Category Archives: Persecution

Lecture on the Nine Years War


The Institute of Catholic Culture has a really fantastic collection of downloadable lectures on all things Catholic, with a particular focus on ecclesiastical history. I recently noticed two lectures by Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, President of Christendom College, on the Nine Years War, which was the most decisive turning point in modern Irish history and ended in English victory against the forces of Hugh O’Neill and Hugh Roe O’Donnell (and their Spanish allies), leading to the complete collapse of the Gaelic order, the Flight of the Earls and the Plantation of Ulster. You can listen to the lectures by clicking on the play buttons below or, alternatively, you can download them in MP3 format here and here. Dr. O’Donnell has also written a book on the topic: Swords Around the Cross: The Nine Years War: Ireland’s Defense of Faith and Fatherland, 1594-1603. I have not read it but it might be worth buying as a Christmas present. (The Amazon blurb presents it as “one of the few full-length treatments of the heroic struggle of the Irish clansmen in their effort to defend their faith and country against English encroachment and conquest in the sixteenth century. This book has infuriated establishment academics for its honest and thorough treatment of the Irish past. In so doing, the image of a “golden age” under Elizabeth I is dealt a serious blow.”)


For God and Spain


Note: The Internet Archive has a CTSI pamphlet From a Gaelic Outpost by the same author.

See also: Irish Hierarchy’s Statement on the Spanish Civil War (1936)

Joint Letter of the Spanish Bishops to the Bishops of the Whole World Concerning the War in Spain (1937), the Reply of the Irish Hierarchy to the Spanish Hierarchy, and the Reply of the Cardinal Primate of Spain to the Cardinal Primate of All Ireland
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Letter of Dr. David Kearney, Archbishop of Cashel, to the Irish College of Salamanca, 18th July, 1612


When I was over there among you [see here – shane], I gave you a full account of the state of this our native country, and of the troubles and dangers with which we are surrounded. These have since become palpable in the cruel death inflicted on our brother, the bishop of Down, and his chaplain, the 1st day of February of the present year, which we have already detailed to you.

At present the state of our affairs is very doubtful..We have ample evidence that a Parliament is about to assemble, and this makes us very uneasy, for we may expect nothing less from it than serious injury to our faith, as in all probability the votes of the perverse will outweigh those of the Catholics, so that they may decree what they like. Within our jurisdiction some wicked men and greedy officials have appeared, who will not pass even the miserable sacristans, who have scarcely enough to eat, but lay on them fines and taxes, which if anyone will not, or cannot, pay, or if he refuses the oath of the king’s supremacy, he shall get well off with the loss of his property and the privation of his office.

Some time ago, as I am credibly informed, there came to this country that deceptive and false bishop called Knox, who in the Isles bordering on Scotland committed such cruel acts on the Catholics, and intends to do the same here, and they assure me he has a commission of martial law from the king to hang, wherever he may find him, any priest or religious, without examination of cause, or the observance of the forms of law and justice.

They are busily employed in planting their colonies, as they call them, depriving the natives and rightful owners of their lands and possessions which they inherited from their ancestors from time immemorial to the present, and giving them to strangers and heretics without law or reason. Feeling these and other grievances, some inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood of Wexford, who are regarded as the most warlike people of the kingdom, and are skilful mariners, have put to sea in a well-found ship, to lead the life of pirates, and harass the heretics.

Come what may let our adversaries plot as they will we are determined to labour as God helps us, instructing our Catholics, and exhorting them never to consent to anything prejudicial to the liberty of the Catholic religion. In other secular affairs we do not mingle, but leave to God to employ His divine providence in behalf of the church when we do what we can.

This year has been one of prodigies here, for the summer has been very dry and hot, and it has twice rained blood in two different parts of the west of Munster. In the cathedral church of this diocese a great fall of snow occurred on the day of the Holy Ghost, though it was then exceedingly hot, and it fell only within the cemetery. May God grant it be of as happy omen as what fell in Rome when the church of Our Lady, St. Mary Major, was founded.

Patrician Year (1961): Cardinal D’Alton’s Pastoral Letter


Cardinal D’Alton enters Croke Park on the final day of the Dublin Congress, 25th June, 1961

The following letter from Cardinal John D’Alton, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, was read out in all the churches of the Archdiocese of Armagh on Sunday, 12th March, 1961:

In a few days time Ireland will begin the solemn commemoration of the fifteenth centenary of the death of St. Patrick. Here in St. Patrick’s own city of Armagh the Irish people, represented by dignitaries from the four provinces of the land, will give thanks to God for the Saint who came to us over fifteen hundred years ago and brought us the gift ‘more precious than gold,’ of the Catholic faith. On that day too, Ireland will be joined by Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops from all over the world who are coming to share our joy and to unite with the Irish people in giving thanks to God for all that He has done for Ireland through Saint Patrick and for the Church through Ireland.

Above all, the occasion will be crowned with the presence of the special Legate, His Eminence Cardinal McIntyre, whom our beloved Holy Father is graciously sending to us to preside, in his name, over the solemn ceremonies. The successor of Pope Celestine who, over fifteen hundred years ago, sent his missionary to pagan Ireland, to-day sends his own Legatus a latere to an Ireland which has remained faithful through the centuries to the words of her great Apostle: ut Christiani ita et Romani sitis.
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Letter of Cardinal Louis-Joseph Luçon, Archbishop of Reims, to Cardinal Logue (November, 1921)


My Lord Cardinal,

Had I listened only to the promptings of my heart I should long since have responded to the cry of anguish and alarm sent forth by you a year ago on behalf of your country; I should have given expression to my fraternal sympathy and ardent good wishes to your Eminence and to your venerable brethren the Bishops of Ireland.

