Skip to main content

Sword of the Spirit


A movement founded in October 1940, by Cardinal Arthur hinsley, Archbishop of Westminster; its objectives were to uphold the British cause in World War II, to combat the evils of totalitarianism, and to unite all men of good will to secure a Christian peace. Through lectures and discussion groups, it caught the imagination and gained the support of many non-Catholics as well as Catholics. Groups were formed among the Allies and eventually there were French, Belgian, Polish, and Czech sections. Unfortunately, the Catholic body in England was not prepared for the movement, and Cardinal Hinsley, having launched it without prior consultation with other members of the hierarchy, found their support lacking in enthusiasm. The original inspiration came from Christopher Dawson, and the movement rallied the best of the Catholic laity in Britain.

The climax of this effort in Christian cooperation was reached in 1942 in the form of a joint pledge by the Church of England, the Church of Scotland, the Free Churches, and the Sword of the Spirit, to work "through parallel action in the religious field, and joint action in the sphere of social and international ethics." After the war the movement's influence declined (as did cooperation), but it was revived in 1950 when Cardinal Bernard grif fin, Hinsley's successor, gave it a new mandate: to educate Catholics in international affairs. Since then it has concentrated on spreading informationthrough public meetings, publication of literature, and organization of high school groupsconcerning European unity, aid to developing countries, and the United Nations.

[j. e. fitzsimons]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Sword of the Spirit." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . 24 Sep. 2018 <>.

"Sword of the Spirit." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . (September 24, 2018).

"Sword of the Spirit." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved September 24, 2018 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.