John Paul II was no friend of the Irish

From time to time we get contributions from our readership on topics that are important to them. This comes from a US reader who comments under the name Napper. He has this to say on the relationship of the late Pope and Irish America:

By Napper:

History will show that this man was no friend of the Irish people either in their own country or in the Diaspora.

He went to Ireland as a guest of the Irish faithful and championed English rule in a portion of their island. It is similar to spitting on a woman’s kitchen floor after she has asked you to sit for tea.

It really is. And he showed his lack of manners in doing so.

In the United States, where the Irish immigrants brought Catholicism and instituted the Catholic school system which is the second largest
educational system after public schools, and the Catholic hospital system which dominates the health facility operation in the country, he ignored them.

Without the suffering and the fortitude of the Irish in America, he would never have received such a welcome and most certainly would never have been received by the chief executive of the United States. Yet he never acknowleged this achievement.

Nowhere in his visit to the States did he mention the great Irish Cardinal of New York, Armagh’s John Hughes, who called on the Ancient Order of Hibernians to surround the Catholic churches in Manhattan with clubs in their hands to protect them from the Protestant mobs who wanted all immigrants deported.

Nor did he talk about the vast amount of money collected in Irish Catholic churches in this country and forwarded to Rome every year via the Peter’s Pence collections. He showed bad manners once again.

All Protestants and Catholics of other ethnic background in the U,S. know instinctively that the Irish Americans preponderate in matters of the Roman Catholic faith in America. Without the massive help and generosity of this great force in American Catholicism, the Church would have long ago floundered in the United States.

And it may very well do just that in the near future if, for some reason, the Irish in America decide they have given enough. It seems Pope John Paul II was the only one who decided, knowingly or
unknowingly, to ignore these contributions.

It has been said that the two things an Irish American never forgets are a tune and a grudge. And the Irish American community will not forget.

  • Lafcadio

    Most people in rugby circles call them “the Lions”

  • G-Dawg

    We should not be worrying about the name,British and Irish Lions,as this shall stay,we should be worrying about the disgraceful exclusion of Humphries,as well as Johnny O’Connor.Hell they should just rename this Lions squad, ”ENGERLAND with a few paddies,welsh and jocks”.There is a disgraceful bias towards English players,even more so than in years gone by.

  • maca

    Ringo
    “How do you identify with the Irish state?”

    Calling the state your own, feeling part of that state and nation for example. The state can evolve, that doesn’t change anything.

    “I was Irish for a while but then they got all conservative/liberal so now I’m a Mexican” + “but without a human link”
    There needs to be a reason for identifying with that state, I thought that much was pretty obvious. I’m not talking about waking up one morning and suddenly deciding to be French or Korean. Obviously there needs to be some kind of link otherwise it doesn’t make any sense.
    The discussion was about Irish Americans, what connection do you think they have? None? Are they just donning an Irish hat for fun or do you think they have a reason to identify with the Irish state, such as a grandparent or even great grandparent which came from Ireland?

    “Is there a scale of Irishness”

    I don’t believe in scales of Irishness.

  • maca

    G-dawg
    “There is a disgraceful bias towards English players … ” you could be right, I don’t follow the Lions games, but 11 of the current squad are Irish lads.

  • G-Dawg

    Maca
    There are 20 English players on the Lions team this year despite them being atrocious in the 6 Nations.

  • maca

    But G-Dawg, 80% of Britain is English so it looks like they are under-represented 😉

  • Ringo

    SeamusG –

    totally agree. I think the Ryder Cup trumps the Lions, but that’s only down to the sheer bitterness of the rivalry. Seeing likes of Monty and Seve taking flak from the Americans really gets me going.

  • Gerry O’Sullivan

    We went over the whole “British Lions” or “British & Irish Lions” thing a couple of weeks ago on this thread

    Davros
    I think it should be called the British Language….After all there’s been a substantial input from the rest of the British Isles.

