Extract from Father MacErlean’s Reply


Catholic Times, 18 November 1912

Mr. Connolly now admits that Judge Maguire’s statement is not strictly true; that the Popes were justified in recognising the rights of the de facto government, that is, in the present case, the rights of the King of England over those parts of Ireland that had acknowledged his lordship; that the interventions of the Popes worked out on some occasions in favour of the Irish; and that he has no fault to find with the Popes for their being. On all occasions inspired primarily by considerations for the welfare of the Church. Let us see also

What Mr. Connolly Does Not Now Deny.

He does not deny that Pope John XXII sternly commanded King Edward II to remedy the grievances of which the Irish complained; that the Popes refused to recognise any claim of the Kings of England to interfere in the affairs of independent Irish dioceses; that the Popes frequently resisted the pressure brought to bear on him [sic] by the King of England and the Anglo-Norman nobles; that there was no systematic favouring of the Norman as against the Irish clergy by the Pope; that a Pope refused to recognise ignorance of English as a bar to an Irishman’s being appointed to a bishopric in the English domain; or that the Pope favoured the establishment of an Irish University for the education of Irish students at home. All that is as satisfactory as it is undeniable; but what then becomes of Mr. Connolly’s quotation from Judge Maguire that history fails to show a single instance of the Church’s intervening for the protection of her faithful Irish children?

What Mr. Connolly Complains Of.

Mr. Connolly complains that I have tried to create suspicions against the Catholics of Belfast in the minds of Catholics elsewhere; that I attacked him without quoting any words of his; and that I suppressed the fact that the Pope ordered the adherents of Bruce to be excommunicated. A few words will suffice to dissipate these suggestions. Far from trying to create suspicion against the Catholics of Belfast I wrote that article to counteract the statements of Mr. Connolly and others which would tend just to create such suspicions. The Catholics of Belfast have never had any sympathy with such sentiments as those of Mr. Connolly. Their faith and their nationality are spoken of throughout the world. They have ever been loyal to Ireland and loyal to the Church, and have always shown themselves ready to shed their blood, if necessary, in defence of either. If Mr. Connolly wishes to share in the glory of the Catholics of Belfast, let him learn their spirit and do their works. To attempt to divorce the national spirit of the Catholics of Belfast from their spirit of

Traditional Loyalty to the Church

by publishing a pamphlet in which the Church is falsely abused and openly maligned is the work of an enemy, even though he should masquerade as a friend. Cockle is cockle, even though it grow in a cornfield.


Last updated on 19.8.2007