The core of this month’s edition is made up of articles that might give us food for thought, and above all for hope and faith, in these dark times. You might have a little more time to read. Pass on your copy to a neighbour or friend who might need something to read. Alternatively, they can buy a copy or take out a subscription at our website www. redcoms.org
“Thinking about the Coronavirus with Albert Camus’ is an insightful piece by Eamonn Maher, Director of the National Centre for Franco-Irish Studies in Tallaght University, Dublin. Albert Camus was a French novelist and philosopher who won the Noble Prize for literature. One of his most popular novels, The Plague, is set in the city of Oran in Algeria in the grip of a deadly bubonic plague. It becomes a vehicle for raising all sorts of serious questions, including religious ones, about the nature of society and human relations. One of the most popular quotations from the book is when one of the heroes asks another: “Is it possible to be a saint without God?” That was a question that articulated much of Camus’s relatively brief life. Not a believer, he was able and willing to sustain serious conversations with theologians he considered friends especially about his greatest block to faith, the reason for innocent suffering, especially of children. John Scally of the theology department of Trinity and a regular contributors, raises the question of where God is in all this. The truth may well be that in the darkness, we might find the God of Israel and the God of Jesus Christ whom Scally calls, “The Shy God.” Colm Meany’s “Letter from the Philippines” was not written in response to coronavirus, but the questions it raises about tragedy and suffering in a Filipino are relevant these days more than ever.
The leading article, “Is the Pope Infallible?” was commissioned in anticipation of the 150th anniversary of the dogma of Papal Infallibility. The young American theologian, Shaun Blanchard, traces some of the issues a right understanding of the dogma can raise. It will be continued next month. Among the other articles in the issue: Maria Hall celebrates Mary’s Month of May, and we hear of an elderly American confrere and his fight for emigrants in Trump’s America. Our two series, on the Lord’s Prayer, and on St Clement, have new installments.