Athol Books Magazine Articles

Articles

All Articles
Articles By Author
Articles By Magazine
Articles By Subject
Full Text Search

Athol Books

Aubane Historical Society
The Heresiarch Website
Athol Books Online Sales
Athol Books Home Page
Archive Of Articles From Church & State
Archive Of Editorials From Church & State
Archive Of Articles From Irish Political Review
Archive Of Editorials From Irish Political Review
Belfast Historical & Educational Society
Athol Books Secure Online Sales

Other Sites

Irish Writer Desmond Fennell
The Bevin Society
David Morrison's Website

Subscribe Securely To
Athol Books Magazines

Church & State (Print) Church & State (Digital)
Irish Foreign Affairs (Print) Irish Foreign Affairs (Digital)
Irish Political Review (Print) Irish Political Review (Digital)
Labour & Trade Union Review (Print)
From: Church & State: Editorials
Date: April, 2010
By: Brendan Clifford

End Of Treaty Church, beginning of

The Pope must overcome his hubris: that was the message of Professor Diarmuid MacCulloch, who is the media historian of the moment on the history of Christianity, when he was interviewed about the current sex scandals involving the Roman Church. It was a puzzling message to come from a Christian. Christianity is nothing if not hubristic. It claims to be in league with the Creator of the Universe. And it is not possible to be more hubristic than that, except by claiming to run the Creator of the Universe. A modest Christianity would be a fakeit would be a confidence trick.

MacCulloch, in one of his television programmes, let it be known that he didn't believe a word of it. It was all figures of speech to him. At the same time he did not make it clear that he was giving the history of a deception or a delusion.

Demanding that the Pope should reject hubris is tantamount to demanding that he should reject Christianity. If there is to be authentic Christianity there must be hubris somewhereand where better than Rome, where Christianity launched its bid to become the universal religion? The only other possible location is Canterbury, but Canterbury's claim derives from Rome.

Cardinal Newman is on track to be canonised. He began life as an English State Christian, a member of the English State Church founded by Henry VIIIwhich was run by Henry's successors for about a century and a half, and by Prime Ministers after that. He was an earnest member of the Anglican Revival of the second quarter of the 19th century: when he realised that the Anglican Revival was not in earnest, he went over to Rome. That is to say, he became a pervert.

"Perversion" was the official name for going over from the English State Church to Rome. It was a title in the Index to The Times, and in England nothing was more official. Perverts were named in The Timesnot for the purpose of shaming, because any Englishman who sank into Romanism was presumed to be shamelessbut out of a concern, for the safety of the State that the pervertsthe enemy within, the Fifth Columnshould be known to the general public.

Newman concluded that England had chosen 'the world' at a strategic point in its development. I don't recall exactly when he located that choice, but it must have been around 1700.

But in choosing 'the world', England did not reject Christianity. It preserved Christianity very carefully as an ideology of State, serving the State and controlled by it. The Church of England was part of the administration of the State. The Bishops and Vicars were operative in the apparatus of the State, well set up in this world, but not allowed to meet and discuss the other world from which they derived their Providential aura. It was necessary for them not to appear as mere civil servants of the Ministry for Higher Things, so they were allowed a bit of aura. But, for a century and a half, the Anglican clergy were not allowed to meet in Assembly, lest they should infect each other with a degree of unworldliness.

The Anglican Revival of the 1830s was encouraged for the purpose of enabling the State Church to get a hold on the mass of the proletariat of the industrial revolution. But a century and a half of religion by roteof essential scepticismhad emptied the State Church of actual belief in Christianity. And the simulation of belief did not come easily; it implied inconvenient changes of lifestyle; and, however well simulated, it lacked the convincing power of genuine enthusiasm. So it was left to wild varieties of Non-Conformism to serve as religion for the industrial masses.

Non-Conformist varieties did not meet Newman's need to be authentically Christian. It was too local and ephemeral. It did not live up to the official pretensions of the English Church. Only Rome, from which Canterbury had defected on instructions from Whitehall, could do that.

The mode in which England chose the world is interesting.

I forget where it is that things are summed up as the consisting of the Devil, the World, and the Flesh. England abolished the Devilor at least reduced him to a figure of speech. That was simple. The matter of the Flesh was not so simple. Like the poor, the Flesh is always with us. But, as far as it was possible to do so, England rejected the Flesh. The greatest success of the Puritan ferocity of 17th century England was that it poisoned the Flesh.

