February 14, 2016

Catholic bigotry

An anonymous Irishman is reported to have said via ‘Is Ulster Right?’ (1913):
"Roman Catholics who fled from the tyranny of the penal laws at home [in Ireland] had no scruple, when they reached the Continent, in taking part in persecutions far more terrible than anything they had seen in Ireland. During the dragonnades in Languedoc, Louis XIV’s Irish brigade joined eagerly in the butchery of old men, women and children and the burning of whole villages. The same heroes distinguished themselves by destroying everything they could find in remote Alpine valleys so that the unfortunate Waldenses might die of starvation."
The 2nd Vatican council of 1965 changed protestants from "heretics" to "separated brethren".

Rev. Michael Kennedy, Roman Catholic curate, said in April 1898:
"They are not born from our race… the Irish Unionists have no country…"
The Catholic Church did much to divide the “native” Irish from the Protestant. Joseph MacRory, Cardinal Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, said in 1932:
"The Protestant Church in Ireland – and the same is true of the Protestant Church anywhere – is not only not the rightful representative of the early Irish Church, but it is not even a part of the Church of Christ."
Cardinal Cullen said:
"Irish protestants are foreigners and not part of Ireland." 
Eamon de Valera said during the War of Independence that Protestants were "not Irish people." Garrett Fitzgerald said that in Ireland's revolutionary age there was a kind of "counter-sectarianism that came close to a form of racism." De Valera said in 1930 in the Dail debate on the protestant librarian scandal:
"I say that if I had a vote on a local body, and there were two qualified people who had to deal with a Catholic community, and if one was a Catholic and the other a Protestant, I would unhesitatingly vote for the Catholic."
An Official Statement was made by Irish Bishops to the New Ireland Forum in 1983:
"A Catholic country and its government where there is a very considerable Catholic ethos and consensus shouldn’t feel it necessary to apologise that its legal system may sometimes be represented as offensive to minorities, but the rights of a minority are not more sacred that the rights of a majority."
Pete Shirlow said at the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis 2017:
"My forebears were anti-sectarian, but they were pro-union. The idea that being pro-union is inherently sectarian is not only wrong it is inherently sectarian."
Ian d’Alton wrote:
"In 1916 Irish Protestants were looked upon, in the words of novelist Susanne Day, as ‘illegitimate children of an irregular union between Hibernia and John Bull’."
He also wrote:
"They were never a British ethnic minority that would mysteriously change into a docile Irish religious one."
Irish protestant Graham Norton said that his faith left him friendless and lonely in Cork.
Michael Longley said:
"There is a huge amount of Anglophobia here which I’ve always tried to counter and correct a little."
William Trevor said in an interview with the Paris Review, 1989:
"Ireland is a religious country, and in those days [30s/40s] everyone went to mass or church. It was just all taken for granted. It didn’t really impinge in any sort of way, except that one felt different as a Protestant." 
He also said to the Paris Review:
"What is now apparent to me is that being a Protestant in [southern] Ireland was a help, because it began the process of being an outsider—which I think all writers have to be—and began the process of trying to clear the fog away. I didn’t belong to the new post-1923 Catholic society, and I also didn’t belong to the Irish Ascendancy. I’m a small-town Irish Protestant, a “lace-curtain” Protestant. Poor Protestants in Ireland are a sliver of people caught between the past—Georgian Ireland with its great houses and all the rest of it—and the new, bustling, Catholic state."
Sean O'Faolain said in The Irish (page 96):
"In my youth [the] rigorous priest was commonplace... Any man or woman who married a Protestant was a good as damned. Any catholic who attended a Protestant funeral or marriage was sent direct to the Bishop of his diocese for forgiveness."
Conor Cruise O'Brien in 'Memoir - My Life and Times' (p. 109) explained the wedge the clerecy put between the two creeds, protestant and catholic, in Ireland:
"After my father's death, the pressure on my mother to withdraw me from this school must have been strong. Another widow, in a similar position, had withdrawn her boy not long from Sandford. She had been told that by keeping the boy at a Protestant school she was prolonging her late hushand's suffering in purgatory."
Mary McCrathy was told when she was 9 by priests that her recently deceased, Protestant uncle was going straight to hell in her book Memories of a Catholic Girlhood. Deane said in 1991: "If it could afford pluralism, it would not be the Ireland we know." Seán MacEntee wrote to Eamon de Valera in January 1938: 
"In regard to partition we have never had a policy... With our connivance every bigot and killjoy, ecclesiastical and lay, is doing his damnedest here to keep them [Northern unionists] out."
John Hume wrote in the Irish Times, May 1964:
"Bigotry and a fixation about religious divisions are the first thing that strike any visitor to the North. The Nationalist line of the past forty years has made its contribution to this situation... Another positive step towards easing community tensions and towards removing what bigotry exists among Catholics would be to recognize that the Protestant tradition in the North is as strong and as legitimate as our own. Such recognition is our first step towards better relations. We must be prepared to accept this and to realize that the fact that a man wishes Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom does not necessarily make him a bigot or a discriminator." 
Ireland gave to the world the word "Fethardism" - The Irish Catholic-inspired neologism, meaning religious boycott.

