Anti-Irish upsurge predicted in Britain over Pope’s poaching

Rathfriland farmer’s son Francis Campbell, (seen above giving British diplomatic uniform a rare outing), until recently British ambassador to the Holy See,  is one of the latest to appear in WikiLeaks, warning of possible serious consequences of the Pope’s clumsy offer to receive dissident Anglicans into the Roman Catholic Church.

Campbell told Noyes ( a US diplomat) “Anglican-Vatican relations were facing their worst crisis in 150 years as a result of the pope’s decision”, a cable sent to Washington shortly afterwards revealed.

Campbell said: “The crisis is worrisome for England’s small, mostly Irish-origin, Catholic minority. There is still latent anti-Catholicism in some parts of England and it may not take much to set it off.” He warned: “The outcome could be discrimination or in isolated cases, even violence, against this minority.”

 A fascinating read which on the face of it seems improbable these days, bearing in mind that there was no love lost between the quite small number of Anglo-Catholics involved and their fellow Anglican militant evangelicals who would be inclined to say good riddance. Who else among the largely secular English even notices the schism? It would be interesting to know on what Campbell based this conclusion. Or was he trying to scare the Vatican off by invoking the chill atmosphere of 70s Britain against the immigrant Irish at the height of the Troubles?

On the other hand, this one at the height of the child abuse upheaval within the Irish hierarchy comes as no surprise and covers familiar ground.

The Vatican believes the Irish government failed to respect and protect Vatican sovereignty during the investigations.

Much of the Irish public views the Vatican protests as pettily procedural and failing to confront the real issue of horrific abuse and cover-up by Church officials.

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  • The Word

    “Who else among the largely secular English even notices the schism?”

    I’d be inclined to agree with you, Brian, if I hadn’t come across a rabid Protestant cleric from mid-England who, in a response to my reply to his letter to a local editor about spiritual reactions to 9/11, sent me a brochure of hundreds of books and pamphlets all directed at the Pope and the Catholic Church.

    There are those who notice and we have them here as well.

  • gréagóir o frainclín

    “Anti-Irish upsurge predicted in Britain over Pope’s poaching”

    A ludicruous scaremongering headline!

  • Greenflag

    It’s all about marketing , enhancing the revenue stream and winning more ‘suckers ‘ for the biggest con job this side of the Jordan .

    Mr Campbell might not have recognised it yet but there is probably more latent anti Catholicism in Ireland -North and South these days than in England . The Pope avoided Ireland on his last visit to this part of the world .

    As it’s the weekend a little lightening of mood is perhaps needed and what better area than that great divisive question beloved of religious nit pickers on when does human life begin .

    A catholic priest , an anglican vicar and a jewish rabbi were asked the question by an angel who had descended from wherever one fine day .

    “The beginning of life ‘ At conception of course , said the priest !

    ‘When the child is born ‘said the vicar .

    ‘And you Rabbi when does human life begin? ‘ asked the angel .

    ‘Well ‘ said the rabbi -when all the children are grown up and married -and gone and the mortgage paid off ‘ then life begins ‘ 😉

  • Alias

    The Pope’s visit to the UK was carefully engineered to avoid contact with the Irish community so as to remove this stigma from the religion in the UK. Likewise, the media coverage complied with this and the result was that not a single Irish accent was heard during the visit or a tricolour in view. But then again, the euro is the offical currency in the Vatican so perhaps I’m biased…

  • joeCanuck

    Old one but a good one nonethe less.

    As to the main thesis, ““The outcome could be discrimination or in isolated cases, even violence, against this minority.” (Catholics,that is), it’s simply a load of codswallop. The majority of those who might be antisocial couldn’t give a shit about the Catholics; many of them are Catholics (nominally) themselves.They are too busy targetting the Jewish folk (still) and those with less than a whiteish hue.
    As to “a brochure of hundreds of books and pamphlets all directed at the Pope and the Catholic Church” I bet the protestants spare every minute of Sunday reading those once they have finished with the New of the World and all of the other “quality” papers they subscribe to.

  • pippakin

    Anglicanism has dropped so far all that is left is a rump of ‘social worker’ activists. In forty odd years in England I rarely met anyone who went to church regularly and I never met anyone who cared which church people went to.

    Christianity is increasing in popularity there but I doubt the beneficiaries are either Anglican or Catholic. I get the impression it is the more fundamental churches gaining ground, perhaps in response to the decline of actual biblical teaching, especially in the Anglican church.