    …and from the wider English speaking world too, so maybe we should call it Internationalish :o)

  • Congal Claen

    Hi George,

    “sorry but the TCD Young unionists don’t count as an independent and verifiable source in this instance.”
    Whereas, you do? 😉
    “For a start, they conveniently neglected to mention the very important fact that the Trinity students burnt a tricolour to start the whole incident off.”
    Incorrect. They did mention it. I conveniently neglected to mention it.
    “The story as I know it does not involve the burning of the union flag.”
    But then you hadn’t heard of any flag burning in your glorious land as your fellow countrymen wouldn’t stoop to such lows. However, the British embassy being burnt in Dublin shows that to be untrue. Maybe, you conveniently neglected to mention it? 😉
    Hi G-Dawg,

    “If we accepted the British Lions/British Isles title, then we would be saying that we are british, which we are NOT.”

    In relation to the Irish rugby team, would you also agree that…

    if we (Unionists) accepted the RoI anthem/flag, then we would be saying that we are citizens of the RoI, which we are NOT?

  • SeamusG

    Ringo,
    You’re right about the Ryder Cup (and I can’t wait for the next one) but I think part of that is because it’s against the yanks!

  • maca

    CC
    “In relation to the Irish rugby team, would you also agree that…”

    False comparison.

    “if we (Unionists) accepted the RoI anthem/flag,”

    Since Unionists don’t accept the RoI anthem/flag then what’s the problem? No one is expecting you to accept them. 😉

  • Ringo

    get a grip G-Dawg – the likes of Neil Back and Martin Johnson were played absolutely fantastic stuff on Lions tours at times when they weren’t being picked for England’s first XV.

    Do your politics make you so blind as to not recognise the depth of talent available to England as opposed to any of the other 3 nations?

    Same sort of nonsense we hear from non-rugby people in Ulster re O’Gara/Humphreys….

  • George

    Congal,
    I hate to break this to you but Bloody Sunday was also before my time (was barely on this earth) so I can’t say whether a union flag was burnt at that time.

    But I could imagine that burning Union flags were hung on the front of the building above symbolic coffins following the massacre of 14 civilians by the British Army.

    If you want to equate this situation in 1972 following a British massacre of the innocents, which led to a day of national mourning, with the ritualistic burning of Irish flags, papal flags, GAA jerseys etc. on an annual basis by unionist communities as a celebration throughout Northern Ireland, where young children are encouraged into the practise fire ahead.

    I believe the facts speak for themselves.

    Do you have any book source on the Haughey incident?

  • Davros

    maybe we should call it Internationalish :o)

    Ach Gerry, British has special resonances for Irish people 😉

  • You’re British and you know you are

    “ritualistic burning of Irish flags, papal flags, GAA jerseys etc. on an annual basis by unionist communities as a celebration throughout Northern Ireland, where young children are encouraged into the practise fire ahead.”

    Getting bored of this – the same thing happens both ways and both sides should wise up.

  • Chris Gaskin

    I always knew you were a Unionist at heart Davros 😉

  • Davros

    Do you think events in Ballymena involving a crowd of youths, hurley sticks, tricolours and a sectarian attack on a protestant youth will increase or lessen the chances that a tricolour will be burned in Ballymena this year George ?

  • G-Dawg

    Ringo
    20 english players
    Andrew Sheridan should not be there
    Matt Steven should not be there
    Andy Titterrell should not be there
    Julian White should not be there either
    Steve Thompson couldnt hit a barn door from 5 yards.I dont deny that england have a vast array of rugby talent,but for them to have 20 players in the lions squad this year is just plain Rubbish.Chris Patterson was left out ,Hodgson and Ollie Smith are in there,wtf did they do in the 6 nations,the answer is nothing..There should have been more Welsh/scottish and Irishmen in the lions party,that is the opinion of everyone not just me.

  • Ringo

    Maca

    Calling the state your own, feeling part of that state and nation for example. The state can evolve, that doesn’t change anything.

    Two things:

    1) How is this practically applied in the case of an American whose Great Grandfather emigrated from here? As you agree that there needs to be a human link to go with the emotional link, what would this guy need to do/be to fulfill your criteria?

    2) As Unionists don’t identify with the Irish state does that mean they aren’t Irish?

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    “2) As Unionists don’t identify with the Irish state does that mean they aren’t Irish?”