But the poisoning of the Flesh contributed substantially to making the choice of the World effective. The Flesh is the greatest distraction from the World. England chose the Worldpower in the world and over the worldas the purpose of its existence. The Flesh was pushed to the margins of life.

When I first went to England I fell amongst a group of reflective skilled workers who had seen something of the other world on Earth through having been in the War, and they were doing their best to broaden their horizons. Jokes about Vicars on honeymoon were rife. The Vicar somehow managed to get it done, waited anxiously to see if he had got a result, and when it was clear that he had, he thought Thank God that's over!

On the other hand, the Flesh was Catholic. Everyone knew that girls who had been to Convents tended to be randy, and that priests helped them to commit the sins which they enjoyed hearing about in the Confessionswhile the Vicars, of course, were buggers, buggery being the less distasteful option for dealing with bodily fluids.

These were the stereotypesand England was made functional by its stereotypes.

The Catholic stereotype was given permanent currency by the 'Gothic' novels of the great era of English novel-writing, which began in the later 18th century and remained in print. But long before that Protestant England saw Catholics as living in the Flesh, and there were some trials of Catholics in the early 17th century for living too exuberantly in the Flesh.

Anti-Catholicism was the only common ground between the different strains of the mangled English Reformation. And Anti-Catholicism could function as a kind of Anti-Continentalism. There was only one Protestant Continental state, Holland, but Holland was broken by England as a rival for world power in the late 17th century, was hegemonised by it, and it didn't matter if it was offended by the Continental = Catholic equation. Prussia, England's Continental ally in the 18th century and most of the 19th, was also Protestant in a sense, but was actually liberal. There was a time (before John Redmond took us into Our War and Tom Kettle invented Prussianism) when reformers in Ireland looked for Prussian conditions, both in religion and land. Anti-Catholicism/Continentalism has a shelf-life independent of Protestant belief.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, a figurative Christian, was uneasy about the war to destroy the Iraqi state and cause mayhem. He was interviewed about this on BBC's Newsnight by Jeremy Paxman. But surely Saddam is an evil tyrant! Paxman said to him. All states are a mixture of good and evil, the Archbishop replied. But Paxman wouldn't have it. Was the Archbishop seriously suggesting that there was evil in the British state? It turned out that he wasn't. He backed down. And so he should. The English state is not subject to the forces of good and evil. It is its own Providence. It determines what is good and what is evil. What it does is good, and what resists it is evil. That was all decided over three centuries agoas the Archbishop should have known when applying for the job.

But he made amends recently by chastising the Romanist Archbishop of Dublin.

Ireland failed to make itself West Britainor England failed to make it West Britainwhichevertake your choice.

The second way of putting it is perhaps the more realistic in the light of the major facts of the history of the relationship over many centuries. England ruled Ireland, broke its language, fragmented its culture, and outlawed its religionthe religion, or at least the Church, that England, as the secular arm of the Papacy, had imposed on Ireland in the first place. If that was all not purposeless destruction, what was its purpose, if not to make Ireland English?
But it did not make Ireland English. Did it fail, or did it choose not to? The latter I think.

The Williamite conquest succeeded in its immediate object of breaking Ireland as a political entity. It failed in its missionary effortconducted by a combination of terror and preachingto make Protestants of the Irish. Perhaps that failure was influenced by a sense that, if the Irish became Protestants, the Anti-Catholicism which was the basic ideology of the British state would be deprived of its object. Protestant unity under the Anglican regime depended on the presence of an imaginary Papist threat to the state. The imaginary threat was given a vestige of reality by the presence in the state of hordes of Catholic Irish.

The Irish, shattered politically by the Conquest, reconstructed themselves as Catholics in the course of the 18th century.

Elements of the Williamite colony aspired in the 1780s to become the centre of an Irish national development. The insistence of the colonial Parliament on remaining colonial, despite gaining the formal status of an independent Legislature, led it in the 1790s to mobilise a potential nation and compel the Parliament to embrace it. This was the United Irish movement. In order to increase its weight, the United Irish conspiracy made overtures to Catholic bodies. The Government countered this by compelling the Parliament to pass a Catholic Relief Act. It harassed the United Irish movement, forcing it into a revolutionary stance, and riddling it with informers.