    There was no way there would have been an Anglican uprising against Catholicism. I did hear that the Anglican church had ‘given’ some churches to the RCC for the use of…

  • Drumlins Rock

    the only tensions caused by the Popes flirting with Anglo-Catholics would have been within that particular groups own members, and rarely would they have been “Irish” or prone to violence (although it would make a great episode plot for Mid Somer Murders). It does make you wonder how much baggage the “Irish-English” still carry in their minds, we have seen it in many politicians, from Clair Short to Winston Churchill and Tony Blair, and dare I say in artists such as John Lennon etc.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    The headline is hyperbole but nevertheless there is a strong anti-Irish (and indeed anti-Irish Catholic) thread within English Catholicism.
    This dates back to 1155 and the controversial Papal bull (bull**** !) of Laudabiliter which gave the “Lordship” of Ireland to the King of England.
    The Pope who did this was Pape Adrian IV……aka Nicholas Breakspear……who was er……English.
    This effectively in the all Catholic world of the time in Europe. …made Irish people secondary to the English. Its a quasi religious doctrine that many in the English Catholic Church still believe.
    The subsequent colonisation of Ireland was “Catholic on Catholic”. It was not until the Reformation when most Anglo-Irish sided with the “old” Church that there was any real common cause between Irish colonised and English colonists.
    Old English recusants….the aristocratic families….who held the old Faith were extremely hostile to Irish nationalism of any kind. And of course the English Jacobites (and I have a long standing interest in Jacobitism) are hostile to the satanic nature (as they see it) of republicanism. Satan himself being the first Republican.

    Anyone who might have been on a community deputation from Ardoyne, Ballymurphy or the Bogside to Flax Street, Henry Taggart Hall or Fort George …..will have listened to British army officers lecture us with the words “but I am a Catholic too……..and my family hid priests from Cecil”.
    Initially the sheer number of Catholic officers in the British army stunned…….but actually they were deemed to be “the worst” in certain quarters. Robert Nairac has a whole exhibition in his honour at his old Catholic public school in Yorkshire.
    Robert Nairacs ahem ……enthusiasm for his work is of course much appreciated in certain unionist circles.
    Indeed there are whole “ancient” and “aristocratic” Papal orders such as the Spvereign Military Order of Malta (they trace their origins to the Crusades) ……which can only be officered by an aristocrat (which rules out any Irish). The current “Prince Grand Master” is Fra Matthew Festing whose father was Chief of the (British) Imperial General Staff.
    As the current Festing is fond of relating he served numerous tours in Norn Iron as an officer in the Coldstream Guards.
    As the late Cardinal O’Fiach was fond of saying “never trust an English Catholic”. He held that view before and after Cardinal Hume of Westminsters clumsy attempts to assert influence on Cardinal O’Fiachs Irish patch.

    Mr Walker draws attention to Ambassador Campbells Co Down upbringing. No big deal of course. Many take the Queens shilling in civil service jobs …..whether diplomatic service, motor tax office, DHSS offices and still manage to vote Sinn Féin. I draw no conclusion from the fact that Campbell represents Mrs Windsor……if the price is right Id consider it.
    But I draw a bigger conclusion from Campbells “Irish” Catholicism in Rathfriland/Drumgath parish in the Diocese of Dromore in the province of Armagh. He is known to be familiar with the works of “Jacobite” and penal times Bishop O’Garvey of Dromore …..particuarly his work in establishing illegal Mass Houses and schools in Rathfriland, Mayobridge, Newry etc.
    He would be familiar with the hedge school tradition of Irish Catholicism (that much would have been part of his education at St Colmans Violet Hill in Newry) as much as the time he spent as a lay deacon in the aristocratic surroundings of Westminster Cathedral.
    The fact is that he would be more aware than most of the fault lines between English and Irish Catholicism.
    As to his point about upsurge in anti-Irish feeling as a result of taking on Anglican priests and lay folk like Anne Widdicombe and John Selwyn Gummer……..he probably overstates the case but he would certainly have more contact with such people than I ever have…….and thru various interest groups (including online) I have met a few.

    There is a curious Evelyn Waugh/Brideshead Revisited/John Henry Newman/recusant/Jacobite/aristocratic ethos to the “English Chirch” which Irish folks merely attending a service in Westminster consider alien. As a consequence Londons ex pat community of French or Irish (or other “ethnics”) prefer their own churches there.
    The imperilaistic nature of the English (or French, Portuguese, Spanish etc) is a consequence of being championed by Popes from the middle ages.
    The story of Ireland within Catholicism is really no different from the Brazilians or Mexicans. ….second class people.
    The Churchs “aristocratic” “legitimist monarchists” (they havent gone away you know” are a malign counter force to the (comparative) egalitarian nature of churches in ex colonies.
    And this surely is Campbells point. That the “egalitarian wing” of the Church. Pope Benedict being only the third NOT to be crowned and the first to have the Papal crown removed from his coat of arms……is in many ways a traditionalist ……..but in the view of some ultras he is a dangerous and quasi satanic republican.

  • pippakin


    Absolutely fascinating and as someone who hasn’t bothered with the RCC for decades, both a reminder and an education. It seems the anti Catholic feeling the diplomat was referring to was actually coming from within the Catholic church?

    I understand the Anglican church had its own layers, those who considered themselves High Church or Anglo Catholic and which is where many/all of the converts are from.

    Tony Bliar was obviously lying (again) when he said he didn’t do religion, but the English are not, they really don’t ‘do’ religion in anything like enough numbers to be a threat to anyone.

