POWER-SHARING in some form in Northern Ireland was a matter of justice transcending politics said Bishop Cahal Daly in London last week, though he added that the way in which power-sharing should be put into practice was a political question.
The Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois told an audience at St Aloysius Church, Somers Town, last Friday that a prolongation of violence was a danger to the whole of the British Isles and not just to the North of Ireland.
Bishop Daly said that Britain could not devolve to others the responsibility for finding solutions to political problems within its own territory.
"It is regrettable but true," he said, "that the nature of politics is such that we cannot expect any serious approach to the Irish problem with ark eketion pending." He hoped that Britain would come to grips with it as soon as the election was over.
"Morality, honour, international image and national self-interest all require that Britain, as the major responsible government, should find a way of ending the disastrous violence in Northern Ireland, which embodies justice and equality of rights for both communities."
Bishop Daly criticised British people for being ignorant of Northern Ireland, and the British Press for misinterpreting policies and personalities in Ireland.
In particular, he emphasised points he has made many times before about the tactics of the British security forces in Northern Ireland.
He said Northern Ireland was not merely a security problem, and gave a warning that some security tactics served to recycle violence rather than eliminate it.
On the Church's role Bishop' Daly said that preaching reconciliation too often meant merely words or gestures. The Jesuits have sold their shares in Consolidated Gold Fields but a spokesman for the Trustees would not reveal when they had sold them or how much they had realised.
If they had sold them at the end of March the 130,000 shares would have realised about £239,200 but one source said that they had lost £40,000 by selling them. Ever since the diocese of Westminster sold their holding in Gold Fields last June, the shares have been a very controversial issue within the
Society. After an announcement that the Trustees were holding onto them, five Jesuits wrote in protest to the Catholic Herald criticising the decision and asking that it be reversed.
The Trustees then said they would make a decision at the end of six months and in March this year they announced that
shares but were monitoring the social performance of companies in which they held investments.
The Jesuit Information Officer Hugh Kay said that the Trustees had decided to approach the companies privately and that from the moral point of view they did not consider the best course was simply to disinvest from companies with operations in South Africa.
The decision to sell the shares was indirectly announced at a private meeting of the English province of the Jesuits at Stonyhurst College two weeks ago but was not made public.
At the meeting, which was attended by Fr Pedro Arrupe the Jesuit Superior General, several motions were put calling for clear moral guidelines on investment policy, openness of information about the Society's finances and less dependency on investment.
Fr Arrupe did not refer to the issue directly but in his talk he spoke of the danger of being trapped by unjust social structures from which we profit.