When the Government precipitated revolution in 1798, the Protestant effort at revolt was half-hearted at best. The main fighting was done in Wexford, where there was little prior United Irish organisation. This made it possible for what was essentially a Protestant enterprise to be presented as Papist subversion. But at the same time the Government gave an undertaking that when the Irish Parliament was abolished, and the Irish colony was reduced to a small minority in British politics, the emancipation of Catholics into the Constitution would follow quickly.

It did not follow. Why not? Because of a series of unfortunate accidents? But were the accidents preventative or enabling? I would say that they enabled England not to do what it did not want to do, while leaving itself formally committed to doing it when possible. That is a well-established English way of not doing things.

In 1808 Grattan proposed an Emancipation Bill with a clause giving the Government a right of veto on the appointment of Bishops. The veto clause had been cleared with the Bishops, but the Catholic middle class in Dublin rebelled against it. During the next twenty years the Catholics disputed amongst themselves about the Veto.

In 1829 O'Connell intimidated the Government with mass mobilisations. The Duke of Wellington decided that the line would no longer hold and ordered a retreat. And Orange Peel brought in a Catholic Bill admitting Catholics to Parliament.

One of the strongest arguments against Emancipation was that the Catholic Church was a foreign political power, and that the Catholics in the UK were agents of that foreign power and therefore could not safely be admitted into the corridors of power in the state. The point of Grattan's Veto clause was to meet that objection by giving the British Government a role in the conduct of the Roman Church within its borders. And that was in fact the normal arrangement between Rome and the various European states, Catholic and Protestant. But Britain, when admitting Catholics to Parliament, left them directly under the authority of the Pope for the first time ever. And so it remains to this day.

It seemed to me when I went into the matter about twenty years ago that Peel was moved by the English distaste for all things Roman and Continental, and conditional Emancipation would have required the setting up of a department of state to conduct the affairs of the Catholic Church jointly with Rome; and by a further consideration that, if the Irish were placed directly under Rome, Rome might be used to control them. (Under the balance-of-power strategy England usually found itself in alliance with Rome in its European wars, and Rome was beholden to it in many ways.)

The 1829 Act placed the Catholic Church in Ireland in the anomalous position of being directly under Roman authority. Britain deliberately established the relationship which it condemned. And it did this at a moment when Rome was undergoing reinvigoration and was reasserting positions which were thought to have lapsed. The Syllabus of Errors was issued, and the Ultramontanist development culminated in the Papal Infallibility declaration of 1870.

The re-assertion of Papal authority over the Church was met with spurts of resistance on the Continent. There were schisms here and there, but there was no hint of a schism in Ireland, even though Archbishop McHale voted against Infallibility at the first Vatican Council. There was Civil War in Switzerland, through which the Catholic cantons were made to understand that Switzerland had priority over Rome. In Germany there was Kulturkampf, "the struggle for culture", to ensure that German Catholics recognised the state. But in Ireland there was an uninterrupted growth in the influence of the Church, under the direct authority of Rome, not merely unresisted by the secular power, but facilitated by it. And the secular power was not Irish. There was no Irish secular power throughout that periodunless one considers the Poor Law Guardians a secular power. The secular power was the administration of the British State. And the British State, which failed to develop a political base for itself amongst the Irish populace but ruled any native administration out of the question, facilitated the Roman Church in taking command of one institution after another.

When I first saw Dublin, in the mid-1960s, it seemed to me to consist of Churches and their precincts. Down in the backwardness of Slieve Luacra the Church, the priests, had a position allocated to it by society. But in Dublin one searched in vain for society. I gathered that there were little areas of private resistance here and there, but they had no public presence. And there were no local newspapers, such as there were down the country and in the various Boroughs of London. On the basis of a purely rural experience into my twenties, I felt Dublin as being much more alien than London. It was a great sprawling city given coherence only by an overt Catholic uniformity.

A few years later I saw Franco Spain, which was usually described as Fascism organised as a clerical dictatorship. But it quickly became evident that the clergy in Spain had nothing like the status they had in Ireland. They had their allocated place in the life of the state, and were dependent on the state. In Ireland they were prior to the state.

The English decision in 1829 to have Ultramontanist Catholicism in Ireland, and its facilitating of the growth of the Ultramontanist Church as an institutional power in civil society, prepared the ground for the 'Treaty settlement', in which the section of the nationalist movement most subservient to the influence of the Hierarchy was established in power.