    Correct! 🙂

  • griff

    the team selection does seem a bit off i have to say, seeing as we did so bad this year and since the world cup really. thought they’d be more guys from wales at least. we’ll have to wait and see who actually gets time on the pitch though, i suspect a lot of those english players won’t be that busy.

    do Irish people resent the Irish Americans calling themselves Irish?

  • Davros

    I always knew you were a Unionist at heart Davros 😉

    You and me both then Chris LOL

    p.s. I was nice, I didn’t mention that you are a closet-stoop! ( Into hiding now ! )

  • Chris Gaskin

    Keep wishing Mr Davros 😉

    Only one of us has ever voted stoop and it wasn’t me. I would vote for Paul Berry before I would vote stoop.

  • Ringo

    G-Dawg

    There should have been more Welsh/scottish

    More Scots? Is your aim to improve the touring squad or score political points? Why aren’t you calling for Donnacha O’Callaghan’s replacement – what exactly did he do in the 6 nations?

    Get over it.

  • Lafcadio

    G-Dawg – there were a couple of questionable choices, in fact a couple of choices that look just downright nonsensical – Balshaw, Greenwood and O’Gara for example – but Julian White was not one of them, and nor was Steve Thompson, who looked to be starting to regain his form last season.

    Reminds me of a wag after last year’s England match who wrote that Thompson was now a cert for the Lions test team, as the hooker most capable of throwing accurately to O’Connell and O’Kelly at every lineout..

  • George

    Davros,
    “Do you think events in Ballymena involving a crowd of youths, hurley sticks, tricolours and a sectarian attack on a protestant youth will increase or lessen the chances that a tricolour will be burned in Ballymena this year George ? “

    It shouldn’t make any difference unless of course you believe this was a state-funded attack by the Irish government using fifth columnists?

    As I said, I let the facts speak for themselves.

    If unionists want to use weasel words to justify their annual celebration of Irish flag burning throughout Northern Ireland they can.

    I see your weasel justification is that a Protestant youth was beaten up in Ballymena. Why don’t you just advocate burning the local Catholic Church in Ballymena while you’re at it because I’m sure those youths were all Catholic?

    Oh, you might as well burn down the local GAA hall while you’re at it because they must be GAA people if they have hurleys.

    Sheesh Davros, I believe everyone else will see the practise for what it is.

  • Ringo

    beano –

    So you’re not Irish?

    Are you Welsh, Scottish, Manx, English etc? Or are you ‘Simply British’ – unlike all the rest of the Britons?

    Wouldn’t the Queen think you were Irish? Why is the RIR so named?

  • Lafcadio

    Ringo – as for Scots, surprisingly enough given their abysmal form, a couple of them can feel slightly aggrieved – Paterson for example, for having been passed over for Balshaw; Jason White who was in storming form until he was injured – I would much rather have hime in my squad than Dallaglio or Hill; Ally Hogg and Sean Lamont had outside chances of scraping on board, Lamont in fact finished the 6N more strongly than Hickie, pleased though I am to see him make the squad.

  • Davros

    These burnings don’t happen in a vacuum George.

    And I’ll bet if a RC youth had been beaten up after a gang of Union Flag toting thugs turned up at a GAA match you would be singing a different tune…

  • G-Dawg

    Ringo
    Donnacha O’Callaghan shouldnot be there,in my opinion unless a player is injured their should be a prerequisite that the player has played in at least 75% of the six nations campaign,Back and Dallaglio turned their backs on International rugby last year,what right do they have to represent the Lions when they havent even represented their own countries lately?why should they take the their place instead of the likes of Johnny O’ Connor who busted his arse all year

  • George

    Davros,
    perhaps I would be singing a different tune but I certainly wouldn’t be burning any British flags and I certainly wouldn’t be cheering on children and encouraging them as they did it.

    But then again, I was probably raised with a different moral compass, one that sees incitement to hatred for what it is – hatred.

  • Ringo

    Lafcadio –

    I’ll defer to your wisdom in oval ball matters!

    I don’t think we’ve any grounds for complaint seeing as we only managed one win of any merit in the championship this year and a lot of the players looked distinctly average.

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    Ringo that was a bit tongue in cheek.

