THE SCHEMA SPEAKS in
• this paragraph (94c) most laudably of the role of the international community from an economic point of view in the growth of the developing countries. It rightly stresses the importance of an economic aid which will produce a maximum of effectiveness, coupled with justice and a respect for moral and spiritual values.
It seems important here to stress also the necessity of entering into dialogue, as the Holy Father would have us do on the principles laid down in Eccle.‘ium Sawn, with modern leaders of economic thought.
There is a too prevalent opinion that charity in this matter begins and ends with financial grants. The Schema already makes it clear that charity really • demands that other elements should be brought in.
We must ensure that economic aid reaches its true destination and also that it is distributed in such a way as to provide the maximum relief of poverty.
But this raises many other questions which need deep study and consideration. Some economists now hold that whilst the Western world is spending great sums of money on aid to the developing countries, the manner in which it is applied in some cases actually contributes to the increase of misery rather than its reduction.
'1 tie answer which these economists would give in this situation would be: to concentrate on the development of regions and districts, which are more viable units than whole countries and to stimulate local and regional development and avoid migrations to the everincreasing suburban slums of the great cities.
It is interesting to note that many projects supported by Catholic Bishops Fund Agencies.
carried out by devoted missionaries and others who know the developing countries, have almost instinctively taken this form.
This theory of "intermediate technology" suggests that one of the most important tasks is to establish a tolerable basis of existence for the 80% non-urban populations of the developing countries.
This would at the same time contribute to the stabilisation of these areas and enable them to compete with the more developed technologies, because agricultural progress and the healthy development of rural areas is the first essential condition for the bat anced development of a country's economy.
Here is just one example of the importance for Christians of entering fully into dialogue with those responsible for the development of economic theory which might provide one of the answers to the important question of the best form which aid can take.
The implementation of this idea, if after mature examination it were judged desirable. would then involve a great effort of organisation on the part of a great many people.
How could such an effort be approached without detriment to the rights and the freedom of the developing countries?
Needless to say it would have to be done in a spirit of brotherly partnership. Only a new form of altruistic voluntary service would enable the plan to succeed. The aiding nations would have to be ready to send their hest economists to advise the developing countries to share their knowledge with them, without bias or any imperialistic or economic exploitation.
Yet it would be very well worth while because sometimes more help might he given by such individuals inspired by the right ideals to think and act altruistically, than by huge sums of money given without sufficient thought or planning.
The power of ideas is as important in this field as in every other sphere of human activity.
The dialogue I have referred to would need to be conducted on the Church's behalf by Catholics of the highest competence and representatives of the Church's teaching.
For this reason I strongly supporethe proposed Secretariat for World Justice and Development. This could be the Church's instrument for enabling the resources of charity and justice, at work amongst God's People, to achieve unity of action in the sociological, economic and demographic spheres of the world today.
The words of St. Augustine surely apply here in a special way: "Caritas sine Scientia oberrat: Scientia sine capitate inflat: Scientia cum Corinne aedifical for rather Caritas cum Scientia artlificatr.
But in order to have know
ledge in this held, study and research are necessary in order to carry on a fruitful dialogue. These are included among the proposals for the role of such a Secretariat.
We all know how in a few years the Secretariat for Christian Unity has transformed the whole climate of the Church with regard to the ecumenical movement among Christians.
Whilst not necessarily the same in structure and function as this successful example, a Secretariat for World Justice could work a similar transformation in the attitude and action of the Church with the rapidity which the urgency of the occasion requires.
IN SECTION 98 the. Schema re-echoes the teachings of Pope Pius XII. John XXIII and Paul VI that in a nuclear age warfare no longer makes sense. Section 100 also clearly teaches that our end must always he that of avoiding war and of reducing the stockpiles of arms simultaneously.
When we reach Section 99, however, after the Schema has condemned the "balance of terror" as "something absolutely monstrous" it goes on in the final paragraph to give a certain sanction to this monstrosity which seems to contradict the words of Pacem in Terris: "We must substitute for what is now invoked as the supreme rule for preserving peace an entirely different one which tells us that true and lasting peace among the nations is won only by mutual trust and not by a balance of armaments".
Certainly it would seem that we are going somewhat further when, speaking of the morality of the deterrent, we say that the possession of arms for deterrent purposes is not "unlawful in itself".
Nowhere, at any time, does Pacem in Terris go thus far, and the sentence should be omitted from our Schema.
The true doctrine on this subject can only be made explicit if a new emphasis is placed on the rebuilding of our Christian vocation as peace•makers at all levels. "Blessed are the peace
makers." Our Holy Father Pope Paul has given an outstanding lead in this respect. All Christians everywhere are bound by this obligation.
In Section 101. fine 18, the qualification praesuniptio juris is quite unnecessary. We know the validity of this doctrine in its own cnntext. We also know the abuse of it in our times.
The rights of conscience, so basic to the spirit of this Council, must be properly safeguarded: not accorded with one hand whilst being removed by the other.
Surely the whole of praesten ptin iuris should he reviewed in relation to the concept of world government which could shift the weight of attcroritas cornpen.. Moreover it should be reviewed in the light of the Schema on Religious Liberty.
In line 23, the words describing the conscientious objector are so weak and patronising as to suggest that he is a milksop. The witness of the conscientious objector is something to be valued and welcomed as a special factor in modern life even by those of us who would not he classed at conscientious objectors.
I would.Iike to see these weak descriptions changed to propter testimonium vacationis Christionoe ad *Tendon! pacem.
If these alterations are made, the Council will have given a clear lead to the whole world in these matters without spoiling it by unnecessary condonations. The establishment which the Schema recommends of a public authority wielding effective power at a world level is the great positive need.