Page 2, 30th December 1966

30th December 1966
Page 2
Page 2, 30th December 1966 — Why is the HERALD

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Organisations: Louvain University


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Why is the HERALD

so right wing And nihilistic?

'Shelter' in

HAVING long been an appreciative reader of THE CATH OLIC HERALD, 1 am somewhat concerned at its present destruction. However, it survived the departure of Michael Bedoyere and I am confident it will survive again to recapture its true role and spirit, that of the world's leading spokesman in English for liberal Catholicism—the Catholicism that follows Christ in that it loves the world.

What is disturbing me is, of course, the display of Rightwing nihilism and negativism that recent issues have exhibited. You have become meaningless in that you curse the world you live in, thus making nonsense of yourself. You have become destructive in that you break the only instruments with which you have been endowed. You have become sterile in that you refuse union with anything. Your only concern seems to be to dig ever deeper and deeper the hole in which you are burying your talent.

For instance, in the issue of November 18, all that Fr. Foley, S.J., can say about the world in which he lives and is supposed to work, is "Thou ool!" No doubt he is exasperated that his work has so little communication but calling things by nasty names does not help much. Is he here but to jeer? Why cannot Fr. Foley ask himself why the western world is guilty of "practical atheism." It could be that part of the blame is his. Certainly one would guess that he is not much interested.

Then in the issue of November 25, we have Peter Simple being simpleminded on the same theme. Here I think it is poetic, if not higher, justice that underneath his article is an account of what happens to merely transcendental Christianity on a human level. I refer to the disgusting behaviour of the students of Louvain University f r o m which has come so much of value on a religious level. Is it not true that it is exactly this schizophrenic Christianity that Mr. Simple advocates which is responsible for the state of the modern world? The incoherence of his message is well exampled in his closing paragraphs where, try as he may, he cannot arrive at the obvious positive conclusion, that of prayer. 1 find his vagueness so incredible I almost doubt his honesty; but perhaps living in a secular world which he denies makes him a natural zero.

Then again, on November 18, you have Mr. David Holbrook who explains Mr. Simple with the sentence: "Many writers are schizoid persons." Now although Mr. Holbrook is in the same camp as Fr. Foley and Mr. Simple, I welcome him because not only is he more learned but he also has a case to argue.

I do not like it. I find it obscurantist, abstract and lacking in a proper amount of subjectivity—it is ivy-walled stuff. Nevertheless it deserves respect because it belongs to the world in which it is. It converses rather than curses. It communicates. It is alive. It rejoices to some extent in that living as a gift from God.

However why don't you feature some of Mr. Holbrook's opponents, as is your duty?

So, let's hear from Terry Eagleton and Prof. Cameron and Michael Fogarty and Fr. Bright and Archbishop Roberts.

John Groarke Edmonton, Alberta.

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