Tipperary Priest Was Vatican Authority on Activities of Secret Societies
(Excerpts from the “Tipperary Star” of May 8th 1954)
name will forever be associated with the Cause of the Kingship of
Christ. The writings of the great Cardinal Pie (1815-1880), Bishop
of Poitiers, had a profound influence on his life and work. These
writings so warmly commended by Blessed Pius X, had helped him see
“the history of the world in its true perspective, that is, in relation
to Our Lord”. Following in the footsteps of the great French Cardinal,
Father Fahey appealed to Catholics to arouse themselves from apathy
and indifference and not to acquiesce in the dethronement of Christ
insisted that, “The world must conform to Our Lord, not He to it”.
Divine Plan for Order
“In his characteristic forthright manner he set down in clear
and unmistakable terms the Divine Plan for Order in the world, as
outlined in the Papal Encyclicals. This is the Six Point Programme
- The Catholic Plan for Social Order - which is printed in each
issue of Fiat. It is the Plan advocated by Maria
Duce, an organisation of Catholics which was founded through
the inspiration of Father Fahey, and of which he was a member.
“To that Divine Plan for Order”, wrote Father Fahey, “there neither
is nor can be any man-made alternative. Man has not even got the
right to propose an alternative.
duty is simply to try to grasp what God has instituted and bow down
his head in humble acceptance.
can he fully acknowledge God’s Rights”. On this Divine Plan for
Order, Father Fahey never compromised. It was God’s Plan; he would
not whittle it down. “It is the duty”, he urged, “of those who
believe in and love Our Lord not to whittle down His programme but
to preach the integral truth and to urge the world to the one course
befitting creatures- humble submission to order.
In laying bare the sound doctrine of the Kingship of Christ, he had
of necessity, like Saint Thomas Aquinas, to contradict many of the
erroneous but accepted ideas of his age. The awful consequences
of disorder in political, social and economic life could only be
remedied he stressed, by the return to the full doctrine and practice
of Membership of Christ, that is, by the implementation of the Six
Point Programme of Order to which reference has already been made.
a double-edge sword his keen intellect, with clean cuts severed
truth from error.
In all his
work he strove to follow the example of his Divine Master. To guide
him in his castigation of error, he recalled the words of Blessed
Pius X that, “though Jesus was kind to those who had gone astray
and to sinners, He did not respect their erroneous convictions,
however sincere they appeared to be”. His defence for truth and
his unmasking of errors was forever consistent with the injunction
of Pope Pius XI: “The first and obvious duty the priest owes to
the world about him, is service to the truth, the unmasking of and
refutation of error in whatever from of disguise it conceals itself”.
Because he was faithful to his priestly office, he unmasked the
enemies of Christ the King and emphasised the teaching of Cardinal
Pie that the Will of God is not done on earth, as it is in Heaven,
if organised societies here below do not acknowledge their duties
to God through Our Lord Jesus Christ.
MAGNIFICENT SERVICE FOR MANKIND”
Father Fahey pointed out, “is in practice the same thing as opposition
to the Mystical Body of Christ, the Catholic Church instituted by
Our Divine Lord Jesus Christ as the visible expression as well as
the divinely-accredited exponent of the Divine Plan for Order in
the world. Naturalism must therefore, be opposed by every Catholic
worthy of the name”.
was acknowledged as a world-wide authority on the activities of
His brilliance as a linguist facilitated him in his study of the original
sources of documentation which he presented to his readers.
connotation of the term “anti-Semitism” did not deter Father Fahey
from exposing the awful activities of the Jewish Nation in its calculated
campaign to impose its will on God. The initiation and use by the
international Jewish Money Power of the modern scourge of Atheistic
Communism was lucidly explained by him. He strove to do all in
his power “to set forth the opposition of every form of Naturalism,
including Jewish Naturalism, to the supernatural reign of Christ
the King.” In addition, as he wrote in The Kingship of Christ
and the Conversion of the Jewish Nation, for over forty
years I have been offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass every
year on the Feasts of the Resurrection, Corpus Christi, Saints Peter
and Paul, and the Assumption of Our Blessed Mother for the acceptance
by the Jewish Nation of the Divine Plan for Order”.
opposition of the Jewish Nation to God’s Plan for Order deeply grieved
Father Fahey. He prayed that they would cease to wound the Sacred
Heart of Jesus and His Blessed Mother. “A day will come”, he wrote,
“when the Jewish Nation will cease to oppose order and will turn
in sorrow and repentance to Him whom they rejected before Pilate.
will be a glorious triumph for the Immaculate Heart of Our Blessed
Until that day dawns, however, their naturalistic opposition to the
one true Supernatural Order of the world must be exposed and combatted”.
