The strange man who could say no more
DOLISH sodalists from every part of England gathered in London at Whitsun for a Marian Congress. They have taken as the title for their Sodality "The Sodality of Our Lady in Exile," a poignant and topical invocation which might well find a place in the Litany of Loreto. At a service held in the Brompton Oratory the Polish Sodalists renewed the Act of Consecration to Our Lady and this renewal was broadcast to Poland.
Geneva and all that
rIGURES given to me by a repntJr able organisation should bring us down to earth with a bang. Since the Communist accession to power in China, five years ago, Chinese Catholics numbering more than three millions and including several thousand native priests and nuns have been the victims of a ceaseless and bitter persecution. As part of the campaign against non-Communist thought, the authorities ha v e confiscated all Catholic educational and cultural institutes including universities, secondary and primary schools. All charitable undertakings have been taken over, including hospitals and orphanages. Churches have been turned into Party meeting halls. In January of this year 400 Chinese priests and nuns were in prison and in February there were further mass arrests in Hankow and Peking. Of 6,000 missionary clergy and nuns only 227 now remain. Eight Bishops arc in prison, 18 are prevented from performing their duties. a great number more have been deported.
Is this typical 11UHAT is the fate of the nonVV Catholic missionaries in China and what is the attitude of people in England to their fate? It is to be hoped that not all the authorities take the line of the official of one organisation who was approached for information on these points. This good man maintained that there is no persecution of religion in China, that the Chinese Government is not against any religion but dislikes missionaries as potential spits. We heard just that kind of answer in this country in Elizabeth's reign, He admitted that churches are now used as halls, hut thought this natural. as they were the hest buildings in the locality. Catholics, he thought. have suffered more than other bodies and he was sorry about it, hut as there was no persecution of religion he could not say more. THE papers recently mentioned the invitation to English Socialists to visit China and the invitation was accepted. A party of politicians, supported by our votes, will soon be going to China to hobnob with the Government which is ravaging our Church. Do we know the names of delegates who are making this journey and are we doing anything to let them know the facts? Surely we ought to have our eyes, ears and mouths open and our fingers closed around our pens. Let them go to China with a further mission, knowing that the voters in England are not wholly indifferent to the Chinese Catholics and their fate.
An instructive pamphlet INTELLIGENT readers will not grudge the sixpence for the instructive little pamphlet "The Beaverbrook Press and the British Council." It should be read carefully by all study groups. Newspapers enjoy great power and those attacked by them have small chance of adequate redress. The Staff Association of the British Council has bravely taken the only way open to them to bring to the attention of the public the methods used against the Council by one section of the Press. If we study this pamphlet we will read our paper in the tram each morning with a more alert and critical eye.
URIENDS of mine living in Ire[ land had the joy of a baby daughter and the name of the child was rightly decided after study of the calendar of feasts. The day in question was given in the book as the feast of St. !Clara, an ancient Tipperary saint. The little girl is now duly called Kiara, but no information about her patroness can be found in the standard books of reference. All that is known so far is that St. Kiara lived near Nenagh and was a nun. She has answered all manner of prayers offered in her honour. If any reader is "up" in Irish saints and can provide information, please let me know.
AT 7.30 p.m. on Thursday. June 24, in the Westminster Cathedral Hall, the London Catholic Choir and Orchestra will give a concert (admission by programme, 2s. 6d.). The programme will include Vivaldi's Violin Concerto in A minor and Faure's Requiem. Isabel Falkner, Rankin 13ushby and Madeleine Miller-Jean will be performing. Better this advance notice without comment than flattery too late. London readers should feel tempted to go along.
AA FRIEND writes to tell me that grandfather went to a lawyer to settle his will. When the draft came hack one item read: "L50 to the Reverend J. Smith for Masses for the repair of his soul."