Did England know what it was doing? Did it know that it was establishing in authority in Ireland the most extreme form of the European religion and culture which it was its mission to curb and destroy?

How could it not have known? The English dogs in the street, and their cousins in Ireland, were never done barking about it.

Rome was the chosen enemy against which England developed itself in becoming a Great Power. The Penal Laws were justified as a measure for curbing the evil power of Rome. The Temporal Power of the Papacy was the great bogy set up by English propaganda in Ireland in the 18th century and into the 19th, even though the days when the Pope had an army were long gone. The Irish were repeatedly called upon to repudiate the Temporal Powerbut, when they did so, that was said to be of no account unless the Pope himself did so. And the Papacy of course refused to do so.

The Temporal Power of the Papacy, which was held to be a danger to the British state, was not an Army. It was the alleged influence of Catholic belief, directed by the Papacy, on secular conduct. But in 1829 Britain placed the Irish Catholics directly under Roman control, and thereafter facilitated the growth of the Temporal Power of Rome in Ireland.

Some years ago Richard Pearl undertook to defend US tactics in Asia in an interview on British television. It was put to him that it was a very great mistake to encourage the growth of what we now condemn as Islamist Fundamentalism for the purpose of subverting the modernising Communist Government of Afghanistan, since it must have been obvious that Islamism would not go away when it had defeated the Communists with American weapons, but would set above governing the country it had liberated. Pearl brushed this argument aside as childishly naive. In the real world you use whatever is to hand for dealing with the problem of the moment, and if the ally who served you at one moment becomes the enemy the next momentwell, that's life in the fast lane.

America sponsored Islamism in Afghanistan. England sponsored Ultramontanist Catholicism in Ireland. And so Papal Power finally came to Ireland.

In 1979, when the Pope came to visit his Green Isle I published a pamphlet to mark the occasion, called The Rise Of Papal Power In Ireland. It was generally condemned as being in very bad form

Here is the English vision of Catholicism, written around the time when the Government with exclusive responsibility for Irish affairs decided to submit Ireland to it without any institutional defence, in a publication that has never been out of print:

"A strange, frolicsome, noisy little world was this school; great pains were taken to hide chains with flowers; a subtle essence of Romanism pervaded every arrangement: a large sensual indulgence (so to speak) was permitted by way of counterpoise to jealous, spiritual restraint. Each mind was being reared in slavery, but, to prevent reflection from dwelling on this fact, every pretext for physical recreation was seized and made the most of. There, as elsewhere, the Church strove to bring up her children robust in body, feeble in soul, fat, ruddy, hale, joyous, ignorant, unthinking, unquestioning. Eat, drink, and live! she says. Look after your bodies; leave your souls to me. I hold their careguide their course. I guarantee their final fate. A bargain, in which every true Catholic deems himself a gainer. Lucifer offers the same terms"

"Out of men's afflictions and affections were forged the rivets of their servitude. Poverty was fed and clothed, and sheltered, to bind it by obligation to the Church'; sickness was tended that it might die after the formula and in the ordinance of the Church'; and men were overwrought, and women most murderously sacrificed in a world God made pleasant for his creatures' good that they might serve Rome, prove her sanctity, confirm her power and spread the reign of his tyrant Church"

"I was taken to the churches on solemn occasionsdays of fte and state; I was shown the Papal ritual and ceremonial. I looked at it.

"Many peoplemen and womenno doubt far my superiors in a thousand ways, have felt this display impressive, have declared that though Reason protested, their Imagination was subjugated. I cannot say the same. Neither full procession, nor high mass, nor swarming tapers, nor swinging censors, nor ecclesiastical millinery, nor celestial jewellery, touched my imagination a whit. What I saw struck me as tawdry, not grand: as grossly material, not poetically spiritual"


That's Charlotte Bronte in Vilette (Chapters 17 and 36). The Catholicism she is describing is of course not English. Nor is it the Catholicism of the vulgar Irish, who were still living in a Protestant state then, and were taught about being "a happy English child". It was the Catholicism of a state established at Britain's insistencea state founded on religionthe state for which we went to war in Our War because the German Army marched through a corner of it: Belgium. This is where Charlotte, an Anglicised Ulster Protestant, worked for a while as a governess.

Great volumes of comment of a similar kind might easily be collected, but this is probably the book in which the Anti-Catholic sentiment at the heart of English culture is given the best and most widespread expression.