Sean T O'Kelly said in Geneva in 1933:
"The Free State Government was inspired in its every administrative action by Catholic principles and doctrine."


Fintan O'Toole wrote after a priest said Northern Ireland was for Catholics like Nazi Germany:
"How could you possibly explain that Irish nationalists, who are thought to be so steeped in the past, know so little about the recent history of the continent they inhabit? There is no excuse for not having at least a general sense of proportion, for being wary of camparisons that are as inaccurate as they are offensive."
It is very important to note that Catholics are capable of bigotry, prejudice and oppression. In the age of exploration the Vatican issued papal bulls which inspired the “doctrine of discovery”. Speaking in mid-May 2007 in Brazil Pope Benedict XVI said that native populations had been “silently longing” for the faith colonizers had brought to South America. Luiz Felipe de Alencastro, a prominent historian, responded furiously:
"The process of colonization was one of destruction of Amerindian culture. The missionaries were at the service of a religion that had incorporated the authoritarian and despotic elements of European monarchy."
Followings his comments about the conversion of native populations he conceded that “unjustifiable crimes” were committed in the conquest of the continent 500 years ago. He said:
"It is not possible to forget the suffering and the injustices inflicted by colonizers against the indigenous population, whose fundamental human rights were often trampled."
Irish protestant and Irish nationalist Hubert Butler wrote about the forced conversion of Eastern Orthodox Christians by Catholics during the second world war. The overseer of this policy, a war criminal, was then given safe harbour in Ireland. Jones explained how Butler brought this sordid episode to light:
"Butler’s most spectacular falling-out with the powers of Irish bigotry was in 1952. It arose from his horrified interest in what had taken place in Croatia during the Nazi occupation, when the puppet Croatian government – staunchly Roman Catholic and anti-Semitic – started its campaign against the Serb Orthodox minority and the Jews. 
The Croatian Minister of the Interior, Artukovitch, was the master-mind behind the campaign in which 750,000 Orthodox and 30,000 Jews were massacred, and 240,000 Orthodox forcibly converted to Roman Catholicism. Because of the cruelty of this operation, Artukovitch was later known as the Himmler of Yugoslavia. 
After the war Artukovitch escaped to Austria and Switzerland, and then, in 1947, took up residence in Ireland, with the connivance of the Roman Catholic Church and the Irish Government. A year later, armed with an Irish identity card, he left for the United States. Shortly before that date, while visiting old friends in Zagreb, Butler had been to a city library to read local newspaper accounts of life in wartime Croatia. He came back to Ireland determined to expose those people in his own country who had aided the war criminal to escape justice. A long essay, “The Artukovitch File,” gives Butler’s account of his detective work in tracing Artukovitch’s life in Ireland. 
In 1952, at a lecture in Dublin about the persecution of the Roman Catholic Church by the Yugoslav communist regime, Butler rose to remind the audience about the Roman Catholic treatment of the Orthodox in Croatia, and the Papal Nuncio, who was in the hall, walked out. There was a press campaign against Butler. So powerful was local feeling against him that he felt obliged to resign from the Kilkenny Archaeological Society, and only a handful of people were prepared to come to his defence. Butler’s stand was courageous and right."
Christopher Hitchens wrote:
"I’m afraid the SS’s relationship with the Catholic Church is something the Church still has to deal with and does not deny." 
He also wrote:
"If I had been writing in the 1930s I would certainly have said that the Roman Catholic Church was the most dangerous religion in the world because of its open alliance with fascism and anti-Semitism, which—the damage from that our culture has never recovered from and never will but at the moment it’s very clear to me that most toxic form that religion takes is the Islamic form, the horrible idea of wanting to end up with Sharia, with a religion-governed state (a state of religious law) and that the best means of getting there is jihad (holy war)." 


