Sir,Your Debt in correspondent in his "Dtiblin Letter" of Friday, September 11th is at pains to give the impression that a heated debate has taken place in the press between Bishop Browne of Galway and Fr, Enda McDonagh of Maynooth -and that this debate is, if not holding Ireland spellbound, at least keeping it agog!
How wishful can one's thinking get? The facts are that in a discussion reported in the press, Fr. McEtonagh gave the impression that theological manuals (used mostly in places like Maynooth) in certain basic concepts deriving from Aristotelian thought might give way -to a theology centrally based more on the Scriptures.
Bishop Browne wrote to the Irish Indeprndent a letter in which he stressed that the validity of Aristotelian thought must continue to be taken into account. Needless to say he had no quarrel with a new emphasis on the place of the Scriptures in theological manuals.
Fr. McDonagh in a letter in reply, also in the Irish Independentsaid that as a bishop and thus a teacher in the Church of God and as a former professor in Ma y n 0 0 t h College. Bishop Browne's views must he held in the greatest respect. But it could still be said that the undue emphasis on Aristotle's modes of thought in our theological manuals would be modified in the new climate of renewed emphasis on finding Christ in the Scriptures.
That was the extent of the "debate which your Dahlin coo respondent has bees ii up into a "Controversy"!
The heading "Growing *Pains for Ireland'a Liberals" in the CATHOLIC HERALD od Friday. September 4th would give the impression that Irish Catholics are a largely ohildish, submitting kind of people who are durnh at Mass and uninstructed. This picture too, I am sad us say, is also the result of wishful thinkingaen the part of critics of Irish Catholicism.
Those in countries where one is glad to see even handfuls of Catholics at Mass sometimes come here. They cannot believe their eyes when they see ohurches lull to the doors at nearly every Mass. With much anti-Irish bias already in their minds they cannot bring themselves to believe that this can he due to the fact that Irish Catholics arc so well instructed on what the Mass really means that they attend en masse almost.
When these visitors see so many thousands approaching the sacraments so frequently they try not to be impressed either. How bigoted can you get'?
And when the natural fruit of all this well-instructed and well' practised Catholicism is seen in the thousands of Irish young men and women who offer themselves to God in the Priesthood and in every variety of religious congregation these mostly Catholic English critics — still fighting against being impressed put it down tp parental domination, etc.
Having the strengthand tenacity of their Catholic Faith, and the vigour and warmth of their Catholic devotion put down to every reason hut the correct one is no new experience for Irish Catholics.
John Vincent Mennen, Dublin, 16.