  • gréagóir o frainclín

    The latest Wikileaks concerns the Vaticans disapproval of the Irish Government enquiries into the Murphy Report that concerned child rape crimes committed by members of the Catholic Church.

    The Irish government having such a yellow streak decided in the end not to press the Vatican on the issue.

  • pippakin

    gréagóir o frainclín

    Every Irish government has crawled to the Cardinals and Bishops, clearly blinded by the vermin. As I understand it the one civil servant who in the early days of independence suggested they stand up to Rome was virtually banished from Cabinet circles so great was his ‘treason’.

    It was not the Irish government who exposed the church it was the work of the MSM and courageous victims exposing the truth.

  • tacapall

    Greagoir no different than the British government under Tony Blair who issued two D notices that will keep the finding of two enquiries into child abuse by leading members of society, including government ministers, under lock and key for 100 years.


    The Vatican with its diplomatic immunity ambassadors etc are no different. The true scale of child abuse in our society will never be known because those in power use it as leverage.

  • pippakin


    I have seen claims about a D notice being issued in relation to Dunblane but I’ve never seen evidence that one was issued. I’m not sure how these things work but I would have thought the existence of a D notice should be verifiable. If one does exist I would be grateful if you could let me know.

  • tacapall

    Pippakin thats the whole point of a D notice, the media are not allowed to report anything about it but alternative media sites are under no such law, a bit like wikileaks. A simple search of any of the two headlines above would show you plenty of sites that have evidence about the enquiries.

  • tacapall

    Here you go Pippakin.

    Although not much evidence is produced concerning who was all involved it does prove that there was indeed a 100 year D notice issued.

  • pippakin


    And you think I have not checked them? I have probably read most if not all of them!

    The thing is as far as I know stating the existence of a D notice is not illegal. Not all the sites refer to a D notice but those that do seem to be saying ‘they understand, or have heard’, that’s not evidence of anything. If the D notice/s exist it should be possible to confirm or deny and thereby back up the article. If they can’t do that, whilst they may be telling the truth, they may also be indulging their own paranoia and dislike of certain individuals.

  • tacapall

    Pippakin the first few lines of the Times article which I’ve linked, what other proof do you need.

    “The documents, which were “closed” for 100 years but are being released after pressure from families of the 16 primary schoolchildren killed.”

  • fjh, surely the Papacy claimed supremacy over all Christian islands, something acknowledged by Columbanus and so long predating the arrival of Pope Adrian IV. The Irish government seems reluctant to challenge Papal Supremacy.

  • pippakin


    Sorry my reply crossed with yours and yes it does confirm the D notice on Dunblane but one of the people who saw the report and who is the father of one of the deceased and so ‘independent’ says:

    {You have a situation where a number of reports are being received by the police of behaviour towards children that is worrying and which outline similar types of behaviour. Yet each incident was viewed in isolation.”

    He said, however, that the papers did not “reveal anything more sinister that would imply a cover-up” and that they explained claims that off-duty police were at the school when the killings occurred. Dr North said that the documents showed that two off-duty officers had dropped their own children at the school on the morning of the tragedy; while one returned home before the shootings, another was in the school and headed for the gym when he heard shots.}

    So again there appears to be doubts about the claims and counter claims made about Dunblane, and that is just the one case!

    I understand the government said the D notice was to protect innocent children. Now I may not believe that! but it is on the surface reasonable since the claims being made affect the children more than anyone else.

    It needs more. I have had deep suspicions about some MPs for years but proof is apparently almost impossible to find. It would also be the worst crime to accuse someone of if you don’t have evidence to back it up.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Pippakin..thank you. But although my post was long by Slugger standards it was necessarily a shorthand version of something I have been studying most of my adult life.
    I suppose I could sum up by saying.
    1 anti Irish feeling in England pre-dates Religion.
    2 the journals from the Middle Ages where early English travellers report on Irish savagery “they eat their children” type of thing pre-dates Religion.
    3 even after Religion was an issue..Catholic Mary Tudor and Philip of Spain planted “Queens County and Kings County” (modern Laois and Offaly.
    4 the awarding of the Lordship by an English Pope (1155) s regarded in the English Catholic Church as a quasi-doctrine.
    5 After the Reformation most “English” planters did not change religion
    6 The Kingdom of Ireland was established in 1541 by Henry VIII in defiance of the Pope.
    7 In 1556, the Pope recognised the Kingdom of Ireland under Mary Tudor.
    8 English Catholics believe this to be part of Catholic canon law and therefore any nationalism is necessarily illegal. The recusant aristocratic aspect of English Catholicism …..usually socially and politically conservative are still insistent on this.
    9 The strategic alliance of Irish with Catholic Stuarts in 17th century emerges.
    10 Jacobitism recognises “three kingdoms” and is anti Act of Union (at least that was a motivating force in the Jacobite rebellions)…..the Sturats were in effect pro-union as are modern Jacobites.
    11 The French Revolution means Catholics are strategically linked to monarchy because of the anti Catholic nature of the Revolution.
    12 ….in 1795 the British Govt establishes Maynooth as a wall against “republican thought”. Jacobites see this as a sell out by the Catholic Church even though they are hostile to French Republicanism.