Protestants are very capable of bigotry and sectarianism. That is very clear and I accept that. But Catholics are equally capable of bigotry and sectarianism. It is sectarian itself to suggest that catholics and nationalists alone are immune to this human weakness.

Republicans who judge the republican movement as uniquely fair and progressive and unionism as singularly sectarian should be intensely suspicious of their conclusion.

Newton Emerson said:
"The special problem with Sinn Fein is its ideological imperative to paint unionists as a community defined by prejudice."
Newton Emerson wrote in March 2015:
"Nationalist claims that the unionist pact is “sectarian” have a whiff of the ironic prejudice that only Protestants are sectarian."
Eamonn Mallie said:
"Pacts in Unionism or Nationalism are simply naked sectarianism designed to keep the other side out."
Republican's do not have a monopoly on morality or virtue. There's something very discourteous about thinking republicanism is especially benevolent. Narrow-mindedness is not the the exclusive provenance and province of unionists. Being a voluble exponent of Irish Republicanism by no means precludes irrational sectarianism as a driving force. Sectarian is a social habit that doesn't discriminate but afflicts all equally and not one especially. People take in sectarianism with their mother's milk, bigotry is almost obligatory. Louis MacNeice said:
"And each one in his will 
Binds his heirs to continuance of hatred."
James Stephens said:
"It is too generally conceived among Nationalists that the attitude of Ulster towards Ireland is rooted in ignorance and bigotry."
Catholics, nationalists and republicans are just as capable of bigotry, discrimination and even oppression. As Jenny McCartney said:
"There were indeed thick Prod bigots, of course, and thick Catholic bigots too: just not as one-dimensional or numerous as outsiders liked to imagine."
Heaney wrote:
"You know them by their eyes,’ and hold your tongue. ‘One side’s as bad as the other,’ never worse."
Richard Morrock wrote in ‘The Psychology of Genocide and Violent Oppression: A Study of Mass Cruelty…’:
"Schools were segregated in practice, and even pastimes were divided along religious lines, with protestants playing English games while Catholics leaned more toward traditional gaelic sports. The two religious communities even tended to regard each other as separate races. In Derry, William Kelleher noted that Catholics thought they could spot protestants because their eyes were close together, while protestants believed the same thing about Catholics." 
Seamus Heaney also wrote
"And yet that melodrama ties us at even."
The Cameron Report (Paragraph 138, 1969) found:
"It is fair to note that Newry Urban District, which is controlled by non-Unionists, employed very few Protestants."
The acronym 'NIPPLES' stands for Northern Ireland Protestant Professionals Living in England and Scotland. Ian Jack explained it further, writing in the Guardian in his interview with Ian Paisley he said:
"A common perception is that the Unionists have lost. Many of their aspiring young have migrated over the water, a process that began long before the Chuckle Brothers assumed power in the new Stormont assembly. No reliable figures are available, but there’s an acronym, Nipples, to describe Northern Ireland Protestant Professionals Living in England and Scotland. Didn’t this loss sadden him? Again, he heard something else - a question about his own behaviour."
Conor Cruise O'Brien touched on this issue: 
"Scottish universities have been flooded for years with students from Northern Ireland as increasing numbers find a triumphalist republican ethos in Ulster’s two universities unacceptable."
Jamie O’Reilly, former Down and Queen’s University GAA centre half forward, grew up playing for his club in Loughinisland, not knowing anything outside of Gaelic games and the community that surrounded it. He said that GAA and other sports clothing was territorial and aggressive:
"It sounds stupid to you and I, and it is, but if you wear a certain type of tracksuit in Northern Ireland for your sport, that’s making a statement, whether you want to or not. If you go south of the border and we said that at UCD or Trinity, we’d be laughed at and rightly."
Richard Morrock in ‘The Psychology of Genocide and Violent Oppression: A Study of Mass Cruelty’ wrote:
"In the towns [in Northern Ireland] were Catholics were numerous enough to take office, they discriminated against protestants in turn."
G.K. Chesterton wrote:
"Every sectarian is more sectarian in his unsectarianism than he is in his sect."
GK Chesterton also wrote in 'What I Saw in America' (1922):
"Nine times out of ten a man’s broad-mindedness is necessarily the narrowest thing about him"
Jim Larkin said:
"I have tried to kill sectarianism, whether in Catholics or Protestants. I am against bigotry or intolerance on either side."
Andrew Sullivan said:
"Faiths, even the most popular, are by definition sectarian."
In the 1960s Michael Viney produced a series of stories on Northern Ireland for the Irish Times, called ‘Journey North’. On May 4 1964 'Not The Wild Ones’ was published, featuring Belfast Catholic Brian F. Emigrated. Here’s what he had to say to Michael Viney about life in Northern Ireland:
"Brian F. Emigrated from the Republic to Britain and was away from Ireland for 14 years. He is now chief engineer with a late electronics organisation in Belfast. He brings to his view of the North a brisk sophistication which is aggravating and challenging by turns. He says: 
“I was never made to Catholic until I came to work here. I mean that in Britain it simply didn’t come up. Here there’s all this sidling around in the conversation to find out what foot you dig with. I put up with that for a while, but now I say: ‘Look, you want to now if I’m a Teague or a Prod - Well I’m a Teague.’ 
“Mind you the real bigots here are the Catholics, all trying to be so goody-goody, so holier-than-thou. I started my two youngest in a catholic primary school, but now I’ve taken them away. They were starting to say of people: 'What can you expect - They’re only protestants.’ I wasn’t going to let them grow up with that nonsense. Now they’re at a protestant school."
