American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"The Wind That Shakes the Barley" (2006)


Catholic Priest Addresses Congregation in Support of the Anglo-Irish Treaty

Audio mp3 delivered by Denis Conaway


Catholic Priest: I never thought I'd see the day: military courts established in Ireland by Irishmen; deportation or the death penalty for those caught with arms. In the name of God, what is going on?

I found this on the street during the week:

Under the Republic, the lands of the Aristocracy who live in luxury in London will be seized and divided up against landless workers and small farmers. All industry and agriculture will be controlled by the State for the workers' and famers' benefit.

Not content with stealing your savings, they'll be nationalizing the 12 Apostles next.

My dear brethren, we have an opportunity for the first time in generations in this country for peace and prosperity. We have that opportunity without English soldiers marching up and down our streets and outside our churches on a Sunday morning. We have that opportunity because we have signed a treaty -- a treaty of peace.

[Murmuring in the congregation]

Catholic Priest: Quiet. Let me remind those of you who have forgotten of the pastoral letter signed by Cardinal Logue and other Bishops. Anti-Treatyite irregulars have, and I quote:

...wrecked Ireland from end to end, and all those who participate in such crimes are guilty of the gravest sins and may not be absolved in confession, nor admitted to Holy Communion.

In other words: excommunication.

And this opinion of the treaty is not just the opinion of the Catholic Church. It is the opinion of other churches. And it is the opinion of every newspaper up and down and the length and breadth of this country. But most importantly, this treaty was ratified -- overwhelmingly ratified -- by the people in their democratic expression in the June election.

Damien: Can you tell me, Father, how there can be a fair election in this country when the most powerful country in the world threatens war? This is not the will of the people; it is the fear of the people.

Catholic Priest: How dare you talk to me in the house of God.

[More murmuring in the congregation]

Catholic Priest: Silence! Damien O'Donovan, you're a disgrace to the memory of your parents. Yes, get out!

Congregation Member: The Free-State Constitution was only printed the morning of the election. So nobody had time to --

Catholic Priest: Young lady, this is not the marketplace. Sit down! Shut up! Or get out my church!

Damien: And once again, the Catholic Church, with honorable exception, sides with the rich.

Catholic Priest: Get out!!

Pastoral Letter by Cardinal Michael Logue.pdf

Further Reading: The Anglo-Irish Treaty

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HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller.