A Journal for The Contemporary Church

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The ‘New Covenant – A perspective on the future of the Church-State relationship


The speech that was delivered in Dublin Castle by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, on the occasion of the Visit of Pope Francis to Ireland last August was notable and more than a little unusual. For while the text itself was compact and displayed a surface coherence; the broader political context reveals that it was replete with a dizzying array of theoretical dissonance. Indeed what emerges from a cloud of misdirecting idioms that would have made Aristophanes blush is a portrait of the Taoiseach as a kind of accidental Wittgensteinian engaged in a surreal language game. Is this a churlish response to a speech that was otherwise heralded as gracious yet forthright, and for which the Taoiseach was lauded with adulatory praise by an eerily uniform and ‘on message’ media? I do not believe that it is.