Irish Hierarchy’s Statement on the Persecution of the Church in Poland
The archbishops and bishops of Ireland at their October meeting in Maynooth in 1953, under the presidency of the Cardinal Primate of All-Ireland, John D’Alton, issued the following statement concerning the persecution of the Catholic Church in Poland.
Ever since the end of the war a bitter persecution of the Catholic Church has been carried on in Communist-dominated countries.
Whilst it has brought grievous suffering on the laity, it has been directed primarily against bishops and priests. The enemies of God and His Church, now as in the past, recognise that its rulers and pastors are the great bulwark of Christianity and confidently expect that if they are destroyed, Christianity itself will soon perish.
In Poland hitherto the persecution was less severe than elsewhere; the openly barbaric methods adopted in other places were not deemed opportune in a country where the great majority of the people were deeply religious and intensely loyal to the Church. Now, evidently, the time is considered ripe for an intensification of the effort to uproot religion altogether in this unhappy land. Catholics and, indeed, all Christians and those who cherish liberty the world over, have been shocked by the treatment which has been recently meted out to two distinguished Polish prelates, Bishop Kaczmarek and Cardinal Wyszynski.
The bishop was arrested, put in prison and when, at last, his reason was practically destroyed, was given the usual Communist mock trial, and condemned to imprisonment for a long term of years.
The treatment of the Cardinal Primate, when one considers his exalted dignity, was even more outrageous. He, too, was arrested, forcibly removed from his office and sent to a place of confinement where it is impossible for him to discharge his duties as an archbishop.
We, the Cardinal Primate, archbishops and bishops of Ireland, assembled in general meeting at Maynooth College, protest solemnly against the outrages committed against the persons of these two devoted prelates and we offer them, their suffering flocks and the whole Polish people, our deepest sympathy.
We ask our priests and people to join with us in praying that God may alleviate their suffering and strengthen them in resisting persecution and that He may soon dispel the dark cloud of evil which hangs over the devout and ever-faithful land of Poland.
We further request that the special October devotions to be offered for these objects and that, on the Feast of Christ the King, at Holy Mass and Communion and in special prayers before the Blessed Sacrament, all unite in making reparation to Our Divine Redeemer for these injuries done to Him and to His Church.
To no one have the outrages committed against these two Polish prelates caused greater distress than to the Holy Father, whose heart is already burdened with many such sorrows. We tender to His Holiness also our heartfelt sympathy in these latest afflictions and we assure him of our prayers and the prayers of our devoted flocks, that God may console him in his sorrows, guide him in the difficulties which beset his path and hasten the day when a truly just and Christian peace will assuage the miseries of his children.
Posted on January 24, 2011, in Archbishop John Charles McQuaid, Bishop Con Lucey, Bishop Michael Browne, Bishops' Pastorals, Cardinal John D'Alton, Communism, Irish History, Persecution, Pius XII. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.