France, Catholic France, true to her natural instinct of generosity towards suffering, has always loved Ireland. Yes, we love the Irish race, so great amid trial, so obedient to the voice of its spiritual guides, and in spite of its long-drawn-out martyrdom so firm in its trust in Divine justice.
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Archbishop Dominique Castellan’s Letter to Cardinal Logue


Monsignor Dominique Castellan, Archbishop of Chambéry, sent the following letter in January, 1921, to Michael Cardinal Logue, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland:

At a moment of sorrow for the Church of France you have been good enough to incline yourself towards the poor diocese of Digne, and to come to the help of its priests and its Bishop. Ireland suffers today cruelly. The fires and the murders ring sorrowfully in your soul of a pastor and a father, but France has always loved Ireland. It would be shameful if in the present trial of Ireland the heart of France though itself fettered by a political alliance, and if the voice of her commiseration, cautiously suppressed, were not lifted in favour of your bruised nation.

I remember O’Connell and Lacordaire. I remember your heart so tender for all those who suffered and, even if I were to find myself alone I am anxious to raise my voice to address to you, pastor and father of Ireland, the testimony of my sympathy for you and for your people.

Spanish Civil War: Letter of the Cardinal Primate of Spain to Cardinal MacRory



The following letter was sent in December, 1937, by Isidro Cardinal Gomá y Tomás, Archbishop of Toledo and Primate of Spain, to Joseph Cardinal MacRory, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland:

Your Eminence,

It was with deep emotion and gratitude that I received the message which, on behalf of the Bishops of Ireland, Your Eminence was good enough to address to the Prelates of Spain in response to our collective letter.

The Spanish Episcopacy has the honour to acknowledge in this connection the gratitude inspired by the continuous proof of fraternal affection and solidarity with which we have been favoured by our brothers in Ireland in these days of our terrible trial. *
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Pope Pius XII’s Letter on Luke Wadding


Dignitaries of Church and State were abundantly present at Gormanston Castle, 18th November, 1956, to mark the blessing and dedication of the new Franciscan school, commemorating the tercentenary celebration of the death of Luke Wadding. The President of Ireland, Seán T. O’Kelly, was accompanied by his aide-de-camp, Col. O’Sullivan, and inspected a Guard of Honour from Gormanston Military Camp. Both the President and the Irish premier, John A. Costello, were greeted by the Rector of the College, Very Rev. Felix Butler, O.F.M., and the Provincial, Very Rev. Hubert Quinn, O.F.M.

Pontifical High Mass was celebrated by the Bishop of Meath, who also blessed the foundation stone. Other prelates in attendance included the Apostolic Nunio, the Primate of All Ireland, the Bishop of Raphoe, and the Bishop of Kokstad.

Those present at the ceremonies included General Richard Mulcahy, Minister for Education, General Seán MacEoin, Minister for Defence and Éamon de Valera. State officials attending included Maj. General P. A. Mulcahy, Chief of Staff, and Daniel Costigan, Commissioner of the Irish police. Members of Waterford Corporation, along with members and officials of many other public bodies, were also present.

Cardinal John D’Alton, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, opened the ceremonies with the reading of a letter from Pope Pius XII to those present, which is appended below. He then gave a glowing eulogy of Fr Wadding, paying strong tribute to his religious devotion and patriotic ideals. The Cardinal spoke admiringly of his having realised the desperate needs of the Irish Church at a time of extreme persecution and establishing the Irish Franciscans at St. Isidore’s College, “which holds cherished memories for so many Irishmen from its foundation down to our own day”. The Cardinal noted that three years after the foundation of St. Isidore’s, through the good offices of his friend Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi, “he succeeded in establishing a college for the training of students for the secular priesthood and during its infancy watched over its destinies with paternal solicitude”. The Ludovisi College would develop into the Irish College. Cardinal D’Alton, through his own experience, could confirm that Irish College seminarians were always conscious of the deep gratitude and affection they owed to Fr Wadding, “one of the most illustrious of our exiles, who loved Ireland sincerely and served it unselfishly”.

Strong admiration was expressed by the Cardinal for Fr Wadding’s intellectual achievements. Having left Waterford as a boy, Fr Wadding was soon to win high distinctions in the universities of Portugal and Spain. He began his studies in philosophy and theology in Portugal before being invited to join the Spanish province. He became a lecturer in theology at the world-renowned University of Salamanca, which brought him into contact with some of the greatest theologians of his day, including Suarez. He quickly established himself as a leading intellectual and at age 30 was chosen by King Philip III as a theologian to the Commission sent to Rome to promote the doctrine of Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception.

The Cardinal noted that “his literary achievements were acclaimed in every Catholic country in Europe. Two of his works, his monumental history of his Order and his masterly edition of Duns Scotus, would have sufficed to keep most scholars busy for a lifetime, but they were only a small part of the writings that came from his versatile and indefatigable pen.” (Indeed, Fr Wadding is still regarded as the father of the Franciscan Order’s history, and in 2007 the archive of the General Order in Rome was named after him.)

Cardinal D’Alton also noted his work on behalf of Irish interests, appealing to Catholic states in Europe for assistance, and also his diplomatic activities in Rome (see here: IV: ‘Work for Ireland’).

