Sir,-Fr. Martindale's notes on Sts. Cyril and Methodius have struck a chord here. Having spent a year (1914 to 1915) in Bulgaria, I became very conscious of the intense veneration entertained by the Bulgarian nation for these two saints, who were, indeed, of Bulgarian origin and who are looked upon. in a sense, as national apostles. The Bulgars were deeply touched by the action of Pope Leo XIII in establishing a feast of Sts. Cyril and Methodius in the Roman liturgy.
That Pope Leo was aware of the
location of their fruitful apostolate is shown by the words of the hymn which occurs in their office: " Bulgaros compiest, Moravos, Bohemos." It must be remembered that in their time Bulgaria was in the full stream of national expansion and greatness, extending soon right across to 0,chrida.
An inclination to look westward to the Roman Pontiff has never since been completely absent from the Bulgarian soul.
It was not till centuries later
that the newly-converted Russians were able to make use of the Slavonic liturgy created by Sts. Cyril and Methodius for the Bulgars, Moravians and Bohemians.
This Slavonic liturgy was, however, the Byzantine liturgy, translated into the old Slavonic. Cyril and Methodius were Byzantine
monks and they would never have dreamt of adopting the Latin rite. Working as they did on the
frontiers between East and West. they met with bitter opposition from the ecclesiastical authorities of German nationality and Roman rite. As we know, they were nevertheless upheld by the Roman See, and their liturgy was approved by that See. Only a small number of Croatians and Dalmatians, along the Adriatic coast, adopted the Roman rite in the Slavonic tongue (Glagolitic).
The Slavonic rite of Sts. Cyril and Methodius is still used by the Bulgarian Uniats of Macedonia when it is possible for them to function.
Incidentally, Hungary was never a field of operation for these saints. Racially and linguistically the Hungarians are totally different from the Slays.
Cyprian Rice, 0.P.
Holy Cross Priory, Leicester.
Correction and Delinquency
Sir,-1 would like to lend my support to the excellent letters from Miss Rorke, Dr. Marshall, and others, on the question of corporal punishment, and a punitive attitude generally to our children, in some Catholic schools.
I agree 'entirely with Miss Rorke's account to the background of delinquency; I would go so far as to say that delinquency and immorality are to some extent caused by excessive severity in home and school, and the same applies to the leakage. Are boys and girls likely to learn to love anything taught to them by people who think it necessary to beat them ? Religion above all is to be learnt by attraction, not by repulsion and fear.
With regard to the famous "Rod of Correction," you have only to interpret rod as ferule, birch, cane, slipper, or what have you, to see how absurd this is. The stress is on correction. and the phrase "Rod of Correction." is symbolic (pace Mr. O'Halloran and others).
It is about time that we heard less of the Jansenist-sounding " Proneness to Evil " and a lot more about proneness to good: " Every man has a tendency towards complete goodness " (St. Thomas Aquinas).
(Dr.) C. Burns. 29 Frederick Road,
Edgbaston, Birmingham, 15.
Cruelty in Schools
Sir,-The letter of " Presbyter" is astonishing. He graciously admits that cruelty is not confined to Ireland, only to suggest a kind of Freudian frustration in persons vowed to a celibate life, which seeks its outlet in cruelty. Freud simply inverts psychology, giving an absurdly important prominence to the subconscious and instinctive, at the expense of the rational and conscious life. He also stressed the importance of sex to a most unhealthy degree.
His teaching does not harmonise with the views of mental specialists. Dr. Forel. the distinguished psychiatrist, of Zurich, writes: "I have never come across a psychosis having its source in a chaste life, but have diagnosed countless cases caused by sexual excesses." Should a religious person be guilty of grave failure in charity through cruelty, the remedy lies in a good
confession, and not in a visit to a psychologist.
In her last letter, Mrs. O'Connell forgot to inform your readers that there have been a very few prosecutions of Irish schoolmasters for infringement of the Ministry's regulations on excessive corporal punishment, but it is such a long
time ago, that I have forgotten the
details. This would have revealed that aggrieved parents have a remedy. Article 42 S, 4 of the Irish Constitution guarantees " the rights of parents, especially in the matter of religious and moral formation." Why the scarcity of prosecutions ? Can it be that the
sentimentalists are not sufficiently public-spirited to attack Giant
Cruelty ? Or, can it be (publish it not in Ascalon). that the case for the prosecution is deplorably weak ?
5 Clifton Terrace, Monkstown, Co. Dublin.