Page 2, 11th August 1967

11th August 1967
Page 2
Page 2, 11th August 1967 — L.S. leaders to probe causes of recent race riots
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L.S. leaders to probe causes of recent race riots

BY A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT AN ALL-OUT attack on social and other problems in American cities, many of them the underlying causes of the recent Negro rioting and violence, will be planned at a meeting of 1,000 religious, business, labour, education, civil rights and Government leaders in Washington at the end of this month.

The meeting has been

called by Major John Lindsay. of New Ybrk, and Mayor Joseph Barr, of Pittsburgh. Demands will be made for legislation to counter poverty and poor housing and to improve job training facilities.

Behind the campaign is the newly formed Urban Coalition. whose 18 topranking religious and civic leaders include Archbishop Dearden, of Detroit, President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Dr. Martin Luther King, the civil rights leader.

The Coalition says in a statement: "If law and order is to be accepted by the minorities. the majority must clearly and positively demonstrate its belief that justice, social progress and equality are the rights of every citizen."

In the wake of the riots and mob violence has come an "agonising reappraisal" by many American leaders of the nation's moral and social climate. Suggestions for solving the problem have been as numerous as the factors which have led to its escalation.

President Johnson has appointed a commission to probe the causes of the riots while the politicians bicker and attempt to make party capital out of the issue. Suggestions that large sums he spent on improving the lot of the Negro are countered with the argument that such a policy is nothing more than a "reward for violence."

In Newark, where nearly 60 per cent of the 400,000 population is non-white. a group of priests is establishing an archdiocesan human relations commission to study the possibility of Church sponsorship of new housing measures.

Catholics at Newark have contributed £7,140 in food, supplies and money for the victims of recent racial violence. In the parish of Our Lady of Mercy five tons of food were collected and distributed within hours of the end of the rioting.

HOPEFUL, A pastoral letter issued by Cardinal O'Boyle of Washington said: "I see at least a glimmer of hope in the fact that so many Americans are now willing, perhaps for the first time, to examine their own conscience and assume their own full share of responsibility for the disastrous events of the past few weeks."

Detroit's public, religious and secular authorities had been parsimonious in their support of measures that might have helped avert the trouble, said Fr. James Sheehan. executive secretary of Archbishop Dearden's Committee for Human Relations. "Someone has said that Detroit has the greatest bunch of oil pourers in the country. that they grease every touchy situation and let it slide past. rather than really face up to the issue."

Dr. Luther King warned in New York that "more statesmanship and more sacrifice" by the white community was necessary to prevent further violence. "The day is past when the violence of the white majority can serve to quell the stirrings of a people deprived and rebuked for 350 years."

Bishop Sheen of Rochester, New York, described the situation as "Civil War 11" and "the disease of national decadence," in a sermon in the Sacred Heart Cathedral.

The bishop asked: "Is this reconciliation to be limited only to our citizens? Could we not also be reconciled with our brothers in Vietnam?

"May I speak only as a Christian and humbly ask the President to announce: 'In the name of God, who bade us love our neighbour with our whole heart and soul and mind. for the sake of reconciliation I shall withdraw our forces immediately from Southern Vietnam' ."

The urban Commission of the Archdiocese of Baltimore called on all Catholics vigorously to cleanse themselves of "all taint of the evil error of racism." "We can only hope to put an end to the riots and the fear of riots when we put an end to the violence that racism does to the human person."

Nearly 200 pilgrims, both Anglican and' Roman Catholic, converged on Canterbury on Tuesday at the end of an eight-day pilgrimage through Kent. This picture shows a group leaving Aylesford Priory at Maidstone last week.

The pilgrims, members of the Companions of St. Francis of Assisi, from the Continent and this country, had arrived at Dover last week.

From Dover, 125 of the younger pilgrims—doctors, teachers, students and labourers among them— had travelled up to the villages of West Mailing and Otford to start their pilgrimage to the city. They

Pilgrim's Way. sleeping "rough" each night in schools and halls at villages in mid-Kent.

At each stop, villagers joined the pilgrims in discussion, songs and dances round camp-fires.

Some 65 of the older pilgrims stayed at Upchurch, near Sittingbourne, and Dover, while their fellow pilgrims marched through Kent, joining them at Canterbury on Tuesday.

At Canterbury, the pilgrims took part in services at the Cathedral and St. Martin's Church. The pilgrimage, held once a year in some part of the world to further ecumenical understanding. ended on Wednesday with a concelebrated Mass at St. Thomas's Catholic Church in Canterbury.




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