I know that it was widely read in Ireland in the early 1950s, when Ireland was at its most Catholic. The Treaty state gave English literature a prime place in its educational system. But, beyond that, I think the Protestant Brontes were particularly liked by thoughtful readers in the part of rural, Catholic, nationalist Ireland that produced me. I heard Vilette being discussed before I read it. I do not recall that the fierce Anti-Catholicism was resented. It was certainly not influential. I suppose it was discounted as referring to a country of a very different kind. It would have been generally understood in the 1950s that at the time Vilette was written Irish children were not overfed, or coddled, in public institutions. The state was Protestant. Proselytising charity was Protestant. And the big food event was the Famine, for which the Protestant state was held responsible.

I don't know if the Dublin Catholic middle class, which insisted on direct Roman authority at the start of the phase which is now ending, has been commenting approvingly on Vilette in recent months in the Irish Times. Or, in their revulsion against the Pope, do they see his evil influence in different terms from Charlotte Bronte? Or are they thinking about the reality of the situation at all?

When I published a book about The Veto Controversy, the minds of the opinion makers were firmly closed against it.

The educated urban middle classes were the social basis of the Churchnot what they took to calling the peasantry. The 'peasants' were the main property owners of the country, having displaced the aristocracy. Unlike the aristocracy, they were a very extensive class. The educated dwellers in the towns were a middle class without an upper class gentry, and they were on the whole not property owners. The peasantry had deprived them of an upper class, and the upper class that the peasants got rid of was in any case wrong for this middle class. And it is a truism of European history that the relationship of the Church Hierarchy with the property owners of a state is different from its relationship with the masses, of which the middle classes formed part.

What was different about Ireland was that the property owning class was the 'peasantry'. The piece of history which brought this about in the late 19th and early 20th centuries has not been written about, because history has been written by the educated urban middle classes. The social dimension of 20th century Irelandthe dimension which determined its developmentwas laid down by a very effective reform movement whose leading figures are scarcely remembered even as namesWilliam O'Brien, Canon Sheehan, D.D. Sheehan, along with Joseph Chamberlain, Arthur Balfour and the Salisbury connection that held the Tory leadership for a generation. A vigorous but realistic peasant agitation, combined with the Tory democracy movement to create a vast class of property owners in Ireland.

Cantillon, the French political economist who is periodically discovered to have been really an Irishman, held that the only real property was land. That view was widely held to be obsolete almost as soon as it was formulated. It was possibly so in England, but not in 20th century Ireland.

I grew up in an area where these peasant property-owners made up the bulk of the population, but in a family that did not own property. It happened that at the age of eleven I filled in for a Parish Clerk who was ill for a season of Stationsa remnant of Penal times abolished after Vatican 2and saw at close quarters, over a period of weeks, the relation of the peasants to the priests, which was very far from subservience. The only depiction of that relationship in literature that I know of is a Frank O'Connor story called Peasants.

The peasants, whom I had the means of observing, were religious as a means of sociability but not pious. The village, which lived on the peasantry, was where piety was to be found. The religious practice of the peasants was largely token, and had a quality of hedging one's bets. Later on I discovered the rule: the bigger the town, the greater the piety.

At the age of 13 I realised I was totally non-religious. When I left the area in my early twenties it was because a missionary movement, driven by the cities, had begun to penetrate even into the townlands.

The scandals of recent times have naturally had the most destructive effect on beliefs and values in the areas where those beliefs and values were most piously held, and where there was dependency on the Church. Where belief was token, but a sprinkling of it was thought to be a good thing, the destructive effect seems to be minimal. And where the priests were kept in order by the populace, which I know they were in the area I know about, there were no scandalous facts to hide as far as I had been able to discover.

Out of the wounded piety of the middle class the complaint has emerged that the Church has not been a caring Church, as it ought to have been. That is a bizarre complaint. I assume that the Church was a caring Church in missionary times, when there was reason for it to be. Priests and people looked after each otheras they still do in other places where the situation requires it. But the Penal Law system was repealed in Ireland between 1793 and 1829, and its ongoing consequences were then tackled, until a state was formed.

We do not know how things would have worked out if Britain had recognised the Government declared on the basis of the 1918 Election, even with a reservation on some Counties in the North-East. But Britain made war on that Government. And in 1921-2, by means of a massive terror threat, it persuaded a section of Sinn Fein to make a deal with it for subordinate Government limited by a 'Treaty' and later to make war on those who stood by the Republic based on the elections of 1918 and 1921. The Church Hierarchy supported the 'Treaty'.

