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Added to on August 1, 2008

[ Like John Charles McQuaid, Bishop Cornelius Lucey is one of our Irish "liberals" hate figures. However, unlike the Archbishop, he has not yet been accused of child abuse. ]

Letter to Irish Times, 1st August, 2008 re The Legacy of Humanae Vitae

  With regard to Fr James Good's clarification that he wasn't exiled to the Turkana Desert in Kenya by Bishop Lucey in the aftermath of his criticism of Humanae Vitae (July 30th) it should be made clear, however, that he was requested by Bishop Lucey to withdraw what he said. Having refused to do so he was banned from preaching and hearing confession in the Cork diocese. When he later went to Turkana it was somewhat inevitable that people would put one and one together and come up with poor arithmetic thus giving birth to the "exiled" myth.

It emerged much later on that the ban on Fr Good wasn't written down, suggesting that Bishop Lucey's action was a required action for Dr Lucey as bishop to take but that he only performed the minimum censure. - Yours, etc,

GARRY O'SULLIVAN, Editor, The Irish Catholic, Bluebell, Dublin 12.

Letter to Irish Times, 30 July, 2008

In an otherwise excellent article on the anniversary of the papal encyclical on contraception, your Religious Affairs Correspondent, Patsy McGarry, (July 25th) has a serious error about myself which I am sure you will be happy to correct.

He writes: ". . .almost immediately there was dissent from prominent theologians of the day, including Fr James Good here in Ireland who was exiled to the Turkana desert in Kenya by his bishop, Dr Cornelius Lucey of Cork, for publicly expressing dissent at the encyclical's content."

This is entirely untrue. I left for Turkana entirely of my own free will and without pressure of any kind whatever. May I point out as evidence of this the fact that I continued to lecture in several areas at University College Cork for more than seven full years after the appearance of Humanae Vitae. In fact, my last lecture at UCC was on the subject of medical ethics in September 1975, where I continued to express my views on Humanae Vitae without interference.

Why Bishop Lucey joined me in Turkana in 1980 (at the age of 78 and in failing health) is a question never explained. Perhaps he too shared the myth that his action forced me to leave Cork. After the passage of 40 years, I would be happy if this myth could be finally buried. - Yours, etc,

Fr JAMES GOOD, Church Street, Douglas, Cork.


The following is an extract from a review of Noel Browne's biography "Against The Tide" by James Kavanagh, then Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin. It appeared in the Catholic Church monthly "The Furrow" in February 1987.

Perhaps the most notable thing about the review is the tone of moderation adopted by Bishop Kavanagh, especially when you contrast it to the hate-filled diatribes in the book - most of them directed at the Church. Some people will say; "Well that is the new humble post-Conciliar Church. In Noel Browne's day the Church was vicious and arrogant". Actually Browne's chief antagonist Archbishop McQuaid left extensive and well organised records of his career behind him. It is clear that he NEVER used Doctor Browne's style of venomous language even in private. Still less did he do so in public.

Nor was Archbishop McQuaid exceptional in how he treated opponents. In 1968 the Bishop of Cork, Cornelius Lucey felt obliged to discipline theologian Father James Good because of his views on birth control. Father Good went to work as a missionary in Kenya and when Bishop Lucey retired in 1980 he went to the Turkana desert to join Father Good. Like his Arch-episcopal colleague, Bishop Lucey was very much a pre-Vatican 11 man.

No greater contrast can be imagined to the way in which our sanctified "liberal" Doctor Noel Browne treated HIS opponents.  ......................

Rory Connor
15 September 2006