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100 years ago: Heroism in the Irish Church

by
29 July 2022

July 28th, 1922.

WITHIN the last few days an instance of fine heroism has been given by a priest of the Irish Church, Canon Fry, of Newtonbarry, who held his rectory against three marauders armed with revolvers, and by courage and resource contrived to disarm them, afterwards returning the revolvers to the leader of the irregulars, and receiving from him cash to cover the damage done to the rectory. As Mr Stephen Gwynn says, Military Crosses were earned in France for much less proof of gallantry and judgment. The incident attracts attention because it is dramatic. But worthy of even more praise is the fidelity with which the clergy of the Church of Ire ­land stick to their posts in ordinary times, living in loneliness and in an atmosphere of open or veiled hostility. As the Church of Ireland Gazette says, the strain upon their spiritual reserves is intense and incessant. The situation reacts upon their spiritual life. But at all costs they must hold on, and they do. They have discharged their duty in danger and distress; many of them have seen their flocks dwindle to vanishing point. They have to maintain their own spiritual life that they may help others in like distress. When we are inclined to criticize the Church of Ireland it is but just that the unshaken courage and patience of her clergy in the South should be remembered. What they have done and suffered in these days of Ireland’s agony should be remembered to the lasting honour of the Irish Church.

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Sat 13 Aug @ 08:46
“Due process will now follow, through the clergy disciplinary canon. . . The suspension will be kept under regular… https://t.co/hSGF8V2R7D

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