ISBN : 9780198843214
Until surprisingly recently the history of the Irish Catholic Church during the Northern Irish Troubles was written by Irish priests and bishops and was commemorative, rather than analytical. This study uses the Troubles as a case study to evaluate the role of the Catholic Church in mediating conflict.
During the Troubles, these priests and bishops often worked behind the scenes, acting as go-betweens for the British government and republican paramilitaries, to bring about a peaceful solution. However, this study also looks more broadly at the actions of the American, Irish and English Catholic Churches, as well as that of the Vatican, to uncover the full impact of the Church on the conflict. This critical analysis of previously neglected state, Irish, and English Catholic Church archival material changes our perspective on the role of a religious institution in a modern conflict.
Introduction: 'Religion from Rome, Politics from Home'?
1 'From Civil Rights to Armalites'
2 'The demands of justice must be stated before the words of peace find a receptive ground', 1972-1976
3 'The Men of Violence', 1976-1981
4 '...to remind Catholics that support for the IRA and SF was not compatible with membership of the Catholic Church', 1982-1990
5 'Let history judge who was to blame', 1990-1998
Conclusion: 'The Church needs to do a reality check'