It may be very difficult for people today to understand the symbiosis between the Irish Civil Authorities and the Roman Catholic Church in 1930s.
The image above, which shows the Lord Mayor of Dublin welcoming the Papal Legate to the city for the Eucharistic Congress of 1932, encapsulates it all for me.
Check out the Address of Homage which the same Lord Mayor presented to Pope Pius XI on behalf of the citizens of Dublin, the following year (1933) on the occasion of his visit to His Holiness. The extract below gives the flavour:
"Impelled by filial love, we, the members of the Dublin City Council, humbly prostrate at the feet of Your Holiness, tender, through our Lord Mayor, the homage and the unalterable fidelity of the Citizens of Dublin to the Apostolic See."and if that were not enough, the Lord Mayor, in a private audience with the Holy Father, and referring to the Eucharistic Congress of the previous year, averred:
"that the Congress seems to have given to the poor and the unemployed fresh vigour and courage to bear with resignation their poverty and their trials, and thus bring them nearer to God, and to find in sorrow an instrument of attaining to the riches of eternal life."How far from liberation theology can you get? Who were the Ayatollahs here? Is it any wonder that the Southern State scared the bejaysus out of our Northern Brethern.
By the way, I am not having a go at Alfie Byrne here. He was operating in a particular context, and it is the context that I want to illustrate.