DISSING DEV – PART 2 – The Alleged Sectarian – by Donal Kennedy

A stranger parachuted into Dublin in 1938 would find two old Cathedrals, belonging to the Church ofIreland, an University in the city centre affiliated to the Church of Ireland, and, living in style in the
Phoenix Park, the President of Ireland, n.a member of the Church of Ireland and the son of a Church of Ireland Clergy man.

The stranger might be forgiven for thinking that most Irish citizens were members of the Church of Ireland. Or if they had approached Ireland from England or Scotland that like those countries Ireland had an established state religion.

Most Irish people were not members of the Church of Ireland (which had once been deemed “by law established) but considered themselves members of a Church established by a humble young carpenter from Nazareth.)

No religious denomination in Ireland was favoured by the Constitution which was crafted to give all citizens freedom OF and freedom FROM religion.

The Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, John Allen Fitzgerald CLEGG, was consulted by Dev and itwas on that  Prelate’s advice that the title of the Denomination of the majority was named in Article 44 as “The Holy Catholic and Apostolic and Roman Church” the description it gave itself at the Council of Trent. (See Article 44 Reconsidered in HISTORY IRELAND Jan/Feb 2019 by Niall Meehan, himself a critic of some features of  the Constitution.)

Article 44 (before Amendment in more recent years) listed religious bodies then in Ireland. Some years after Hitler, whose accession to power was cheered by THE  IRISH TIMES,  had stripped all German Jews of their citizenship ,named the Jewish Congregation by name as citizens to be cherished by all people in Ireland.

To disabuse the stranger parachuted into Dublin, from understandable conclusions the Constitution recorded the statistical fact that most Irish people took moral guidance from Rome.

Neither the Pope nor many of the Roman Catholic Bishops were totally happy with that. But they were not all on the Irish electoral register. .

Dev, Ireland’s most popular elected democrat ,could afford to exercise his own judgement on the matter,

That’s the end of DISSING DEV.

I hope to do a piece on the power of the Catholic Clergy in Ireland and its positive and negative features.But it can wait.

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