Alternatives to war
From a Correspondent
ADDRESSING a meeting in the
House of Commons last Friday on "The Church and War", Archbishop Roberts, S.J.. stressed two important points.
The first was that a war of defence against an unjust aggressor. in theory so eminently justifiable, is no longer possible with nuclear weapons for the very simple reason that nuclear weapons do not defend: no-one has ever rightfully "defended himself" by committing suicide.
We must defend ourselves, yes, hut by other means—by the means of non-violent resistance as advocated by such different people as Gandhi and Commander Sir Stephen King-Hall.
The second point was that it is not the Church's teaching on war that will thereby undergo a change. It is rather the weapons at our disposal that are changing.
The archbishop drew a parallel with the Church's attitude to money and the Church's attitude to slavery. It was changing economic conditions that brought about what seemed to be a change in the Church's view. In fact the Church has never held that slavery is intrinsically evil.
The meeting was under the auspices of the National Peace Colin-, cit. with Mr. Reginald Sorensen, M.P., in the chair.
After the talk, Mr. Christopher Hollis asked the archbishop about his proposal to Cardinal Tardini that a commission be convened for the study of this subject as part of the preparation for the Second Vatican Council. The archbishop explained that he envisaged it as an attempt to co-ordinate all study of non-violent alternatives to war being made in the world today, and that it should be composed among others of economists, scientists, and militarists.
Mr. Sorensen saw the apathy of public opinion as a stumblingblock in getting an effective peace movement going. He said that during his recent election campaign he was never once questioned on his attitude to the H-bomb.
Public opinion. he said, which had in his view been decisive in the Suez crisis, was an integral factor in the forming of policy; hence it was up to everyone to stimulate discussion and interest in the problem of nuclear war.
All for a farthing
A small, war-damaged, church in the village of Japolano Terme, near Siena. has been put up for sale for one lira. Built in 1720 as a family chapel. its two sidealtars have caved in. but the main altar, with baroque ornamentation, is still standing.