Priests and poets scrutinised in ‘Studies’

May 22, 2012 in 2010

‘Clergy, writers and intellectuals’ is the theme of the latest edition of the Jesuit periodical Studies, just published this summer 2010. There are articles on Ian Paisley, Vatican II, and the influence of ‘The Mother’ on writer…John McGahern. Tom Quinn of DCU examines The Female in Four Writers of the Great War.

In his article on Ian Paisley, Neil Southern, a facilitator involved in community peace building in the North, examines anti-Catholicism in the light of Protestant fears. He looks at Paisley the politician as well as Paisley the minister and concludes that, whilst he does not fall into the classic  model of a ‘peace builder’, his recent actions nevertheless allow him to qualify as a ‘peace –contributor’.

In contrast with the outspoken Dr Paisley, Studies editor Fergus O’Donoghue SJ, remarks on the silence of many people south of the Border, who should have more to say regarding the state we are in today. “Our government has yet to make a full confession of its mistakes, which would allow a bi-partisan analysis of how we got into this mess and unfortunately, some of our politicians are in competition to see who can be the most outraged which leads to interesting soundbites but little intellectual analysis”.

The Church too, he says, has lost its nerve to speak out, because of the aftershock of the Ryan and Murphy reports. The media has plenty to say on the issues raised by those reports, but most of it is repetitive and predictable.

If the Church were to be media alert, says O’Donoghue, it would, for example, “question why the New York Times has trawled through Pope Benedict’s past, in the hope of finding something, anything, that would link him to paedophiliac clergy.” He ends his editorial by calling for a calm dialogue on the many issues besetting us nowadays, rather than all the ‘sound and the fury’ that is without substance.