AGR. PROVOST WILLIAM I.V.LO'GRADY, Vicar-General of Brentwood, parish priest of Our Lady and St. George, Waltbamstow, and chaplain to Whipps' Cross Hospital, Leytonstone, has warned the hospital authorities there that "all recruitment of Irish nurses will stop" if they persist in interfering with the girls' "religious liberty."
Mgr. O'Grady's complaint is that present hospital facilities for Mass are inadequate, and yet the management committee has refused to give Catholic nurses permission to attend a special early Mass he was prepared to celebrate on Sundays at Walthamstow.
In a statement to THE CATHOLIC HERALD on Wednesday, Mgr. O'Grady said he had decided to stop saying Mass at the hospital after Sunday, May 17, unless the authorities provide a room big enough for all the nurses to attend.
"We have 300 nurses, and we are expected to conduct our services in the Protestant chapel, which is far too small," he said.
"The girls have to kneel outside in the cold while the services are taking place. I have merely asked that as there are so many Catholics on the staff, we should be allowed a private room big enough to hold our services.
"I have tried hard to meet the hospital management committee by asking if the staff can have extra time off to attend services at my church, and have offered to say a special Mass at 6 a.m. All we ask is freedom to carry on our religion without interference."
Mgr. O'Grady concluded, "I have warned the authorities that I am in a position to block the flow of nurses from Ireland, and if they persist in their interference with religious liberty all recruitment of Irish Catholic girls will stop, and they will be directed to other hospitals where they can carry on their religion without interference."