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a. : Robert E. a
Sencourt 1 _
ONE of the most interesting,
complex, paradoxical and crucial points Of the vast tragedy which saps the life of Europe and threatens Britain with increasing weakness and misery is that white Britain among the European powers stilt looks far theeoundest. she is not a power which is officiully or numerically Catholic. She is a country which rose to supremacy on Protestant materialism--and hay given Catholicism no more than a tardy tolerance, remaining suspicious
of taking des with it. In most canes the social relations arc friendly
enough-and often courteous, even generous, But the minute that the Catholic Church brings the •monientum of her ideas into practical politics, at that moment her adherents become the objects of suspicion and slander. To put it simply they are called Fascists.
THE CATCH WORDS Much, is the word chosen by the organised forces of the two leading Anti-Christian systems of the present world: the huge bludgeoning bureaucratic tyranny of Bolshevism, and the disintegrating influence, subtly interlocked with an international financial network, of the almost equally revolutionary forces of Freemasonry. "Will you walk into my parlour," said the spider to the fly. The spider, have secured their ends by insidious flattery in using the most dangerous word of our time Democracy. When one considers how inertia held our voters from doing anything of either justice or restraint to Germany. and how passion and propaganda carried German slaters on till they were plunged into the Hell of war. how can one but agree With mv friend, Victor Brooke. that "Democracy is the exploitation of an uneducated mob by an unscrupulous clique." Both this word and Fascism, were cunningly chosen. Fsascism was historically the movement whivh gave Italy other ideas than those of the Masonic Controller,Giolitti. But the blacksmith head of Fascism had been himself a revolutionary before he was bought by the Allies to goad Italy into war on our side; he had seen the need for a country menaeed political disintegration and economic collapse to have that co-ordinated control which enabled Bolshevism to take the place of Czarism in a ruined Russia. At the same time as he eliminated Freemasonry and all the other secret societies from ftaiy, he not only declared himself a stronee nationalist, but also vaunted militarism and what he. very aptly, termed " brutelite." This however, was not the head and clown of his offending: in Ills rough way, he coveted honour. lie supported tradition in his country, and recognised that not only in the universities, bgeiks, business houses. peasant holdings was there a certain soundness but that the best thing in the country was the Church and the Holy See. With these, therefore. Mussolini made many compromises, and among them he accepted the idea of constitutional government based on the idea that authority should .bear relation to function. This was the Catholic ideal of a sound state.
THE CORPORATIVE STATE That idea of the corporative state, integrated by authority and acting in accordance with tradition, as the best means of conserving Christian ci-iiisation, has not only tne support of history and of the brilliant encyclicals of Leo XIII and Benedict XV but was declared by the ringing and stentorian clearness of Pius Xl. The head of the Church, he must be as strongly opposed as Mussolini to both Communism and Freemasonry. And so it is that both of those dub Catholics Fascists. They saw that with right on their side against the aggressive militarism and unscrupulous ambition of Mussolini, they would win contid• ence and could then exploit it against the Church. The Pope, it is true voiced his criticism of the new mistakes in tactful hut unmistakable terms. But the fact, none the less, remained that there was a common ground of corporative theory between him and the Duce, a common ground of hostility to Bolshevism and Freemasonry; and therefore every Catholic political movement was called .Fascist. It was the name given to Dollfuss and Schuschnigg in Austria, to Sahizar ill Portugal above all to Francoin Spain, to Petain in France, and Nron in the Argentine. And, of course, it was ruthlessly applied to any Catholic or other who dared to point to what was happening as the war went on.
The war had already begun when the present Pope gave his warnings in his first encyclical against Bolshevism and the hidden financial controls: but as the war went on and Hitler proceeded to attack the centres of the .two Anti-Catholic systems, a most complex situation arose, especially for British Cathie lies. Total victory for the Allies mean not victory for began to
Britain-for she was being exhausted and ruined---but victory for the controlling influences in New York and for the vast voracious system centred on Stalin.
