Undermining the natural law
Sre,-During the fast few months the forces which are undermining the natural law in this country have been aided and abetted by the widely publicised statements of certain clergymen of the Church of England.
La,st May the respected Dean of St. Paul's, Dr. Matthews, declared as a solemn article of his belief that voluntary euthanasia " is quite in accordance with the Christian conception of human right and duty." In August, Dr. Inge served up the gloomy mixture as before-although he has enlightened us on one thing: that there are traces of dialectical materialism in the Magnifica'.
It was left to the Bishop of Birmingham to gather up all the forces of neo-pagarusm in a frontal attack on the moral order. According to Dr. Barnes, the population is too large and ill-balanced. Therefore defective or deformed babies no less than the incurable aged should be gently snuffed out while those who might beget " tainted stock " must be sterilised. And for the rest of the population who escape all these hazards
there is always birth-control. For
' British Association " substitute -Tattersalls," for " people " read -horses," and much of Dr. Barnes' sermon reads like that of a stockbreeder discussing measures to regulate the reproduction rate and crossbreeding in the world of horses.
To the criticism that there has been precious little reaction on a national Catholic level to these attacks, it might well be replied that Barnes and Inge have been saying this same kind of thing for the last 20-30 years, and that in the end the evil of their
beliefs will defeat itself. A comforting thought, no doubt, but it must be remembered that when these cassocked gentlemen (not forgetting their lay brethren like Wells and Shaw) were in their prime, they were publicly answered in good measure by such doughty defenders of the faith as Chesterton and Belloc. Even in those days the art of invective was not quite dead and the thinking public had some opportunity of hearing the Catholic reply through the medium of a secular journalism which still retained something of its old gusto.
Today it is not so much individuals who are attacking the natural law; it is paganism itself, whether in the form of a scientific humanism, economic determinism. Marxism, or a mixture of all. These utterances of prominent churchmen can only further confuse a public opinion already down to the last shekels of its Christian capital, and make clear the path for those whose interest it is to enslave the minds of men.
Much can be done on the basic of local Catholic Action to counteract this sudden spurt of pagan propaganda, but the issue of the survival of the natural law in this country calls for an immediate statement of the Catholic view at the highest level.
D. G. GALVIN.
16 Trinity Street, Taunton, Somerset.
Sue-Would it be in order respectfully to request that our Cardinal and Bishops issue a statement deploring the decision of Anglican Bishop Barnes publicly to advocate the legitimacy of mercy killing, thus further to undermine our common Christian Morality and rendering still more remote the possibility of ultimate Christian Reunion?
3. A. DELERINE.
12 Victoria Mews, N.W.I,