But ultimately, the Cardinal said, “his dreams for an Ireland liberated and resurgent were shattered all too soon. The failure of the Confederation, the departure of the Nuncio, a sad and disillusioned man, the death of Owen Roe [O’Neill], and the landing of Cromwell on our shores must have stricken that ardent patriot with sorrow and dismay.”

The following is the text of the letter from Pope Pius XII read out by Cardinal D’Alton to those present:

It is to the undying glory of the Irish people that, even in times of storm and distress, not only did they retain pure and inviolate the Catholic Faith which in times past they received from St. Patrick, but also that they produced sons without number, who, renowned for their reputation of learning and holiness, shed lustre upon religion and upon their motherland. Justly and rightfully in the number of these is counted Luke Wadding, the glory and pride of the Franciscan Order, whose memory it is your wish to honour with due meed of praise on the tercentenary of his death.

We know the many services which he performed for the benefit of the Church, nor are We ignorant of the great force of his example as a further incentive to virtue, either among the members of his own Order or among your fellow citizens. There, at this auspicious and fitting time of rejoicing, We desire with a father’s heart, to be present with you by this letter, which, by God’s favour, may enhance the joy of the tercentenary celebration and increase its fruits. When We recall his life and his achievements there seems to live again before our eyes that wonderful zeal for the Catholic faith which was handed down by your ancestors, and with which the greatness and the weal of the Irish people seemed always to be linked. Fully instructed, as he was, and strengthened in the Faith though only a boy, he did not hesitate to face the hardships of exile, since in his own country, at that time, religion had been brought to a hazardous pass.

Later, after his reception into the Franciscan Order, one can scarcely credit the number and the magnitude of the works at which he laboured and which he successfully concluded, on behalf of the Church, his Order and his country. Although Portugal and Spain, where he was eminent for his learning and sanctity, first nurtured and confirmed his resolution, it was Rome which, without doubt, gave fuller scope and vigour to his apostolic ardour and zeal. Witness to this are the many momentous tasks to which he was assigned by Our predecessors, the rare prudence he so admirably displayed in filling different offices, and, likewise, the high renown which his learning won for him, both through his researches into the history of his Order and the importance of the works which he published.

In a special way, however, love of country shone in him. In Ireland at that period, the enemies of the Catholic name were striving not only to dispossess the people of their civil liberties, but also to root the ancient Faith out of their minds: so, to the very end of his life, the man of God generously came to the aid of his oppressed fellow-countrymen by every means in his power. Thus he showed the effectiveness of love for one’s own country when it is joined with truly great love of God. Therefore, it is fitting to call to mind the twin colleges, of which Luke Wadding was the founder, erected in this gracious city, the one for students of the Franciscan Order, the other for secular priests as they are styled, destined all of them for Ireland. In this way, there was given to young men chosen from among your people the opportunity to drink deeply of the Faith of Rome and daily to foster and cherish more their loving respect and dutifulness towards the Roman Pontiff.

The results justified the expectations. Learned in the Catholic Faith, well grounded in doctrine and sound morals, many from that day to this, have left a life of ease for the heat and the dust and won golden opinions from the Church and their country by their outstanding intellectual gifts and their unrivalled example. Therefore, for many reasons, beloved Son, the Franciscan family, as well as the whole Irish race, will celebrate the tercentenary of the day on which death came serenely to that admirable disciple of the Patriarch of Assisi, that most devoted defender in your land of the Catholic religion, the untiring helper of the Roman Pontiffs, the exacting worker in the history of the Franciscans.

You have in him a noble pattern of the religious life. You have in him an admirable example of virtue combined with patriotism. Gaze and meditate on his example, and courageously imitate him. In answer to your humble prayers, may God, by his heavenly aid, grant that you may follow his example more and more closely in the daily duties of your state in life. Meanwhile as an augury of heavenly graces and as proof of Our paternal benevolence, We liberally impart the Apostolic Benediction to the dear people of Ireland, and expressly to you, beloved Son, and to the entire Franciscan family.

PIUS PP. XII

Bishop Daniel Cohalan on the Persecution of the Church in Eastern Europe


The following pastoral letter was issued by the Most Rev. Daniel Cohalan, Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, on 1st April, 1954:

Passion Sunday, 4th April, has been set apart by the Church as a day of special prayer for the clergy, religious and many millions of our fellow-Catholics in Eastern Europe and in other countries under Communist control who are enduring persecution for the Faith and reduced to silence.

A bond of union exists between all the members of the Church under Christ as their Head. We should try to make next Sunday, therefore, a worthy manifestation of that spiritual solidarity between all members of the Mystical Body of Our Redeemer.

Think of Catholic Poland, so often compared to Ireland: of Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, the other Balkan states; the Baltic states, China, etc. now under the domination of atheistic Communism, with their Bishops often arrested and perhaps taken away to an undisclosed prison; their children taught that there is no God and discouraged from going to Mass or the Sacraments.

Let us pray God, therefore, through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, to give these Catholics (estimated at a hundred million souls) who groan beneath the iron heel of Communist tyranny, strength to bear witness to Christ and His Church as well as consolation in their trial.

Our fathers in the faith here in Ireland were arrested, imprisoned and often condemned to death, so we can understand and sympathise with our fellow-Catholics who are suffering persecution in our own time. The customary trumped-up charges of high treason, espionage, illegal currency dealings, etc., are merely the common formula of indictment against anybody who is obnoxious to a Communist Government.

