Statement on Conscription adopted by the Archbishops and Bishops of Ireland on the 19th of April, 1918, His Eminence Cardinal Logue in the chair.
An attempt is being made to force Conscription upon Ireland against the will of the Irish Nation and in defiance of the protests of its leaders.
In view especially of the historic relations between the two countries from the very beginning up to the present moment, we consider that Conscription forced in this way upon Ireland is an oppressive and inhuman law, which the Irish people have a right to resist by all the means that are consonant with the law of God.
We wish to remind our people that there is a higher Power which controls the affairs of men. They have in their hands the means of conciliating that Power by strict adherence to the Divine law, by more earnest attention to their religious duties, and by fervent and persevering prayer. In order to secure the aid of the Holy Mother of God, who shielded our people in the days of their greatest trials, we have already sanctioned a National Novena in honour of Our Lady of Lourdes, commencing on the 3rd May, to secure general and domestic peace. We also exhort the heads of families to have the Rosary recited every evening with the intention of protecting the spiritual and temporal welfare of our beloved country, and bringing us safe through this crisis of unparalleled gravity.
The statement was signed by the following: Cardinal Logue, Most Rev. Dr. Walsh, Most Rev. Dr. Harty, Most Rev. Dr. Brownrigg, Most Rev. Dr O’Donnell, Most Rev. Dr. Browne, Most Rev. Dr. Hoare, Most Rev. Dr. Foley, Most Rev. Dr. Kelly, Most Rev. Dr. O’Dea, Most Rev. Dr. Fogarty, Most Rev. Dr. Gaughran, Most Rev. Dr. McHugh, Most Rev. Dr. McKenna, Most Rev. Dr. Gilmartin, Most Rev. Dr. Finnegan, Most Rev. Dr. Morrisroe, Most Rev. Dr. Naughton, Most Rev. Dr. Coyne, Most Rev. Dr. Cohalan, Most Rev. Dr MacRory, Most Rev. Dr. Hackett, Most Rev. Dr. Mulhern, Most Rev. Dr. O’Sullivan, Most Rev. Dr. Codd, Most Rev. Dr Hallinan, Most Rev. Dr. Higgins.