‘Fr Peter McVerry SJ -a voice for the voiceless’ by Joe McVeigh

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I was listening to Fr Peter McVerry SJ being interviewed on RTE radio yesterday (2 Sept). He was talking about the homeless situation in Dublin where there are now more than 2000 children homeless, many living in hostels and hotels. This is a serious indictment of Enda Kenny and his Fine Gael tribe who have allowed this to happen. The situation is getting worse and the government does not care. Every  day Peter McVerry gets more and more requests from people who are homeless and in distress. I could hear his anger and frustration. One thinks that the Catholic church in Dublin could do more, instead of leaving it all to Peter and Sr Stan and Brother Kevin.


During the afternoon programme on RTE radio a woman who was from another country phoned in to say that she had nowhere to stay that night and she had two children. Fr Peter quickly assured her that he would do what he could and before the end of the programme it was announced that they had found a place for her to stay. I do not know if it was for the night or for good.


Towards the end of the interview Fr Peter was asked if a socialist system would be better. His reply was interesting. Socialist systems in Eastern Europe were a disaster because they did not respect the dignity of the human person. They all collapsed when the people rebelled. But surely the capitalist system is also a disaster? Well, capitalism does not respect the dignity of the human person either –otherwise, we would not have homeless people in  Ireland. Fr Peter said that having a home was a basic human right for every person. He proposed that the Catholic Church’s Social Teaching offered a third way which put the human person first. Catholic Social Teaching is the Church’s ‘best kept secret’. Is it because the Bishops are afraid to confront the government, as Peter McVerry is doing constantly, that it is the best kept secret?

It is indeed a challenge for all who would describe themselves not just as followers but as disciples.


4 Responses to ‘Fr Peter McVerry SJ -a voice for the voiceless’ by Joe McVeigh

  1. billy September 7, 2016 at 11:20 am #

    you have the solution to the problem in your post.
    a woman with two kids from another country taking up the room of an irish woman with two kids in their own country.

    • Antaine de Brún September 7, 2016 at 1:01 pm #

      Pause for thought, Billy, as it would be difficult to make this up. Home Office minister, Mr Goodwill, is stepping up security with the Great Wall of Calais as western bombing campaigns continue to contribute to deaths, injuries and homelessness on an unprecedented scale. There is also the matter of the alleged use of chemical weapons in Aleppo.

  2. Jimmy Rabbett comments September 7, 2016 at 1:05 pm #

    Jimmy rabbett comments ….wonderful priest who cares for the homeless …. the socialist government of Brazil has a program to address the disaster of homelessness and poor conditions of shanty dwellers here…called minha casa minha vita….providing solid dry units at low or no rent… the Golpists have blocked this and other social programs with the fall of Dilma ….. this resource rich country little values the interest of the individual in need …. aspires to 1st World status with 3rd World conditions …

  3. Croiteir (@Croiteir) September 8, 2016 at 2:24 am #

    I do not think that Catholic Social Teaching is a secret, from the encyclical Rerum Novarum by Pope Leo xiii to the present day the Popes have been preaching it. As we all know the two apparently opposite creeds of Communism and Capitalism are discredited, based on greed and the rule of many by the few impose laws from the top not evolve them from the ground and so cause dissension.

    The republic has been heavily influenced by the teachings of the CST since Dev got into power, it laid the foundation for his small business approach which gave Lemass a firm basis for his policies in the sixties and lead to the ruse of the Celtic tiger when it was ditched for the doctrine of the marketplace and the fast buck which brought the crash.

    The leading secular figures who actively agitated for it in the England were people like GK Chesterton and Hillaire Belloc, (read the Servile State by Belloc, described eerily accurately how corporatism would make the state servile – 70 years too early), who argued for their system called Distributism. In America Dorothy Day was a big campaigner and various other figures propose it up to this day. Thinkers such as Phillip Blond would be influenced by it as would the likes of Roger Scruton, although I am not sure he would say that, perhaps he would.