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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 30, No. 8. 1967.

"Insight" editor resigns

"Insight" editor resigns

An interpretive periodical has always been lacking in the machinery of New Zealand Churches.

"Insight"—a quarterly published by the Catholic Society at Auckland University—was hailed as a much needed stimulant in this field. For a year, the magazine has enjoyed a rising circulation.

Issues discussed included: Catholic education in New Zealand, celibacy, the Vietnam war, the Church in a changing world, pacificism, birth control and other controversial topics.

At least half of the contributors were clerics—both liberal and conservative, and a large number were university graduates.

Poet James K. Baxter and Fr J. Keeble were among the liberal contributors, while Fr Duggan and Mr. P. Hills figured on the conservative line up. "Insight" had that degree of balance among its contributors that makes for a truly abrasive approach.

In May this year Archbishop Liston of Auckland criticised the publication as being brash and superficial. He did not reply to a letter asking him to specify which particular articles came within this category.

The Archbishop's criticism was quite out of keeping with the Vatican Council's declaration on religious freedom. "Every man has a duty and therefore the right to seek truth in matters religious."

A week after the Archbishop penned his criticism, the then editor of "Insight" resigned. There can be little doubt that pressure was exerted.

Such action by the Archbishop must be regarded as a direct misuse of episcopal authority. It can only serve to alienate the inquiring mind.

If any form of Christian belief is to have relevance to the modern world, notions of protectionism can not be allowed to interfere with the stimulation of genuine inquiry. A religious society at a university should feel free, and be encouraged, to promote discussion, unhindered by episcopal tags.

The fate of "Insight" is the more hard to understand in the light of trends shown by the general Catholic press over the last year. A clear broadening of political, social and religious outlook has been in evidence.

Last year the Pope suggested that Bishops retire at 75. This has largely been followed in Europe and America. Archbishop Liston is in his late eighties.

Publication of "Insight" is to continue, but the tone has been set. There is little hope that the balanced and open minded approach (as shown in the first four issues) will continue.

In its capacity for self criticism, the Catholic Church in New Zealand seems intent on lagging behind the Church's international trends. G.P.C.