IFIAVE known Fr. Francis Woodlc .k I all my life, though never intimately. For some reason or other be made me nervous. For one thing, he always seemed extremely busy and looked tremendously learned and dignified Moreover, there is a sort of cachet about the Farm Street Jesuit putting the greater world to rights which makes me feel extremely unimportant. But all this was very much on the surface, for I have seen him taking in excellent part the jokes against himself made by fellow Jesuits and returning as good as he got. On a recent visit to Campton Hall we guests were vastly entertained by s long duel of this kind between Fr D'Arcy and Fr. Woodheek. two of the best friends in the world.
His Best Flair
ACTUALLY Fr. Woodlock had no high opinion of his own talents. He did not mind owning that he worked hard for his success by arranging his own publicity. And this he certainly did not do for his own glory, but for the greater glory of God. He reached the position of being the best-known priest in the country, at any rate as far as the national Press was concerned. and as a result be was able to speak to millions instead of hundreds. And perhaps his best flair was In knowing just what would interest the Press and just what wouldn't. I have sometimes asked him to get something over. "No, it can't be done." he would say. " these papers need nursing. Perhaps later something could be made of the matter.' It was Fr Woodlock. by the way, who suggested the widespread distribution by Catholics of The Times leader on Religion and the National L4fe.
ONEpractical way of putting Fr. Woodlock's suggestion into practice has been adopted by Fort Augustus School. whose magazine reaches me with an Inset of The Times leader. The periodical is called the Corbie. The name is taken from the Benedictine monastery in Picardy, founded in the seventh century and suppressed during the French Revolution. Fort Augustus, I suppose, Is a lineal descendant of the historic abbey. The magazine contains general articles, such as the amusingly illustrated one on "The Atlantic in Peace and War " and "Carnival at Frascati"
Hitler on the Index?
APRIEST correspondent suggests that we organise a mass petition to the Holy See to have Mein Rama( put on the Index. " Such a measure," be writes, "might have far-reaching effects and help to re-establish peace." But would a mass petition be necessary, or even desirable, as coming from an enemy of Germany? Surely It would be sufficient for any Bishop to draw the Holy Office's attention to matters dangerous to morals or doctrine in MOSII Kampf to secure the book's examination. The Holy Office, in fact, only takes cognisance of books officially denounced to it.
AFRIEND of mine strongly believes that any form of punishment whether vindictive or reformatory, does more harm than good. And he is consistent enough to apply this to a defeated Germany. None of their leaders must be hanged or imprisoned or penalised, he says. I make one exception only : Hitler should be made professor of international law in Oxford University.
The Faroe Islands
I DON'T suppose you know more about the Faroe Islands than I did, so, to save you the trouble. I looked them up in a reference book. There are 21 of them, and they contain about 20,000 people and 60.000 sheep. The weather is described as " oceanic," which, understand, means the same as Britain only a hundred times worse. They once had a Catholic bishop, but Christian III of Denmark introduced Lutheranism, and now Catholicism has clean disappeared. They belonged to Norway before Denmark, and to-day there is a strong " Home Rule " movement
THE Catholic Book Club shows breadth of mind in its latest choice, Picking up Evelyn Waugh's Robbery Under Law which they sent me, the first lines 1 read were the following ones: " There is nothing more repugnant to the English reader than to he obliged to form his own judgment afresh with each book he takes up. Indeed readers, bored with the privilege of a free Press, have lately imposed on themselves a voluntary censorship: they have banded themselves into book clubs so that they may be perfectly confident that whatever they read will be written with the intention of confirming their existing opinions."
" Picture Post" Again
I HAVE received a large number of I letters taking me to task for saying that there was nothing In a recent issue of Picture Post (containing Douglas Woodruff's article on the Pope) to which exception could be taken. Various writers denounced various bits, but apparently only one Item was universally considered reprehensible, namely. the statement " German and Italian invasion, passing as Civil War.' I must confess I was not vetting the paper for political views, but for
indecency." I fear, too, that the standard imposed by my correspondents would involve Catholics refusing to read any but Catholic papers and periodicals—a conclusion against which I, for more reasons than one, have no objection!
I WAS listening to the Haw-Haw version of the German aggression with a very sceptical friend who has the lowest use for all politicians and governments. The result of the talk would have surprised the famous broad°eater. My friend exclaimed: " After that I really don't see any way of getting out of the fact that Britain is in the right this time !"
" Daily Express" " Beachcomber"
-WHY did Hitler risk his ships on such a hazardous expedition? There are two schools of thought on this subject. Two enpianations are given of the invasion of Norway:
(1) Hitler is mad.
(2) Hitler Is sane.
" The first impression is that Hitler is mad. If he is sane, we must march for some explanation which will make sense of his gamble."
" Daily Express" " Leader"
" IT is always difficult to land troops from the sea when the enemy is in occupation of the shore. This is due to the fact that an enemy in occupation of shore forts will presumably use them to fire upon an invading force. The invading force can fire back, but, in the nature of things, the force on land has Certain technical advantages. Again, a landing from the sea will depend a great deal on the nature of the terrain. High cliffs are a more serious obstacle than a gentle slope of sand. especially if there is no way up the cliffs. A marshy littoral is a disadvantage to mechanised units, unless there are causeways across the marshes."
[P.S.—I got them mixed up after all. It's the other way round ] I Warrant He Would!
HAVE received the following letter I from Ireland : Dear Jotter, — The story which you printed of the Belfast tad who explained that he went regularly to Mass because he had to fight his way to the chapel recalled another to a reader in an Ulster convent. A certain youth in Belfast had missed Mass for a time. A priest said to him : " Michael, did you hear about the new chapel to be built on the Shankill Road?" — alluding to a notorious district in which no priest can walk with safety. "Father," said Michael promptly, "ill be first into he chapel the day it's opened." titineaN.