SIR,—In view of your timely reminder in your issue of October 27 that " the immediate thinking out of a peace settlement in terms of the principles of a European order " is " only slightly less urgent than the prosecution of the war to victory," I should like to make a suggestion.
We Catholics know that the League of Nations failed because it was not founded on Christian principles. What we want then to take its place is a Catholic League, not merely a League of Catholic Nations, but a Catholic International League which will include members from every country that can raise even a handful of Catholics amongst its citizens.
This League once formed, and the sooner the better, would elect a committee to send representatives, say two from each country, to some central city, Rome for preference, where they could meet in conference day after day to seek a solution to the present impasse. Their raison d'are would be, in fact, nothing less than the presentation to the world of a definite and practical peace programme which would not only stand some chance of being accepted by Herr Hitler and his Government, but which would also serve as the foundation of a perpetual living in amity of the nations.
In order to achieve this not exactly easy solution our committee would go Into retreat before the conferences began, and, confident in Our Lord's promise to the " two or three gathered together," every meeting would open with prayers to the Holy Spirit.
It goes without saying that the Holy Father's permission and sympathy would have to be gained. And if he were to consent to place himself at the head of such a body, and to allow it to function in the Vatican itself, then Indeed we should feel that Catholics were taking the lead in a peace movement which would be nothing less than an illumination and an inspiration to the rest of the world.
Sie,-No Christian, no thinking person, can fail to be impressed by the fundamental truth of last week's encyclical. In his analysis of the reasons for the present condition of international relations and in his warning for the future, the Pope displays not only a profound understanding of moral values but also the fullest political sense.
War and unreet are the outcome of an exaggerated sense of the importance of the State. While its proper function is simply to protect the economic welfare of its individual members it is raised in some cases to the proportions of an idol which demands the wholehearted devotion of the individual, and in whose name any sacrifice, any outrage of moral values is permissible. The result is complete moral and religious agnosticism, and the development and education of the individual with a view only to the promotion or survival of the power of the State. There is only one way to regain a true sense of moral values and to escape from the domination of this purely material end. That is by the creation of an international authority to control all matters of common interest between the States, so that freed from the perpetual fear of war or the threat of it, and confident of lasting security and peace, the nations may devote their energy to the religious, moral and social welfare of their members.
EVELYN ST1TRT. 44, Gordon Square, London, W.C.1. (Miss) DOROTHY PENDEREL-BRODHHRST. Uplands, Hereford.