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.
We feel that we are but satisfying a general desire among our people when we authorise, as we do now, collections to be made at all the Masses in the various churches of each parish on October 25 — the Feast of Christ the King.
When these collections have been taken up in the parishes of each diocese, they are to be sent to the Bishop, who will pass them on to Cardinal MacRory, to be transmitted by his Eminence to the Cardinal Primate of Spain for the relief of her suffering Catholics.
In authorising these collections, we in no way wish to discourage similar collections that are being made for the same purpose with laudable zeal by other organisations, such as the Christian Front; on the contrary, our desire is to eulogise and support them.
In times of affliction and stress, it has been the fruitful practice of the Church to turn the thoughts of her children to prayer and supplication.
Society all over the world is beset with difficulties and dangers of the most extreme kind, and the Holy Father in grievous anxiety appeals to the faithful everywhere for the assistance of their prayers before the Throne of God.
Accordingly, to make atonement for the sacrilegious outrages committed against Christ and in supplication for the victory of Christianity over Anarchy and Communism we direct that on the feast of Christ the King at least in the principal church of each parish the Most Holy Sacrament shall be publicly exposed, wherever possible, for some few hours after last Mass during which the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin, the Litany of the Holy Name and other suitable prayers shall be solemnly recited; and we also order that the Oratio Imperata Pro Pace shall be said in the Mass when permitted by the Rubrics, Tanquam Pro re Gravi up to the end of the year.
The priests concerned will kindly regard this notification as sufficient without any further instruction.
Given at Maynooth on 13th October, 1936.
Signed on behalf of the archbishops and bishops of Ireland.
+JOSEPH CARDINAL MACRORY,
Archbishop of Armagh,
Primate of All Ireland.
Bishop of Waterford and Lismore.