Tags: dolan | catholic | irish | ira

Sorry, Cardinal Dolan, But The IRA Is Not ISIS

Thursday, 19 March 2015 01:21 PM Current | Bio | Archive

‘Twas a miracle.

How else can you explain the ability of one man (an Irishman, no less) to dampen St. Patrick’s Day? That’s no easy feat, as the happy-go-lucky Irish have made St. Paddy’s the most festive holiday of the year.

But New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan did just that.

How? By likening the Irish Republican Army (IRA), who fought against the oppressive English occupation of Northern Ireland, to the brutal terrorist group ISIS — the animals known for their beheadings, mass executions, burnt corpses, and desire to establish a totalitarian Islamic caliphate around the world.

In making his comparison, Dolan, and by extension, the Catholic Church, once again shot themselves in the foot, alienating a huge part of its dwindling constituency.

“The parallel I’ve drawn is . . . the IRA claimed to be Catholic. They were baptized. They had a Catholic identity,” Dolan said during a CNN interview. “The analogy (to the IRA) is accurate.”

It boggles the mind that he would say it just days before leading New York’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade as Grand Marshal.

To say that Irish the world over are infuriated is a gross understatement.

  • Dolan said ISIS was conducting a “systematic, well-choreographed, very well-focused attempt to eradicate the ancient Christian population in the Mideast,” and agreed with the interviewer that it was engaged in targeted genocide.
  • Perhaps Dolan could explain what population the IRA tried to eradicate, and, specifically, where, how and against whom they engaged in genocide.
  • Above all, ISIS is known for its sheer brutality against innocent people, and its desire to conquer, convert or kill “nonbelievers.” The IRA never remotely pursued such things, making the Cardinal’s analogy patently preposterous.
  • Unlike ISIS, whose existence is predicated on religious tenets, the IRA’s fight was never religious. Ironically, the IRA fought for principles that ISIS finds abominable: human rights and equality. The IRA never wanted a Catholic state, nor to purge the country of non-Catholics. Quite the opposite, its main objective was to expel a foreign force that had openly engaged in anti-Catholicism: Catholics in Northern Ireland had substandard education, scant employment opportunities and saw many of their rights eliminated.

Equal pay? Freedom of speech? Of the press? Of movement and the right to congregate? Freedom to own family land without fear of confiscation? No.

Catholics in Northern Ireland were third-class citizens subservient to Protestant rule, with few rights, making it almost impossible to have a decent living.

They were deliberately kept down by brass-knuckled Protestant police backed by the superior strength of the British army.

Not all of the IRA’s actions can be condoned, as innocents were caught in the crossfire. But for a Catholic leader to compare people who fought for independence, especially religious freedom, with a group who slaughters all who oppose them, is incredibly irresponsible.

Cardinal Dolan would have been better served discussing ways to heal recent wounds over pedophile priests rather than digging up a conflict that has since mended. Instead, his comments served only to generate intense animosity toward the Catholic Church at a time it can least afford it.

Kudos to the many who opposed Cardinal Dolan. They showed a welcome solidarity, making everyone, regardless of religion or nationality, “Irish” in spirit. And that’s worth more than any pot of gold.

Erin go bragh!

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.


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Dolan said ISIS was conducting a “systematic, well-choreographed attempt to eradicate the ancient Christian population in the Mideast.” Perhaps he could explain what population the IRA tried to eradicate.
dolan, catholic, irish, ira
Thursday, 19 March 2015 01:21 PM
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