WAR OF REPOSITORY EXTERMINATION TRADITION
EVENING MASS OR EARLY MASS?
Sta,-Your correspondent, "Senex 1 gnoi us," has raised a problem of no little importance; what he suggests (Mass in the evening) may provide the solution at some future date if the Church secs fit. But the urgency of the matter requires immediate action, and to this end I put forward the following suggestions.
Mass is said in the majority of the churches of this country far too late, Eight o'clock in the morning is of little use to those who have to earn their living-even in peacetime. Your correspondent speaks of the minimum (Sundays and holidays); but there is no reason why daily or an occasional weekday Mass should be the privilege of the comparatively leisured class. Six or half-past six in the morning (earlier perhaps on some days) would at least provide an opportunity for some war-workers to hear Maas.
Most factories which begin work before eight am. have their dinner hour from 12 to I p.m. At this hour, then, at those churches which are near large factories a Mass could he said for those who could not go early.
I %suite from a town of sonic 70,000 inhabitants, boasting four public churches and nine priests I have to be at work. some 15 miles away, at 8 a.m. of a Sunday morning. If 1 would go to Holy Communion I must take my breakfast with me and travel fasting three-parts of my journey before I can get to Mass at 7 a.m. in a neighbouring town. There is no Mass before 8 a.m in my home town, yet there are at least eleven Masses said there on Sundays Lastly, such facilities as are provided. and which would he useful to those who work at unaccustomed hours should be advertised. How often has one to peer in the dimly-lighted porch of a church to find out the hour of Mass, often badly scribbled on a small notice-board? Have the Congrega. rionalists, Baptists, et hoc genus mime, the monopoly of the large poster? Instead of " br;ght, breezy services," we have something of inestimable vette offered to us; there are many more who would take ad. vantage of it if only it were possible to find out its time and place In the 'factory in which I work innumerable dances, whist drives, etc., are announced on the noticeboards in the different workshops through the good offices of the welfare oepresentalives. Catholic workers could be told in this way of Mass times useful to them. The Church of England even announces hours of services in their local church over the lood-sprrikers in the canteen at meal times. Could we not do the same?
LANMOT C. SHEPPARD.
THE CATHOLIC LAND GIRL Slit,-With reference to the letter on this subject printed in the issue of Jan. 2, should like to point out what seems to me the chief drawback of Land Work for Catholic girls. On a farm, where there are tows to milk and stock to feed, work must be carried out on Sundays as on week days. Even if there is a church withie reach. the girl is lucky if she finishes her duties in time for Mass. In many country districts this is quite impossible, and there are Catholic Land Girls who go foi months at a time without hearing Mass at all.
Even supposing the Land Girl is able .1 get to a late Mass, she can only receive Holy Communion by undergoing the strain of fasting through many hours of hard manual labour, with perhaps a long walk or cycle ride to and from the church.
Having myself left the Land Army on account of the enforced paganism of the life.
speak feelingly, and regard the cry of " Back to the Land " with some cynicism
C. G. Surrey.
[An article on page 3 by 1 F. L. Bray rrinforce.s this difficult aspect of Land Settlement.-EntTOR, C.He
Site-Here is a passage from the New Statesman and Nation of Dec. 20 (p. 503): " To-day, as they withdraw, the German troops must be conscious of the terrible hatred and anger which such atrocities have created ; there is already evidence that the Russian soldiers are giving no quarter."
Sol There is net protest. The plain meaning of this is that no quarter is being given on either side. There is confirmation cif this in the fact that the official announcements, German and Russian, never make any mention now of prisoners taken. The poor wretches-beatete terrified, sick, wounded men are just killed in cold blood. Surely it is the duty of Catholics, in pulpit and press, to protest against such cruelty.
The war, it may be supposed, must go on, but it is possible to introduce a degree of mercy to the beaten without weakening the war effort. There was no lack of vigour shown in France, Libya, and lately in Hong Kong and the Philippines, yet we find the victors exulting in the number of their captives.
