The first issue of the celebrated Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, appeared on July 1, 1861. The paper has therefore just celebrated its seventy-fifth birthday The Catholic Herald, in offering its congratulations to the great newspaper, can do so the more heartily and sincerely in that, allowing for difference between a daily and a weekly paper, and the differing journalistic traditions of different countries, it has modelled itself as closely as possible on its Vatican contemporary.
A message written to the paper by the Pope in his own hand is headed: " To Our dear Osservatore Romano." His Holiness wishes it an ever increasing editorial life, and an eyer greater and more luminous apostolic efficiency.
A tradition has somehow arisen in this country that religious newspapers should confine themselves to what is called religious or ecclesiastical news, with at most a word or two of editorial commentary about world events. It has even been said that the proper place for secular news is the secular press!
Every issue of the model Catholic paper edited in the Vatican refutes this view. Every number is given the subtitle " Politico-Religious Daily Newspaper."
Page by Page The front page of the Osservatore is devoted to important Pontifical and Vatican news, together with long editorials about general world news, usually including long extracts from the world's most important political newspapers. Commentaries and long serious articles on the relations between Church and State, doctrine and science, philosophy, art and such subjects fill the second page.
Two or three inner pages are given over to ecclesiastical and devotional news, and especially to Catholic Action. The back page is filled with the ordinary day's news, gathered from the ordinary agencies.
Pictures, with which the paper abounds, are often taken from great art. Some are religious, some are of general interest. For example, on the weekly page devoted to the cinema there are always to be found " stills " of current pictures.
Breadth of interest, combined with depth and seriousness of Catholic mind, are the characteristics of a paper which lic or not, as to the specialist in religious and devotional questions.
Unfortunately, the Osservatore Romano is not within the reach of the public in general in this country; but every issue is carefully read by us, and the Catholic Herald tries to reflect the Vatican paper, weekly, for the benefit of British readers.
DANGEROUS TENDENCIES OF REXISM
Degrelle, the leader of the " Rex " movement in Belgium, has pronounced himself in favour of an entente with Germany, according to an interview given by himself to the special correspondent of the Berliner Tageblatt.
" National-Socialism," he is reported to have said, " is much more sympathetic to us than the outworn democracy which reigns in France. Belgium is a small country placed between two large ones. This fact imposes on her the strictest neutrality. But this neutrality should not have a defeatist or pacifist tendency."
Concluding, Degrelle said that the Popular Front in France constitutes a great danger "since it will drag France into a communist revolution."
According to a Cologne paper Degrelle is to make an extended journey throughout Germany, lecturing in Berlin, Munich and Cologne. He has spoken in praise of Hitlerism and defied Van Zeeland, the Prime Minister of Belgium, explaining that he hopes to be in power before the winter.
CINEMA AT CASTEL GANDOLFO
It was announced this week in one of the trade papers of the cinema industry that the Pope now has his own cinema which has been installed in the Papel palace of Castel Gandolfo.
It is reported that the Holy Father srends an hour each evening in his cinema, and that the films comprise nature studies recorded in almost every country in the world, and that they include one taken by the Italians in Ethi0Pia