He was a great priest and a true patriot.
His roots were
deep in the traditional allegiance to Faith and Fatherland. He
saw that the true resurgence of Ireland could never be accomplished
on the false principals of Nationalism that stemmed from the French
Revolution. The true national spirit must be revived, the spirit
that spurred on to victory the great Eoghan Ruadh O’Neill, when
with “Sancta Maria” on their lips, his soldiers “charged for the
books Father Fahey will continue to exhort and guide every Irishman
and every soldier of Christ the King, wherever he be, to strive
ever harder for the Universal Rights of Christ the King. For our
own part, we pledge ourselves to be ever faithful to the heritage
he has bequeathed to us. We will always remember his words: “It
would be easier for Our Divine Lord and His Blessed Mother to do
all They want without us, but as They have decided otherwise, we
must just keep on and be grateful for being made to work and suffer”.
Appreciation by Rev. F. Comerford, C.S.Sp.
the ‘Tipperary Star’ of May 29th 1954)
the Golden Vale
To really say
one knew Father Fahey, one should have met him in his home setting.
Into the green, fertile land around the Golden Vale in the heart
of Tipperary he fitted as into a natural background. He invited
me to visit him there one sunny July evening some ten years ago.
He had been saving hay that morning and had just finished his breviary
when I arrived.
greeted me with a warmth of affection that I shall never forget.
I felt not
without a touch of pride that I was more then a student now. I
was a friend. He showed me around the modest farm, pointed out the
spit in the local river where he took his early morning dip, made
me partake finally of a delightful tea under the thatched roof where
he was born. And all the while he regaled me with a host of historical
anecdotes, sad and humorous alike, evoked perhaps by a passer-by,
an old times whom he knew in the “bad days”, or by the now broken walls that surrounded the once-spacious demesne of a little-loved
Ten years is
not a short span, yet time has not dimmed the memory of those golden
moments spent in Kilmore with Father Fahey. He was a man stepped
in his country’s history, full of its lore and with a knowledge
and love of the Irish language that few command.
indeed has Ireland had a more sincere and genuine patriot of only
the truth were told.
spoke of “Father Denis” with an affection and respect not untinged
with legitimate pride. His sermons on the Sundays of his brief
annual sojourn in his native parish were eagerly looked forward
to. He knew his audience - none better. That is why perhaps one
of his listeners could pay him a tribute and make an important distinction
at the same time. “He’s a Tipperary man, is Father Denis, and hurling
is in his blood. He never delays us on the Sunday of the Munster
Final and thinks nothing of cycling the 25 odd miles to be present
himself”. He laughed heartily when I recounted this comment.
Few knew Father Fahey, knew him as a friend knows a friend with that
understanding and insight that is quick to appreciate greatness
even amid the more sombre setting of what is merely human.
It was a a
teacher of Philosophy that most of us first encountered Father Fahey.
His fame had of course preceded him and he was something of a fable
before ever we met him. He was not a teacher in the Quintilian
sense that he succeeded in making his matter, logic and metaphysics,
palatable to the untrained mind. He did not possess, as the “born
teacher” does, the art of putting his ideas across with clarity,
at least in English. English is not the language of philosophy
and Father Fahey was often cumbersome in his efforts to cloth in
the English idiom those philosophical concepts that are so happily
couched in Latin as in their native setting.
his books make dry and difficult reading for the average reader.
It is a tribute to him nonetheless that his books have been so widely
read and appreciated in spite of this initial handicap.
He was however
a teacher in the higher sense that his mere presence exercised over
all who were unbiassed a strange charm and fascination. He radiated
a very real quality, difficult to describe and impossible to define,
and which many would call holiness. We felt we were in the presence
of one who was great because he was good, good with the goodness
of God. He had a rare sense of humour which found expression often
at his own expense but never at the expense of others.
was wont to get quite a large mail from England and America, a
large proportion of it from non-Catholics, writers in various social
fields, who sought his advice and criticism.
