Irish Catholic and Osservatore Sna—I greatly admired the impartial manner in which the Catholic Herald reported the initial stages of the controversy arising out of the " Communism in Ireland " article published in the Irish Catholic. 1 appreciated the fairness with which the issues involved were placed before your readers at a time when certain other papers were indulging in fantastic mis-statements and vulgar abuse.
Because of this initial impartiality on your part, my surprise and chagrin were all the greater when reading your report of certain extracts from the Osservatore Romano in your issue of March 19. The manner of publishing these extracts which you adopted could hardly fail to create the false impression that the semi-official organ of the Vatican had rejected as unreliable the contents of the Irish Catholic article. Moreover, the wording of the captions with which you headed the extracts seemed to suggest that you had decided on a complete voile-face on your previous attitude.
Actually, as a reference to the Osservatore would have shown, the matter therein was clearly given as communicated from Dublin, and cannot, therefore, he treated as expressing more than ihe views of the unidentified correspondent.
Your Dublin Correspondent brought out this fact in his letter published on March 25, but—this is my grievance—his correction of the previous week's report was given nothing like the prominence afforded the latter. Surely, in the interests of truth no less than of the prestige of the Catholic Press, which both the CatholicHerald and the Irish Catholic have the honour to represent, the correction is entitled to prominence at least equal to that given the misleading report.
Permit me also to stress anew two vital points relative to the Dublin letter in the Osservatore which I have been at pains to make absolutely clear :— First, the Irish Catholic did not rely on information which has been proved inadequate when it accepted the originating article, and, in fact, no single statement therein has been refuted. or even contested, although misquotations and incomplete quotations have been produced from it and duly demolished with a flourish of trumpets. Adequate evidence exists, and can be laid before any hona fide inquirer.
Secondly, the statement in the Osservatore letter that any part of the article is considered to be without warrant in
" authoritative and better-informed circles " is one which requires a definition of those circles. It cannot and does not refer to unprejudiced Catholic circles.
I rely on your sense of fairness and on your zeal for the honour of Catholic journalism in asking you to give special prominence to this letter.
JOHN J. M. RYAN. Editor, Irish Catholic,
[Our Dublin Correspondent replies to the above letter in the Irish Letter on page 11. —Editor.]