Page 4, 19th March 1943

19th March 1943
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Page 4, 19th March 1943 — CARDINAL HINSLEY AND CHRISTIAN CO-OPERATION
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CARDINAL HINSLEY AND CHRISTIAN CO-OPERATION

CARDINAL Iiinsley's career at

Westminster will be remembered for many things, but it may he surmised that his bold leadership in the matter of Christian co-operation will stand out as the contribution of his rule. In this, as in everything else, the late Cardinal was directed by the lead of the Holy Father who has so often mentioned non-Catholics in his blessings and so clearly included them in his hopes for a Christian renaissance against secularism. Cardinal Hinsley was not content to leave his Papal lead a mere matter of words. With his customary directness. and in view of the peculiarly urgent need in a country like ours, he acted on the plain truth that there were many basic social and moral questions upon which Christians and men of goodwill stood together against the trend of the times. The logical consequence was that they should act together at least where reason and the natural law were common to them.

The policy foreshadowed in the Joint Letter on the Papal peace points and the five social points was realised in the foundation and blessing of the Sword of the Spirit. It would he idle to deny that so marked a change in the Catholic traditional attitude to non-Catholics in this country did not cause misgivings. It led, moreover, to technical difficulties and to some misunderstandings. But under the Cardinal's gentle and courageous guidance adaptations were made with the result that the new and more hopeful attitude has become established. Anyone who knew the Cardinal's personal intranigence on Catholic truth should certainly have no doubts about the absolute compatibility of this more charitable and constructive atmosphere with the most rigid interpretation of Catholic claims.

The Cardinal's charity and understanding in action, eased by his own certainty and intolerance in regard to truth itself, were an example of true appeasement, and many have entertained the hope that, had he been spared, he would have proved after the war one of the personages who would have done most towards reconciliation in Christian charity between the nations. Instead. it is for Its to study his example and to profit by it.

THE LOSS OF KHARKOV

IT is too early as yet to assess the A significance of the Russian setback with the loss of the recently recaptured Kharkov. Unfortunately, however, it seems to argue very considerable recuperative powers in the German Army and some misjudgment on the part of the Russian commanders. As such it must dash the hopes that the Russians had really got the Nazis "on the run." With this disappointment goes also the hope that the war might be drawing to a close. If no early decision is forthcoming in the great Eastern battlefield. there is not much substance behind President on theshtiaitnekmeonf t ctohl a " l at pseGerm any is

, ,

Few competent observers believe that Nazi Germany will collapse until a disintegrating movement is started by a resounding military defeat, The bombing of Germany, however intense, is unlikely to have decisive effects. The target is too large, and bombing only accomplishes, at best, a localised weakening of morale. For a genuine break-down, there must be something akin to the contagion of a

disease. Fear and defeatism must spread like wildfire. It is altogether too easy for the modern totalitarian State to seal up comparatively small centres of disaffection that are likely to result from intensive bombing.

As for the invasion of Europe, we doubt if it is possible for anyone, let alone the uninformed public, to estimate the chances of success. At any rate there is agreement that the idea presents immense difficulties. being in fact the converse of this country's safety throughout the war, when the Channel and our fighters stood between our relatively undefended shores arid the might of conquering Germany.

Whether we like it or not, we have to admit that an early decision depends upon Russia.

RANDOLPH CHURCHILL'S LETTER

WE doubt whether Mr. Aneurin " Bevan has increased his political standing by selecting the Prime Minister (instead of the Minister of War) as the person to whom to address his question about Captain Randolph Churchill's letter in the Evening Standard. What look like personal vendettas, carried into a person's family, are never pleasing to the British public, for there is a feeling that it is an underhand method of attack. But much more important in this case is the fact that Captain Churchill's letter has thereby gained widespread publicity which it would otherwise never have got. The letter, in fact, says very much what we have been saying in these columns—for a time almost alone in the country—since the Armistice. And it says it very welt, distinguishing clearly between " those who have collaborated with the Germans in the internal administration of France " and " those who have collaborated to assist a German victory." " The vast majority of French officials have only retained their positions in a desire to retain some order and stability in their country and to protect their fellow citizens from the worst excesses of Nazi

theft and savagery." Captain Churchill describes the attitude of those who seek to condemn all Frenchmen, except the followers of de Gaulle, as " pharisaical " and states that this attitude is " fostered by certain French elements in London." The attitude, he argues. will " create the perfect condition for a bloody civil war in France as soon as she is free" and it is one from which " only extremist and violent minorities " can profit.

We are quite confident that the 13ritish public will accept the truth and good sense of Captain Churchill's argument and obtain a much clearer idea of the international dancer of these extremist views which only a few months ago were being taken for granted as the test of patriotism by the press in aeneral.