I ask the clergy and faithful people of the Diocese to pour out their souls in fervent prayer on Passion Sunday on behalf of our suffering fellow-Catholics.

Let each of us try to be as ardent in the cause of Christ as Communists are in attacking God and religion. And in general, let us all try to appreciate the dangers which threaten our Christian civilization and the urgent need of assistance from God if the catastrophe is to be averted.

I authorize the priests to offer up prayers, hold Holy Hours, special devotions, etc., for the intentions of the Catholics who are suffering for the Faith.

+DANIEL COHALAN,
Bishop of Waterford and Lismore.

Letter of the Archbishop of Cashel to King Philip II of Spain, 26th July, 1570


Encouraged by the confidence I have in your Catholic Majesty, I have dared to speak more freely than perhaps I should have done, but I trust your Majesty will excuse me, as the business is of such importance.

I understand that the English, after having done us all the harm they could, wish to make peace with your Majesty, which is with no other intention than that they may be able, after the peace is concluded with your Majesty, to treat us more freely by doing all the mischief they wish against us. These injuries, which will be felt by all in general, will be more terrible for myself, because our chieftains have had great confidence in your Majesty, and I have written many times encouraging them to resist the English, assuring them that your Majesty would not fail to send assistance, as I was told by the Cardinal and other men of high position in the name of your Majesty. We have refused on this account, many times, the pardon the English have offered us for the past, telling us to enjoy our goods and lands as before, on condition we would be of their opinion, and recognise Her Majesty as Sovereign and Queen.

Neither can your Majesty conscientiously refuse to send us some assistance in virtue of the promises made through me by your Majesty, and that without delay, as we have already been kept in suspense for one year and three months; for, you must hold in mind that your Majesty is the Catholic King, having received that name from your ancestors for the increase of Catholic faith, by favouring the cause of Catholics. In, the same way as the Queen of England has favoured and favours the rebel heretics in France, your Majesty can, in an underhand manner, send some assistance to our chieftains, in arms and men, under pretence of their going to Holland, who, contrary to your will, or for some other cause, should go to Ireland.

Your Majesty has now a good opportunity for so doing, by taking advantage of the arrival of that Englishman, Thomas Stukely, who has received such insults from his own countrymen that he will not fail to do them all the harm he can. He is a very daring man, clever in war matters, in which he has been engaged most of his life. He is well acquainted with our own country, its forts, its harbours. I have been informed that he has brought with him experienced mariners from all parts of Ireland. This is the most favourable season in the year, because now our land abounds with good corn and meat, much more than at other seasons of the year; besides if your Majesty does not send some succour within three months, the English will take such hold of our forts and harbours, that even if your Majesty were to make use of all your power, you would not overcome them. I mention this, because I have been informed that the English are making great preparations, and are endeavouring to take possession of the whole country, and to keep it in such subjection that the natives shall no longer be able to make any resistance as they have hitherto done in some places. If the English succeed in their plans (which God forbid), your Majesty will have the worst enemies whom you have ever known. All this your Majesty can prevent now, with the assistance of a few men, by being the first to take possession of the ports and fortresses. The whole success depends on celerity, for your Majesty will be able to do with 10,000 men, and a little expense, what you will not afterwards be able to accomplish with 100,000 men and all available power. If perchance your Majesty is not satisfied with my embassy, or doubts lest perhaps those who sent me should not keep their word, let your Majesty send some one with me to my country, and I shall make those chieftains place their fortunes and estates under your Majesty’s jurisdiction by oath, or give any security required by your Majesty until they fulfil what they have promised. If it does not please your Majesty to send prompt assistance, as I was promised by the Cardinal and other noblemen in your Majesty’s name, I request your Majesty to grant me the favour of allowing me to return to my native land, that thus I may discharge my conscience of the great weight I have from the Church, and apologise to my brethren for my delay, by testifying my willingness to die for the Catholic faith, and for the liberty of my country, as much as each of them does. My remaining here would only serve to increase the expenses of your Majesty, without any benefit to myself or my country.

The humble servant and chaplain of your Majesty,

MAURITIUS CASSELLENSIS,
Archiepiscopus.

Holy Cross Abbey


Patrician Year (1961): The Arrival of Cardinal Agagianian


The Cardinal Legate greeted by the Taoiseach and the Abp. of Dublin

 
The papal legate for the Patrician Congress, Cardinal Grégoire-Pierre Agagianian, was given a spectacular reception when he arrived in Dublin on Saturday, 17th June, 1961. Travelling in the Aer Lingus Boeing Jet Padraig he landed in Dublin Airport (profusely decorated in papal and Irish flags and emblems) at approximately 12.45 p.m.

In the Padraig’s Golden Shamrock compartment, which was reserved for the Legate’s suite and the Dublin escorting party, a special Decal of the Papal Arms was fitted to honour the Legate. After boarding the plane in Rome, he was greeted by Arthur Walls, General Sales Manager of the airline, with an illuminated welcome scroll in a polished oak case, bearing the inscription “CÉAD MÍLE FÁILTE”. Upon arriving off the Irish coast his plane was escorted by four Vampire Jets under the command of Commandant G. O’Connor. After the plane had been joined by the escorts, a special message of welcome from the Most Rev. John Charles McQuaid, Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland, was flashed from Dublin Airport. As soon as the Cardinal alighted from the plane, the jet escort flew over the airport and dipped wings twice in salute. The papal anthem was played by the Number One Army Band and a 21-gun salute was thundered out by the 10th Battery of the 2nd Field Artillery Regiment from McKee Barracks under Captain Hugh McGrillen.

