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Peter McVerry: A dose of reality

Fr Peter McVerry SJ speaks with Pat Coyle of Irish Jesuit Communications about his latest book entitled A Dose of Reality, published by Redemptorist Communications. The book contains a selection of articles from Fr Peter’s monthly column in Reality magazine. They offer a reflection on issues from homelessness and drugs to justice and faith, as seen from the perspective of the poor. In this podcast interview, the social justice campaigner also gives an account of Irish society and the Church over the last 30 years and examines from his experience what has got better and worse.

Fr Peter refers to the Child Care Act of 1991 which largely solved the problem with homeless runaways, but points to the vast increase in the number of homeless today, many of whom are children. He analyses the current housing crisis affecting the general public and comments on the economic system and spread of wealth. He asserts: “People are more stuck in their poverty today even though there are less people in poverty.”

He is very encouraged by Pope Francis, claiming that he is in touch with the “God of compassion” as recorded in the Gospels. Fr Peter refers to the good will of young people and their sense of fairness, noting the Belvedere College students who will be sleeping out for the homeless this Christmas. He says that social justice needs to be at the centre of the Church’s mission and to ensure the dignity of every human person as a child of God. He emphasises, “The ultimate inequality in our society is powerlessness.”

Proceeds from the sales of the book support the Peter McVerry Trust. Listen to the podcast interview above ».