TOWARDS FRENCH UNITY

recent statement of General Giraud marks a very important advance towards uniting all Frenchmen who remain free in resistance against the common enemy. Un fortunately the French National Committee has been unable to appreciate the immense difference to the whole French situation made by the invasion of French Africa with its consequent release of a new and actually much more powerful centre of resistance. Even if we grant Me claims of the National Committee, it obviously became imperative in the new situation for both parties to come together and hammer out the foundations of unity under the totally different circum stances. Even now, the National Committee is reluctant to see this. The friends of General de Gaulle are most unwilling to believe that the reasons for this intransigence can be anything so superficial as pride or personal ambition; they are therefore forced to the conclusion that the difference is due to ideological causes. stressed by the National Committee, that played no part in the original formation of Free France. That grand movement was purely military in its inspiration and it welcomed all willing or able to continue resist ance. Some political administration became necessary, but this should and could have been maintained as quite a secondary factor. The National Committee's apparent determination to stand for a faction. before the ascertaining of French opinion ender quite differeet conditions was possible, has been a serious mistake.

The views of individuals must naturally affect their actions, and not less than in the case of the National Committee. General Giraud and the French regime in Africa manifest a political bias. But whereas General Giraud has gone a very long way towards weakening these ideological factors for the common good of France with the result that Bergeret and Rigaut have resigned, the National Committee has, if anything, hardened its parti san views. This is the time for Gheanregrea. I d e Gaulle himself to take c san views. This is the time for Gheanregrea. I d e Gaulle himself to take c

YOUTH REGISTRATION

THE registration for Youth Move' ment purposes of boys and girls of sixteen should awaken us to the almost desperate need for the better organisation and extension of our Catholic Youth Movement. The fact is that under the old order isf laissez-faire we have (like others)

become slack. With no formed opposition to counter, we were content to allow matters to orift and to trust to luck. That policy has certainly had lamentable results, as the problem of the leakage makes evident, but the evil consequences were gradual and did not leap to the eye. In a way it is a mercy that the new totalitarian tendencies make it impossible for us to avoid the issue.

In this country there is still every facility for Catholic action and cooperation. Our position in regard to the Youth Movement is as yet safer than it is in Education. But it is virtually certain that as the Movement grows and develops, the bias towards secularism (with or without sonic kind of religious " agreed syllabus") will increase. Unless we can plant our feet firmly from the beginning just where we want them, we shall find no ground left upon which to plant them.

Unfortunately it is not always possible to have Catholic bodies everywhere. In some cases it may not even be desirable. But where we cannot have our own organisations, up to the required public standard, we can still take measures to see that Catholic boys and girls are spiritually and morally catered for, whether by the creation of Catholic sections within wider organisations or by the regular service of chaplains whose authority is publicly recognised.

This all may literally be a matter

of months, if not weeks. If the chance is missed, it may never come again.

TO MAKE CONGREGATIONS SIT UP

wE most earnestly recommend the reading of Dorothy Sayers' booklet, The Other Six Deadly Sins (Methuen Is.), which is a reprint of an address to the Public Morality Council. It may, very well be that this address, together with Miss Sayers' companion bobklet Why Work?, go further, in the fifty pages that they share, to explain the canker at the root of our civilisation than any other contemporary British publication. Miss Sayers goes straight to the heart of the matterthe lie and self-delusion in our own souls about our day-to-day behaviour, about the very things we most take for granted. And the appalling and tragic truth about what she has to say is that in these matters there is practically no recognisable difference between Christians (often regular and pious Christians) and the secularist world. If this is the case, can we wonder any longer at the apparent impotence of Christianity in the face of the world? We are like lepers running about in a leper colony advertising the supreme and infallible cure for leprosy!

Miss Sayers has chosen the " six others," because she thinks we make too much of Lust. She may Or may not be right about that, but there is no question that she is right in her contention that we make much too little of Wrath, Gluttony, Covetousness, Envy, Sloth and Pride. These old moth-eaten names are brought to life again by the author through her brilliant description Of how they permeate through us and our civilisation, cropping up in a hundred different ways and under many a familiar, even respected name.

This is a typical quotation : " Hand in hand with Covetousness goes its close companion—Invidia or Envy, which hates to see other men happy. The names by which it offers itself to the world's applause are Right and Justice, and it makes a great parade of these austere virtues, It begins by asking, plausibls : ' Whey should not I enjoy what others enjoy? ' and it ends by demanding: Why should others enjoy what I may not? ' Envy is the great leveller: if it cannot level things up. it will level them down: and the words constantly in its mouth are ' My Rights ' and ' My Wrongs.' At its best, Envy is a climber and a snob; at its worst, it is a destroyer—rather than have anybody happier than tiotsgeee., lfthirtwill see us all miserable Here is a book that could well be taken up into the pulpit this Lent in order to make some of our more edifying congregations sit up!




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