Page 2, 18th August 1950

18th August 1950
Page 2

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People: Rorke, Stott, Psy, Psyche


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Sta.-After accompanying Miss Rorke, at her invitation, to Dr. Stott's lecture on Delinquency to the British Psychological Society and after our subsequent discussions, can assure Dr. Burns that Miss Rorke is perfectly capable of defending herself against any " bombardment I could produce. In Dr. Burns' view, my questions -five, not twenty-deserve no answers and my analogies are sum

marily dismissed as irrelevant. So be it. It does, however, seem a strange attitude for " a missionary" tO adopt.

Does Dr. Burns really clear the ground by introducing the distinction between empirical and rational Psychology and Mgr. Fulton Sheen's alleged distinction between Peace of 141ind and Peace of Soul. Such points were never in dispute. I wonder is Dr. Burns forgetting that Mgr. Sheen's book Peace of Soul was written as a kind of answer or reaction to a Jewish writer's book, Peace of Mind. I gather from the Catechism that the Mind or Understanding is a power of the Soul and, therefore. not distinct from the Soul, as is the Soul's vehicle of knowledge, the brain, which is physical and material.

As to Approved Schools, Dr. Ilurns knows quite well that my citing an adult criminal with three periods in such a school was not adduced as argument but as a comment on my previous question: " What percentage of reformations are we getting ?" In other words, here's one seeming failure, how

Many more are recorded ? I am amused that Dr. Burns should bid me ask the headmaster of a Catholic Approved School for his percentage of reformations. Apparently Dr. Burns thinks that Catholic schools under the Home Office produce better results than non-Catholic ones, wheress Miss Rorke thinks that Catholic schools under the Ministry of Education "are often shown up in a bad light compared with others," That remark was the chief reason for my entering this discussion.

I apologise for the malevolent use of the colourful word "whisk." In my experience, however. I have heard or read of children being taken away from their homes without gross cruelty, neglect or immorality being the occasion.

As to experience, because Dr. linins has had an expert's experience, it does not follow that I. or any other Catholic teacher has had no experience whatever. I have had direct contact with juvenile crime, once as the victim and twice as the master-in-charge of those concerned. Moreover, it is a most unfair shifting of position to say that I ever attacked Miss Rorke's personal experience as her defence of Child Guidance. I certainly questioned, and still question, her personal experience as sufficiently conclusive proof for the strong criticisms of Catholic schools which she made in public print, Even if true. their publication is not the kindest or wisest way of securing the eradication of such alleged blemishes.

To conclude, Sir, may / try to clear the ground ? To my mind, in the fields of psychological thought, utterance and action there grow pure wheat and 'cockle. I expect our Catholic psychologists to point out to me the reliable wheat and not to blind themselves or me as to the existence of the cockle. for, let us he frank, there is a certain amount of naked charlatanry sheltering under the mantle of psychology. It is no help to me, or my colleagues, for Miss Rorke and Dr. Burns to call us uncivilised, inexperienced backwoodsmen in the field of education. Miss Rorke at first defined ps“:hology as the " Science of the Soul," and if Dr. Burns will look up Psyche in his Liddell and Scott's Lexicon he will find a threefold definition which, I think, is absolutely Catholic in content. Dr. Burns cannot cavil when Catholic teachers are sceptical of the findings of a materialistic atheistic Psychologist. If he denies God and the spirituality of the soul. his findings are bound to

be suspect to a Catholic. If Miss Rorke and Dr. Burns and any other Catholic psychologists would like to lead us to the "pure vvheat," I will do all I can to make that possible.

W. DER MOTT FARRELL. Assistant Master.

St. Patrick's Soya, E.1.

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