The nationalist leaders who bowed to the 'Treaty' ultimatum gained uncertain majorities in the Dail and in an election under the influence of the British terror threat, and then they were compelled by ultimatum to make war on the Republican opponents of the 'Treaty'. The sense of purposeful conviction naturally lay with the Republicans in those circumstances, and though the 'Treatyites' won the war with British backing and British armaments, they could not consolidate their victory by hegemonising the society with Royalist and Imperialist ideology. Objectively they had fought to impose the Oath to the Crown on the country, but they did not themselves believe in what they had fought for.

They won with British backing and with the active support of the Catholic Hierarchy. They would have been in a poor way without the all-out support of the Hierarchy, which excommunicated their opponents and gave a semblance of conviction to what was in essence a loss of conviction.

The Church drove the elements of the populace who were most subject to its influence into the Free State fold. And it determined what its relationship should be with the state that had made itself a kind of ecclesiastical dependency by submitting in the way that it did to the British ultimatum of December 1921, and a series of further ultimatums during the first six months of 1922. That was when the Church/State relationship that has broken down recently was established.

The Republicans were defeated in the 'Civil War', but not demoralised. It was the victors who were demoralised, or were dependent for morality on external bodies: Whitehall and Rome. Those who were frightened by the excommunications into supporting the Free State naturally helped to establish the Church in dominance. The Republicans shrugged off the excommunications, got on with the war, and then got on with the peace. The Church found it prudent to make an accommodation with them a few years later, even though they were the excommunicated party and had not repented of their sins.

When I was a child there was a man in the parish who only went to Church once or twice a year, on particular dates which I do not recall. He came in at the back of the chapel, marched up the aisle to the altar rails, waved his blackthorn stick at the priest, and denounced him as the representative of the excommunicating body. And public opinion saw it as right that the Church should be reminded periodically of its misconduct.

The Anti-Treaty party came to office in 1932. It might have done so five years earlier, with better results, but for the Irish Times and the Jinks affair. By 1932 the Treatyite Church/State relationship had set. Re-making it would have been problematical. What Fianna Fail did was make itself a safety-valve, a refuge, for the unorthodox.

It used to be a Treatyite boast that, in its ten years of power, Cumann na nGaedheal (the forerunner of Fine Gael) had established structures of state which the Anti-Treatyites could not undo when they came to power. I heard Garret FitzGerald say that on BBC Radio a number of times. There was a fair amount of truth in it. The Church/State relationship in particular is a Treatyite construct. I have not heard Fine Gael boasting of it recently.

I started with Cardinal Newman so I'll end with him. I like Cardinal Newman almost as much as Canon Sheehan. Catholic Ireland turned its back on these priests long ago, leaving them to me to remember. Almost forty years ago, when Senator Harris was a ferocious Sinn Fein Anti-Partitionist and Catholic, I debated with him in Limerick about the Ulster Protestants. His mode of argument was that of the Rev. Kingsley against Fr. Newman. Kingsley belonged to the Anglican movement from which Newman perverted to Rome. He investigated Roman casuistry and found that priests were allowed to tell lies on occasion. In a tight spot in an argument with Newman he fell back on this as excusing him from dealing with the facts of the matter, because Fr. Newman was now allowed to tell lies and who could tell which mode he was in at a particular moment. Newman called this "poisoning the wells". And that was how I described Senator Harris's mode of argument. I assumed that in the holy cities of Limerick and Cork people would be familiar with the Newman/Kingsley dispute. But it wasn't so.

The Treatyite education system seems to pride itself on its English Literature as well as its Catholicism, but it seems that it did not propagate Newman under either heading. Although his subject is almost always religion, I found him more readable than any other English writer of his time because of the quality of his reasoning and the acuteness of his observations. He was similar in some ways to the Anglican Non-Juror of a century earlier, William Law, whose writings supplied honey to the otherwise severe life of Charlotte Brooke, the translator of Gaelic poetry. What other English writer could have made this observation on coming to Ireland?

