Father Séamus Finn a Cork-born priest now works in New York’s Financial District as the Director of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation for the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
Father Finn has been taped at length for the show to discuss banking and financial reform and social justice, which has been his passion for 20 years. The interview will be carried shortly on the show shortly.
On Thursday, Katherine Marshall of the Huffington Post posted a blog about this strange choice of interview guest for “The Daily Show,” a satirical talk show.
“What's a nice Irish American priest like Séamus Finn doing on The Daily Show? The answer is not what you might think: he's not squirming to avoid nasty questions and jokes about abuse scandals,” she blogged.
Instead, the interview will focus on the unlikely alliance of a Catholic priest, and his work for the needy to create a satirical spoof to emphasize the fact that there is a massive demand for a deep reform in the financial system.
Marshall explained Finn's role in the world of finance. She said “he works the political and corporate halls of power on ethical causes that always seem to come back to the worlds of big business, finance, and politics. He introduces shareholder resolutions at corporate general assembly meetings, presses causes on Capitol Hill that range from Sri Lankan refugees to strip mining and rights of indigenous peoples in Bangladesh, and shuttles around the world trying to solve or at least get a grip on the root problems.”
Finn should take naturally to the “The Daily Show” environs. His humor is sharp but he also knows his facts. He is qualified with a PhD in Theology and Social Justice from Boston University and has been working with financiers for over 20 years.
“He also has a powerful sense of righteous indignation at what's happened to poor people as a result of shoddy financial dealings, starting with irresponsible lending to developing countries, predatory lending and the sub-prime mortgage fiasco,” said Marshall.
The filming for what will most likely be a couple of minutes on “The Daily Show” was a long and arduous interview with Samantha Bee. Finn said the experience was uproarious. He described how “Samantha Bee, looking as if she would give birth any minute, lie down on Wall Street and dare Séamus and the others to step over her to get to the Goldman Sachs meeting.”
The Irish priest agreed to do the show because he believes that though they might mock him for his position in the priesthood and the financial world, they will also ridicule Wall Street.
“They won't be able to resist taking the Catholic Church to task at least to an extent,” said Marshall. “When Séamus was in the studio they had a photo of him massaged to show him like a game show host emerging from a barrel of cash, the bible, some quotes from scripture, the crucifix, and candles as part of the props and staging. But, he thought, they generally kept their eyes on Wall Street.”
He hopes that the show, when aired, will focus on who is responsible for the broken financial system and discuss attempting to inject some ethical compass into the financial world.