News Release

DUP Deal Highlights British Anti-Catholicism, Threatens Peace in Ireland

newsrelease13The British Independent reports: “Ireland’s Prime Minister Warns Theresa May Over Deal with DUP.” President of the Council on Foreign Relations Richard Haass — who was United States Special Envoy for Northern Ireland — tweeted: “With DUP going into govt (which all but precludes govt role in talks) & Brexit, pol future of Northern Ireland suddenly highly uncertain.” Jonathan Powell, chief British negotiator in Northern Ireland from 1997 to 2007 recently wrote: “May’s Deal with the DUP Threatens 20 Years Hard Work in Ireland.”

While Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was derided for alleged ties to “IRA terrorists” during the campaign, OpenDemocracy.net reports: “Theresa May’s new partners in government have strong historical links with Loyalist paramilitary groups.” The Washington Post reports in: “This minor party holds the trump cards in the British Parliament. What is the DUP?” that: “It is associated with anti-Catholic evangelical Protestantism.” Also see: “Orange Order asks DUP to put Drumcree March on Wishlist in May Talks.”

Fr. SEAN Mc MANUS, seanmcmanus6 at mac.com
Fr. Mc Manus is founder and president of the Irish National Caucus. He said today: “Theresa May making a deal with the DUP to buttress her minority government highlights the anti-Catholic basis of law in Britain that is continuously overlooked.

“If a person is not acutely aware the British government has used (since the Reformation) anti-Catholicism as one of its main weapons of oppression in Ireland, then that person is woefully ignorant of both Irish history and British history. And if one does not realize that anti-Catholicism is still deeply rooted in a significant section of the Unionist/Loyalist/Orange/Protestant community today, then that person does not understand the problem in Northern Ireland. Since the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, Unionist/Loyalist/Orange/Protestant leaders have made it perfectly clear that their allegiance is not just to the British Crown, but to ‘Protestant succession to the British throne’ — constitutionally mandated by the anti-Catholic section of the act of Settlement, 1701, that bars a Catholic from being monarch. And if one wishes to ignore or cover-up this state-sponsored sectarianism, then he/she loses all credibility — like ignoring if there were a provision in the United States constitution barring a black person from being president.

“But, it was not the Orange Order or the Unionist Party that enacted the Act of Settlement, which provides the ideological underpinnings of sectarianism and anti-Catholicism in the north — it was the British Parliament. Thus it is the British government that is ultimately responsible for the continuation of sectarianism and anti-Catholicism in Northern Ireland — because both sectarianism and anti-Catholicism are enshrined, justified and mandated by the de facto British Constitution.”

Mc Manus is author of My American Struggle for Justice in Northern Ireland … And The Holy Land. His articles include “The Orange Order Personification of Anti-Catholic Bigotry.”

Background: While British law mandates the monarch not be a Catholic, there’s no explicit prohibition regarding the prime minister. Still, Tony Blair converted to Catholicism only after leaving office. The Guardian reported in 2007: “Tony Blair has converted to Roman Catholicism, sources close to the former prime minister said today. … The move comes after years of speculation that Mr. Blair, whose wife Cherie and four children are Catholic, would convert from Anglicanism after he resigned as prime minister in June.”Also see: “After 30 years as a Closet Catholic, Blair Finally Puts Faith Before politics.”

In 2000, the Guardian newspaper tried and failed to change the Act of Settlement, 1701. See: “A Challenge to the Crown: Now is the Time for Change,” which stated: “The act, passed at a time of widespread fear of Catholics, lays down that only Protestant heirs of Princess Sophia, granddaughter of James I, may take the British throne. Neither Catholics, nor those who marry a Catholic, nor those born out of wedlock, may remain in the line of succession. The act remains the crucial cornerstone of the British constitution, exercising an extraordinary hold over the monarchy…”

The act was changed in 2013 to allow the monarch to marry a Catholic, see from Channel 4: “Can the Heir to the Throne Marry a Muslim? Or Another Man?”