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Tracing the Cultural Legacy of Irish CatholicismFrom Galway to Cloyne and Beyond$
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Eamon Maher and Eugene O'Brien

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781526101068

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526101068.001.0001

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Prophetic voices or complicit functionaries? Irish priests and the unravelling of a culture

Prophetic voices or complicit functionaries? Irish priests and the unravelling of a culture

Chapter:
(p.117) 7 Prophetic voices or complicit functionaries? Irish priests and the unravelling of a culture
Source:
Tracing the Cultural Legacy of Irish Catholicism
Author(s):

Eamon Maher

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781526101068.003.0008

This chapter takes a number of priests with a public profile and examines the extent to which they are prophetic voices or complicit functionaries. Choosing the French priest-writer Jean Sulivan (1913-1980) as a comparator, Eamon Maher examines the published work of Joseph Dunn, Vincent Twomey, Mark Patrick Hederman and Brendan Hoban, before concluding that they all share the prophetic tendency of raising uncomfortable and often unpopular issues while remaining within the institution. He further argues that being so closely aligned to the Church makes it difficult, and professionally dangerous, for priests to criticise certain practices within the institution. However, while retaining a huge love of, and devotion to, the main tenets of Catholicism, these men nevertheless feel obliged to point out things that are going wrong, even when expressing such views can often involve them in conflict with their superiors at home and in Rome.

Keywords:   Functionaries, Joseph Dunn, Vincent Twomey, Mark Patrick Hederman, Brendan Hoban, Prophetic voices

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