One day holding
up a sheaf of such correspondence he remarked in his high-pitch
voice: “They said Father Fahey had a bee in his bonnet, but now
they are all coming looking for the honey!!” In Church History
class he was most interesting. He gave the minimum time to early
and long-dead heresies and was much more concerned with the history
of the Church in the making, of “the Mystical Body of Christ in
the Modern World”. He was labelled “anti-semite” by those who never
tried to understand his careful distinction, who could lay claim
neither to his erudition and competency in the subject in question
nor to his spontaneous abhorrence of anything that offended against
Truth or Charity.
did not approve of Article 44 of the Constitution of Eire (1937)
he was termed “unpatriotic” by many to whom the traditional Catholic
teaching on the relations which should exist between Church and
State was a closed book. Pointing out that such a disapproval flows
from the principles of Catholic Social teaching as inevitably as
water from a fountain, he said, one day with a humorous twinkle
in his eye: “The Popes posit the major premise: Article 44 provides
the minor premise - and they all jump on me because I draw the conclusion!
“The humour in the situation was the humour of the logician. As
an Irish priest, however, he felt very keenly the infidelity to
Christ contained in Article 44. It haunted his waking hours and
disturbed his brief moments of repose.
thought that his beloved Ireland, which had so loyally withstood
through tortured centuries every effort to destroy her Faith in
Christ, should fail in her official document publicly to acknowledge
His Kingship, - that thought, that fact blighted in his eyes all
the beauties of nature, robbed the bird’s song of their sweetness
and the countryside at large of it colour.
took such a serious view of the situation. But then, they were
few indeed who were qualified as he to assess the problem at its
true worth. For him it was a tragedy. Only on the day of judgement
will we know how tragic it was for Ireland.
Fahey was at home on the heights. He saw “the vision splendid”
and sought to interpret that vision to others. Small wonder then
that those whom he helped as Confessor and Director regarded him
with something akin to veneration. His principles as a rule were
beyond the pale of contest. Few would dare quarrel with them.
As a student
he was too thorough and painstaking to tolerate the superficial
in thought, or expression. Indeed he weight his works with an almost
excessive care. Hence it is not surprising that in the social field,
where many challenged his conclusions, nobody to my knowledge has
disproved a thesis of his. The walls of his syllogisms never cracked
under the clamour that rose around them. What the Popes taught
Father Fahey certainly preached. He took such pains, however, to
search out the “ultimate causes” and rear his edifice on foolproof
foundations that too few journeymen who accompanied him, so to speak,
in the initial stages of this building process had the intellectual
patience to see the job through. His teaching was too deep for small
minds, who not infrequently hastened to condemn what they failed
to understand like the fox in the fable. It was Tertulian who said
long ago: “This boon alone Truth sometimes craves - that it be
not condemned unheard”. How rarely that boon is conceded to Truth
Father Fahey knew from bitter experience. He trod the lonely road
all those must travel who would serve the Truth without compromise.
Whole chapters could be written and will, please God, be written
some day about Father Fahey and his teaching. Here, however, I
can afford but the most cursory commentary.
OF HIS TIME
Though it is a pity that so many knew Father Fahey only through his
writings, it is also true that apart from his writings he cannot
came to be called his ‘doctrine’ was part of his very being.
He had a message
for society - profound, coherent and significant, more so perhaps
than that of any writer of his age. A life-long student of St.
Thomas, he had made a profound study of Papal Teaching and in several
noted instances anticipated Papal pronouncements on current problems.
Thus those only, whose minds were steeped like his in Papal Teaching
and formed in the school of St. Thomas Aquinas, were competent to
judge his works, and invariably the judgement was favourable. “It
is probable” writes a well-known Dominican Thomist “that only in
another generation will the full import of all Dr. Fahey has been
doing for a quarter of a century now be rightly appreciated”. That
one who was by common consent a generation ahead of his time should
be misunderstood, misrepresented and even maligned was inevitable.
to St. Peter
On one occasion,
when a well-meaning but very regrettable ‘personal attack’ was made
on him he wrote his Apologia pro vita mea - a closely
reasoned vindication of the stand he had taken as writer and teacher,
showing that his defense of the fundamental decencies of life, his
teaching, on Masonry, International Jewry and the more prosaic
matters such as Money and Artificial Manures was but a re-echo
of Papal Teaching and had its roots deep in the philosophy of St.
