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31 July 2014 | by Oliver Rafferty

With God at their side

 
In 1914 the British Government was slow to recognise the importance for Catholic soldiers of having a chaplain alongside them. Once the issue was addressed, the courage of the men and their priests was greatly admired The spirituAL welfare of Catholic soldiers and sailors was an issue that came to dominate much of the private and public discourse of British and Irish Catholic churchmen during the 1914-18 war. The role of the Catholic chaplain was paramount to the welfare of Catholic servicemen since only a priest could administer the sacraments. In the Catholic theology then prevalent, the sacraments, for those who received them worthily, were the only sure means by which salvation could be attained. In many instances, outside the narrow parameters of the Catholic Church in the United Ki




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