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. *

The whole of Spain has known that from the first months of the war the Irish Bishops made clear its true significance to their fervent Catholics, prompting their charity to assist us in our need and exhorting public prayers for the triumph of our good cause.

To this demonstration of charity and sympathy which your affection inspired you have added this collective message in which you assured us that the Irish people have not allowed themselves to be led astray by false propaganda, and have been at all times faithful to their Catholic tradition and to their friendship for Spain.

For all of which, Venerable Brother Bishops, receive our grateful thanks.

It gives us very special pleasure to thank you for the benefits which now, as on other occasions, you have conferred on us by spreading our pastoral teachings, on the subject of this war, into which we are putting all our energies.

The real state of affairs has been so disfigured in the propaganda sent abroad that unfortunately the phrase which you used in your letter alluding to the “cruel injustice” done to us by a great part of the world Press is very apt.

Fortunately we can acknowledge the consolation afforded us by the solidarity shown in favour of our cause in all parts of the world.

Expressing to Your Eminence and, through you, to all the Bishops of Ireland the grateful affection of the Spanish Episcopacy.

See also Cardinal MacRory’s letter to the press (Feb. 1st, 1937), which is appended below:

Ara Coeli, Armagh.

February, 1, 1937.

Only now I am able to inform the public that I have lodged to the account of His Eminence Cardinal Goma, Archbishop of Toledo, in the Overseas Branch of the National Provincial Bank, Ltd., London, the magnificent sum so generously and wholeheartedly subscribed by the Catholics of Ireland towards the relief of the suffering Catholics of Spain.

I have been waiting for a letter from His Eminence acknowledging that I had lodged to his account £43,772 18s. 7d., which is the total amount subscribed, and I received his letter only a few days ago.

I enclose a copy of the letter from His Eminence Cardinal Goma, which I hope you will be kind enough to publish.

Since the publication of the previous list of contributions from the various dioceses of Ireland the following additional subscriptions have been received: —

Armagh …. £5 6 0

Dublin …. £32 10 9

Kildare and Leighlin …. £33 5 10

Cashel …. £1 7 0

Kerry …. £366 2 1

I remain,

Yours Faithfully,



25th January, 1937.

Your Eminence,

The National Provincial, Ltd., has informed me that you have lodged to my account £43,772 18/7 at their Overseas Branch, Prince’s St., London.

Nobly and generously have the people of Ireland contributed towards the relief of the Catholics of our distressed country.

I wish to convey the thanks of the whole Church of Spain to the Hierarchy and faithful of noble and Catholic Ireland, who with such generous material as well as spiritual aid encourages us to suffer with fortitude and trust in God the anguish of the terrible civil war.

I pray, Your Eminence, not to forget our dear country in your prayers.

With respectful homage,

I remain,

Your devoted and humble servant,


Archbishop of Toledo.


Posted on July 24, 2011, in Bishops' Pastorals, Cardinal Joseph MacRory, Communism, Persecution, Spain. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. An approximate value in 2011 money of the £43,772 donated by Irish Catholics for the Spanish church in 1937 is £2,272,205. This is an impressive sum, as Ireland then was suffering from the Great Depression and a trade dispute with the UK.

  1. Pingback: Spanish Civil War: Letter of the Bishop of Madrid to Fr Andrew Macardle, S.J. « Lux Occulta

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