Thomas. In the course of that Apologia he gives us
an interesting and revealing “flash-back” on his student-days at
Rome during the Pontificate of the saintly Pius X.
“When in Rome
I began to realise more fully the real significance of the history
of the world, as the account of the acceptance and rejection of
Our Lord’s Programme for Order. I used to ask permission to remain
at the Confession of St. Peter, while the other scholastics went
round the basilica.
spent the time there going over the history of the world, and I
repeatedly promised St. Peter that if I ever got the chance, I would
teach the truth about his Master in the way he and his successors,
the Roman Pontiffs, wanted it done.
That is what I have striven to do and am doing” (Apologia).
There is something
touchingly inspiring and pathetic in those words. In retrospect
we may say that his tryst with St. Peter was not in vain. Rarely
indeed was a promise more faithfully fulfilled. From his study
of St. Thomas and of the Papal Encyclicals he acquired a grasp of
the doctrine of the Redemption that as at once coherent and dynamic.
In an age when the bulk of spiritual literature as tinged if not
tainted with Protestant individualism, and long before “Mystici
Corporis” appeared, Father Fahey inculcated the doctrine of our
solidarity in the Mystical Body and preached a very positive Christianity
that was most satisfying to the mind and to the will most stimulating.
His power to synthesize where others were content to analyse, to
keep the whole panorama of the Divine Plan in view when others were
satisfied to take the vision piecemeal -that was his great achievement.
From that vision - of the Divine Life intended by God to pervade
all society and bring man in all his activities, under the salutary
sway of Christ, priest and King - as from a fountain flowed all
his endeavours and to that source they returned.
writings where at first sight so varied, ranging from a treatise
on Mental Prayer to a book on Money, yet there is
continuity and consistency throughout. He disapproved of Art. 44
because it could not be reconciled with the traditional teaching
of the Sovereign Pontiffs on the Social Rights of Christ the King.
Freemasonry he opposed because it stood for organised and insidious
opposition to the influence of the Mystical Body in society. He
exposed and deplored the machinations of International Finance as
a perversion of God’s order. Money in the hands of a small
avaricious but powerful minority instead of being the servant of
man, its flow regulated to ensure prosperous family life, was his
master, imposing on millions iniquitous conditions hostile to the
life of Grace. He knew the supernatural was built on the natural,
hence his attempts to draw public attention to the triumph of the
philosophy of quantity over quality in domestic and agricultural
life to the detriment of the health of soul and man alike. To him
the “machine-made, water-sodden lump of carbo-hydrates - cum- peroxide”
which we call “Bakery Bread” was an abomination. Likewise the disruption
of agricultural life by the false economy of our day, the over emphasis
on mechanised farming and the indiscriminate use of inorganic fertilizers
called forth his strongest disapproval. To the promoters of Liberalism
through the Press and of licence through the Screen, Father Fahey
was a formidable and unrelenting foe. It is not generally known
that with the prominent pioneers re-acting against disorder in all
these domains, many of them non-Catholics - Father Fahey was persona
KNEW THAT IDEAS DETERMINE HISTORY
At first sight
it would seem that Father Fahey was always in ‘opposition’, always
sounding the negative note, condemning this, deploring that. A
closer study of the man and his teaching reveals the logic of that
opposition, the tremendously positive thing which was his unswerving
loyalty to Christ. Perhaps his greatest handicap, humanly speaking,
was his wisdom. He knew too much. “He was a great observer and
looked quite through the deeds of men”. He realised that ideas
determine the course of history. To what was false in the different
social philosophies he was keenly alive. In consequence he penetrated
effortlessly behind the smoke-screen of political propaganda and
beheld Satan marshaling his minions for yet another attack on the
Divine life of Grace. Small wonder then that one who was as fearless
in propagating truth and unmasking error as he was consistent, profound
and Papal in his teaching, should have disturbed the complacency
and incurred the displeasure of many. Among them were Catholics
not a few of whom might reasonably have been expected to second
his efforts and befriend the cause he had espoused. Like the officious
Roman soldiers who would beat St. Paul because he caused a tumult
- though St. Paul had been put trumpeting the truth - so, too, many
self-appointed patrons of ‘charity’, ‘tolerance’, and ‘liberty’,
- (terms they never define) - have lashed this brave priest with
their tongues less because his teaching was too profound for them
to grasp than because his conclusions were too unpalatable for them
And now before
we complete this brief pen-portrait of a great Irishman and a great
priest, there are some shadows to be filled in which serve but to
throw the main colours into bolder relief and heighten their effect.
