THE COST OF PACIFISM
Sts,-It is a Christian duty, as I understand it, to help, according to one's power, the helpless victim of a brutal attacker. This could entail disabling the aggressor. Moreover, if one does not do one's best to prevent the crime one shares the guilt with the criminal.
This is one of the fundamental moral issues, implied in your leader of July '23, which Mr. BrockRichards and his supporters cannot have given full consideration. Have they fully considered that now there is an ever increasing mass of many millions of victims (one estimate of the number in Russian concentration camps and prisons is 20,000,000) suffering and helpless under Communistic dictatorship? Words should have a definite value. hut the human mind cannot picture one million. Try Have you ever seen a 50,000 football crowd ? Multiply by 20. Then multiply again by any figure, and you have a vague idea of the mammoth number of victims. Try again to picture their sufferings ! Take the mean between the mildest degree of slavery and: "We were led into two rooms, women on one side we on the other. The place was twenty-five feet by ten feet. and we were more than thirty. The place was already wet and polluted by former captives and the stench made that we had continuous headache. That night, no budding, no food, and no drink. The same the following day. Only on the 6th " (the third day of captivity) " each got a cup of rice diluted in water. It was bitter cold and we were not allowed to go out to satisfy natural necessities."
This is from a letter by an heroic Chinese priest, Fr. Laurent Wang. C.M., appearing in Missions and Missionaries, Summer, 1948, the organ of the A.P.F. and St. Joseph's Missionary Society. He and his party were captured by Chinese Reds.
Fr. Wang also tells how the Communists battered his contemporaries till Fr. Kiao was a deformed man; Fr. Cerwinski lost his reason. Sister Wang had all her hair pulled out, %Yid) spin and all. There are two quarto pages of horrors like this.
It may be that other Reds are not SO cruel as the Chinese, but there is, alas, too much evidence that under their domination it is " Bend like the sickle or be broken by the hammer."
Is this Peace ? 'I hen the cost is suffering millions of innocent people. Is this the tranquillity that springs from right order ? Then there is a further price to pay. Countless children denied the saving grace of baptism or any of the sacraments, taught to be Atheists, to fight Christianity.
Mr. Berths icke said that, "Pacifism is r.o easy alternative." More truly it can be termed a terriele alternative.
92, St. Anthot”'s Road, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 6.
Sri.-After writing of " this mythical popular Welsh culture," Mr. Nevin now defines popular culture as "particular national characteristics of the daily life of common people." (C-H. September 3, 1948.) It is surely obvious that Eisteddfods are an expression of that culture; and it was a charitable incivility to suggest that a man who ignored Eisteddfods might he tonedeaf, aye, and a corybantophobe to boot. To Llangollen came choirs ..and dancers from all over Europe. To Llangollen there came, as spectators, some of Mr. Nevin's compatriots from the Midlands. They came in charabancs. They wore paper hats, and were equipped with rattles, mouth organs, and other paraphernalia for a bean feast. I hope the foreign visitors appraised this exhibition of English culture at its true worth. I also hope the English gents were not disappointed in the Spanish dancing.
To escape from a dilemma of his own creation, namely the impossibility of explaining the reality of Eisteddfods in conjunction with a mythical culture, Mr. Nevin raises another question and declares that converts to Catholicism receive, through grace, a "supra-national culture." In one sense that is true for by reason of the Faith it ought to be easier for an English Catholic than for an English Protestant to appreciate the culture of other countries including Wales. On the other hand the Church has always fos tered national culture; and in Spain, the most Catholic country in Eur ope, the culture is essentially Spanish. The idea of a uniform supra-national culture is not Catholic but Communist.
The gloomier side of Welsh life is very well known through the work of a brilliant Welsh author, Caradoc Evans. Yet his picture is no mcire complete than is J. M. Barrie's picture of Lowland Scotland as a vedtable paradise. in failing to see the other side both writers reveal their limitations.
LETTING THE CHURCH DOWN
SIR.-Your excellent editorial prompts me to put into writing a thought that is continually with me. Why do not our large Catholicdirected industrial organisations (four or five household names come to one's mind) come out into the open and give the lead that is so much needed ? They will tell you privately that they run their concerns on " Catholic lines," but persist in remaining " non-confessional." What arc they afraid of ? We smaller people count so little in the modern , industrial set-up but any one of these ' concerns could make industry " sit up and take notice " if they would courageously and openly profess their faith. The Church has the one and only solution to our business problems. Many feel, with me, that these firms are " letting the side down " at a vital time.
Managing Director, Ernest Turner Group.
Spa Lane Mills, Derby.