" Classical" Quotations TAM indebted to Mr Montague Fordhans for knowledge of a truly " classical " quotation, illustrating the submission of a certain kind of Christianity to the fashionable " modern thought " of the day, It is quoted in his just-issued pamphlet, The Restoration of Agriculture. " Through the wise and beneficent arrangement of Providence, men thus do the greatest service to the public when they are ?Milking of nothing but their own gain," stated the Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge in the middle ot the last century. Surely a warning to Christian arineasers ! On the other hand. M, Fordham himself, describing the countryman's " sixthgeese " and contrasting its merits with the shoddy thinking of the industrialist, writes almost as " classically
" This devasting common sense is, of course. limited in many ways, but at oottom it seems automatically to cnncentrate on essential% on seeing thires as they are. You can follow it in the working of the mind of Stalin, and generally in Russian policy."
Roosevelt and the Encyclicals THE late Preeident's conspicuous be• lief in the influence of the Vatican had a deeper source than diplomatic wisdom. It was not only in international affairs that he respected the Peens': some of the inspiration of the New Deal came from that source. A nrominent English Catholic for some time resident in the United States' and in close touch with the President told me that he had seen copies of the Encyclicals on social questions with marginal annotations in Roosevelt's handwriting.
i HAVE been thinking lately of the ',coming General Election, and wondering whether 1 eoukt in conscience 'give my vote to. any of the Parties Though I deplore the civic laziness .which causes people not to trouble to vote, 1 also hold that a deliberate ab,stention is as definite an exercise of the franchise as voting. And I was encouraged thus week by the Weekly Review in my growing feeling that there is no Party for which I could in conscience vote, for that paper hes reprinted the following leaflet issued in the 1918 Election: Parliamentary Election A.D. 1918.— BEWARE ! Men and Women of Ditcbling. It is evident that the three candidates for this constituency are in favour of MORE COMPULSION & MORE OFFICIALS. More of the rights of parents are to be stolen by the politicians. The Insurance Act is not to be repealed. We are to be forced to send our children to school and more school whether we approve of the education given ot not. There is no suggestion that the housee to be built or the land to be used should become the property of the men who have fought for us but there is every indication that everything is to be organised for tile Government (whether Coalition or Labour) by paid officials. In these circumstances EVERY VOTE GIVEN BY THE WORKERS TOMORROW IS A VOTE AGAINST THEIR OWN FREEDOM. SO DON'T VOTE. SIGNED 13 xii 18 Douglas Pepier, Eric, Gill, Henry Dawes. (My own objections, by the way, would not be quite those of this leaflet.) Continental Catholic Action ATHOLIC news from Belgium m seems easier to get than from France, though I was delighted this week to receive a charming letter from the Editor of Etudes. thanking us for reprinting extracts from the PriestWorker's Diary (I hope that magnificent Catholic Action document will be available to English readers in due course.) The Jesuit editor's letter took only ten days. From Belgium Harry. Tolfree (Jocist notable) is a regular correspondent Hg is hard at work, while in the army producing (or, I suppose, helping to produce) French Action literature. One effort is a series of Firhes Eiocumentaires, leaflets carrying translations from the Catholic press here and ,in America Another is a J.O.C. magazine called Renouveatt.
Fre Rochford writes: • " Our second National Secretary, a Poplar lad was on leave from Belgium lately, and brought me Jocist publications. It amazed me how they kept going. and kept up their flow of publications May I quote front a speech of Cardijn's in 1942 ?
,. ' To exalt and save the dignity of the human person among the young workers it isn't a matter of waiting for the war to end, or the occupation to finish, or for social or political changes. The Christians of the early Church, facing the paganism of their day, didn't wait for the legal suppression of State-worship, worship of the Emperor. of slavery and barbarism.
" ' No, but forthwith, at Rome and to every Roman province, the early Christians bore Witness in their own life and own environment, to the essential and eternal dignity of the human person, redeemed by their Leader, Christ.
" ' They grooped,themselves into small cells, united among themselves by a movement and under leaders appointed by' Christ Himself ; and they spread among the army. in the world of, slaves and tradesmen, in the world of officialdom. among the nobility. at the imperial Court itself. For three centuries they offered' up their lives to convert the world of their time, and bring about the triumph of Christianity.
" To-day, the misfortunes and trials of the war ought to offer Cod-sent opportunities of bearing unshakeable witness to'our faith in the personal dignity and personal destiny of the young working lads and working girls.
', ' Early Christians of to-day, we must be in every spot where suffering and distress allow us to show our temporal and spiritual charity. our beneficent influence amid the physical and moral esneers Threatening the youth of the working class.'
"What unconquerable courage and optimism I Thank God for Cardijn and the .1.0.C."
12 Blind Readers A BLIND friend tells me that there 1-1 are 12 blind readers of this paper for whom the most important columns are brailled every week. Unfortunately there has recently been some difficulty In getting the braining done. She asks mo to appeal for a volunteer or two who could help with the work.