Posted on April 24, 2011, in Catholic Social Teaching, Communism, International Ethics, Irish Constitution, Irish History, WW2 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Admirable, as far as I can judge, and I am no constitutional lawyer. I would go so far as to say “noble”.

    One must hope that Hungary, Lithuania, and Poland will sing from the same hymn-sheet and become powerful voices in sick, sorry, degenerate Europe.

  2. Chris, I agree. The international media’s opprobrium and invective against Hungary is shocking.

  3. I just read the first part. A very clear expression of the identity of the Hungarian people rooted in their Christian faith. A very clear expression too of what marriage is and the family as a consequence of this.

    I was struck too by the fact that three national holidays are included in the Constitution. Here in the Philippines our previous presidents, Mrs Gloria Arroyo, had a fixation about long weekends for government workers and moved holidays rooted in the nation’s history, eg, Independence Day, from their proper dates to the nearest Monday.

    I was 13 when the Hungarian Revolution took place, around the same time as the Suez Crisis, and there was a certain amount of fear that there might be a wider war. I was in the Knights of Malta at the time. I recall being involved in a collection outside a church for the Hungarian refugees in Ireland and people being very generous. (This memory has just surfaced!)

    I remember too as a young child, around 5 and 6, a sense of horror among people in Dublin at Cardinal Mindszenty’s trial and imprisonment in 1949.

  4. Fascinating again, Father. The suppression of the Hungarian revolution clearly incensed people in Ireland at the time. Trade unions staged demonstrations in Dublin protesting Communist brutality, and there was a backlash against communism in general (including attacks on Communist premises). The Soviet Union was a very barbarous state and those were frightening times.

    Incidentally can you remember the fundraising for the Italian election of 1948? (The Irish ambassador at the time, Joseph Walshe, invited Pius XII to come live in Ireland should the Communists win. The Pope responded: “Ireland is the only place I could go to – only there would I have the atmosphere and the sense of security to rule the Church as Christ wants me to rule it”.).

  5. Very interesting, Fr. Coyle. I’m sure you also remember the controversy about the visit of the great Yugoslav soccer team to Dalymount in 1955? This of course has been portrayed in all the usual quarters as the “reactionary” Church-v- the people (because a good crowd actually turned up despite the Archbishop’s recommendation not to) but I’m sure that the real story is somewhat different. I’m an FAI fan myself and I certainly remember talking to people who portray it quite differently i.e. that there was widespread disgust at the repression of the Church in eastern Europe (e.g. Cardinal Stepinac et alii) but that the lure of seeing one of the top teams in the world was just too much for people who didn’t have TV and relied on wireless and Movietone newsreels. It was not a “slap in the face” to Abp. McQuaid who was actually quite popular.

  6. Thanks, jaykay. Yes, I remember that controversy. As far as I recall, Philip Green refused to do th commentary on Radio Éireann and so there was none. It wasn’t too unlike protests against the Springboks Rugby team years later when apartheid was practised not only in the state but in South African rugby itself. I took part in a march from O’Connell Street to Landsdowne Road as a young priest on one occasion when the Springboks played there. There was no violence and the stadium was full. There was no violence either in 1955. There was very strong anti-Communist feeling in Dublin in those days.

    I found an essay by a student doing some research on the incident: http://www.historyireland.com/volumes/volume15/issue5/features/?id=114133 . Th writer confirms that Philip Green. She notes, based on research, I presume, that the Irish players seemed to be unaware of any controversy. Most of them would have been based in England. She also says, ‘Schoolboys were warned not to go to the match as it was seen as a mortal sin’. I was in O’Connell Schools at the time and lived only 15 minutes’ or so walk from Dalymount, but I don’t recall anyone, in school or in Aughrim St church, telling me it was a mortal sin to go! For the record, I wasn’t there.

  7. Shane, I didn’t answer your question about the 1948 Italian election. No, I don’t have any memories of that nor do I recall hearing people speak about it in the following years. I became aware of the situation through reading. But I do remember very clearly the sense of shock at the Mindzenty trial.

  8. Philip Greene, mentioned in some of the comments above, died yesterday, 15 May, in Dublin. Sean Ryan writes of Phil in today’s Irish Independent in these words:
    ‘In October, 1955, Greene took a principled stand which brought him into conflict with the Football Association of Ireland. Ireland were due to play Yugoslavia at Dalymount Park, and the Archbishop of Dublin, John Charles McQuaid, asked the FAI not to proceed with the game because of the persecution of Catholics in Yugoslavia.

    ‘Despite pressure from the church and the State, the FAI decided to go ahead and feelings ran high in some quarters, including Radio Eireann, where Greene, who was the regular soccer commentator, refused to commentate on the game’ [http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/philip-greene--voice-of-soccer-and-man-of-principle-2647906.html].

    As a past pupil of O’Connell’s Schools I am proud that Philip Greene was too. Micheal O’Hehir was a contemporary of his there. One of Phil’s classmates, about whom he wrote in a past pupils’ publication about 40 years ago, was Wing Commander Brendan Éamon Fergus Finucane DSO, DFC & Two Bars (16 October 1920 — 15 July 1942), known as Paddy Finucane, was a Royal Air Force fighter pilot. Philip Greene was born 14 days before Paddy Finucane.

    In my teens I read a number of books by an author named Doris Burton who wrote for young people about exemplary Catholics. She had a chapter on Brendan Finucane in which she said that every time he returned to base he went to the chapel to pray for any German pilot he had shot down.

    May Philip Greene and his classmate Brendan Finucane rest in peace.

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