    Necessarily the Vatican likes to draw a veil over the past. The rights it gave the English Govt and Church (pre Reformation) are in fact no different from the rights it gave Spain and Portugal over Latin America.
    Indeed Jacobites would hold that the Latin American republics are actually illegal and anti Catholic states. The Vatican of course never actually changes legislation. It just moves on. No serious Catholic believes this nonsense of course but it does play well with imperialists.

    I cant second guess the reasoning of Ambassador Campbell. As a youngish man and presumably church going, Id place him as a “liberal” Catholic……mindful of his education at Violet Hill and he studied for the priesthood in Belgium (at the Irish College in Louvain) where many of the archives are held.
    His position on doctrinal matters is not publicly known. Nor should it be. But it is a matter of public record that many “liberal” Catholics are not thrilled that the Catholic Church is restricted from moving in a liberal direction by fast tracking Anglican converts with no more interest in Catholicism other than opposing ordination of women.
    It is also a priority of the English Catholic Church to be brought back into the “establishment”……Hume and Murphy-O’Connor (a certainty for House of Lords) have been ahem……ecumenical.
    And to rejoin the Establishment it has been necessary for English Catholic Church to distance itself from Ireland.

    I cant join all the dots. My point is that they are there to be joined and that theres much more to the story than Mr Walkers “take”.
    But I read it as a shot across the bows of the English Catholic Church…..rather than a shot across the bows of the Vatican.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Nevin, necessarily my replies are short (yes honestly).
    The Papacy does claim that right but its hardly practical, enforceable and in 2010 even the rump of the Catholic Church would not think it desirable.
    The Churchs definition of “Christian lands” is not exactly egalitarian and effectively a franchising out of papal authority thru France, Spain, Portugal, England etc.
    Not something that anyone except ultra Catholics (risible legitimists and monarchists…….and trust me on this…..I have met rather a lot) and virulent anti Catholics (Ive met a lot of them too) take seriously.

  • lover not a fighter

    Generally the English don’t take religion very seriously (and quite right too)

    Its all (all religions) pretty much mumbo jumbo that can be usefull to the human condition in times of consolation.

    Your lost if you start taking seriously all of the time. Lost I tell ya.

  • tacapall


    “But Michael Matheson, the Scottish National party’s shadow deputy justice minister, questioned whether the lord advocate’s review would go far enough.

    He said: “There are more documents covered by the 100-year rule than this police report. Some of them have nothing whatsoever to do with children”.

    Whilst it is understandable keeping the names of the children out of the public domain, not all documents were released concerning the inquiry and are still covered by the 100 year D notice.

  • pippakin


    Thank you, what a hornets nest!

    I think the ‘tribal’ dislike of pre religious days is unsurprising, each tribe was often its own kingdom and ‘outsiders’ were a very real threat.

    Not being interested in the RCC I have not studied the subject at any more than the most cursory level I am going to find some books and articles on the subject of Irish and English Catholicism.

  • pippakin


    Thank you for the link. I had seen it on another site a while ago. It does name two politicians but neither in a way to suggest they are implicated in anything more than in one case congratulating Hamilton on his school and the other of removing a child from a school run by Hamilton because it was too militaristic.

    I would be fascinated to read the full report but have still not heard anything that suggests it was included in the D notice for sinister reasons since, again it is about children, this time those at the summer camp, who would be affected by its publication.

    It may be that the children are a convenient fig leaf but there is no denying the possibility that it is a genuine reason however suspicious I for one am of it.

  • The Word


    I’m sure you don’t need to be told that you’re revealing a deep insecurity here to the extent that it is almost an inferiority complex in regard to the English.

    Republicanism should in my opinion be considered a threat to Catholicism. You seem to think that it shouldn’t and that conservatism is the reason for the opposition. Yet they are both competing contracurrents to what both deem as evil.

    One says that evil gets rid of evil and the other says that good is the opponent of evil. The notion that ending monarchy ends evil is as shallow as it is deluded. The ethics of republicanism soon wear off, it seems, if the example of the USA is followed.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    The Word,
    Youre absolutely right that I have no need to be told of any insecurity or inferiority complex. If I am ever told about it….Id expect it to be from someone with more expertise than a screen name on a website.
    Not that Im expecting to be so told.
    Republicanism HAS been “considered” a threat to Catholicism. As has Education. As has Modernity.As has Democracy. As has the Enlightenment of late 18th Century Europe. Indeed Republicanism is the legacy of the Enlightenment rather than the hocus pocus of Monarchy and the hereditary right to rule.
    Thats a matter of Politics.
    Religion is necessarily a matter of Faith…….and of course traditional forces within Catholicism or any “elite” have tried to mix Politics with matters of Faith. Its a curious theology…is it not……..that Mrs Windsor is Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
    We would laugh at that kinda thing if it was Saudi Arabia.
    Of course we know its very bad theology and very good politics. It gives a quasi religious blessing on the notion that the State is superior to the Church.

