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Read all about it… maybe not

By Ciara Quinn

THAT old chestnut of media censorship has raised its ugly head once more after it was revealed that Fr Brian D’Arcy, one of our most prolific clerical writers and broadcasters, has been censured by the Vatican.It was revealed this week that the action against Fr D’Arcy was taken by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith last year after an anonymous complaint was made. The priest’s writings  must now be submitted for clearance.

Fr D’Arcy has spoken out before over issues such as mandatory celibacy for priests, Church teaching on contraception and clerical sex abuse. The Fermanagh-born cleric said the disciplinary action had caused him distress.

“Personally I’ve been living with the pain of censure for 14 months and will have to live with it for the rest of my priestly life,” said Fr D’Arcy. “In these difficult times, it is the price one has to pay when one is committed to the truth, which is the duty of both the priest and the journalist.”

The Andersonstown News paid an afternoon visit to the Kennedy Centre to hear what local shoppers had to say on the issue.

Lower Falls resident Roseleen O’Connor said: “I don’t think Fr D’Arcy’s work should be censored – once it’s written, on whatever topic it is, it should be printed.”

“There is no need for an opinion piece to go through a censor,” said Andytown’s Orla Rooney. “What about freedom of speech and freedom of the press?”

Beechmount’s Cathy McLarnon told us: “With what has been happening in the Catholic Church over the years they have a bit of a cheek – once Fr D’Arcy’s work is done it should go to the paper he works for.”

Henry Smith agreed with Cathy.

“He should be free to write whatever he wants as a journalist. It’s a social commentary piece after all,” he said.

Finally, Twinbrook resident Bernard Carr said: “Once his column is written it should go to print. It’s an opinion piece at the end of the day.”

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