The Irish Times has an interesting article today about John Charles McQuaid’s Lenten regulations, but it doesn’t carry the full text. I thought it might be interesting to publish the document in all its demented glory, ranging from McQuaid’s thoughts on what people should eat to his decidedly creepy utterances on the subject of women in sport: We take occasion to express our grave disapproval of the practice which has begun to show itself of permitting young women to compete in cycling and athletics in mixed public sports.
This was the Ireland of 1953. The Pope’s representative in Ireland saw fit to tell us where we might go to school, where we might send our children to university, whom we might marry, what we might read, what sports we might take part in and even what we might eat.
McQuaid saw fit in his Lenten message to condemn dog-racing on Sundays and gymnastic exercises, where special precaution must be taken in regard to Christian modesty in the case of girls, inasmuch as it is extremely unbecoming for them to display themselves before the public gaze.
The dirty old pervert.
Take careful note every time somebody complains about the closure of our embassy to the Vatican.
I. The Season of Lent is set aside by the Church as a time of special prayer and penance. Usually, the Church prescribes the penance of fasting. If it is not possible to fast, other penances and works of charity ought with prudence to be undertaken by young and old alike. The general behaviour of a Catholic during Lent should be that of a person, who, at this season, keeps constantly in mind the Passion and Death of Our Divine Redeemer, Jesus Christ.
II. This year the general law of the Church concerning Lenten Fast and Abstinence is to be observed in this Diocese.
III. The following regulations are to be regarded as stating the law of the Church for those who are able to fast, without danger to their health, or without undue strain upon their source of income.
(1) The Faithful between the ages of 21 and 60 years are bound by the law of fasting and the law of abstinence. The Faithful, who are over seven years and under 21 years of age, are bound only by the law of abstinence.
(2) On all Fast Days, the general law of the Church allows only one full meal to be taken. On all Fast Days, in addition to the one full meal, a light repast may be taken each morning and each evening. The quantity and kind of food allowed at each of these repasts are regulated by the approved custom of the Diocese.
In the Diocese of Dublin, custom sanctions the use at these repasts of milk, butter and cheese. In this Diocese, custom likewise allows the use of an egg, or fish, at the repast, each morning and each evening.
(3) On Fast Days which are not days of abstinence, meat is allowed; but those who are bound to fast may take meat at the one meal only.
(4) The law of abstinence forbids the use of flesh-meat or of any soup made from meat or from meat extracts. Lard or dripping may be used as a condiment (that is, for the purpose of cooking or giving relish to food) on all days of Fast or Abstinence.
(5) During the Lent of 1953:—
(a) Every day, except Sundays and St. Patrick’s Day will be a Fast Day.
(b) Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays of Lent will be days of fast and abstinence.
(c) By a special concession of the Holy See, flesh-meat may be taken on the Saturday of Quarter Tense, March 28th, and on Wednesdays, except on Ash Wednesday
IV. Where a dispensation from the Lenten Fast may be required, it may be obtained from any Parish Priest, or from the Head of any Religious House of clerics, or from any Confessor in the sacred Tribunal of Penance, holding the ordinary faculties of this Diocese.
V. The Lenten Fast ends at mid-day on Holy Saturday, April 4th.
VI. Within the Paschal Time, that is to say, in this Diocese, from Ash Wednesday to Trinity Sunday, which this year will occur on May 31st, the Faithful are commanded by the Church to receive the Holy Eucharist, in which Our Blessed Lord gives His Body and Blood, with His Soul and Divinity, for the spiritual nourishment of our souls.
VII. Parents have a most serious duty to secure a fully Catholic upbringing for their children, in all that concerns the instruction of their minds, the training of their wills to virtue, their bodily welfare and the preparation for their life as citizens, (Canon 1113, Code of Canon Law.)
Only the Church is competent to declare what is a fully Catholic upbringing; for, to the Church alone which, He established, Our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, has given the mission to teach mankind to observe all things whatsoever He has commanded. (St. Matthew, xxviii, 20)
Accordingly, in the education of Catholics, every branch of human training, in so far as faith and morals are concerned, is subject to the guidance of the Church, and those schools alone, which the Church approves, are capable of providing a fully Catholic education.
Therefore, the church forbids parents and guardians to send a child to any non-Catholic school, whether primary or secondary or continuation or university.
Deliberately to disobey this law is a mortal sin, and they who persist in disobedience are unworthy to receive the Sacraments.
VIII. No Catholic may enter the Protestant University of Trinity College, without having previously submitted his case to the Ordinary of the Diocese, whose exclusive right it is to decide whether, in the given circumstances, attendance may be tolerated. (Canon 1374, Code of Canon Law. Statutes 385, 404. §1, Plenary Synod of Maynooth, 1927.)
Any Catholic who deliberately disobeys this law is guilty of mortal sin and while he persists in disobedience, is unworthy to receive the Sacraments.
In this Diocese, it is reserved to the Archbishop to decide in what circumstances the attendance of a Catholic at Trinity College may be tolerated. Attendance may be tolerated only for grave and valid reasons and with the addition of definite measures, by which it is sought adequately to safeguard the faith and practice of a Catholic student.
IX. We feel it very advisable to draw attention to the following statement of the Holy See:
‘Deploring the immeasurable injury that is done to human souls, firstly, by the uncontrolled licence to publish and distribute books, pamphlets and periodicals in which things lewd and obscene are narrated, described or taught, and secondly, by the evil desire to read such publications indiscriminately, the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office issued the following admonitions:—
1. ‘All the Faithful should be mindful of their very grave obligation in conscience to refrain entirely from reading such books and periodicals.