    My position……just to clarify what I “seem to think” is that republicanism/monarchy/democracy/ whatever are matters of political philosophy.
    Matters of Faith are matters of Faith.
    Organised religion attempts to link the two….badly

  • joeCanuck


    1. anti Irish feeling in England pre-dates Religion.
    Get a grip. there was no Ireland or England back then.

    2. the journals from the Middle Ages where early English travellers report on Irish savagery “they eat their children” type of thing pre-dates Religion.
    See comment on1. And wasn’t that canard reserved for the Jews eating Christian babies?

    Bet you the maps showed “dragons be here” too.

    Mopery writ large.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Mr Canuck……youre better than this.
    But just to spell it out. By Religion…I meant Religious Difference………ie Catholic/Protestant in this context.
    That the period 1155 to Reformation was not a Catholic/Protestant divide.

  • pippakin


    The period in question 1155 is surely slap in the middle of one of the more violent of English history. My own interest is prior to Christianity but isn’t 1155 about the time of King Stephen. This is stretching my memory back to school days. Ouch!

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Henry Curtmantel (Henry II ) succeeded Stephen as I recall about 1152. Certainly Henry was on the throne at the time of Laudabiliter. The original intention was that Henrys brother would rule Ireland under Henrys overall control.

  • pippakin


    The first Plantagenet. Interesting times indeed, and of course an interesting wife. Isn’t Google a wonderful thing! I’m like a dog with a bone once I start! and it seems the period was violent for many of what would then have been the crowns subjects. It took the death of Stephens son, in battle of course, to make the Crown Henry’s and he it was who introduced or confirmed the law of the land at considerable pain to his opponents!

    Thank you, without prodding I tend to remain firmly engrossed with pre Christian times.

  • Mark McGregor


    “England’s small, mostly Irish-origin, Catholic minority.”

    Not sure about that. The % of Catholics in 2001 was 8% just shy of the CoE numbers. The most recent social attitudes survey suggests Catholicism could be the largest religious sect in England now.

  • The Word


    “republicanism/monarchy/democracy/ whatever are matters of political philosophy.
    Matters of Faith are matters of Faith.”

    I think that you’re accurately defining the difference between man’s ways and God’s ways. But a believer will assert that God, through influencing our faith, will set us on certain courses. Rational thought, as a celebration of the human brain, has its limitations as noted in the last century with such concepts as “limited perspective”.

    The Church is, of course, the servant of the people and has every right to defend itself against shallow messages that serve man and not God.

    But the Catholic Church has a centrality, a hierarchy, and a purpose that sets the tone for those who would seek to shape society in God’s way.

  • joeCanuck

    A bigger load of claptrap I never did hear.
    But then, In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.
    You can fool all of the people……….

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Its actuallya tricky question …not least because the Catholic Church in England likes to think only of “Catholics”.
    Its also complicated because of definitions involving “church attending” and the (often) attendance of Catholics from Ireland, Phillipines, Poland………not to mention tourists who swell congregations. And of course Latin Rite churches and Eastern churches which are often too small locally and their members attend Catholic services. Poles and Czechs often have their own churches which are outside English jurisdiction, not part of the “English” church.
    Geographically there have been strong “English” Catholic communities for centuries centred on “Papish” Preston, Hexham, York. As well as later waves of migration to say Liverpool and South Lancashire in Famine times.
    Again how is “Irish origin” defined.
    Of the current Bishops…the current chief padre of the British Army was actually born in Belfast (Burns) and Bishop Cunningham is from Roscommon. but Burns family migrated as a child. Cunningham was ordained as a priest for England.
    Certainly other names such as McMahon, suggest an Irish connexion. I cant think of any other off-hand.
    But others suggest a more “English” tradition. Archbishop Nicholls is fairly typical being from Liverpool. While another Bishop Hollis is the son of a Conservative MP who converted in I think the 1930s.
    Again in places like Manchester, London, Birmingham, it would be almost impossible for “English” Catholics to get thru social life/school without coming across large numbers of Irish, Poles, Italians…….so quite possibly many English Catholics have an Irish “origin” dating back to the Famine AND a Polish “origin” dating back to WW2.
    The relevant fact is that the English Church has swallowed up ethnic minorities and they keep such people at arms length maintaining a dubious succession to pre Reformation times thru Recusancy and Jacobite heritage. The English Church has been successful at maintaining (as they see it) aristocratic traditions.

  • The Word


    I dunno who’s fooling who!

  • gréagóir o frainclín

    Excellent information fitzjameshorse1745.

    So, the influence of the Catholic Church has indeed been detrimental to Irish society overall throughout the last centuries. Being anti-intellectual in nature (hence it’s anti -Republicanism) it was satisfied with the status-quo of a largely poor, uneducated, peasant people, that were subserviant to a Protestant Crown and a Catholic Church. Hence, we had an intellectually straitjacketed and stunted people, collectively, intellectually ineffective (but yet still produced brilliant individuals). Such was this stifling influence of the Catholic Church that the after effects can still seen today with a superstitious Irish people, rosary beads in hand, as well as all the rest of the paraphernalia praying to ‘moving’ staues etc… the gombeen alive and well, and unbeknownst, still awaiting a ‘Reformation’ and an ‘Enlightenment’ of sorts.

  • pippakin

    gréagóir o frainclín

    Not only was the RCC satisfied with a largely poor, under educated population, it actually needed such a population to maintain its influence. It is remarkable that in a relatively few years Irish people have not only stood up to and shrugged off the British, they have also turned their attention on the Vatican and challenged the papal supremacy in Ireland.

    Ireland is still growing into its independence but it is clear the people will not allow themselves to be subjugated to anything any more and that includes the EU and the ECB/IMF

  • JAH

    I haven’t been on the receiving end of any anti-Irish abuse in England for nearly 20 years. The end of the culture of ‘irish’ jokes and the prosperity in Ireland plus the popularity of weekend trips North and South has long since eroded a lot of the prejudices that I encountered on in the 70s.

    It’s always an initial shock for any Ulster Prod to find yourself label’s as Irish and Catholic! It’s maybe not a coincidence that the majority of Race Relations cases involving the Irish were mostly from Protestants.

    I used to regularly be told to go back where I belong!

    Someone pointed out that Diplomats exaggerate in order to be heard. This is a clear instance of someone in a glassbowl shouting about threats that don’t exist. The UK is a secular society just as Ireland is becoming one, nominally Christian in values and outlook but unlikely to lose any sleep over it.

  • gréagóir o frainclín

    True Pippakin….and it’s about time too. The child rape crimes committed by members of the Catholic Church finally changed the attitudes of the majority of Irish people.

    The concept of self-sacrifice; the comparison of the religious nut Pearse with ‘son of god’ Christ was a conveniant and contrived myth advocated by the Catholic Church in an independent Ireland and so tainted Irish Republicanism in the 20th century. The likes of Thomas Paine’s Republicanism remained alien and unknown to the Irish masses.

    “I confess that I do not see what good it does to fulminate against the English tyranny while the Roman tyranny occupies the palace of the soul.”

    James Joyce

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    The anti Irish joke of Bernard Manning in early 1970s was supplemented by the likes of Frank Carson, Mike Newman and Jimmy Crickett.
    Harder for Michael McIntyre to do that now when Dara O’Briain, Ed Byrne and Tommy Tiernan are not exactly thick Paddy stereotypes.
    But of course it wasnt just poverty and stupidity (allegedly) that allowed the anti-Irish joke to grow. It was the Troubles.

    In the 1970s and 1980s, I used to spend about a month on assignment in London and we were reguarly confronted with a barrage of hilarious(???) jokes by our London colleagues.
    I think anyone from here an spot when a joke is “well intended” and whether its not.
    I remember one such very long lunch time in a pub in Covent Garden, when it finally got too much for one of my Belfast colleagues.
    “Whats black and blue and floats upside down in the Thames?”
    “You…….if you tell one more f***ing joke”

    It kinda works.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    gréagóir o frainclín,
    Indeed my point is that the Catholic Church default position is one of “anti-intellectualism”. And it has a difficult time adjusting to “Modernity”…….as an institution.
    Those who are disposed to hate the Church might read my comments in a particular way.
    Those who are disposed to be at ease with the Church (and nobody on Slugger O’Toole would risk that kinda ridicule) might read my comments in a different way.

  • The Word


    ” Being anti-intellectual in nature (hence it’s anti -Republicanism) it was satisfied with the status-quo of a largely poor, uneducated, peasant people, that were subserviant to a Protestant Crown and a Catholic Church. ”

    Still the insults come from Irish republicanism for the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is highly intellectual in its approach. It was described not that long ago by a Sunday Times columnist as “the most enduring intellectual tradition in the history of mankind”.

    Irish republicanism has often proved itself to be a transient message that fails to sustain anything of value. In Stormont today, Sinn Fein are crippled without any real idea where they are going or what they stand for. That’s because they only ever where a rebellion against the mainstream of the Irish people. Like a clock, twice a day they might seem to be right. Intellectual? More like a peasant revolt.

  • tacapall

    “Sinn Fein are crippled without any real idea where they are going or what they stand for”.

    The Word I think everyone knows where Sinn Fein are going and what they stand for, changing from a machiavellian strategy “The ends justify the means” to the Malcom X strategy ” By any means neccessary” work the system, tounge in cheek, change from the inside out. A stepping stone policy if you like, very effective in the H Blocks hense the changing of the guard in belfast city council.
    Where you get the idea that the past conflict was a rebellion against the Irish people is lost on me as over 800 years of resistance to English rule by Irish people argues against that.

  • gréagóir o frainclín

    The Word!

