Pope and Queen (McCarthy, 1901)

1.638-44. Michael J.F. McCarthy, Five Years in Ireland: 1895-1900, (London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co.; Dublin: Hodges Figgis & Co., 1901), pp. 242-43, 258. BL W.48/3221

Two extracts from Michael J.F. McCarthy, Five Years in Ireland (1901), on toasts to the Pope and the Queen.

In describing the events of Queen Victoria’s jubilee year of 1897 and a toast proposed by Lord Russell of Killowen at the inaugural banquet of the Castleknock Union held at the Antient Concert Rooms in Dublin in January of that year, McCarthy reflects on the strangeness of uniting Pope and Queen, living embodiments of Stephen’s two masters, in a single toast, while Ireland’s prosperity goes unwished for:

His opening words to the public and his audience were: — “The organisers of the feast,” the Vincentians, or Dooleyites, as the Irish branch should properly be styled — they are known as Lazaristes in Paris — “have ordained that there shall be proposed two toasts and two toasts only…. The first in natural order is a combined toast: The Pope and Queen, the Queen and Pope.” Then he raised his glass and gave “The Health of the Pope and the Queen, the Queen and the Pope.” These were his actual words, and they show us Irish Catholic clericalism in excelsis. Poor Ireland has no place on the toast list. What the Queen has to do with the Pope, and what the Pope has to do with the Queen, I leave to the “organisers of the feast” to explain. I cannot see the connection, though I respect the Queen and I respect the pope for their signal and proved ability in their different spheres. One could understand the toast at a clerical banquet in Maynooth. But used at a banquet of Catholic laymen, heavily interlarded, even though it was, with clerics, the words give one the keynote of clerical ascendancy in Catholic Ireland . . .

The Jesuits of the College of Clongowes Wood, not to be outdone by the Vincentians at Castleknock, started a Union, also, in connection with their clerically-governed school. They held their banquet at the Shelbourne Hotel, and it was presided over by the Chief Baron Palles; and Chief Justice O’Brien was the next most distinguished guest. There was no “Pope and Queen” toast reported. But “The Queen” was properly toasted, and “The Union,” and “The Jesuits.” No toast to Ireland or its prosperity is recorded! I said of the Vincentians that they were “superior priests”; I say of the Jesuits that they are sensible priests. But, like all priests, their first object is the glorification of the clerical order at the expense of the lay.