Upon his descent from the plane, the Legate was met at the bottom of the steps by the Archbishop of Dublin, who introduced him to prominent dignitaries, including the Taoiseach [Prime Minister] Seán Lemass, the Tánaiste [Deputy Prime Minister] Seán MacEntee, the Papal Nuncio, and the Minister for External Affairs, Frank Aiken.
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Patrician Year (1961): Irish Hierarchy Announce Celebrations



The Irish hierarchy issued the following statement in 1960 at their October meeting in St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth:

The Hierarchy propose to celebrate in 1961 the fifteenth centenary of the death of Saint Patrick, the most commonly accepted date for the death of the Saint being 461 A.D. The opening ceremony is planned for St. Patrick’s Day in the Primatial City of Armagh, so closely associated in Irish tradition with the life and work of our National Apostle. The ceremony will be followed, it is hoped, by other celebrations arranged by direction of the local Ordinaries, in places particularly associated with St. Patrick, such as the holy mount of Croagh Patrick, or noted as centres of especial devotion to the Saint, such as St. Patrick’s Purgatory, Lough Derg.

Eminent dignitaries from abroad, especially from dioceses or institutions under the patronage of St. Patrick, will be invited to participate in the national celebrations. Invitations will be extended also to representatives of continental centres of Patrician devotion, and to representatives of countries evangelised by Irish missionaries.
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St. Dominic & The Dominicans and The Dominicans in Ireland


Irish Hierarchy’s Statement on the Spanish Civil War


The Irish hierarchy issued the following statement in 1936 at their October meeting in St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth:

We, the Bishops of Ireland, avail ourselves of the opportunity of expressing our profound distress at the sufferings inflicted on the Catholics of unhappy Spain.

We know how shocked and horrified our people have been by the brutal outrages on religion and humanity perpetrated by the Communistic faction there and how deeply they sympathise with that great nation in the tragedy of ruin and shame it has been made to endure at the hands of an infamous minority under foreign direction.

Spain at this moment is fighting the battle of Christendom against the subversive powers of Communism. In that fateful struggle it has, we believe, the prayers and good wishes of the great body of Christians throughout the world, and nowhere more than in Ireland, which is not unmindful of Spain’s kindness to our ancestors.
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The Eucharist


Irish Hierarchy’s Reply to the Joint Letter of the Spanish Bishops


Cardinal Joseph MacRory: “There is no room any longer for any doubts as to the issue at stake in the Spanish conflict . . . It is a question of whether Spain will remain as she has been so long, a Christian and Catholic land, or a Bolshevist and anti-God one.

The Irish hierarchy issued the following reply to the Joint Letter of the Spanish Bishops at their October meeting in St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, 1937:

Venerable Brethren,

It is not without profound emotion that one can read the noble and touching Letter addressed by your Excellencies to the Catholic Episcopate throughout the world.

There, in a document of rare dignity and calm sobriety of expression, instilled throughout with the true spirit of Christian charity, may be found an exhaustive vindication of the Venerable Church of Spain against the odious calumnies heaped upon her by the enemies of the Christian faith, and an overwhelming answer to the reckless misrepresentations with which so large a section of the Press seeks to cloud the issues at stake in the lamentable conflict now raging in your sorely distracted country.

In a simple exposition of the facts and a calm and authoritative analysis of the situation, devoid of vehemence and rhetorical device, you have given the world your solemn witness to the truth, in language at once restrained and convincing, making cogent appeal to the conscience of mankind and to the ultimate verdict of history.
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Joint Letter of the Spanish Bishops to the Bishops of the Whole World Concerning the War in Spain, July 1st, 1937


Venerable Brethren,

The Catholic peoples are wont to help one another mutually in days of affliction, thus practising the law of charity and brotherhood which joins in one mystical body all of us who hold communion in the thought and love of Jesus Christ. The natural organ of this spiritual interchange is formed by the Bishops, who were put by the Holy Ghost to rule over the Church of God. Spain, which is now suffering one of the greatest tribulations of her history, has received many proofs of affection and condolence from the Catholic Episcopate abroad, either in collective messages or singly from many Bishops. And the Spanish Episcopate, which has been so terribly tried in its members, in its clergy, and in its churches, wishes to give response to-day in this joint document to the great charity which has been shown us from all parts of the world.

Our country is undergoing a profound upheaval; it is not only one of the bloodiest of civil wars which fills us with tribulation, it is a tremendous commotion which is shaking the very foundations of social life, and has put in danger our very existence as a nation. You have understood it, Venerable Brethren, and ‘Your words and your heart have opened unto us,’ we will say with the Apostle, letting us see the depth of your charity towards our beloved mother country. May God reward you for it.

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Irish People and Their Priests


Letter to the Catholic Clergy of Ireland by Dr. Bartholomew Woodlock, Rector of the Catholic University of Ireland


3rd November, 1873

Rev. Dear Sir,

Some months ago, as you are aware, a scheme of University Education for Ireland was introduced into Parliament. In it the declarations of our Prelates, and our own oft-repeated profession of the necessity of Catholic Education for Catholics, were ignored, nay, openly set at nought. While the existing system was acknowledged to be “miserably bad, scandalously bad” it was sought to substitute for it a more gigantic scheme of godless education under the supreme control of the State.

