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"Reverend Father Creagh Addresses Concerns Over Jewish Trade in Limerick, Urges Caution and Vigilance" |

“Reverend Father Creagh Addresses Concerns Over Jewish Trade in Limerick, Urges Caution and Vigilance”

During the weekly meeting of the Arch-Confraternity of the Holy Family at the Redemptorist Church, Reverend Father Creagh, the Spiritual Director, addressed the members about the letter written by Mr Michael Davitt, which was published in the Freeman newspaper. Father Creagh had previously brought attention to the issue of Jewish trade in Limerick at the Confraternity’s previous gathering. At the beginning of his speech, Father Creagh made it clear that he strongly deprecated any form of violence towards the Jewish community. He emphasized that violence would only harm their cause, and he believed that the people would follow his advice. Father Creagh clarified that his intention in discussing this matter was solely to protect the Confraternity members from what he perceived as the detrimental influence of Jewish usurers, and not to attack the Jewish religion itself.

Responding to the mention of closed doors at the previous meeting, Father Creagh refuted the claim and explained that the church had only been open to Confraternity members and those intending to join on Monday and Tuesday nights. He then proceeded to discuss the content of Mr Davitt’s letter, expressing his disappointment with its tone. Father Creagh stated that he would refrain from commenting on Mr Davitt’s motives but felt compelled to respond since the letter seemed to contradict the common good. He proceeded to read Mr Davitt’s letter to the audience.

Mr Davitt’s letter began by addressing the editor of the Freeman and expressing his belief that the matter at hand was of public concern to those who cherished the Catholic religion and had an affection for Ireland’s name and honour. Father Creagh agreed with this sentiment, stating that it aligned with his own view. He then referred to the history of religious oppression endured by Irish Catholics, particularly under the Penal Code. However, Father Creagh questioned whether this history justified subjecting themselves to another form of persecution at the hands of the Jews. He drew attention to the ongoing persecution of Catholics in France by the power of Jews and Freemasons, where religious orders had been expelled, properties confiscated, and Catholic children forced to attend secular schools.

Father Creagh pointed out that Jewish persecution of Christian people was not a new phenomenon, citing the Spanish Inquisition as an example. While he did not seek to defend the Inquisition, he referenced the perspective of a writer named Pastor, who described the Inquisition as a response to the pervasive usury and organized extortion practiced by the Jewish community in Spain. The persecution of Jews in Spain often gave them the choice of conversion or death, leading to a significant number of nominal conversions. Secret Jews, however, posed a greater threat to Spanish nationality and the Christian faith. They infiltrated various ecclesiastical positions, including the ranks of bishops, while openly practicing their Jewish faith.

Father Creagh’s speech conveyed his concerns about the influence of Jewish usurers and the perceived dangers they posed. While he vehemently rejected violence, he urged caution and vigilance regarding the Jewish community’s role in trade and finance. His remarks reflected his belief in protecting the interests of the Confraternity members and safeguarding their religious values, while also calling attention to historical examples of Jewish influence and the need for informed discernment.

Overall, Father Creagh’s speech sought to raise awareness and encourage critical thinking regarding the relationship between the Jewish community and the Catholic faithful in Limerick. It highlighted the importance of understanding historical context and avoiding prejudice, while also emphasizing the need for the community to protect its interests and religious values.

Limerick Echo – Tuesday 19 January 1904

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