"He does not at first recollect, as he ought to recollect, that he comes amongst the Irish people as a representative of persons, and actions, and catastrophes, which it is not pleasant to anyone to think about; that he is responsible for the deeds of his forefathers and of his contemporary Parliaments and Executive; that he is one of a strong unscrupulous, tyrannical race, standing upon the soil of the injured. He does not bear in mind that it is as easy to forget injuring, as it is difficult to forget being injured. He does not admit, even in his imagination, the judgment and the sentence which the past history of Erin sternly pronounces upon him. He has to be recalled to himself, and to be taught by what he hears around him, that an Englishman has no right to open his heart, and indulge his honest affections towards the Irish race, as if nothing had happened between him and them"



The middle class, on which the Church rested, feels betrayed because the Church was not a caring Church and because the priests were men. But was it not the business of the middle class to see that the clergy behaved, rather than vice versa?

The Church is at present being accused of dealing informally with cases of misconduct by priests, instead of referring them to the police. But there is little doubt that this way of handling the matter was tacitly approved of by the middle class. The contrary accusation is made against Gerry Adamsthat he said a complaint made to him about his brother should be referred to the police. The implication is that he should have acted on the authority of the Living Dail and ordered a knee-capping or a castration.

The middle class which established the Church in dominance now feels betrayed, but is still made incapable of thought by its own historic subservience.

Where did the betrayal begin? Clearly at Vatican 2, which devalued the values to which the middle class had shaped itself for a hundred years, and made nonsense of the tasks to which thousands of the most determined and capable individuals in the society had dedicated themselves. But that is not something that can be admitted, or even subjected to reasoned consideration.

In the Irish Times one reads that in Ireland Church and State were not separated as in Britain. But the problem actually lies in the fact that Church and State were separate in Ireland, as they were not in Britain. The mode of separation established at the time of the 'Treaty' is what has now broken down amidst scandal and bewildered outrage.

In England the Church is a department of the state. The state made its own religion and the Government ran it. Enthusiastic cult religions came and went in the undergrowth, but Anglicanism, with its apparatus of churches and operatives, continues to function throughout the state because it is part of the state. And the famous atheist historian, Professor David Starkie, said he would be sad to see the Church department of the state broken off because, regardless of belief, it was a central part of being British.

The outraged Catholic middle class would have known this, and not talked nonsense about England, if they had read Newman:

"does not its essence lie in the recognition by the State? is not its establishment its very form? What would it be, would it last ten years, if abandoned to itself? It is its establishment which erects it into a unity and individuality; can you contemplate it abstracted from its churches, palaces, colleges, parsonages, revenues, civil precedence, and national position? Strip it of this world, and you have performed a mortal operation upon it, for it has ceased to be You know that did not the State compel it to be one, it would split at once into three several bodies, each one bearing within it the elements of further divisions"


So if we want to be more like England, what we must do is bind the Church into the State and cultivate a benevolently humorous attitude towards it. This magazine suggested about twenty years ago that a start might be made by a Concordat between the Government and Rome. The suggestion was rejected out of hand on all sides. The Catholic middle class of the metropolis still insisted on direct Roman control over the Church in Ireland, just as in 1808.



The Veto Controversy by Brendan Clifford. An account of the fierce dispute among Irish Catholics, between 1808 and 1829, as to whether the appointment of Irish Bishops by the Pope should be subject to a degree of Government influence, as was generally the case elsewhere. Includes Thomas Moores Letter To The Roman Catholics Of Dublin (1810) and extracts from polemical writers on either side: J.B. Clinch, Dr. Dromgoole, Bp. Milner, Denys Scully, Rev. Charles OConor etc. 203pp. ISBN 0 85034 030 6. Athol Books. 1985. 20, 15.

Bolg an Tsolair/ Gaelic Magazine, 1795 by Patrick Lynch, Charlotte Brooke and Others. Reprint of United Irish magazine, with substantial profiles of P. Lynch and C. Brooke by Brendan Clifford & Pat Muldowney. 248 pp. Bibliography, Index. ISBN 0 85034 083 7. Athol Books. 1999. 20, 15.

Belfast Politics (1794) by Henry Joy & William Bruce. First complete reprint. Introduction, Brendan Clifford. Includes Thoughts On The British Constitution. 336pp. Index. ISBN 978-085034-122-5. Athol Books. 2010. 25, 20.

Fianna Fil, The Irish Press And The Decline Of The Free State, by Brendan Clifford. Index. 172pp. ISBN 978-1-903497-33-3. Aubane Historical Society. 2007. 12, 9.