To the men who, during the last few years have done much to redress the numberless grievances of our country, and who have so often promised to undo, as far as possible, the misgovernment of the past, we ought not to impute other motives than those avowed by them when introducing the Irish University Bill of last session. But, judging the measure on its own merits, we are compelled to say that it evinced a total ignorance of the wants, or disregard for the wishes, of Catholic Ireland. And if English statesmanship, even when swayed by feelings the most friendly to our country, can or will produce nothing better, it is time for Irish Catholics to look for the redress of their admitted grievances elsewhere than to those with whom false liberalism and the theories of doctrinaires prevail over the sacred convictions of a whole nation in a matter which is part of their religion.
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Animosities In A Vacuum



 
by Brendan Clifford,
Church and State; Third Quarter, 2008

 
Oxford University was appealed to by Raymond Crotty (founder of the Irish Sovereignty Movement) to take Ireland in hand intellectually, because the Irish were unable to think for themselves. It has now published a volume on Ireland as part of its Oxford History Of Modern Europe. But, alas, it farmed out the work of writing it to a Stickie academic, who was a political adviser to David Trimble during the years when Trimble was leading the Ulster Unionist Party to disaster, and who has now joined his leader in the House of Lords.
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Letter of Cardinal Cullen to the Catholic Clergy, Secular and Regular, of the Diocese of Dublin


6th November, 1873

Very Rev. and Dear Sir,

Within the present week an important circular regarding the Catholic University will be addressed to you by the Rector, the Very Rev. Monsignor Woodlock.

I beg of you to read that document for your faithful flocks, and at the same time to impress upon them the necessity of upholding the cause of religious education, and providing the youth of the country with the means of acquiring not only all useful scientific knowledge, but also solid instruction in the practices and doctrines of the one, holy, Catholic Church, out of which there is no salvation. If this be not done, and if children be not brought up in the fear and love of God, and inspired with a spirit of respect and obedience for the laws of God and the Church, they will forget the interests of their immortal souls, and their eternal salvation will be exposed to the greatest danger. For, according to the Scripture, if a young man gets into a wrong path, even when he grows old, he will not retire from it.
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Irish Colleges on the Continent: Salamanca, Madrid and Alcalá de Henares


Irish College, Salamanca

From the Irish Ecclesiastical Record, December, 1872:

SALAMANCA

Before we begin our brief outline of this famous College, we feel bound to acknowledge our obligations to the writer of the able and original article in our July Number on the College of Lisbon. He has many sources of information not open to us, and we trust that he will kindly assist us in our present inquiry; also, as it is a subject with which he must be, from his position, perfectly familiar.

The College of Salamanca, in the Kingdom of Leon, in Spain, was founded in 1582 by the Rev. Thomas White, and endowed by the States of Castille and Leon for the education of Irish secular priests, and was one (1) of the first establishments the Irish Catholics obtained on the Continent after the Reformation. From the earliest times Ireland was, perhaps, more closely connected with Spain than with any other foreign country. The traditional belief of our people was that their ancestors had come immediately from Spain. Identity of national usages favoured this belief, which was further strengthened by frequent commercial intercourse. During the latter part of the sixteenth century a new motive of friendship was found in the unity of religious interests. Queen Elizabeth provoked a war with Spain by openly supporting the Dutch Protestants, who, from fanatical zeal, had risen against Philip; at the very same time she was persecuting her Catholic subjects in Ireland, and using every means to root out the ancient faith. The Irish chieftains fled to Spain for protection, and sought that religious freedom there which they could not enjoy at home. Thus were the Irish Catholics bound more closely than ever to their Spanish brethren, who, on the other hand, never failed to protect and support them in their distress. The first and most urgent want of Ireland was to provide for the education of her priesthood, and Spain was the first nation in Europe that founded Colleges for this purpose.
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Irish Colleges on the Continent: Alcala, Seville and Lisbon


From the Irish Ecclesiastical Record, October, 1872:

The two interesting notices which have appeared on the Irish Colleges abroad make us conscious of the great blanks in our ecclesiastical history [see article below – shane], and make us feel the keenest regret at not knowing something more concerning the men, who, like Stapleton and Carney, served their Church and country in those colleges. Many of them who exercised great influence for good in their generation, and worked with zeal for the welfare of fatherland, dropped into such oblivion that even their names have remained unknown for more than two hundred years. One of these was “the very venerable Father James O’Carney,” of the Society of Jesus. Although he cannot well be identified with the Father James Carney mentioned in the July Record, (1) he was intimately connected with the Irish College of Salamanca, and, consequently, deserves a passing notice in our sketches of the Irish Colleges of the Continent.

F. Redan or Reade, S.J., in the preface to his Commentary on the Machabees, gives the following account of this distinguished Irishman: —
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Jansenism and Irish Catholicism


“Jansenism”. The Oxford Companion to Irish History. 2007.

