Denis Fahey

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Fr. Denis Fahey
File:Fr Denis Fahey.jpg
Born 3 July 1883
Golden, Tipperary, Ireland
Died 21 January 1954 (aged 70)
Nationality Irish
Occupation priest, philosopher, theologian
Organization Maria Duce
School Scholasticism, social Catholicism
Subject Christ the King, monetary reform, counterrevolution
Religion Catholic

Father Denis Fahey (July 3, 1883-January 21, 1954) was an Irish Catholic priest. Fahey promoted the Catholic social doctrine of Christ the King, and was involved in Irish politics through his organisation Maria Duce. Fahey firmly believed that "the world must conform to Our Divine Lord, not He to it", defending the Mystical Body of Christ without compromise. This often saw Fahey in conflict with systems which he viewed as promoting "naturalism" against Catholic order — particularly communism, freemasonry and rabbinic Judaism.[1]

Early life and studies

Born in Golden, County Tipperary he was educated at Rockwell College and at 17 entered the Holy Ghost Congregation to train to become one of the Holy Ghost Fathers. He was sent by the order to Orly in 1900 as a novice, not long after the government of René Waldeck-Rousseau had begun an anti-clerical drive in the aftermath of the Dreyfus Affair. Although illness prevented him from completing his time in France, the episode was to influence his later ideas on relations between Church and State.[2]

After working at St. Mary's College, Dublin, Fahey returned to studies at the Royal University of Ireland in 1904, achieving a first class honours degree, later studying at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome before finally being ordained a priest in 1910. Returning to Ireland, he was appointed Senior Scholasticate of the Irish Province of the Holy Ghost Fathers at Kimmage in 1912.[3]

Early writings

Fahey began to turn his attention to writing in the early 1920s, submitting articles for a number of Catholic journals including the prestigious Irish Ecclesiastical Record, most of which were philosophical in nature. It was in his books, most notably The Kingship of Christ and Organised Naturalism (1943) and The Mystical Body of Christ and the Reorganisation of Society (1945), that Fahey began to turn his attention to more political matters.[4]

Conspiracy theories

At the heart of much of Fahey's work was his belief in the existence of a divine programme which he understood to have been proclaimed by Jesus but rejected by the Jews. History was to be understood as the 'account for the acceptance or rejection of Our Lord's programme for order'.[5] He argued that the medieval guild system had come closest to reaching the programme and that since then society had gone into decay as it moved away from the ideal. The three main events in this process of decay had been the Protestant Reformation, the French Revolution and the October Revolution, the last being initiated by Satan.[6]

Fahey felt that the contemporary Catholic Church faced its greatest challenge from the forces of naturalism, be they invisible (Satan and other demons) or visible (Jews and Freemasons).[7] Tapping into contemporary campaigns by parties such as Cumann na nGaedhael, Fahey wrote a series of articles for John J. O'Kelly's Catholic Bulletin attacking Freemasonry in particular and secret societies in general, referring frequently to the work of Edward Cahill.[8] His works appeared in the French language in Canada, having been translated by Adrien Arcand.[9]

He felt that there was a Judeo-Masonic conspiracy against the programme of Christ, including the assertion that Jews had a hand in the propagation of communism. As a result, Fahey was strongly opposed to the Irish Republican Army, which he claimed was a communist organisation.[10]

In the early 1950s he edited Waters Flowing Eastward a book written by Leslie Fry which authenticates the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. [1]

Monetary reform

In his 1944 book Money, Manipulation and Social Order, Fahey turned towards the subject of economic reform. In this book he attacked gold standard economies, which he felt were debt-driven. Drawing on the ideas of Frederick Soddy, with whom he was in regular correspondence, Fahey wanted banks to be forced to balance all loans with holding of currency. Although he was not directly linked to such contemporary movements as Social Credit or Guild socialism, Fahey certainly shared elements of their economic ideas.[11]

Maria Duce [2]

Fahey had been closely involved with Edward Cahill's An Ríoghacht study group, although following Cahill's death in 1941 this organisation became more mainstream and less concerned with conspiracy theories. As a result, Fahey began to organise his own group, Maria Duce, the following year to continue this work.[12] With a membership drawn from various facets of society and with a programme largely the same as Fahey's, Maria Duce came to prominence in 1949 by launching a campaign to amend Article 44 of the Constitution of Ireland. This article had recognised the "special position" of the Catholic Church in Ireland although it also recognized various Protestant creeds, as well as Judaism. Fahey argued that this was insufficient and that the Constitution should recognize the Catholic Church as being divinely ordained and separate from 'man-made' religions.[13] The campaign succeeded in securing a resolution of support from Westmeath county council in 1950, but no further progress towards the goal of a constitutional amendment was made.[14]

