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The Bishop of Limerick on Boycotting.

1 , {duel) ftttbtttion haft beell excited by the j following IbtUih which Has tteeh 6K!)l to the 3 parish priest of Knockera by t)r O’tlwyfir, 1 Bishop of Limerick, with reference to the 1 interdict of the parish and the closing of the • Roman Catholic ChUrdh, owing to the con* • gregtttlon boycottihg ih the sacred building ■ Michael Ryan, accused of land-grabbing : I “The Palace, Corbally, Limerick, 19th 1 June, 1889. Dear Father Halpin,—lt is a • great sorrow to me to have to take so «x----i treme a step as to interdict yottf parish and \ close the church J but after the fullest and • most anxious deliberation I see no other 1 possible course. Before adopting it, as yon 1 are aware, I have tried every means 1 that I could think of to avoid the necessity of harsh measures. For Weeks 1 and months I have waited patiently in the hope that the religious spirit of the people would itself relieve me of so painful a necessity. I sent my vicar • general, who was personally known to them as their former parish priest, and who put before them in the most forcible and at the same time fatherly language the evils of their Conduct and its CotisctlUehOes j at ttijr request you have gone about from house ffl house for weeks, trying by remonstrances and jjersliasloii m Work upon them Individually ; and finally on the last few Sundays they had been formally warned of the measure Which 1 should take if thev Sersevered in their action. How, ft* nil use efforts have failed, I must take the •tops within iiiy power tn prevent God’s house and God’s worship being ffiadfi lfistru‘ Rieutl of a wicked and irreligious oombinfl,* tion for the attainment of it* ends. Boycotting has been condemned by the Supreme Head of the Church, and is sinful anywhere; but if there never were a decision by competent authorities on the point, the common sense and religious instruction of a Catholic people ought to teach them the outrageous impropriety of fighting out in Ood’^house, and in the presence of the awful sacrifice of the Mass, their quarrels about land, or politics, or any other secular interest. But as they do not seem to see this, I should be false to my duty if 1 allowed them the opportunities of persisting in conduct so sacrilegious. lam aware that for some of them at least there is the extenuation that they act under the influence of sheer terror. The following is a copy of a notice served on some of your parishioners: — ‘ Take warning—if you enter the grabber’s gallery you do so at your peril. Take this notice, or by heavens you will sutler. —By order.’ These are the methods by which

your parish is being disturbed ;but, however it is brought about, I cannot tolerate the use of God’s house for political or secular purposes. As long as lam bishop of this diocese, by God’s help, I, and I alone, shall determine who shall or who shall not bs excluded from the house of God, and I am not prepared to abdicate that duty to any set of men. I trust, too, that the misconduct of these people will be a warning to others against the danger of disobedience to the laws of their church. When these poor people of Knockera were induced to begin this system of boycotting they did not expect that they would bo led or driven to the lengths to which they have gone. Not only have they brought their own misconduct in church, but they have gone so far as to withdraw their children from instruction for first communion in order to exclude from the table of the Lord those whom they wish to shun, and, finally, this series of misdeeds culminated on Friday in the sacrilegious breaking into the church and destruction of its furniture. It is all sad and deplorable, and especially as I know that there has not been a more peaceable, orderly, religious community in the whole diocese. I trust that even now a better sense will prevail amongst them, and that they will return to their ordinary good conduct, and when, on to-morrow, they think of the faithful throughout the wide world gathered round the altars of the church to keep the solemn feast of Corpus Christi, they will feel the loneliness of their own church, and, blessed by the Divine Presence, will put to themselves this question : ‘ What will it profit a man to gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul?’—l am, dear Father Halpin, faithfully yours in Christ, Edward ; Thomas, Bishop of Limerick.”

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The Bishop of Limerick on Boycotting., Issue 7996, 27 August 1889

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The Bishop of Limerick on Boycotting. Issue 7996, 27 August 1889

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