Posted By: December 13, 2012

    Holy Land Principles Strike a Deep  Chord

CAPITOL HILL. Wednesday, December 12, 2012 — The launch of the Holy Land Principles has evoked a huge response from Irish – Americans  and others.
“Congratulations, Fr. McManus, we know it is not easy for you. But it is long past due. And we are proud you have the courage to take it on.” That is typical of many of the responses received.
However, there were  concerns expressed, too: “You will be targeted by the powers that be. Attempts will be made to brand you as anti-Semitic, lies will be told about you … .”  And, “The opposition you receive will be even more powerful and fierce than what you received from the British Government  for all those years.

Fr. McManus himself was philosophical about the whole thing: “The British Government threw everything it had against our Mac Bride Principles campaign: paid, token Catholics from Northern Ireland;  millions of dollars; and, yes, even spies : “President Clinton was informed by a White House Staffer that Father McManus had discovered … a British intelligence MI5 agent used his embassy job to direct a campaign specifically against the Mac Bride Principles.” (Kevin McNamara
 “ The Mac Bride Principles: Irish-America Strikes Back. P 124.  Liverpool University Press. 2009). And yet we prevailed.”
As regards the much-feared charge of anti-Semitism, Fr. McManus said: “ Nobody could possibly accuse me of that. I have a long history of opposing anti-Semitism. I even wrote to the Papal Nuncio in Washington opposing the move to canonize Pope Pius IX because he was anti-Semitic. I am deeply conscious, and deeply ashamed of how the Catholic Church, and later the Protestant Churches, helped to spread the evil of anti-Semitism around the globe. I have a deep reverence for Jewish-Americans, especially the Jewish Members of Congress who made it possible for me to have the Mac Bride Principles passed into U.S law in 1998 – most notably the great Congressman Ben Gilman, former Chairman of the House International Relations Committee.”

Fr. McManus concluded: “Just like our Mac Bride Principles, the Holy Land Principles do not call for a particular solution –  I confidently look forward to  Jewish-American, Arab-Americans, Irish-Americans, African-Americans –- all Americans of good-will  —  supporting and embracing  the Holy Land Principles.” (