dangerous side-effects of prescription drugs and the overprescribing of same. Maria came up with a bright idea, ‘what about Pope Francis’? I knew my friend in the UK had approached the Archbishop of Canterbury with the same intent and was politely but firmly brushed off. So ignoring my inner scepticism, knowing that once Maria gets a notion in her head it’s better to go with the flow, contacting the Pope it was. I did ignore her though when she started spouting something about donkeys and the Vatican! Maybe we’d have better luck than our English counterparts?
We initially contacted Archbishop Diarmuid Martin who agreed to meet with us. We met with the Archbishop and Monsignor Paul Callan who had organised the meeting. Both men were surprisingly open, honest and were perfect gentlemen; far too nice for us three irreverent sinners. Having had previous experience with a very callous priest following Shane’s death, I have learned that some priests can be extremely unchristian. I wouldn’t be a fan of Ireland’s Catholic think-tank ‘the Iona Institute’ either. We were pleasantly surprised by the Archbishop though and we all enjoyed our meetings.
My one previous Papal experience consisted of an excursion to the phoenix park for Pope John Paul’s visit in 1979. I was 14 and assigned to accompany my grandmother on the bus which was leaving from Sallynoggin at some ungodly hour; pardon the pun. The rest of my family on the other hand, promptly went off in a different direction, leaving myself and my granny to our own devices. She was actually great fun and I loved her dearly. She had a fondness for a glass of sherry though and for high shoes, which didn’t always go together it has to be said.
Being the original Imelda Marcos, with shoe sizes and walking being minor issues, my granny’s poor feet were crippled with corns. Needless to say, the papal visit was memorable for all the wrong reasons: a ‘shortcut’ I brought her on to save her poor toes, getting lost, missing the return bus, a tad too much sherry, an unfortunate trip to the men’s toilets and an annoyed and very drunk taxi man we had to drag from the pub and beg to take us home. I kid you not!
So, although religion is not normally uppermost on my mind, I agreed once again to some papal interaction. We, that is myself, Maria and Stephanie, sent a letter off to Pope Francis explaining what we wanted and asking if he was willing to do something about it. Archbishop Dermot was also on the case, having agreed to meet with Professor David Healy whom we railroaded into the archbishop’s house. I honestly believe that the Catholic church cannot ignore experts who are saying that these drugs can cause so much death and destruction. This remains to be seen.
This week we got a short reply from the Pope. Whether it’s a good reply or not is anyone’s guess, but he is now aware. Maybe the fact that he knows what an ‘iatrogenic death’ is, is a good thing?
Watch this space.
Papal Reply below: