England’s extremity
in Michael Logue and the Catholic Church in Ireland, 1879–1925
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This chapter examines England's extremity. It is a mistake to view Ireland's response to the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 in pro- or anti-British terms. With the enactment of Home Rule, John Dillon felt justified in talking of the ‘union of two democracies’ of Britain and Ireland in the coming struggle in Europe despite the postponement of the Home Rule Act for the duration of the war. Along with this, the continued regardless of political events in Ireland and the shifting direction of public opinion and his impassioned pleas for chaplains reflected a deep concern for their spiritual welfare. In his statements to the press, Logue painted a picture of Catholic souls either in imminent and mortal peril or a state of ‘spiritual destitution’. He did not pronounce on the morality of enlistment but was convinced that Catholic chaplains were performing a service of absolute good.

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