Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

12 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

- Catholicism and Loyalty.


Catholicism and Loyalty. To the Editor of the County Times. Sir,-I am sorry that Mr Conway Lloyd has been so indisposed, and I am glad to hear of his rapid convalescence. Thank you for the reply on his behalf. In it you concede at last that the Catholic Church has no concern with purely secular affairs in Ireland or in other countries." But those Irish Presbyterian Unionists in their appeal untruthfully said it had. Now, when Mr Conway Lloyd was at Brecon speaking of "Rome Rule," and two days later at Crickhowell of '-the domination of Rome in Ire- land," he knew that I had denounced the untruth. He must therefore blame himself for what you are pleased to call my "attack" on him. He could, and should, have avoided it. From your conces- sion it follows logically that the Catholic Church has no concern with the politics or religion of secular representatives and officials. Further, if non-Catboncs are intolerant or disloyal, that is their own affair but if Catholics are similarly guilty, she will r 'call them to their duty, and even adopt such severe measures as the excommunica- tion of Freemasons and Fenians. There remains the other point as to whether Irish Catholics in particular are disloyal or in- tolerant. Thnt de jure- they are not disloyal is clear from the torpgoing settled point. Are they de facto ? If they are, it is for him who says so to show that they are excommunicate. Will you or Mr Conway Lloyd please therefore tell us the num- ber ? I am afraid you will have some trouble in proving that in Ireland Catholics do not go to Holy Communion, hundreds and thousands of them in the same building at the same service. If you cannot in this way prove disloyalty—and you cannot—and if you have no evidence for Catholic religious intolerance—as you have not—then you concede all I ask. Now to details. You seek to fasten an untruth upon Hie and to pin me to a challenge. Be it so However, that is not the way to meet your own (or Mr Conway Lloyd's) untrue statements, or to take up my challenges. Now as to my alleged untrue statement which was, Welshmen were not told that even Belfast itselt re- turns one member who is a Catholic and Home Ruler." You reply tuat "no secret was made of Mr Devlin's connection with Belfast as a member of Parliament." there was a secret made, inas- much as my point and my argument were that the good Presbyterian Unionist clergyman did not let Welshmen know that Ulster was not so Unionist and Protestant after all, since Derry returned to Parliament a Presbyterian Home Ruler and Bel- fast was Catholic aud Nationalist enough, with one-fourth of its population Catholic, to return a Home Ruler who is a Catholic. I am afraid then it is you who are guilty of the inaccuracy, not 1. If I, please quote my statement and your proof side by side, and I will confess. As to the challenge about Freemasonry, I did not connect that with Irish Catholic loyalty, but merely instanced it to show how the Church condemned disloyalty every- where. However I accept the challenge please say when you would like to have my proofs. You have admitted one untruth, that of the Irish Unionist Presbyterian appeal. Now try and admit a few more. You say, "The point it not what the religion enjoins" —that is untrue for it was my main point. "The point," you say, "is what many of those who profess it do and say, particularly in its name." Certainly this belongs to my second and subsidiary point but you evade it since you will not tell us what motive "in its name" (the Catholic Church's name) governed those priests' action. You condemn them unheard I said Mr Conway Lloyd was evasive that is a persistent instance. You say, "the priests' point of view, apparently, was &c." you may think so but I insist upon having what was real and not merely apparent and, moreover, that which you do not allow to appear cannot even be called apparent. Now, why do you not accept my challenge in this matter ? In reference to the Gaelic Athletic Association you are not only evasive and decline the challenge but the reason you give tor founding it is untrue. That I have on good authority. It is also untrue to say that the English National Anthem "is barred at every Nationalist meeting, &c." Proof When Isaac Butt started the Home Rule movement the charter toast ot the National Party was "The Queen, Lords, and Commons of Ireland." So, too, when Mr John Morley and Lord Ripon visited Ireland after the defeat of the Home Rule Bill of 1886 the loyal toasts were honoured in Dublin, and the Nationalist