MR. CHURCHILL This leads the British Catholic of to-day to a. fundamental consideration: he had not only in the Crown a centre of noble loyalty and august traditions: he had not only in most of Anglicanism much of these joined to beautiful echoes of his own sublime liturgy: he had in Britain's political chief, Mr. Churchill, a man who was not only a phenomenal war jeader but who through the years had argued masterfully for justice, for mercy, for sanity, and who furthermore. had pointed out that when economic considerations ere paramount, you cannot leave the livelihoods of thousands to be dependent on the whims of an uninstructed mob. Mr. Churchill had seen that the world was moving to a more closely knit economic integration; this process is forced on all countries in need. This inclined him to agreement with the Pope and Mussolini on the principles of the Corporative State; he had also spoken through the years against the most menacing and degrading of all forms of national Socialism, that of Stalin. When a war leader of genius bad behind him such sound principles, and such an understanding of the trend of the times, it was natural for the British Catholic to trust him; butthe time came when the Churchill of 1940 (the Churchill I found so edifying when I wrote his biography), either forgot his political Philosophy, or was compelled to jettison it by the fact of his alliance with Moscow and with certain elements in New York. Since the British people were never told what happenel at Teheran, at Yalta, or at Potsdam, they do not yet know whether Mr. Churchill fought for morals and sanity at these crucial conferences or not. They do know that Mr. Churchill now speaks of the need of resisting national Socialism both in its British and in its Russian form. But they would ask Mr. Churchill for far fuller facts and for a far dearer lead. No one else can do so much to clear the issues.
For. the interests of total victory and unconditional surrender engulfed morals and sanity. Then one saw once more how fatally accurate was Milton's judgment on the English at war: ' Valiant. indeed, prosperous to Will a field but to know the end and reason of winning, in
judicious and unwise. Hence did their victories prove as fruitless as their losses dangerous: arid left them still languishing under the same grievances as men suffer conquered."
We are as far now from the time those words were uttered as it wee front the time of Agincourt. But as war has increased its voracity, so much the more fatal is the'e pregnonce.
THE REASON FOR DISASTER As Britain and Germany threw their last resources into their effort to win, neither saw any longer the end in view, so these great nationswho had triumphed in their Protestant industrialism turned that triumph to their ruin. Defence of right and self-defence are grounds of declaring war,but Britain did not end the war in defence of right or in self-defence. She ended it alas I in the intoxication of a war propaganda which trusted not in herself, still less in her traditions, still less in any idea of any Church -or even any ideals of any Churchill. In the drive of revolution, she was beguiled into believing in the boundless benevolence of Moscow, and of the money power of New York. It is to satisfy the revenge of these on Hitler. and its attendant lusts, that Britain falters and Europe starves.
The *eels of Anti-Catholie materialism have entered into its Swine and driven them over the cliff. What then is the stand of the Catholic beside these half-drowned hordes ? It is to see himself involved in the fate of his fellow men and to lead in sacrificial expiation for the common fault; it is to beware of that industrial materialism which put the product of the machine before the good of the man; it is to choose more natural things; it is to turn with a readier ear to the counsels of the Holy See which has spoken consistently with the voice not only of warning but of wisdom and hope; it is, therefore, to recognise the need for an economic integration, recognising the relation of function to function and of country to country: it is to look for truth and for wisdom (and 1 know of no studies more apposite in affairs than Diplomacy in Fetters., by Sir Victor Wellesley or the Appeals of Mr. Gollancz); it is to learn all there is to learn of freedom and well-being from Catholic countries, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland, which being neutral kept themselves clear from the thicker clouds of war propaganda. while Belgium has seen the way to recovery. It is to discount all that is malignant in the use of the words "faecist "" totalitarian "; it is to abandon blind trust in " democracy "; it is to cultivate the traditions of dignity. courtesy and taste which make every religious community like a fruitful island above the deluge of infected flood. But, far above these things it is to turn inward, as worship
knows how, tothe s rs plendou and
to the salutory triumphs i of peace and joy in the inner life; t is to look upwards to where the Lord sits
above the water floods, a King for ever.
Nor, through all these shall we. delude ourselves with the cowardly optimism that godless nations are soonto be cushioned in the comforts they so wantonly threw away. A cloud of famine and affliction banes over the sky.
Long is the way and hard Which oat of Hell leads up to light. .