President's Christmas Message in Radio Row
Byline: Leah McDonald
CLAIMS that the head chaplain of the Defence Forces rebuked Michael D Higgins for his Christmas message were denied last night.
Callers to RTE's Liveline yesterday reacted to the President's failure to mention the word 'Christ' or 'Christianity' in his festive address.
A potentially explosive diplomatic row between the Army and the State was prompted after a member of the congregation at the Army church alleged on the radio that Monsignor Eoin Thynne had expressed surprise that President Higgins made no reference to Christianity in his message. It is understood the remarks claimed were within the context of the head chaplain's homily at Christmas Eve Mass at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Arbour Hill, Dublin.
The issue prompted a lively debate on Liveline with callers arguing that some reference should have been made to Christ by the President and that the true spiritual meaning of Christmas is lost in modern society.
Another caller claimed that if Monsignor Thynne did criticise the President's message as was claimed, he should not have done so as the President is the commander-in-chief of the Irish Army. …