bands throughout the country set then. selves to learn to play "God save the Queen." Even the Unionist papers admitted that King George received a more enthusiastic welcome in Irelend than in any other part of his dominions. The Unionists are really to blame for the lack of "official" welcomes, because they seek to draw from these political capital in favour of the Union, arguing that the Irish are a contented and well- governed racu The same old story as that of the Union Jack and English National Anthem, debasing what should be above party to party use And don't you think there is often in England gross disrespect for the holy name of God when that anthem is sung, and people rush for the door, putting on their hats, and not waiting for a single verse Is that disloyalty ? And how often do English folk who are "ioyal" Unionists'sing the Irish National Anthem ? Is that loyalty to a nation whence they have derived so much. Mr Conway LLyd was expected at the Brecon Welsh Society rieetine- recently where an Anglican clergy- man was lecturing. The Welsh National Anthem was sung—no other find there was no profane rush lor doors. Was that disloyalty ? You say that most of my "ancient Irish history" was "in answer to Mr Conway Lloyd." This is untrue it referred to your remarks, and even then it was not in answer to you, since I was merely suggesting an explanation of pro-,Joer cheers. Now, some of the facts just given you are not as "anciont" as some of your "history." My reference to the Catholic marriage laws was to show how inconsistent and unscrupulous you were. So too about the paper "Irish Freedom" you were irrelevant, you are now inconsistent as well for, why does not your paper "condemn" Orange "policy and utterances." Again, about pro-doer sympathy, I showed that Mr Conway Lloyd's instances were irrelevant everyone. Now, you bring up fresh instances. Even if from your style of arguing I do not gravely suspect the source of your information, but take its accuracy for granted, there again is your inconsistency the Boers have Home Rule though they took up arms, but the Irish may not because of their cheers You think of the "brave English soldiers "who died were there no Irish heroes? Granted that a few Nationalists have made foolish and dis- loyal speeches, htve, the Unionists made none? Mr Conway Lloyd (as we have seen)? Captain Craig ? and others ? Yet other Unionist speakers, such as Mr Harvey at Hay say, "It was not the people of Ireland wilO wanted Home Rule but the few agitator*" and Mr Beckwith at Crickhowell said of the Irish that "every year" they were "less inclined for any kind of revolution." Where is the consistency? Irish Catholics prayed for the success of the British arms and I was one. All these political references have, as such, no concern for me now for I am confining myself to the position of Catholics as such. I merely use I them to show the inconsistency, the unscrupulosity, t -ift,i- of not all but of many Unionists, who utter un- truths about us, and seek potitical advantage by deliberately stirring up "religious" strife. I am supported in this by the Unionist chief whip who is a Catholic. He said at Waterloo, Liverpool, Things of a most offensive character, displaying most narrow-minded ignorance and bigotry, had been uttered and written against his religion not by responsible leaders ot the Unionist Party, but what he might term the third-rate type of lecturer, who found it conveniently easy to dilate in anger and venom upon matters of religion, either through incapability or lack of intelligence to understand the question as a whole." ("Morning Post," Oct. 23rd, 1912). Another Catholic Unionist M.P., Col. Sir Mark Sykes, says in the" Times" of Sept. 27th, 1911, "It mikes it impossible for an Irish Catholic to be a Unionist or for an English Catholic Unionist to counten- ance the tactics of his party." Similarly other Catholic Unionists have protested, such as the Duke of Norfolk, Mr James F. Hope, M.P., and Lord Ninian Criton-Stuart, M.P. tor Cardiff, who says it is "di-c;usting and disgraceful." I hope you are not serious when you say that "the Ancient Order of Hibernians is a secret society in this respect that it debars Protestants from membership, and that its Lodges are guarded almost as rip.suiy as those of Freemasons." Are then H Oat hi the Temperance Society, a Confirma- tion lass, the Welsh Baptist Union (because of close cjmmuuMu), the Liberal Club, a "Dinas" house-party without you or me, secret societies" because they are exclusive ? Even if they keep out some Protestants and have every avenue of approach rigidly guarded ? Mr Conway Lloyd seems to write more