    LOL – the Catholic Church is highly intellectual? FFS

    Indeed, Sinn Fein are not intellectual heavyweights either. Tarnished in part with the Catholic religious-nut Padraig Pearse’s views of self sacrifice, as I’ve said.

    BTW, resistance to ‘Englsh Rule’ would not have been so haphazard had it not been for the ‘self-guilt/low self esteem/know your place’ ethos implanted in the psyche of Irish folk by the Catholic Church throughout the centuries, thus many of the much lauded Irish rebellions were infact only skirmishes.

    Your clear pro-bias Catholic views jaundices your view of Irish history thus your deep sense of denial of hard facts. Such views are rife throughout this land!

    Kneel and pray then, for our troubled economy and our nation!

  • joeCanuck

    LOL. It’s the way you tell ’em, Mr.Word.

  • The Word


    For “resistance” read next post by Gregor.

    Gregor – Let’s all be British because British values are to you superior. Isn’t that what your saying? What hard facts am I denying? You seem to be denying reality.

    Joe – Care to elaborate?

  • joeCanuck

    The Word,

    Yes; there is a N.I. comedian called Frank Carson. His catch phrase after telling a joke was “It’s the way I tell ’em!” My reaction to your pontification was the same as Gréagóir’s.

  • tacapall

    The Word. I believe gréagóir was trying to say that the Catholic Church was complicit in the subjection of the Irish people to British rule, like Paisley who frightened the Unionist population with talk of hell and damnation in the afterlife. Such talk fooled people 100 years ago I think the Irish people have come a long way since then.

  • Rory Carr

    Ambassador Campbell’s expressed concerns to the Vatican of the potential for a, possibly violent, anti-Catholic backlash if the Church continues to welcome into its ranks those members of the CofE that are estranged from the Anglican church by its acceptance of women priests (and even – shock! horror! – women bishops) are, I believe, recognised to be none other than patent bloody nonsense.This being the case, whatever can Campbell’s motives have been?

    They surely cannot be seen to be genuine concern for the safety of the Church or its members in England since, as any sane person believes, no such threat exists. Which leaves us to consider whether or not His Excellency was motivated by concern for the harmful effects of the exodus from the established church of the state which he represents. This would not of course be inconsistent with his duty towards his sovereign who is after all Supreme Leader of the Anglican Church but it does sit a bit strangely with what might be considered his duty as a Catholic.

    Perhaps it was a mistake after all to appoint a Catholic as ambassador to the Holy See. In this instance Ambassador Campbell seems not to have allowed his faith to undermine his duty to his sovereign but it would be sad if he had allowed the affairs of state to undermine his duty towards his spiritual leader. And sadder still if he had allowed concerns for a breakaway sect to influence his reasoning while giving advice to his Pontiff.

    His rendering in this instance does appear to have a distinct tilt towards Caesar.

  • The Word


    ‘self-guilt/low self esteem/know your place” – I feel sure that Gregor will realise the nonsense of this position as he is accurately describing the ethos of poverty well known throughout the world, not especially in Catholic countries.

    He may also recall Chicken George in “Roots” who used to say “Masser”. Hardly Catholic. USA, yes.

    He may as a Republican also recall Young Irelander John Mitchell’s commitment to slavery. Hardly enlightened.

    Intellectual, yes, if the prevailing ethos is capitalist.

    The Catholic Church has a long tradition of bringing the poor out of poverty, providing education and support. Intellectual, yes, in a humane ethos. Retarded if the ethos is capital.

    I suggest that you gentlemen are attached to the capitalist ethos where intellect means getting on..

  • The Word

    Yes, Tapacall, but hardly true.

    Gregor was also destroying your argument that there was 800 years of resistance by republicans. A few skirmishes, he says, that’s all. I would argue that true resistance came from the Eucharist by the denial of the centrality of their argument that everyone should follow the pound.

  • joeCanuck

    Some very rich evangelist US conmen clergymen who have their own TV shows tell their congregations that Jesus wants them to get rich (strangely by giving away their money to these same gentlemen). Are you saying that the opposite is true? That Jesus wants them to be poor and hate the Englishmen capitalists so they can be pure in spirit?

  • tacapall

    The Word.

    “The Catholic Church has a long tradition of bringing the poor out of poverty, providing education and support. Intellectual, yes, in a humane ethos. Retarded if the ethos is capital”.

    Except of course if you were a heretic. A Pompous description of the Catholic church I know. Im sure those who were beaten and abused to learn that education wouldn’t agree with you, and of course all the other injustices and unchristian acts carried out on its flock would cause others to believe that the Catholic church is really a bunch of puppets for the Capitalist system – Keep the masses in their place dont complain or protest about unequality and poverty in the society we live in, sure you will be rewarded in heaven where you dont need money and everything is bliss.

  • joeCanuck


    Nailed it. That’s why bishops and cardinals lived in palaces courtesy of the peasants’ tithes. And they’re still not short of a bob or too and yet expect their flocks to pay for the misdeeds of their underlings, or their own misdeeds in too many cases.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Rory Carr……100% correct.