SIR,-1 have noticed, as a regular reader of your paper, that certain of your correspondents, in endorsing the national longing for victory, are at some issue with others who remind us rather that the recovery of a will to reconciliation and international peace has more vitally still to be attained. The most patriotic advocate and supporters of a war while it lasts cannot expect to silence or change at any time the distinctive note of the Christian Gospel which, as the Apostle teaches us, is Reconciliation-that of men with God, and then of men, if need be, with one another in goodwill and charity. If itiistence on this is frowned upon in war-time as prejudicial to the " war effort," surely that cannot be helped? While the Church everywhere understands the nobility of patriotism, she can never any. where consistently he nationalised its secondary LO the nation; she must always be international, 1m-tie:inhering that " God has made of one blood all nations to dwell on the race of the earth." In the light or this, whatever countenance she might give to a just cause. she could hardly favour a war of extermination on which some seem to have set their hearts. Our spiritual danger as a nation might be to piolong this misery far beyond the point where the Christian ethic would demand s truce The world in universal war iS sick unto death. and it may be will find little recovery in this country until, as the Duke of Redford has suggested. some statesman of humane instinct arises on whom His Majesty may call at his maple's desire, to form -an International Government for the construction of the new eocinl order And what is this necessarily hut a true conservatism of all that is most sacred and honourable in our national life and tradition, even though it abandons the
shameful anachronism of material war?
FRANCIS A. SIUDn.
Brook House, Turnford, Herts.
[Soundir bawd as are our rorre'pondent's views, one may still quite sincere., .1 ask how reconciliation irt practice nrav he brought about? Is there any reat evidence that Hiller is prepared to make peace on Christie'', terms?. lf he Is not. what I:5 the next oriel-Et:meow CB.] FREE FRANCE AND VICHY SIR.-My attention has just been drawn to Your issue of January 2 in which you slate that People and Freedom says that the Free French are France and argue from this that de Gaulle is France. I don't think that any such assertion has appeared in People and Freedom. General de Gaulle himself has refused to form a Government on the grounds that the French people are not in a position to choose their own leader and that any Government relined in such circumstances would be anti-democratic. De Gaulle has simply taken the direction of the Free French movement and assumed the obligations of a Government which undertook not to sign a separate peace treaty. He has declared his intention of submitting himself to the will of the French people as soon as they arc once more in a position to make that will known.
What People and Freedom does maintain Is that de Gaulle represents true Frenchmen at home and abroad. I had the occasion to see for myself with what ioy the news of the Free French movement was received in France by people of all classes and nearly all shades of opinion. Anyone who was in France during the months following the Armistice would agree with me, I think, that de Gaulle is generally looked upon there as the symbol of resistance.
In conclusion, may I draw your attention to an article of my own in the June number of People and Freedom entitled " The France
that Fought." This article contained the words; " There is an army of Free Frenchmen in France as well as in England, fighting for the liberty of their country RS surely as if they could wear the Lorraine Cross openly OD the French uniform." I think that this should dispose of any idea that People and Freedom believes that the Free French army in England is France. What we do believe is that General de Gaulle is better qualified to represent his country than Marshal Petain. who was pushed into power by a group of defeatists at a time when any consultation of the will of the people was impoesible. used that power to capitulate against the will of the people and has since allocated to himself dictatorial powers.
Hon. Assistant Editor.
1 As far as we remember People and Freedom demanded that the Allies should recognise Free France as France. Our only point wirra that any democratic vote taken to-day would give a large majority in favour of Perain. This, no doubt, is a matter of opinion based on close observation, but we should be prepared w stake a great deal on
SIR,-"I here is evidence of the harm done to souls by repository art, in the prevalent conception of the " peaceful somnolence of Christianity." While it is true that an essential part of religion lies in the unburdening of the mind, unfortunately it is also true that an undue emphasis on this particular practice has given weight to the criticism, familiar enough to all Christians, that our region is merely a form of escapism, an opiate for the people Surrounded as we are by so many, trained in a religion of negatives, absorbed with actions consonant with a rigid code, thus to sing the dynamic positivism of life, we cannot ignore this criticism.
