Page 2, 1st July 1949

1st July 1949
Page 2
Page 2, 1st July 1949 — CATHOLICS IN SWEDEN

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SIR,-Mr. Bjorn Hallstrtim is Swedish Protestant journalist. In THE CATHOLIC HERALD Of June 24 he has intervened in the discussion about Protestants in Spain. For that reason I would like to direct his attention to the plight of Catholics in Sweden. To their plight I would also draw the attention of those Fourth Programme Catholics who have espoused the cause of Protestants in Spain. I quote the Dublin Standard of June 17, when that paper published the following extract from an article by Mr. Richard Pattec in Hibernia. Here Richard Pattee writes:

" In a reply to this accusation, since Protestants in Spain are not persecuted in the least, I have taken the liberty of raising the historical explanation of certain restrictions or limitations. It is true that Spanish Protestants do not enjoy the liberty of public demonstrations and street parades. " There are certain other restrictions as to their activity, none of them serious. Most of this is part of a long heritage to which the Spanish people saw in Protestantism an enemy, linked with Great Britain, and a source of disruption and instability. Catholicism and nationalism became the same thing. None of the critics of Spain seem to care to bear this in mind.

" None of them as yet ever refers to the fact that Catholics in Sweden, for the same historical reasons are infinitely more restricted than Protestants in Spain. A Swedish Catholic cannot teach in the primary schools nor hold certain positions. No convent or community can be set up without State approval. No property may be held. " A Catholic in Sweden who wishes to get a passport must get his certificate of good conduct from the Lutheran pastor. No Catholic can marry, even if the other party is Catholic, without the publication of banns in the Lutheran church.

" And no Swede can become a Catholic through conversion unless the announcement is made twice in a Lutheran church. Nothing remotely comparable to this exists in Spain against Catholics. Would it not be a good idea to take up the cudgels at once on behalf of our persecuted co-religionists in Sweden ? "


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