Conor Cruise O'Brien wrote in his autobiography, ‘Memoir: My Life and Themes’ (pp. 428-430):
"I didn’t in fact think that the unionists in Northern Ireland were any more bigoted than nationalists. But because for historical reasons unionists’ bigotry tended to be uninhibitedly expressed, while nationalist bigotry tended to be covered over with layers of pseudo-ecumenical rhetoric, outsiders - British, American and other - tended to find nationalists nicer and more "reasonable” than unionists, a perception which has been greatly to the advantage of the former."
Conor Cruise O’Brien wrote in 'States of Ireland':
"The role of the church is encouraging, exalting and extending the kind of tribal-sectarian self-righteousness which forms a culture in which violence so easily multiplies. This is more obvious on the Protestant side… On the catholic side the imaging is subtler, or slyer, as one might expect, but no less effective in inculcating the conviction that ‘we’ are morally superior to ‘them’… Over generations the Irish catholic clergy systematically fosters, not a militant, overt anti-Protestantism, but a well-enforced avoidance of social contact when Protestants, a sort of creeping freeze-out."
David Moss, Mountmellick, County Laois said (Irish Independent, Saturday May 15 2014):
"A plaque commemorating the Mountmellick (Republic of Ireland) men killed in World War I was at one time located in our local St Joseph’s parish church - but it was removed in the 1950s, on the orders of parish priest Fr Burbage. The priest, who was an ardent nationalist and supporter of Eamon de Valera, was an old IRA man and resented anybody who served in the British army. But taking out the World War I memorial was an act of vandalism. I would like to find out where that memorial is and maybe out it back in the church."
Joseph Hocking wrote in ‘Is Home Rule Rome Rule?’, 1913:
"The largest linen manufactory in Ulster, perhaps in the world, is known in Belfast as the York Street Spinning Co. This company, at whose head is Sir William Crawford, employs between 5,000 and 6,000 hands, many of whom are boys and girls, and who are what is commonly known as ” half-timers,“ as far as their school life is concerned. 
Among these boys and girls are a large number of Roman Catholics. The company, on their own initiative, provided and fitted out a day school for these half-timers, and paid for their education. For some time all went well. The Protestant boys and girls were educated side by sidg with the Roman Catholics, and no religious bias was given in their education. The Roman Catholic parents were to all appearances perfectly happy and contented with the arrangement, as indeed it was natural they should be. The school was good, and the circumstances under which they were educated were favourable to the well-being of the young people. 
Then the priest appeared. He visited the mills, and told Sir William Crawford that he could not allow Roman Catholic children to be educated side by side with Protestants. Sir William urged in reply that the children were perfectly happy, and that the results were good. The priest replied that he wished the children to have a Roman Catholic education. The employer then told the priest that as it seemed a pity to withdraw the children, he would be pleased to offer] facilities for the clergyman of the Roman Catholic Church to come to the schools and give the children instruction in their own faith. The priest would not accept this. He said he wanted a Roman Catholic atmosphere for children of that faith, and nothing else would satisfy him. He therefore withdrew all the Roman Catholic children from the school (note the power the priest must have to be able to do this), and placed them in a Romanist school. In spite of this, however, this "bigoted Protestant” continued to pay for their education, not diminishing by one jot or tittle the amount he had previously contributed for this purpose. 
And yet Sir William Crawford is a Presbyterian, and a Protestant of Protestants. He is, if I remember aright, the son of a Presbyterian clergyman, and has a son who is in the Presbyterian ministry and labouring as a foreign missionary. I wonder whether a similar instance of broad charity can be found among those who condemn “Ulster bigotry.” I wonder, too, whether in the whole annals of the Church of Rome an action even remotely corresponding to this can be found among its convinced believers."
George Best said:
"In those days, even football support was divided on sectarian grounds,” he wrote. “If you were a Protestant, you automatically supported Linfield, and if you were a Catholic you supported Glentoran… 
We used to get a few taunts from the Catholics, calling us Proddy bastards and we would call them Fenians…It was a bit like being a member of the Rotary Club or the Freemasons."
Pete Shirlow said at the 2017 Sinn Fein Ard Fheis:
"One time I did feel out of place was when I was going to a Rangers Celtic game and I was walking towards the ground I realized that my my friend who had the tickets pointed out that we were sitting in the Celtic end. I quickly gave him my coat because he was wearing a Rangers shirt, this was quite embarrassing for him because he was about four stone lighter and he looked like a man who turned up in a one-man tent. As we entered the ground and sat down the first thing we heard was that usual statement we have at our sporting occasions - racism and sectarianism will not be accepted. As soon as that ended, *some* I’ll use the word some because some was an important word when we talk about sectarianism. Some Celtic fans sang a song in which they said that ‘we’d rather be Pakistani *not the word they used* than a prod’. That was responded to by some Rangers fans singing the song saying that they were up to their knees in Catholic *not the word they used* blood. The guy beside me who’s a Celtic fan turned to me and said will these Rangers fans never change. I turned to him and said, “what about the Celtic fans?” 
“Oh that’s different, they’re just having a laugh.” 
I never went back."


