Document Type

Article

Rights

This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Disciplines

6.3 PHILOSOPHY, ETHICS and RELIGION, Specific languages

Publication Details

Published in The Irish Times Tuesday 25th February, 2014.

Abstract

On October 30th, 1913, in the French village of Montauban-de- Bretagne, Joseph Lemarchand was born, the only child of a tenant-farming family that was ripped asunder by the death of his father in the Great War. A few decades later, as a writer-priest stationed in the Breton capital, Rennes, Lemarchand took the pseudonym Jean Sulivan, a name inspired by his fascination with the movie Sullivan’s Travels . When reading Pope Francis’ groundbreaking interview last August, I had the uncanny feeling that the new pontiff’s views strongly echo what Sulivan was writing in the 1960s and 1970s. A commitment to the poor and the marginalised; an unwillingness to pass moral judgments; a dislike of legalism and decrees from on high; and a distrust of monolithic institutions form the essence of Sulivan’s writings.

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