Archbishop's plans for education -FIVE ARCHBISHOPS and
21 bishops, led by Cardinal Conway, left Dublin on the same plane last Saturday on their way to the Vatican Council. It is hardly an over-statement to say that their going was watched with interest, appreciation. and not a little hope—and that their eventual return will be the subject of the same sort of concern.
With luck, thiS last and in many ways most important session of the Council, will have a greater effect on the Irish public consciousness than any of its predecessors. The opening of the Council on Tuesday, for instance, came a bare 24 hours after the first national Dublin newspapers for 10 weeks appeared on the streets and sales may be expected to be comfortingly high during the next few weeks as people take up their old reading habits again.
While nobody is expecting any startling interventions from our own Hierarchy, observers do not rote out the possibility of a thoughtful speech or two from a prelate like Cardinal Conway, who might speak for his fellow-bishops and who is understood to be particularly interested in the education and training of priests for their pastoral ministry.
Cardinal Browne will no doubt speak, and may even be taken—as he has been before—for a member of the Irish Hierarchy, hut, the fourth session in full swing, misunderstandings like this should become less and less likely.
Only one concrete result of the fourth session is remotely predictable at this stage. This is the declaration on religious liberty which it' passed will sound the death-knell for Maria Duce, the organisation—no longer in its prime—which once campaigned for repeal of the article in the constitution expressing tolerance for different forms of religious belief.
And the spirit with which the declaration is welcomed here will be a useful guide to our sincerity for our fellow-countrymen in Northern Ireland.
IUST BEFORE leaving for the Council, Archbishop McQuaid of Dublin revealed that he was establishing a per manent secretariat for secondary education in his diocese.
This secretariat, which will be based on the Dominican convent in Eccles Street, Dublin, will assist the Catholic managerial associations as an information, research and seminar centre.
The new secretariat will be linked with similar offices on the Continent, in America, England and Scotland. Steps are also being taken towards a more positive approach to the problems of educational planning in the sphere of private secondary education.
Dr. McQuaid has . asked University College, Dublin De partment of Psychology, to carry out a strictly scientific survey of the number of places which will be needed in secondary schools in the diocese, together with a survey of the number of places at present available.
The survey of the north side of the city has already been completed and the south side is well under way. Dr. McQuaid has also launched a second scheme--a three-year course in theology for nuns. Topics for discussion this autumn include the Constitution De Ecclesia, practical sociology and sacred scripture.
New charter may be framed TUST BEFORE THE end of " the printing dispute this week, Fr. Edmond Kent, Si.. principal of the Catholic Workers' College, made a strong plea for labour and employers to come together next year—the jubilee of the 1916 Rising—and frame a charter of industrial relations in the Ireland of today.
There was reason enough for his remarks. In the ten weeks since the Dublin newspapers went off the streets and the jobbing houses closed down. there have been several other strikes, too. The grave-diggers' strike hopped and skipped to its end soon after the printing dispute started, but there were more threats of one-day strikes by busmen, a strike by refuellers at Shannon, not to mention rumours of other stoppages.
"We have yet to give ourselves and our children, a written, comprehensive charter adopted freely by all concerned in industry which would proclaim the rights and duties of workers and employers in relation to the production and distribution of the national wealth," Fr. Kent declared.
Fr. Kent, who is no mere theoretician and has tried his
hand successfully at mediation before now, added: "A real ingredient of today's troubles, here in Ireland as elsewhere, is complete misunderstanding of the purpose and place of authority whether in politics, industrial organisations or in families. Unless we put this right quickly . . the situation will deteriorate to a degree of national crisis."
Irish soldiers go to `war' A STRICT COMMER
CIAL rule was broken at the weekend for the Taoiseach, Mr. Lemass, when 20th-Century Fox gave him, members of his Cabinet and high-ranking Army officers a sneak preview of 'rushes" of the film "T Blue Max".
It was a film well worth making. After all, Mr. Lemass or, to be strictly accurate the Minister for Defence — had loaned the film company over 1,000 Irish soldiers, sound in wind and limb, and all eager to play a part in re-enacting the Battle of the Somme for this film of the First World War.
The little town of Kilpeddar, Co. Wicklow, was chosen for location as it most resembled the countryside near the Somme at that period. Models of old planes, carefully duplicated, were flown by Irish pilots and with the addition of a few shell-bursts it was easy to persuade yourself that you were right in the heart of the real thing.
Perhaps some people found it too easy to believe, or perhaps it just isn't possible to arm 1,100 people with rifles and bayonets without somebody getting hurt. There were a few casualties, mostly from bayonet wounds, but luckily nobody was seriously hurt and the Taoiscach showed by his
presence at the preview on Saturday that, on this side at least, there were no hard feelings.
Anticipating Milligan THE EIGHTH DUBLIN
International Theatre Festival will open on Monday with eight world premieres on its programmes and all the usual excitement, but it is difficult to suppress a slight feeling of bewilderment and the nagging question: Is it all worth it?
The "world premiere" has become somewhat debased, in the theatre at any rate. What may be a world premiere in Dublin may only be, in the eyes of a London impresario, a try-out for the .West End—with a useful guarantee against loss and the added glitter of an international occasion.
But if it is just a try-out, no amount of tinsel will really disguise this fact, and London critics won't bother to make the journey to see it, any more than they would journey to Brighton for a preWest End show.
The crop of Irish dramatists, too, seems to have thinned out in recent years, with the exception of the fine, professional hand of Brian Fricl—not represented this year—and the inexhaustible Hugh Leonard, whose offering this year is When the Saints Come Cycling In —an adaptation of Flann O'Brien's book The Dalkey Arc/jive.
I ink rd put my money on Spike Milligan, coming over to regale his fellow-countrymen (yes!) with poetry and jazz for one night only. This show promises not only seeing and hearing but, if the maestro is true to form, full-blooded audience participation as well.