Critical need by 8/31:   $10,000 to cover a crippling immediate shortfall.   $5,490 to go.   Please help now!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

British government blocked effort by Pope John Paul II to end IRA hunger strike

Catholic World News - December 30, 2011

Newly released documents from the British government archives show that Pope John Paul II was nearly successful in an imprisoned Irish militant to suspend his hunger strike in 1981. But the British government rejected a proposal for negotiations.

Working through an intermediary, Msgr. John Magee—who at the time was a personal secretary to the Pontiff, and later became Bishop of Cloyne—the late Pope persuaded Bobby Sands to end his hunger strike in exchange for talks with a British government official, with priests and other prisoners as witnesses. The government turned down the offer, refusing to negotiate with Sands.

Sands, a leader of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA), had begun the hunger strike in an effort to force the British government to recognize him as a political prisoner. British authorities insisted that IRA militants had been jailed strictly for criminal activity. Sands died shortly after the Pope’s attempt to resolve the impasse.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Spring Challenge Grant
Progress toward our Spring Challenge Grant goal ($15,804 to go):
$35,000.00 $19,196.18
45% 55%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Church Fathers: The Third Century and the School of Alexandria 5 hours ago
Every Aspect of the Catholic Thing August 28
News Posturing: How the dramatis personae use each other August 28
The intractable practical problems with the Kasper proposal August 28
No, the Pope did not endorse a gay-friendly children's book August 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: welcome with compassion those who have remarried outside the Church CWN - August 5