    This debate could go on ad nauseum but with the Sinners/Irish government redefining Irishness as something akin to an ‘opposite’ of Britishness for the past 80+ years, I don’t think that term can adequately describe how I feel I fit in. Northern Irish will do, and I think it’s as a reaction to what I describe above this that this term has been coined to recognise that there is more to being an Ulsterman than being ‘Simply British’.

  • maca

    Ringo
    “1) How is this practically applied in the case of an American whose Great Grandfather emigrated from here? As you agree that there needs to be a human link to go with the emotional link, what would this guy need to do/be to fulfill your criteria?”

    Is his great grandfather not the human link?

    I don’t know Ringo, it’s not just back and white. You could argue that Irish Americans are not Irish, they are just that “Irish-American”, that might solve the problem. This is too taxing an issue for me when i’m trying to concentrate on work! 😉

    A related story: on a trip to Michigan I met a guy who stated, when told him I was Irish, he was “half-Irish”. When I asked which half he said his great grandaddy’s granddaddy was Irish. Funnt math in the US.

    “2) As Unionists don’t identify with the Irish state does that mean they aren’t Irish?”

    Well, “Northern Irish” and/or “British” would be my answer IF I was to give an answer but I don’t want to incur the wrath of unionists so I won’t give an answer 😉

  • Lafcadio

    Ringo – quite right, I was surprised we had 11, given our series of insipid performances. Particularly surprised at O’Gara’s inclusion, and John Hayes as well, with Adam Jones left out. O’Gara in particular can count himself lucky, I imagine what got him on the plane was that if Woodward had picked Humphreys (which he was widely to have been considering) it would be a rather damning indictment of his head coach’s judgement over the last year..

    O’Callaghan was always going, Woodward has been a fan for a long time, and he’s exactly the kind of athletic, aggressive second row who could do a bit of damage in NZ, I wouldn’t be surprised if he wound up in the test side. I was disappointed that O’Connor didn’t make it, although of all the “WC old boys” Back is probably the one still consistently playing well – so experience won out.

  • Lafcadio

    “…which he was widely rumoured to have been…”

  • Davros

    For all your posting about bad behaviour by northern prods, there’s still no sign of any condemnation from you George for the tricolour toting thugs who disrupted a soccer match or the sectarian attack. Says it all about your moral compass.

  • George

    Davros,
    you never made clear that you were looking for me to condemn some young thugs beating up some poor kid in Ballymena but I am happy to – unreservedly.

    Happy now?

  • George

    I think the difference between you and me Davros is when I see flag toting thugs, I see thugs, when you see flag toting thugs, you see flags.

  • Davros

    you never made clear that you were looking for me to condemn some young thugs beating up some poor kid in Ballymena

    Interesting admission that condemnations have to be forced from you George. That kind of devalues them.
    Makes them appear insincere, only for show.

  • SeamusG

    “I think the difference between you and me Davros is when I see flag toting thugs, I see thugs, when you see flag toting thugs, you see flags.”
    …wheareas I simply run…

  • Congal Claen

    Hi George,

    The reason the flag issue came up is because you keep going on about it. You are obsessed with it. For instance in this thread – which has fek all to do with flags you said…

    “By the way, is that Francis Meagher you mention the man who advocated “citizenship for the negro” also the man who is credited with the creation of the Irish tricolour, you know the one burned each year as some kind of dirty Catholic rag by many northern unionists?”

    You seem to think that similar burnings do not happen in the RoI. But that’s not true. I’ve given you several examples of quite high profile Union flag burnings. Therefore, in future threads when you mention flag burnings again (because we both know you will) I’ll be posting the same examples of the same practice in the RoI.

    No side has a monopoly on bigotry in Ireland. To think so, is bigoted itself.

  • SeamusG

    *whereas*

  • George

    “You seem to think that similar burnings do not happen in the RoI. But that’s not true. I’ve given you several examples of quite high profile Union flag burnings. Therefore, in future threads when you mention flag burnings again (because we both know you will) I’ll be posting the same examples of the same practice in the RoI.”

    Congal,
    you have given me one example, not several.

    The difference is that burning the Irish national flag and Irish and Catholic symbols is a celebrated annual ritual throughout the length and breath of unionist parts of Northern Ireland where children are encouraged by their parents to get involved in the hate fest.

