Circular Letter of Mgr Pedro Ladislao González y Estrada, Bishop of Havana, on the Irish Situation
The following is the text of a circular letter (in translation) issued by Monsignor Pedro Ladislao González y Estrada, Bishop of Havana (Cuba), on 22nd May, 1921:
Extraordinary circular letter urging the faithful to plead Almighty God so that the sad situation of Ireland may cease.
Ireland! The country that has so justly merited the name of “Isle of Saints,” the Catholic nation by excellence, the self-denied mother of noble and heroic martyrs, finds herself to-day in great tribulation, such as has had no precedent in the history of civilised countries.
That country, chosen by the Divine Providence to bear the foundations of the fervent and glorious churches of North America and Australia, mourns at present the persecution of its religious faith.
That free and supreme country is now crushed by the most odious tyranny, while her unquestionable rights, trampled now and again, are not vindicated by the nations that recently proclaimed themselves before the world to be the support of helpless and feeble countries.
Touched by the weeping of her faithful children, which has reached the entire world, and considering the general faith and charity that should unite the children of the Catholic Church, we believe it a duty to publish this circular-letter, so as to exhort our beloved parishioners to send heavenward their fervent prayers that they may move the dear Lord to bring to an end the sorrowful Calvary the Catholic Irish country is going through.
At the same time we wish hereby to express all the sympathy we so heartily feel for the country whose most glorious page of history is now being acted, and also to protest at the unjust oppression of which she is the victim.
Lastly, knowing that all perfect gifts come from above, from the Father of Mercies, God of all consolation, we resolve and dispose:
First — In all parish churches, chapels and oratories, subject to our ordinary jurisdiction, this our circular-letter shall be read after the High Mass on the first holy day after having been received.
Second — In the above-mentioned churches, chapels and oratories, on the 29th of next month of June, feast of Saint Peter and Paul, the Most Blessed Sacrament shall be exposed after the High Mass, and the Litany of the Saints sung or recited, ending by the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
Third — We beg the religious communities to unite through charity to these our wishes, thus complying with what we have ordered.
Given at our Episcopal residence of Havana, on the 22nd day of May, feast of the Holy Trinity, in the year of Our Lord 1921.