Page 8, 10th March 1939

10th March 1939
Page 8
Page 8, 10th March 1939 — IN A FEW WORDS

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Locations: Rome, Oxford


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The B.B.C. and the Pope

AVERY large number of readers have written to ask that we should publicly thank the B.B.C. for the way in which it has dealt with the news of the death of Plus XI and the election of Plus XII.

We do so with all our heart, and look forward to the broadcast of the Papal Coronation next Sunday. Nothing could have been better done than Harman Grisewood's eye-witness account of the scene outside St. Peter's on Thursday, though I wonder whether the B.B.C., had it seen the script, would have allowed him to call the Pope "Christ's Vicar on Earth." Allow that—and there's nothing much left to say for any Christian who remains outside the Church!

An Exciting Day

HARMAN GRISEWOOD, in company with other wireless people, had an exciting time on top of the colonnade of St. Peter's Square.

One could see from the square the little huts on the colonnade (the left one facing St. Peter's) where microphones connected (it was hoped) with telephone wires to all parts of the world. Nobody thought that the election would be made so soon, and as the afternoon wore on the two chief engineers decided to go for a drink or something.

The wireless men were standing at ease when suddenly they saw the gesticulating figure of Fr. Soccorsi, S.J., Director of the Vatican Radio, rushing along the roof exclaiming that the smoke was white.

Fr. Delaney, S.J., who controls the English Vatican programmes, began to speak into the microphone, but five minutes later it was discovered that the wires were not properly connected. Eventually the engineers were found, but when Harman Grisewood spoke to England in his first announcement he was not sure whether or not everything was connected. Actually the reception in England was good.

Indian Student's Wire

AMONO the events subsequent to the election of Pius XII there took

place H small one which, I think, deserves a record.

The editorial office of one of the important national weekly papers was disturbed by the excited arrival of an Indian student, who asked for the loan of a typewriter. The chief clerk, whom the visitor supposed to be the editor, asked why he wanted it.

The student thereupon explained with some volubility that he was an Indian Catholic, and he and his wife had been confirmed last year by Cardinal Pacelli. Could he send at once a telegram of congratulations to the new Pope?

The staff, knowing little of the proper ways and means, bustled round to help him, and the wire was duly sent. Little incidents like that often make an impression that goes much beyond their intrinsic importance.

Pius XII's Courtesy

AFRIEND told me this week of his surprise at being admitted to Cardinal Pacelli's presence in Rome some months ago without even asking for the honour.

He had been cured of a bad illness and attributed the cure to the intercession of Pope Pius X. He wrote a memorial on this and took it to the Secretariats of State asking to whom it should be remitted. To his amazement he was ushered into the presence of Cardinal Pacelli himself, who invited him to tell him personally of all the details.

" The Cardinal spoke English slowly. but well," my friend told me, " and I was much struck by the fire of his eyes." After giving his blessing the Cardinal directed him to the Lateran Palace for the presentation of his memorial.

A New Papal Hymn

ACORRESPONDENT writes to suggest that now is the time to agitate for " a decent " papal hymn.

I presume that this point is being taken care of by those appointed to revise the Westminster Hymnal, for one of them at least, I am told, has some very irreverent comments to make about " Full in the panting heart of Rome." He is also capable, I am sure, of " improving" it in more senses than one.

Miss Margaret Mackenzie in the organ of the C.W.L. printed a papal hymn with the good refrain: "Thine to hold and Thine to loosen Thou vice-regent of the King Over-lord of all the Caesars, IJnto Him our homage bring."

At the same time a recurrence of

" ageless." " deathless," " undying " " Eternal Caesar," " we Thy captives " produces a mixed sort of emotion compounded of Divine adoration and Fuhrer self-abasement that is scarcely theological.

Fr. Joseph Keating

AM much saddened by the death of I Fr. Keating, who was editor of the Jesuit Month for so many years.

He was well over seventy, but looked very much younger. His monthly comments in his journal were always distinguished and remarkably clear. Actually. no editor's impress was more visible through a magazine, for Fr. Keating had a habit of accepting articles and very nearly re-writing them himself.

The firmness of his mind and the clarity of his thought made him seem rock-like, both in conversation and writing, but he changed his views a good deal in the course of yeast.. Towards the end of his life he seemed to devote himself to exposing the errors of pacifism.

Rutherford Keeps It Up

"JUDGE " RUTHERFORD or his *el friends are still keeping it up, and readers continue to flood me with copies of his literature. (Peace Pledge Unions, etc., should get tips from him as to the possibilities of efficient distribution of pamphlet literature.)

Pressure, I must say, does work, and even I actually opened a pamphlet called " Consolation." I am glad I did because I now have the opportunity of denying the statement that the " CATHOLIC Heftssn was promptly sued for 100,000 dollar damages."

The statement, of course, is completely untrue. I see they take Rutherford in the U.S.A. more seriously than we do, for an association called "Defenders of the Faith " has been organised by Dom Richard Felix, 0.S.B., to combat his propaganda.

Writing to Fr. Felix, Cardinal Fumasoni-Biondi, Prefect • of PropsRends. said: " I am glad that this man is being answered."

Rutherford's cartoons, reproductions of which have. been sent me, are of the same standard and kind as Soviet antiChurch propaganda. On the whole it. is quite an honour for the CATHOLIC HERALD to be singled out for his venom.

Lost Causes Again

OXFORD UNIVERSITY means to stick to her lost causes. I see the Union decided by a majority of (unlucky) 13 that Franco should not be recognised. I append a good " hate" verse, printed in the Weekly Review, commenting on the telegram signed by 42 professors and tutors urging the Foreign Secretary not to recognise the Nationalists.

Forty Dons in Oxford,

Must meddle in affairs Which, by Right and Reason, Are no concern of theirs— Stuck like human limpets

To professorial chairs.

Forty dons in Oxford, Unable to restrain The venom of their vomit, Prolong the sin of Cain.

To side with those who started. The agony of Spain.

They bring disgrace on Oxford On all who share its fame .

On scholarship and learning

Discrediting a name Honoured in an historn

Until these 40 came.


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