  • The Word


    I’m sure Jesus would say that he wants them to be part of a world where the basis is social justice, not the slavery to money. I feel sure that he would want to see societies ordered by love and compassion, and that he would not make an issue out of money and material things. The heart feeds the world. Where the heart is dead, man feeds himself and people starve. There’s plenty to go around when men are truly free.


    “keep the masses in their place”

    I repeat the point about “Masser” to the US slave. John Mitchel used to write editorials to give the intellectual basis for chattel slavery and breeding slavery, the worst type.

    Catholic social teaching is geared towards intervening and getting others to intervene where there is need. I’m Fr Peter Mc Verry would be sad to hear such comments. There’s always more to do, but I ask this earnest question about your liberation – what happens when the rich decide that they no longer have any empathy for the poor. Giving becomes robbery, and your “rights” become the cause for civil unrest. Sure then you might seek to kill them all off, and everybody becomes poor and some die due to need that can’t be addressed.

  • joeCanuck

    The Word,

    You didn’t address my point at all. Let me put it another way – Do you really believe that the bishops and cardinals didn’t conspire with the kings and princes to keep people enslaved, to make themselves very comfortable indeed, and make sure that the peasantry knew their places in god’s grand design and to not rock the boat lest god get displeased?
    If you really believe that, then you have been fooled.

  • tacapall

    Fr Peter I do not doubt your sincerity but its the actuall evidence that counts. For centuries the Catholic church has impeded society intellectually, we only have to look at science or biology or indeed radical thinking.

    – ” what happens when the rich decide that they no longer have any empathy for the poor. Giving becomes robbery, and your “rights” become the cause for civil unrest.”

    Is this not already happening now around the world where the rich who connections with VaticanPLC is widely known poverty is something the heiracy of the Vatican is not too bothered about.

  • gréagóir o frainclín

    Oh BTW, the likes of Rupert Murdoch has been made a ‘Papal Count’ … which says a lot about the Vatican.

    As the ‘Western World’ becomes more secular in nature the Vatican is now preying on the ‘third world’ countries.

  • gréagóir o frainclín

    …….or peddling their mythological dross morelike!

  • joeCanuck


    I think you have a superfluous letter “o” in one of your words.

  • The Word


    Not at all. You seem to believe that there is this historical conspiracy to keep the poor poor by siding with rich. That may seem so in a superficial sense but at a functional level but that is a perception only. The reality is that by accepting the hierarchical nature of society the Church acts at all levels to influence the future of society.

    Some people think that the welfare state of recent decades is the first time the poor had any money. The reality is that the poor of the Uk still have very little money now, hardly much more than they had when there were poor workhouses et al, and probably still not much more than when the Churches when controlled welfarism prior to when Henry VIII destroyed the monasteries.

    This point about the goal of heaven being a reason not to change society is nonsense. Heaven is actually the goal for society. It is the ideal. ” Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. That is not a mechanism of control to keep the poor down, but a means of supressing the individual who seeks an individual “paradise”. God’s will cannot be to order society on the basis of greed, etc.

  • The Word


    “radical free thinking”

    I refer you to more recent psychological position on thinking that suggest that man is limited in his thinking by such things as “bounded rationality” and ” limited perspective”.

    The trouble with many of these “radical” approaches you’re referring to is that they come and go without changing very much, but creating havoc for groups of people. But do they have any basis in the real world of people’s lives?

    By the way, Christianity is radical free thinking in the reality of God. Other radicalism may be just pessimism where a judgment is made on some that somehow does not apply to all.


    “preying on Third World countries”

    If you give a man a fish he has one meal. If you give him a net he has many meals. If you create a culture of empathy, the basis of Christianity, you see to it that everybody is fed, even those who can’t fish with nets. Your view is profoundly erroneous.

  • gréagóir o frainclín

    In the beginning was the word……

    How patronising! Rosary beads, miraculous medals, moving statues etc ….. does not put bread on the table nor reason in the mind!

  • gréagóir o frainclín

    @ Joe

    LOL …. the C’o’unt Murdoch


  • tacapall

    I do not deny that mankind at this moment in time suffers from a lack of understanding of life, the universe, the beginning, no different than your understanding of death and the hereafter, no proof just an idea. I dont think knowledge gives mankind a limited perspectiv in fact it challenges the “Black and White” view of truth. The world we live in is unfair, those who have power and influence wish to keep it that way and unfortunately religions are among those with power and influence.

  • The Word


    So will Irish republicanism put bread on the table? Reason in the mind?

    Much of what Irish republicanism is about is just begrudgery in many minds. May even be just a sophisticated form of begging.

    As for reason – cold rationality has no basis in the social being that is the human being.

    Tapacall – That’s just pessimism.

  • joeCanuck

    When Roman emperor Constantine forced the bishops to declare that jesus was a god, he was just following an old tradition. Roman emperors had the power to do so. Caligula, for example, declared his horse, Inciatus, to be a god after the creature died, and forced people to worship said beast.