sensibly than that. The secret societies he refers to are those oath-bound societies which plot against lawful authority in Church and State or both. Such are Freemasons and Fenians-if Fenians there be. Again it is untrue to say that the Ancient Order of Hibernians is such and you decline the challenge to quote a disloyal rule. As to Mr Lloyd's figures, I have two remarks to make first that you have suffere 1 yourself to be trapped 1 merely went on his figures in which he suppressed the number of Catholics. Arguing, as I said, on his beautiful system of averages "-not on mine or any correct system—I showed what would result. You condemn the result as fal- lacious {not the arithmetic as incorrect), and thereby you condemn Mr Conway Lloyd And again, surely, you knew that we had County Coun- cil electorates'in Ireland, and not four Provincial electorates The second remark is, that his figures are both wrung and misleading. Wrong, because in County Council electorates outside Ulster how could Protestants have a chance where the Catholics are usually over eighty, and up to ninety- eight per cent.'? And yet a number is elected. Is that intolerance ? Misleading, because, as a fact, they are not elected as Protestants but, more wonderful still, as Unionists! Do Unionists in Great Britain ever elect Liberals ? Unionists in Ireland --atiti in no county in Ulster are Protestants eighty per cent.—never elect Catholics or Home Rulers. Irish Catholics do, then, waive their principles in favour of a Unionist of exceptional merit, such as Col- Everard, who has been a tower of strength to the tobacco industry. Find me greater tolerance than that in the United King- dom. Mr Conway Lloyd does not touch upon other boards or bodies and he does not say what would happen in Ulster if plural voting were abolished You decline my offer of Protestant witness to Catholic toleration no wonder !Yours, &c., W. FINUCANE. Catholic Church, Brecon, 15th Dec., ISM3. Father Finucane continues to treat his own assertions as incontrovertible facts after evidence has been given disproving them, and claims from his opponents admissions which they have not made. At the very outset of the foregoing letter he says we concede at last that the Roman Catholic Church has no concern with purely secular affairs in Ireland or in other countries." We made no such concession, as reference to our I article on the 11th inst. will show. What we then said was "Incidentally it is fair argument that the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church do not affect the question at issue the point is not what the religion enjoins, but what many of those who profess it do and say, particularly in its name." Tn everybody but Father Finucane, we are sure, the distinction between the ideal of the religion an'! the real of the Church will be clear enough. Then the rev. gentleman goes on to say that Mr Conway Lloyd, when at Brecon and Crickhowell, knew that he (Father Finucane) had denounced the untruth. At that time the correspondence had not commenced, and we can only infer a reference to something outside our knowledge but this correspondence has shown that a thing is not necessarily an untruth because Father Finucane so de.cribe8 it. A good deal of what follows is out of court it is based on assumptions, neither admitted nor proved. In passing, how absurd the suggestion that disloyalty amongst Catholics in Ireland is non-existent because there are not wholesale excommunications It would be about as sensible to say that the priests of Dublin are on the side of Capital and against Labour because they do not shout for Larkin. Father Finucane wriggles uncomfortably in attempting bo escape from responsibility for the untrue stz. ment re Mr Devlin's connection with Belfast, b"' he cannot get away from it. He falls back on Derry, and rashly asserts that this was not mentioned at the anti-Home Rule meetings. Thuse mh, c i ngs were not reported in full, and for aught we know the Derry case was mentioned over and over again. Whether it was or not, the rev. gentleman made a wild mis-statement, and now tries to shuffle out of it. We gave the proof he asks for in a previous note If we understand him aright, Father Finucane is now prepared to offer proof of the disloyalty of Freemasons. He should have done that when he was challenged. At the risk of his concluding we are shirking the issue, we content ourselves with the remark that we are confident about the loyalty of Freemasons in the United Kingdom. We did not admit the untruth of the Irish Unionist Presbyterian appeal, although we were not responsible for it, nor had Mr Conway Lloyd anything to do with