2. ‘All who are charged with the training and education of youth have a very grave responsibility in virtue of their office to preserve their pupils from evil literature as from deadly poison.
3. ‘Finally officials holding civil authority, whose task it is to protect public mortality, may not lawfully allow to be published or distributed the evil literature above referred to, which tends to destroy the very foundations and principles of human decency.’
X. The Church, to safeguard the faith and morals of her children, forbids everywhere, and most severely, the marriage of a Catholic with a non-Catholic. (Canons 1060 and 1071, Code of Canon Law. Statue 300, Plenary Synod of Maynooth, 1927.) For grave reasons, and to avoid greater evils, the Church at times grants a dispensation, but only on condition:—
1-That the Catholic and non-Catholic parties promise to have all the children of the marriage baptised as Catholics and reared as Catholics, according to the prescriptions of the Church;
2-That the non-Catholic party promise not to interfere in any way with the faith or practice of the Catholic party;
3-That it be morally certain that these guarantees will be loyally observed.
The Catholic party is obliged in conscience prudently to strive for the conversion of the non-Catholic party. These guarantees are solemn pledges very gravely binding in conscience. Once given, they may not ever be disregarded or set aside.
XI. Atheistic Communism, no matter what fair words may be used to cloak its true meaning, is a blasphemous doctrine and a perverse way of life. It denies God, it hates the Church, it attempts, by every weapon of lying, treachery and persecution, to wipe out the One True Faith of Jesus Christ.
Communism, for its own evil ends, fosters social restlessness, and thus prepares for the violence of tyranny.
Communism is wrong in itself, and no one may without sin collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever.
The Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, in its Decree published on 1st July, 1949, makes clear the position of Catholics in relation to Communism. The Decree rules as follows:—
(1) The Faithful who, knowingly and freely (a) join Communist Associations or favour them; (b) publish, disseminate, or read books, periodicals, newspapers, or leaflets supporting the doctrine or activities of Communists; (c) write in such publications (Canon 1399, Code of Canon Law), are guilty of mortal sin, and may not be admitted to the Sacraments, inasmuch as they are not properly disposed.
(2) Further, the Faithful, who profess the materialistic and anti-Christian doctrine of Communists — in particular, those who defend or propagate such doctrine — incur, by the very fact, as apostates from the Catholic Faith, excommunication specially reserved to the Holy See.
XII. The law of the Church concerning forbidden and secret societies declares that any Catholic who enrols himself in a society which plots against the Church or against the legitimate Civil Authority, incurs, by the fact of such enrolment, the penalty of excommunication reserved to the Holy See.
XIII. The Church commands us to sanctify the Lord’s Day by hearing Mass and by abstaining from servile work.
This commandment is grave. As a result of the recent war crisis, a certain regrettable laxity in abstaining from servile work has been gradually introduced. Turf-cutting on Sunday would seem to have become an abuse.
Since the Lord’s Day belongs in a special manner to God alone, the Faithful ought to be strict with themselves in respecting its holiness.
Further, certain amusements make it very difficult or impossible to respect the Lord’s Day. In this country, dog-racing and horse or pony-racing are expressly forbidden as amusements that run counter to the holiness of the Lord’s Day. (Plenary Synod of Maynooth, 1927, Statute 333.)
We again admonish the Faithful to abstain from the sin and scandal of such violations of the Lord’s Day.
XIV. Parents are warned that, even though they themselves are not present, they have a grave and constant duty to supervise the amusements of their children.
In particular we refer to the adequate control of the place and circumstances of dancing.
We take occasion to express our grave disapproval of the practice which has begun to show itself of permitting young women to compete in cycling and athletics in mixed public sports.
Pope Pius XI, emphasising the rules for separation of the sexes which the law of nature and Christian prudence demand, has declared: ‘These rules must be observed also in athletics and gymnastic exercises, where special precaution must be taken in regard to Christian modesty in the case of girls, inasmuch as it is extremely unbecoming for them to display themselves before the public gaze’. (Encyclical Letter, “Divini Illius Magisti”.)
XV. In this diocese the three Papal Associations for the Propagation of the Faith are: — The Pontifical Work for the Propagation of the Faith; The Association of the Holy Childhood and the Apostolic work.
We take occasion to recommend, before all other missionary works in the parishes and schools of the Diocese, these three official associations. By membership in the Holy Childhood, children can be most effectively trained to enrol themselves in the Parish Association of the Propagation of the Faith
XVI. The Catholic Truth Society, as an organ for the promotion of useful Catholic reading, deserves generous support.
XVII. As our major seminary of the Holy Cross, Clonliffe, has no public endowment to depend upon, we beg to remind the Faithful that, in accordance with our diocesan usage, long since established, the special Lenten offerings are appropriated to the College. The clergy are directed to put up in conspicuous places in their churches safe boxes to receive these offerings. Further, we hereby direct that in all churches of the diocese a public collection be held on Laetare Sunday, the 15th March, for the new wing and the general purposes of Holy Cross College, Clonliffe.
XVIII. In compliance with a resolution of the archbishops and bishops of Ireland (14th October, 1903,) the Novena in preparation for the Feast of St. Patrick is to be offered specially ‘for the spread of temperance in Ireland’.
XIX. On Passion Sunday, the 22nd March, the anniversary of the Solemn Dedication of Ireland to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, there will be Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament, for some hours, in all the parochial and other churches and chapels of the diocese. The Act of Consecration which was used on former occasions will be read during the Exposition.