Although the group was initially left to its own devices, Archbishop John Charles McQuaid of Dublin grew less sympathetic to Maria Duce as the 1950s continued. He condemned the group for their heavy-handed reaction to requests for an interview from the anti-Catholic American writer Paul Blanshard (whom Bishop McQuaid felt should have been treated courteously despite disagreeing strongly with him).[15] McQuaid went as far as to write to Fahey in 1954 stating that he opposed the latter's association of the name of the Blessed Virgin Mary with his organisation.[16] Fahey died before any response could be made and the group was disbanded the following year with McQuade, who had been close to Fahey and recommended his writings in the 1930s, more prepared to take on the group following Fahey's death.[17] Fahey left behind a large written body of work that he did not protect by copyright, instead leaving it in the public domain. Some of his publications remain in print in the United States, where he continues to have a following.[18]


  • Fahey, Denis. Mental Prayer According to the Teaching of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Dublin: M.H. Gill, 1927.
  • Fahey, Denis. The Kingship of Christ, According to the Principles of St. Thomas Aquinas. Dublin, London: Browne and Nolan, Ltd, 1931.
  • Phillippe, A., and Denis Fahey. The Social Rights of Our Divine Lord Jesus Christ, the King. Dublin: Browne and Nolan, 1932.
  • Philippe, Auguste, and Denis Fahey. The Social Rights of Our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, the King; Adapted from the French of the Rev. A. Philippe, C. SS. R. Dublin [etc.]: Browne and Nolan, 1932.
  • Fahey, Denis. The Mystical Body of Christ in the Modern World. Dublin: Browne and Nolan, 1935.
  • Le Rohellec, Joseph, Denis Fahey, and Stephen Rigby. Mary, Mother of Divine Grace. Palmdale, Calif: Christian Book Club of America, 1937.
  • Joannès, G., and Denis Fahey. O Women! What You Could Be. [Dublin]: Browne and Nolan, 1937.
  • Fahey, Denis. The Mystical Body of Christ and the Reorganization of Society. Waterford, Ireland: Browne and Nolan, 1939.
  • Fahey, Denis. The Rulers of Russia. 3rd American edition, revised and enlarged. Detroit: Condon Print. Co., 1940.
  • Fahey, Denis. The Kingdom of Christ and Organized Naturalism. Wexford, Ireland: Forum Press, 1943.
  • Fahey, Denis. Money Manipulation and Social Order. Cork: Browne and Nolan Ltd, 1944.
  • Fahey, Denis. The Tragedy of James Connolly. Cork: Forum Press, 1947.
  • Fahey, Denis. The Rulers of Russia and the Russian Farmers. Maria Regina series, no. 7. Thurles: Co. Tipperary, 1948.
  • Fahey, Denis. Grand Orient Freemasonry unmasked: as the secret power behind communism through discovery of lost lectures delivered by George F. Dillon. 1950.
  • Fahey, Denis. Humanum Genus: Encyclinal Letter of His Holiness Pope Leo XIII on Freemasonry. London: Britons Publishing Society, 1953.
  • Fahey, Denis. The Church and Farming. Cork: The Forum Press, 1953.
  • Fahey, Denis. The Kingship of Christ and the Conversion of the Jewish Nation. Dublin: Holy Ghost Missionary College, 1953.
  • Fahey, Denis. The Rulers of Russia. 3d. Ed., Rev. and Enl. Hawthorne, Calif: Christian Book Club of America, 1969.
  • Fahey, Denis. Money Manipulation and the Social Order. Dublin: Regina Publications, 1974.
  • Fahey, Denis. Secret Societies and the Kingship of Christ. Palmdale, Calif: Christian Book Club of America, 1994.
  • Fry, Lesley, and Denis Fahey. Waters Flowing Eastward; The War against the Kingship of Christ.. London: Britons Pub. Co, 1965.



  • The Coughlin-Fahey connection : Father Charles E. Coughlin, Father Denis Fahey, C.S. Sp., and religious anti-Semitism in the United States, 1938-1954, Mary Christine Athans, P. Lang, 1991 New York, ISBN 0820415340

See also

External link


  1. Political Catholicism in Post-War Ireland: The Revd Denis Fahey and Maria Duce, 1945–54. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved on 9 August 2009.
  2. Enda Delaney, 'Political Catholicism in Post-War Ireland', Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 52, No. 3, July 2001, pp. 488-489
  3. Delaney, op cit, pp. 489-490
  4. Delaney, op cit, p. 490
  5. Fahey, The Mystical Body pp. 150-151
  6. Delaney, op cit, p. 491
  7. Delaney, ref, p. 492
  8. Delaney, op cit p. 493
  9. Delaney, op cit, p. 496
  10. Delaney, op cit, p. 494
  11. Delaney, op cit, p. 493-494
  12. Delaney, op cit, p. 497
  13. Delaney, op cit, pp. 500-502
  14. Delaney, op cit, p. 502
  15. Delaney, op cit, p. 506-507
  16. Delaney, op cit, p. 507
  17. Delaney, op cit, p. 510
  18. Catholic Heritage Books
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