it. Nor did we evade the challenge about the "priests' point of view" in certain Irish elections. It was only possible to suggest what was their point of view (not being able to penetrate their minds), and that we did. Again, we plead not guilty to the charge of being evasive about the Gaelic Athletic Associa- tion We gave instances of its peculiarly loyal tactics—actions which cannot be explained away by any unknown good authority." It does not make the proposition that the Nation- alists bar the National Anthem untrue to go back to the days of Butt or to quote a special happen- ing in 1856 when there was obvious reason for "assuming a virtue though they had it not." We make Father Finucane a present of his statement that even the Unionist papers admitted tnat King George had a more enthusiastic welcome in Ireland than in any other part of his dominions, with this one observation, that if he wants us to take it as proof of abiding loyalty amongst the rank and file of Irish Nationalists, we claim the right to reserve judgment until the people have discarded their disloyal leaders. Father Finucane quotes from speeches and letters of Unionists who are Roman Catholics, but we notice he does not quote the letter of Mr Rowland Hunt, MP., a Roman Catholic, pledging himself and son to fight for Ulster if needs be. We are sure he will forgive us this bit of new matter if only because it might be used to show a Catholic's tolerance. Here is atypical example of unfairness.—"My reference to the Catholic marriage laws was made to show how inconsistent and unscrupulous you were." All we had done was to publish a letter on the subject, and we had excised part of that in an endeavour to be fair to a colleague of Father Finucaue's. Now who is the unscrupulous party to this correspondence ? Just as reliable are the references to the Pro- Boer business. Instances which cannot be denied are passed over as irrelevant new ones bring the sneer "I gravely suspect the source of your infor- mation." If the facts cannot be denied, of what importance is the source of our knowledge ? The secret character of the Ancient Order of Hibernians is seriously suggested for the reasons mentioned and others, and cannot be explained away by ridiculous comparisons. The acts are there all the time against the rev. gent., and these count for more than paper rules. We are quite ready to admit that Father Finucane tried to trap our readers with his treat- ment of the figures of County Council reyivstu.- tation in Ireland, but we cannot refrain from smiling at his notion that he trapped us because we shattered his flimsy structure about the Parlia- mentary representation of Ulster. He had asserted that Protestants had more than their share of representation cn the County Councils. When Mr Conway Lloyd gave figures by way of answer he first juggled with them and then applied the result to the Par'iamentary representation of Ulster. We demolished the Ulster case, but that demolition did not trap us into condemning Mr Conway Lloyd, for the simple reason that the County Council figures were given to disprove Father Finucane's assertion with regard to Protestant representation on the county authorities in the Nationalist part of Ireland. Whether Ulster Protestants do or do not support Catholics for any office is a question entirely outside the issue. Father Finucane has now had to admit in effect that Nationalist county council electorates, where in an overwhelming majority, keep the representation to themselves pretty well. All he can uphold now is that a I "certain number" of Protestants are elected. For ourselves we are ready to let the figures—all the figures—of county council representation for coun- ties of Ireland, or provinces, speak for themselves without averaging, or lumping, or omission. As to our declining the offer of Protestant wit- ness to Catholic toleration, rightly or wrongly we thought we were justified in ignoring as vain boasting an offer to "keep us supplied for a year or two" with such testimonies, especially seeing that it does not square very well with the present situation in Ireland, no matter whether we regard that situation from the point of view of Unionists or Home Rulers or Catholics or Protestants. Owing to its great length and the special difficulties of finding space for all the matter we have to deal with in a short week, Father Finucane's letter has been slightly condensed, not, we believe, in any way unfairly. This correspoudenee is now closed.—Editor, "Brecon County Times."

Brecon Board of Guardians.




Christmas—The Outlook.


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St David's Convent, Brecon.