Letters to the Director | Opinion

record or maybe not

The anomalous situation of 13 Navy personnel refusing to embark on a patrol indicated for a mission to accompany a Russian ship, being unprecedented both in democracy and in the times of the Estado Novo, turns out to be the result of a set of negative factors that have affected our Armed Forces, especially during the terms of the António Costa governments.

The material at the service of the three branches is almost all obsolete and much of it, especially that of the Armada, does not undergo the necessary modernizations, as is the case with the frigates meko the most relevant. The four patrols that the Mondego part were purchased at a bargain price from Denmark and, being units designed to operate in the Baltic, they will have drastic limitations in North Atlantic waters.

As for the sailors’ refusal, it may be excusable, as the risks of the missions they carry out are not in line with the miserable wages they earn. Here, and no matter how committed the admiral for vaccines may be, the Government’s stubbornness and the PR’s lack of attention in terms of defense do not bode well for our soldiers, who, being citizens in uniform and with special duties towards their country, may not carry out functions in environments that jeopardize their security.

Manuel Alves, Lisbon

How is it possible?!

How is it possible that the Catholic Church’s response to the disclosure of the list of sexual aggressors within its ranks was so shaky and confusing? The obvious discomfort is understandable. But the theocentric world view and the medieval theocracy ended, in the West, more than 500 years ago, a fact that seems not to have been internalized by the Portuguese Catholic hierarchy. That ill-fated press conference at Fatima offended Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Is it so difficult to listen to Pope Francis when he says that one case is too many? Let’s not argue over words: immediately remove any suspects until investigations are complete. Of course, there will have to be a contradiction: in a State governed by law, the presumption of innocence remains. However, it is important to prevent the continuation of other possible crimes. And, as for compensation, the civil law will have to decide and the Catholic Church will have to comply with what is sentenced. Later, but only later, will the bishops be able to affirm other considerations, but they should have started by asking the victims for forgiveness and publishing an act of contrition, in the face of crimes that are all the more serious as they are committed by those who claim that such acts are sinful.

Jose Sousa Dias, Ourem

Liberalism is not heaven

“Liberalism has always been a moderate ideology”, says an IL leader. Of the three, one it is either ignorance (it is not believed to be) or a very broad notion of what it means to be moderate or to want to hide the truth. In either case, it is suggested that you read, if you haven’t already (and you don’t have to be a Catholic to do so), the encyclical Rerum Novarum of Pope Leo XIII, who in the 19th century equally condemned communism and liberalism, as both were ideologies that enslaved human beings, each in its own way.

Afterwards, liberalism was always like the mythological hydra, when you cut off one head, new ones grew. so it was with the series of crises that this “moderate” ideology caused to dominant capitalism throughout the 20th century, and we know (it is not worth denouncing here) the gurus who led each renaissance. After the 2nd World War and despite the ridiculous foreshadowing of the “end of history” impartial historians can say it better than I can –, two ideologies: Christian democracy, which emerged from the social doctrine of the Church, and social democracy brought to Europe and the world the decades of greatest peace and social well-being ever experienced to date. After the fall of the USSR and with the bogeyman of communism as a mockery, liberalism so-called neoliberalism but that neo had nothing it regained strength and there it is disgracing the economies for lack of the counterpoint of the other credible democratic ideologies that allowed themselves to be infected by the virus of the deregulated market. So, no headlines announcing heaven with liberalism.

Fernando Santos Pessoa, Faro

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