A lack of Catholic intellectuals?


Sir, –I refer to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin’s concern that the Catholic Church in Ireland is “very lacking” in people of intellect who are educated in their faith (“Archbishop Diarmuid Martinbemoans lack of Catholic intellectuals in Ireland”, June 6th). I do not believe this to be the case. The difficulties lie in a model of church that is male and clerical and in the absence of opportunity for discussion and for debate. – Yours faithfully,


Kinnegad, Co Westmeath.

Sir, – Your report that Archbishop Diarmuid Martin bemoans the lack of Catholic intellectuals is not surprising. The same is true of all other churches and religions. Religions in general demand loyalty to a set of beliefs that is largely incompatible with logic and common sense. Religious beliefs in turn stem from stories that are millennia old, using outdated language and written at a time when irrational superstition prevailed. Modern intellectuals have difficulty in accepting these beliefs at face value and so are alienated from the major religions. Until religions start selling a saleable product, intellectuals will be driven elsewhere. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.