    The burning of a union flag in Dublin in 1972 in front of a coffin symbolising civilians massacred by the British Army was a one-off event. The only other unproven incident you can name was in 1945!!

    I am sorry you are unable to see the evil of unionist communities denegrating another culture and religion as part of their own celebrations and would rather defend this behaviour.

    Such acts are not an expression of culture they are an expression of hatred.

    If you need more proof that flag burning is an expression of hatred look at the one instance of union flag burning in the Irish Republic you named, when the people were fuelled with it following the Bloody Sunday massacre.

    If you fail to see the difference, then there is nothing more I can say to you.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi George,

    “you have given me one example, not several.”

    I gave you 2. You chose to ignore one. As I have already said I don’t keep an exhaustive list on the subject. You implied it never happened. I’ve proved it has. My guess would be that it has happened more than this. Just because I can’t name all instances doesn’t mean it isn’t more widespread.

    “I am sorry you are unable to see the evil of unionist communities denegrating another culture and religion as part of their own celebrations and would rather defend this behaviour.”

    Evil might be a bit strong. However, you’re jumping to conclusions that I’m defending it. I’m merely pointing out that it also happens in the RoI. In fact, I believe I already said that I couldn’t give a toss whether Charlie Haughey burnt a Union flag. However you’re obsessed with it. Flag burning seems to be the very essence of evil to you. Yet, an embassy being burnt down or members of your government giving money to the Ra to wage a terrorist campaign against my fellow countrymen seems way off the radar screen. (Correct me if I wrong here). To quote yourself…

    “If you fail to see the difference, then there is nothing more I can say to you.”

  • George

    Congal,
    the other incident I don’t count because the story I heard about what happened in 1945 (I wasn’t there myself) didn’t involve burning the union flag and you have been unable to give me a valid source and only quote the Trinity Young Unionists (they weren’t there either).

    You still seem to be clinging on to the idea that it’s okay to burn flags and rather than try and prevent it all you want to do is justify it with your “my fellow countrymen” stuff.

    I could go on about how the British government supported a terrorist campaign against the people of my country, how they terrorised and murdered people wholesale, how they tried to crush by force Ireland’s democratically elected government and imprisoned its elected representatives, how they helped loyalist terrorists etc. etc.

    None of that would justify Irish people in 2005 deciding that because of all they have suffered, denegrating British culture was a valid expression of Irish culture.

    The only reason I can come up with why this stuff goes on north of the border is that unionist ideology obviously feeds on the denegration of Irish culture so can’t so easily remove the flag burning from its celebrations.

    There is no room for hatred.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi George,

    “You still seem to be clinging on to the idea that it’s okay to burn flags and rather than try and prevent it all you want to do is justify it with your “my fellow countrymen” stuff.”

    I don’t. I just think you suffer a massive over reaction to it. Why did you bring it up on this thread which has nothing to do with flags? Debate the issue at present. Look where we’ve ended up after you bringing up your old chestnut about flag burning…

    “I could go on about how the British government supported a terrorist campaign against the people of my country, how they terrorised and murdered people wholesale, how they tried to crush by force Ireland’s democratically elected government and imprisoned its elected representatives, how they helped loyalist terrorists etc. etc.”

    You could. And I’d debate those issues with you.

    “There is no room for hatred.”

    Agreed.

  • kitty

    “and sexist to boot – Irish women, their place is in the kitchen making tea…. I’d love to see Napper come out with this stuff with a few of the female Irish republicans I have met LOL “

    Did you mention to them your theory on Mrs. Nelson and Pat Finucane?
    You never ‘met’ a female Irish Republican in your life- you ‘met’ and ‘cyber-engaged’ ahem with an Oirish, IRA (Black 47 )t-shirt wearing , beer swilling loony. That’s it.

  • kitty

    Davros” Interesting admission that condemnations have to be forced from you George. That kind of devalues them.
    Makes them appear insincere, only for show.”

    Well this is one for the books. So Davros, would you like to share your sincere thoughts on the murder of Rosemary Nelson and Pat Finucane? You know the ones?
    Speaking of only for show, what would you say your posts are here? I have some that you made that contradict every show you put on here.