Do not the rows of pale Madonnas, and lace-bedecked altars, induce this over-indulgent isolation from the eveleday world? There is a place for effigies and furnishings which delicately lift the trials and won from overburdened shoulders. The pleasure which them accessories give to dm soul are no less important than the pleasure which the body has in rest from labour hut is not the stern reality of the sacrifice of Mass likely to be forgotten when the altar is surrounded by images whose features betray nothing of the agony of Calvary?
It seems then to be a question of improper emphasis in repository art. There are too many pictures of the type P mention. Whether the artist is expressing his own interpretation of the spirit of Christianity or merely satisfying the realm unwholesome craving for relief seen in some of us, it is diffiault to judge. There is no doubt that the problem is theological and not aesthetic_
What is Art ?
Sta.-Recent views in the CATHOLIC HERALD on the subject of art, craftsmanship, and so on, seem to rue to show some muddleheadedness. May 1 shortly put forward my own views, which I think are shared by many artists, living and dead?
Art is the making of that which is beautiful. [ Not making things e to the glory of God e-a purely subjective " standard." Many hideous things have been produced with this intention (which shows only that the one responsible was religious. not necessarily artistic); and Debussy, only one example. was an wiliest.' No, the one Standard is the Divine Beauty of ,God Himself, In a finite way the artist can create that which resembles or reflects the infinite perfection of God. I believe that a work of art can be perfect (thousands are), even though a man can never he perfect in this world, because a man's creation need take no share in his own spiritual and moral failings.
I hope this may clear some minds. Only Ott Lliis basis-a definition of art (one that over-simplifies the idea, I admit), and a stan• dard of criticism-can one approach these problems,
71, Beleim Road, London, NeW,e.
AIR OFFENSIVE Six,-In Notes and Continents for January 2 you remark, apropos of the Japanese bombing of Manila. that " wanton savaeery only strengthens the will to resist," but that " there are some people in this country who are silly enough not to have learnt from actual experience that reprisal a••1 revenge are not the way to victory." Your views on this most important subject are in accordance with the following passage, written during the last War:
"All attacks on communications or bases should have their relation to the main battle, It is not reasonable to speak of an air offensive as if it were going to
finish the war by itself. It is improbable that any terrorization of the civil population which could be achieved by air attack would compel the Government of a great nation to surrender Familiarity with bombardment, a good system of dug-outs or shelters, a strong control by police and military authorities. should be sufficient to preserve the national fighting power unimpaired In our own CASE we have seen the combative spirit of the people roused, and not quelled, by the German air raids. Nothing that we have learned of the capacity of the German population to endure suffering justifies us in assuming that they could lee cowed into submission by such methoes, or indeed that they would not he rendered more desperately resolved by them. Therefore our air offensive should consistently he directed at striking at the bases and communications upon weose structure the fighting power of the enemy's armies and his fleets of the sea and of the air depends. Any injury which comes to the civil population from this process of attack must be regarded as incidental and inevitable." SIR,-Your correspondent's observations on " Approved Societies" raises a grave issue. I do not in the least wish to minimise the services which Catholic Approved Societies have rendered to the country. But, on the other hand, those who know, and study, the system of National Health Insurance in this country must or should be aware that the system of Appowed Societies as insurance carriers of National Health Insurance is not a desirable one.
It has been severely criticised by the Royal Commission on National Health Insurance; it stands with tts 7,000 separate units in contrast to a system of territorial or occupational funds in othei countries, where no such overlapping exists , it is responsible for the much-lamented inequalities of aiditional benefits-cash and medical and, thereby, for the feeling of insecurity of the insured person as to what he will get at not get.