“Jansenism was viewed with great suspicion by Rome, and 17th-century Irish synods toed the Roman line. Indeed, while its moral rigorism made it attractive to elements of the Counter-Reformation church, Jansenism’s theological and political radicalism alienated both local hierarchies and Catholic monarchs. This was especially the case in France and most Irish clerical students there associated with the milieux hostile to the movement. Indeed their anti-Jansenist opinions were singled out for criticism by the pro-Jansenist journal Nouvelles ecclésiastiques, Irish clerics, in general, being more attracted to Jesuit-style humanism. The success of the anti-Jansenist bull Unigenitus (1713) marginalized the movement but it survived as a popular millenarian-cum-miracle cult. Neither as a theology nor as a political attitude did Jansenism recommend itself to the Irish Catholic community, either at home or abroad. The frequent claim that Irish Catholicism was Jansenist-influenced springs from the tendency to confuse Jansenism with mere moral rigorism.”

—Dr. Thomas O’Connor. Ph.D., is Senior Lecturer at the Department of History, National University of Ireland. He is the author of Irish Jansenists 1600-1670: politics and religion in Flanders, France, Ireland and Rome (Dublin, 2008), Strangers to Citizens: the Irish in Europe 1600-1800 (Dublin, 2008), An Irish Jansenist in seventeenth-century France: John Callaghan 1605-54 (Dublin, 2005) and An Irish Theologian in Enlightenment Europe: Luke Joseph Hooke 1714-96 (Dublin, 1995).

John Healy, Maynooth College: Its Centenary History (Dublin, 1895), p. 274

“During the eighteenth century many of the most eminent Churchmen in France were, to some extent, tinctured with these Jansenistic views, even when repudiating the Jansenistic errors regarding the operation of grace and free will. But although so many of our Irish ecclesiastics were educated in France during the eighteenth century, none of those who came to Ireland ever showed the slightest trace of this Jansenistic influence, either in their writings or their sermons. Nor has any respectable authority asserted, so far as we know, that the French Professors of Maynooth were in any way tinged with the spirit of Jansenism.”

—Most Rev. John Healy, D.D., LL.D., M.R.I.A.

Vexilla Regis: Maynooth Laymen’s Annual, 1951, p. 84

“Off the playing-fields [of Maynooth seminary] at the end of a short avenue of tall cypresses, there is a little cemetery. Here are the graves of some of the greatest men in the history of modern Irish Catholicism. Here, also, are the graves of Irish boys who had consecrated themselves to God but whom God took to Himself before they reached the priesthood. A few French priests rest here, too. For the original staff at Maynooth consisted of Irish priests from Paris and some French colleagues whom they brought with them. (To this day the College gown is an adaptation of that worn by the clerical professors at the Sorbonne in pre-Revolution times.)

Those gentle dead are sometimes accused of having brought Jansenism into Ireland. My friend, Mr. Tom Wall, Assistant Librarian at University College, Dublin, has written admirably on this silly accusation and on the whole history of the remarkable part played by Irish priests in Paris in the Jansenist controversy. The so-called Jansenism of late nineteenth century Ireland was nothing more than an element of Victorianism that came over with the compulsory English after the Famine.”

—Chevalier Thomas MacGreevy

1641: Some Context


 

by Pat Muldowney,
Church and State; First Quarter, 2011

 
Historic massacres have been in the news recently. Large numbers of British Protestant settlers were killed in horrific circumstances by hordes of rebellious natives in a frenzy of religious hatred. This despite the fact that the settlers, whatever their faults, were bringing civic values, industry, modernity and progress to an antiquated country mired in backwardness and superstition.

In the ensuing chaos, order was finally restored by a determined military campaign in which the Irish Brigadier- General John Nicholson played a leading part, but at the cost of his own life.
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1641: The Massacre Propaganda


by Brendan Clifford,
Church and State; First Quarter, 2011

Almost fifty years ago I spent a month in isolation in a remote and English part of England, called Winchester, with nothing to do and nothing to read except a volume of Edmund Spenser’s Poems that somehow came to hand. I read it because it was there, and nothing else was there. And so I read about the Fairy Queen, who never actually appears in that never-ending poem with her name to it as far as I recall, and about Knights and Ladies and Chivalry and the Blatant Beast and other strange creatures that lurk in the undergrowth of the English mind. And I got to know about Colin Clout’s Homecoming to Buttevant, which had been cleared of the Irish so that Greek Nymphs and Shepherds might play in it, and Greek goddesses along with them, but no gods that I recall. And then I was released from captivity and promptly forgot about Spenser, except to wonder occasionally how that bizarre poem, afflicted with uncoordinated gigantism, remained in print.

For remain in print it did. And Senator Harris has fallen down on the task he has set himself, because I have not heard yet that he has hailed it as the great Irish poem to whose influence we should all submit ourselves in order to be re-created and saved.
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Irish Hierarchy’s Statement on Proselytism in Ireland


The following statement was issued in 1925 by the Irish hierarchy at their June meeting in St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth:

We are of the opinion that the Catholic public generally are not aware of the extent to which proselytism is carried on in this country, especially in large centres such as Dublin. It is no exaggeration to say that within recent years thousands of children, born of Catholic parents, have been robbed of their inheritance, the faith, owing to the nefarious activities of the proselytisers, who, well equipped with funds, seek their victims among the poor and the fallen.

In combatting this appalling evil the ‘Catholic Protection and Rescue Society’ (30 South Anne Street, Dublin) has been doing excellent work. It has saved hundreds of children and others from the clutches of the proselytiser. But it is sadly handicapped for want of funds.
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The Historians of Ireland


The Rise and Fall of the Catholic Church in Ireland


The following is an editorial from Church and State magazine (the organ of the old Campaign to Seperate Church and State), January, 2010:

The Age Of My Craven Deference Is Finally Over.” That was the headline on Professor Ronan Fanning’s article on the Murphy Report (Sun. Independent, 6 Dec.). Well, it was almost the headline. Fanning used the collective “our” rather than the personal “my”. But in the case of the Professor of Modern History at the chief College of the National University the personal and the collective merge. The Professor (singular) determines in great part what characterised the plurality of those who went through the educational system to its highest level.

