The coverage by the Irish media of the Pope’s visit to the UK was pathetic, and I doubt if Irish television would have covered Cardinal Newman’s beatification were Newman not associated with the founding of the Catholic University in Dublin. Meanwhile Sky TV gave blanket coverage to the four-day visit, the entire transmission marked by complete respect for the Pope as the leader of one billion Catholics and the representative of a faith responsible for shaping the history of Europe for two thousand years.
How have we come to this? The unrepresentative secular culture in the Irish media is part of the problem, but secularism is also the fashion in many of the professions, and it would be a mistake to confine the survey to the Dublin 4 set. The tide of secularism is receding, however, and this is clear to anybody who enjoyed the English coverage of the papal visit, or who reads a foreign newspaper or views a foreign television channel. It would be a strange irony if Ireland tolerated the kind of secular censorship we witnessed in the Irish media’s attitude to the Papal visit at the very moment when the international world is rediscovering the glory of the Christian past.