–That was a good answer our friend made to the canon. What? said Mr. Dedalus.
–I didn’t think he had that much in him, said Mr. Casey.
–I’ll pay you your dues, father, when you cease turning the house of God into a pollingbooth.
–A nice answer, said Dante, for any man calling himself a catholic to give to his priest.
–They have only themselves to blame, said Mr. Dedalus suavely. If they took a fool’s advice they would confine their attention to religion.
–It is religion, Dante said. They are doing their duty in warning the people.
–We go to the house of God, Mr. Casey said, in all humility to pray to our Maker and not to hear election addresses.
–It is religion, Dante said again. They are right. They must direct their flocks.
–And preach politics from the altar, is it? asked Mr. Dedalus.
–Certainly, said Dante. It is a question of public morality. A priest would not be a priest if he did not tell his flock what is right and what is wrong.
Mrs. Dedalus laid down her knife and fork, saying:
–For pity’s sake and for pity sake let us have no political discussion on this day of all days in the year.
–Quite right, ma’am, said uncle Charles. Now, Simon, that’s quite enough now. Not another word now.
–Yes, yes, said Mr. Dedalus quickly.
He uncovered the dish boldly and said:
–Now then, who’s for more turkey?
Nobody answered. Dante said:
–Nice language for any catholic to use!
–Mrs. Riordan, I appeal to you, said Mrs. Dedalus, to let the matter drop now. Dante turned on her and said:
–And am I to sit here and listen to the pastors of my church being flouted?
–Nobody is saying a word against them, said Mr. Dedalus, so long as they don’t meddle in politics.
–The bishops and priests of Ireland have spoken, said Dante, and they must be obeyed.
–Let them leave politics alone, said Mr. Casey, or the people may leave their church alone.
–You hear? said Dante turning to Mrs. Dedalus.
–Mr. Casey! Simon! said uncle Charles.
–What? cried Mr. Dedalus. Were we to desert him at the bidding of the English people?
–He was no longer worthy to lead, said Dante. He was a public sinner.
–We are all sinners and black sinners, said Mr. Casey coldly.
–Woe be to the man by whom the scandal cometh! said Mrs. Riordan. It would be better for him that a millstone were tied about his neck and that he were cast into the depth of the sea rather than that he should scandalize one of these, my least little ones. That is the language of the Holy Ghost.
–And very bad language if you ask me, said Mr. Dedalus coolly.
–James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, 1916