It became well known to us long ago that the paid intelligentsia of the state were craven in their attitude towards the Church. They were sceptics in private but were cynically respectful in public, because they were craven.
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Lough Derg Guide


Patrician Year (1961): Bl. John XXIII’s Letter to the Irish Hierarchy


To Our Beloved Son
John Cardinal D’Alton
Archbishop of Armagh
And to Our Venerable Brothers
The Archbishops and Bishops of Ireland

Beloved Son and Venerable Brothers, Health and Apostolic Benediction.

Holy Church, founded by Christ Jesus to free mankind from death, shines throughout the world by her sanctity, is nourished by grace, lives by truth and, in the words of Saint Irenaeus, “as the sun, God’s creature, is one and the same in the whole world, so the light, which the preaching of truth is, shines forth in every place and enlightens all men” (Adv. Haer. 1, 10, 2; MG f. 552). This preaching of truth, Beloved Son and Venerable Brothers, is a special glory of your country — for through the centuries its distinguishing mark has always been: “peregrinari pro Christo”. Irish priests and religious, as is well known, from the coming of the Gospel message to their land, spurred on by the splendid example of Saint Patrick, your illustrious Father and Apostle, went forth and made their way through many European lands to bring them the flame of faith and an unconquerable zeal in winning souls for Christ.

The genius of your nation has won for the Church in Ireland imperishable renown and admiration among the many peoples who owe their Christian origin and development to the burning love of Irish Apostles and to their active priestly ministry. These Catholic people in themselves are a manifest and an eloquent testimony to Catholic Ireland’s missionary character; they show it forth to the whole world and add splendour to its titles to glory.
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Patrician Year (1961): Cardinal Cushing on St. Patrick and the Irish Catholic People


CLICK HERE TO WATCH

The above video features clips of the opening of the Patrician Year celebrations, 17th March, 1961, marked by Pontifical High Mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh. The celebrant was the papal legate, Cardinal James Francis McIntyre, Archbishop of Los Angelus.

Irish state dignitaries were very prominent in attendance, not least President Éamonn de Valera and the Taoiseach [Prime Minister] Séan Lemass. Church prelates and state leaders, escorted by prominent local clergy, walked in solemn procession towards the Cathedral, walking past vast, cheering crowds. President De Valera was seated in a special blue and gold draped prie-dieu, affixed with the national emblem of a golden harp, while Mr. Lemass was also accorded a special prie-dieu. As Cardinal McIntyre entered through the massive oak doors, the cathedral organ thundered out the papal hymn Tu es Petrus, and His Eminence proceeded through the highly colourful and lavishly decorated cathedral to the marble-canopied throne on the Gospel side of the high altar, where he occupied a seat upholstered by white silk, affixed with the papal coat of arms on the reverse. Prelates attending included multitudes of abbots and bishops from all over the world, 50 archbishops and 4 Cardinals: Cardinal McIntyre, Cardinal John D’Alton, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All-Ireland, Cardinal William Godfrey, Archbishop of Westminster, and Cardinal Richard Cushing, Archbishop of Boston.

Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop of Boston, gave the following sermon:

Their sound has gone forth unto all the earth: and their words unto the ends of the world.” (Psalm 18, Verse 5)

The theme of Ireland’s holy and historic celebration this year has been taken from the text by which the liturgy proclaims the glory and the triumph of all the Apostles. No more appropriate text could have been chosen to commemorate the incomparable Apostle to Ireland and to pay tribute to the apostolic spirit that St. Patrick inspired in the Irish people.

The text proper to the Apostles is deservedly applied to him, for St. Patrick takes his place beside the greatest and most glorious of the Apostles.

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Patrician Year (1961): Bl. John XXIII’s Address on St. Patrick


Addressing a congregation of 500 in the Consistorial Hall of the Vatican after Mass on the 17th March 1961, the Holy Father gave the following address:

Dia is Muire dhibh is Pádraig.

On this day, the faithful people of Ireland, in their own beloved country and in every part of the world, are celebrating the liturgical feast of Saint Patrick, the fearless apostle and father of their faith, in the fifteenth centenary of his holy death.

You, beloved children of the Irish colony in Rome, have wished to gather in prayer at the altar of the Divine Sacrifice, around the humble successor of Saint Peter. With great pleasure did We accede to your filial desire: not only in order to render this occasion memorable, but especially in order to bear open witness to the esteem and affection which We cherish in Our heart for your glorious nation.
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The Integral Irish Tradition


Song for the Pope


 

by Rev. P. Murray, D.D.

A song for the Pope, for the Royal Pope,
Who rules from sea to sea;
Whose kingdom or sceptre never can fail! —
What a grand old king is he!
No Warrior hordes has he, with their swords,
His rock built throne to guard;
For against it the gates of hell shall war
In vain, as they ever have warred.

Oh, never did mightiest monarch yet,
In the days of his power and pride,
Rule as the good old Pontiff rules,
With his Cardinals by his side.
In terror and death is the conqueror’s march,
As the steel tides rise and roll:
But the bonds he binds with are faith and love,
Clasping the heart and soul.
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