To those great qualities of soul which we have so briefly considered
we must add a few words about certain handicaps under which he laboured.
It is generally admitted that he was hypersensitive where his work
and the opposition it aroused were concerned. To ideas that ran
counter to the teaching of Christ and His Vicars on earth Father
Fahey was opposed with a fiery zeal of a Crusader. Such opposition
hurt him personally even to the extent of making him physically
ill. So fully was his mind attuned (by long years of study and
meditation) to that of Christ, so closely was his heart identified
with the Sacred Heart of Christ the King, that any opposition to
the interests of Christ caused him intense pain. Where ideas were
concerned he was certainly very sensitive, much as a trained musician
is sensitive to and shudders at the slightest discordant note.
He was abnormal - some thought. But, perhaps had we studied
as profoundly as he, (I’ll not forget the day he said to me apropos
a recent attack “I have been studying the problem for forty years
and it is just possible I may be right after all”), had we lived
our Christian life as whole-heartedly as he, a life of utterly unselfish
devotion to Christ, had we seen, finally, in all its commanding
beauty the vision which inspired him, had such been our privilege,
perhaps we would have come to understand that our way of looking
at things was abnormal, not his.
FOR YEARS FROM MIGRAINE
him un-sociable because he disliked meeting people and avoided social
gatherings, especially in his later years. It was not generally
known that he suffered over a long period of years from migraine,
a continual headache which made his work as teacher and writer very
difficult. He knew from experience that social gatherings such
as plays, concerts, etc. aggravated his complaint and rendered him
unfit for the labours of the morrow - hence his abstention. The
last letter I received from him two weeks before his death was written
he told me against a back-ground of laughter and applause. One
of the post-Christmas concerts was in progress in the Theologians’
study, but he was enjoying it from afar - at his desk.
To sum up now
all we have written so far we may say that Father Fahey was a great
professor, a great patriot and a great priest. He will I feel be
greater in death than in life. The cause for which he strove so
laboriously, or better, the crusade be preached so fervently, will
not fail. He has sown the seed with a generous hand and already
a promising harvest is assured. Not only do we on the missions,
who were his pupils, thank God for that privilege, but throughout
Ireland and in far off America there are groups of laymen to whom
Father Fahey has opened up the vista of life full and satisfying,
a life lived in Christ and for the promotion of the when news of
his death reached America a Solemn Requiem Mass was offered in St.
Patrick’s Cathedral, New York, at the request and in the presence
of a host of his friends. A tombstone doubtless will be raised
to his memory in Kimmage but we are his epitaph, his monument, we
on whose souls the shining example and profound teaching of this
learned and saintly priest have traced the likeness of Christ; we
are his glory and his crown.
As I pen these
lines in the troubled Kikuyu Reserve a Dublin Opinion
lies un-opened on my desk. It arrived this afternoon addressed
to me in a familiar hand. But this monthly packet of laughter is
wrapped in pathos, the pathos of the hands that folded it, of the
fingers that addressed it - for the last time.
For those friendly
hands are stilled forever, folded now in the cold silence of the
tomb. Father Fahey is dead. That he should die in the Lord was
but the normal outcome of such a life. The details of his last
illness bore out that premonition.
end of 1953 he felt that the end was near.
When on his
way to class on 16th January, the Feast of the Immaculate Heart
of Mary, Refuge of Sinners, he collapsed. After an operation the
following day he seemed at first to rally but it soon became evident
that his was the end. He lingered for some days perfectly conscious.
a remarkable peace invested his last hours impressing all who watched
by his bedside. Death came on 21st January.
Some who knew
Father Fahey but slightly will evince surprise that he should have
given the Dublin Opinion even a second thought,
still less considered it a worth-while addition to a missionary’s
mail. Yet the very nature of that token is full of meaning. He
realized what a tonic a laugh can be and knew that the missionary
at times would find a Dublin Opinion more refreshing
than a theological review. There is a delicacy in such Charity
that is as rare as it is beautiful.
Mystical Body of Christ and the Reorganization of Society”
kingship of Christ and the Conversion of the Jewish Nation”
kingship of Christ and Organized Naturalism”