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:
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.