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Brady urged to ban priest's 'anti-EU' paper from church

CARDINAL Sean Brady has promised to ask bishops to monitor non-official Catholic Church literature being distributed in churches.

Cardinal Brady yesterday heard complaints from angry politicians who want him to ban the stridently anti-EU Catholic newspaper, 'Alive'.

Meath Fianna Fail TD, Thomas Burke, told the Oireachtas sub-committee on Europe of how he was "bombarded" while attending Mass during the Lisbon referendum campaign by the anti-EU views of the newspaper.

The monthly newspaper, edited by Dominican priest, Fr Brian McKevitt, is circulated free of charge to Massgoers in churches throughout Ireland.

Mr Burke, said: "The average churchgoer got the impression that it was sinful to vote for the Lisbon Treaty".

The newspaper was doing damage not just to politicians but also to the Catholic Church, he added.

Cardinal Brady said that Catholics could vote in good conscience for the treaty, but the newspaper was not under his control. A member of the Cardinal's delegation, Martin Long, director of the Catholic Communications Office, pointed out that only official publication of the Irish Bishops' Conference is the monthly magazine 'Intercom'.

Labour TD Seamus Costello said that 'Alive' preached hatred of the EU and was particularly critical of politicians who supported the treaty. The sub-committee chairman, Senator Paschal Donohoe, said that 'Alive' was taken by Catholics as the voice of the Church, and he asked Cardinal Brady to take firm action against it.

The Cardinal said that he would draw to the attention of his fellow bishops this request to look at the distribution of non-official literature in churches.

Last night, the editor Fr McKevitt remained unrepentant about his magazine's editorial line.

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