Ulick O'Connor wrote in his diary, May 4 1981:
"This brings me back to the basic question. How come we could welcome in people wanted for war crimes but balked at taking in a few Jewish children? No matter how much we wriggle, the answer is Irish nationalism. In simple terms we would take a drink with anybody who came into our pub provided he wore a badge which proclaimed him an enemy of England - and by extension an enemy of England is our friend."
He continued:
"I would like to think it the silence of shame. But I suspect the source of some of the silence is a sullen self-deception and a denial of the raw data. For all their great virtues - courage, manliness and creativity - denial disfigured my grandfather’s and father’s generation. Although rich in physical courage they seemed to lose their moral compass whenever Irish nationalism and Anglophobia came between them and the real world. 
In particular they were in denial about three issues which cast a shadow on the probity of their proud republicanism. These three issues were (a) the morality of the 1916 Rising, (b) the pogroms against ordinary Irish Protestants (as distinct from the deplorable but defensible attacks on Anglo-Irish Big Houses), (c) an ambivalence about Nazi Germany which persisted until well after the war - an ambivalence which was rooted in antipathy to England and to Jews."
He continued:
"We deny we did anything sectarian to southern Irish Protestants. We deny we did anything to be ashamed of in our dealings with Nazi Germany and its Jewish victims. We deny any complicity in the Provos’ sectarian campaign against northern Protestants."
He finished:
"The truth is that Ireland still suffers from a suppressed form of Anglophobia and anti-Semitism - and it emerges in anti-Americanism. After all, a major component in our current antipathy to American policy is anger against America for supporting Israel. And is it an accident that we were one of the last states in the western world to recognise the state of Israel? 
Anglophobia and anti-Semitism allowed us to shut the national door on Jewish children."
On July 9 1943, Dáil Éireann held a debate on The Emergency Powers Act. This law was primarily designed to curtail IRA activity. Independent TD Oliver Flanagan unleashed an astonishing attack on Jews:
"How is it that we do not see any of these Acts directed against the Jews, who crucified Our Saviour nineteen hundred years ago, and who are crucifying us every day in the week? …. There is one thing that Germany did, and that was to rout the Jews out of their country. Until we rout the Jews out of this country it does not matter a hair’s breadth what orders you make. Where the bees are there is the honey, and where the Jews are there is the money."
Beckett had said in 1941: "You simply couldn’t stand by with your arms folded."

