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Tosaíonn an réabhlóid, 3/3

Throughout the 1960s the controversy over the Vatican Council’s liturgical reforms was a minor hiccup in world affairs. The space race, political assassinations in America, and the war in Vietnam, were just three of the issues that dominated the news media, leaving little room for the planned abolition of the Tridentine Mass. Of course the matter was of great interest to the religious establishment. Archbishop McQuaid tried to frustrate the changes, partly because he loved the old rite. He was also worried that the New Mass would legitimise the Reformation and undermine what he saw as the true faith. His Protestant counterparts, on the other hand, were delighted that Rome was at last catching up with Martin Luther and Thomas Cranmer. Then, in July 1971, a petition sent to the pope by some high profile individuals brought the matter back into the headlines.[1] The signatories were horrified at the plan to “obliterate” the Mass by the end of the year. While they acknowledged the re

Tosaíonn an réabhlóid, 2/3

John Charles McQuaid is not an ideal candidate for the underdog in this story; far from it. But that is what he turned out to be. As archbishop of Dublin from 1940 to 1972, McQuaid presided over the largest Roman Catholic diocese in Ireland. According to the 1961 census, the total population of the greater Dublin area was just over 718,000. Of those, more than ninety-two per cent were members of his flock.  But the archbishop’s power and influence were not based simply on the size of his patch. As the nation's capital city, Dublin was home to the main public and private organs of the state. These included the national print and broadcast media, centres of education such as Trinity College, and of course the major government departments. McQuaid believed that his ecclesiastical authority extended over all of these bodies, and few demurred. In March 1965, the Minister for External Affairs, Frank Aiken, sought the archbishop’s permission to attend a Lutheran service in Dublin. M