If, to-day, this system is regarded as uneconomical and a stumbling-block on the road to better benefits, which should bear a definite proportio,1 to the earnings of the insured and not be based upon flat-rate contributions and scanty additional provisions in the case of financial prosperity of the respective Society-such criticism should not be regarded as " revolutionary," but as a result of economic thinking and of worldwide acceptance. The grouping of the population into conreivventiitene g
t organisation lo s. instead of a disintegrated co
nisation has nothing to do whatever with State Socialism or Nationalisation. It is a purely economic device for cheaper and fairer administraticn What would be the result if there existed railway lines for Catholics and Protestants, lot people who belong to trade unions and those who do not, or separately for women and men? There is no reason why insurance carriers should not he organised on the same lines of economy as other services. The original idea of a democratic representation has long lost its reality with Approved Societies. If, then, this system will have to gn-and it will I-Catholic social reformers should not oppose its removal. It will not be possible just to retain " Catholic " societies when others have to go, whatever the special metes of the Catholic societies might have been and still are. if the Catholic worker gets a fairer deal, because a general improvement of the system must mean more economy, unified administration and lees inequality, a territorial or pro'essional grouping must have the preference-even from a Catholic point of view For it should be agreed that the most economical system of such services is a boon tc, mankind. Catholic Approved Sociwies, instead of looking with anxiety and ormesition to Ibis necessary reform, had h:tter think of new tasks in the charitable sphere; these they may well take up by associative efforts when their services to the health of the nation are replace-, hv a more efficient system covering the whole of the insured populatinn through a wise selection of economic or social groups.
THE BEN1ES' POLICY SIR,-In the latest issue of the official newspaper of Dr. Benes' Provisional Governmutt, C'zecirdslovak, appeared a curious leading article, one paragraph of which reads as follows : " There were several attempts to set up an opposition within Our action. In two eases, in Poland and in France, the events have settled for us all complications, exactly in that way as the President from the very beginning of the action with certainty and patience foresaw it." The reference in the case of Poland is to Kaluinekism and Prchalism.
Dr. Ferdinald Kahrinek was a leading Czech journalist who, before the outbreak of the war in Poland went to that country to organize a Czech liberation movement. He was strongly anti-I3enes. After the collapse or Poland Kahinek was exiled to Rumania where he died in great penury. General Leo A-rebels:1, D.S.O., organized, also in Poland. a Czech and Slovak Legion in the framework of the Polish Army, against the will of Dr, Benes. Though the highest Czechoslovak general in rank, he was-for this " crime " committed against DT. Benes, who at that time lived in London as a private refugeedeprived of his rank, abused by the followers of Dr. Benes in France and in this country, and deprived of his allowance. Now he lives -the ablest officer of the former Czechoslovak Army-as a civilian near London. By the Polish Government here he was awarded some months ago the Polish War Cross.
The article in Czechoslovak goes on ; " In Poland Kahenekism arid Prchalism died with
the Beck-km.' yet before they had developed into a real schism. In Paris all our difficulties--much more serious than the pitiful attempts to set up a separate ' liberation movement ' in Poland-increased by French politicians who were responsible for Munich, were settled for us by Hitler, by crushing France."
It is very interesting to read in the article, written, as I am told, by a certain Bohus %nes, who is a nephew of Dr. Edward Benes, that Dr. Benes had patiently waited until Hitler crushed his adversaries. Poland and France, in order to get rid of the internal opposition against him. One wonders what the Poles and French think of it.
70, Peter's Court, Porchester Road, London, W.2.
Sta,-We should be very glad to hear from readers of the Camouc Ileewoo interested in the international work of the University Catholic Federation, described in articles in your last two issues. We would also be pleased to receive offers of hospitality from any part of Great Britain for foreign visitors and we would welcome contributions to Our hospitality fund.
It will he appreciated that our international work involves considerable erponse and cannot be extended further without she help of the Catholic public. We are sure that there are a great number who would he willing to give us material assistance in this work and we therefore look forward to receiving subacriptirms which should be sent to the undersigned.