Churchill said:
"But for the loyalty of Northern Ireland we should have been confronted with slavery and death and the light which now shines so strongly throughout the world would have bee quenched."
David Ervine wrote that "Sectarianism is a flower that’s cultivated, nurtured, and owes its origins to historical circumstances and socio-political causes." Speaking in the summer of 2005 on the radio with Lesley Riddoch, David Ervine said:
"Sectarianism doesn’t grow wild as a flower in a field. It’s in the window box. It’s in the potting shed and it’s nurtured and it’s handed on generation to generation. We need to take sectarianism out by the roots. Now the only way to do that is to replace it. I don’t advocate it as any kind of formula for living but whether I like it or not it’s here. The only way to do that is to make common purpose. We can live as close together in this society as 50 metres apart. If our trajectory is good we can hit each other, if our voices are loud we can hear each other but we don’t know each other." 
But of course sectarianism is not unique to Northern Ireland. Eugenio Biagini, professor of modern British and European history at the University of Cambridge, wrote in the FT:
"In trying to explain sectarianism it is important to bear in mind that it was not a uniquely Irish problem. Indeed, much of the most stimulating work on the subject explores it in a comparative perspective, as illustrated by Timothy Wilson’s study on Ulster and Upper Silesia and Guido Franzinetti’s exploration of the parallels and contrasts between the Balkans and Ireland. 
They remind us that, despite its 17th-century precedents, sectarianism is a quintessentially modern and postmodern phenomenon, typical of countries that have experienced revolutions and civil wars. In the 20th century it was often been rooted in religious divides, as in anti-Jewish pogroms, the Spanish Civil War, and ethnic cleansing in the Balkans in the 1990s. 
But there was also a sectarianism inspired by purely secular “religions”. Thus hundreds of people were murdered by communist partisans in the Apennine areas of central Italy in 1945-6. Most of them were innocent, in the sense that they posed no military threat, but were killed for their opinions and past allegiance to a fallen regime."
Andrew Sullivan wrote:
"No one should doubt that hoary Protestant bigotry was an obstacle the JFK campaign had to overcome in 1960."
Erica Grieder said:
"Just fifty years ago, there were plenty of people in this country [United States] who would have flatly disputed the suggestion that segregation is unconstitutional, and many of them were mainstream political and civic leaders." 

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