Page 6, 21st August 1936

21st August 1936
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Page 6, 21st August 1936 — INTERPRETING SPANISH WAR Conflicting Views
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Organisations: English College
Locations: London, Liverpool, Paris

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INTERPRETING SPANISH WAR Conflicting Views

SIR,—As,one who was " forced to flee by the Revolution," and in the same manner as Mr. Paul, I hope you will allow me to make a few comments on his article entitled, " Majorca Tragedy."

His dramatization of events is the least serious of his faults, though serious enough. He writes, for example, of " the destroying of churches and public buildings front the air." By the time that he and 1 left not one church had been destroyed from the air. His picture of an " active and secret persecution " of the church in Majorca is fantastic.

But the most regrettable feature of his article is its fundamentally immoral tone. For all his references to patriotism and religion, what he is really doing is enthusiastically to champion a rebellion against lawfully-constituted authority, a rebellion led by soldiers who have broken solemn oaths to the Republic and who have let loose on Spain the savage and Moslem Moor, a rebellion which May yet drench the whole of Europe in guiltless blood. And he sees nothing incongruous in the fact that the material resources of the Majorcan rebels should be the proceeds of smuggling. In short, Mr. Paul is apparently prepared to connive at smuggling, rebellion, broken oaths, Moorish butchery, the reckless plunging of a torch into the powder magazine of Europe—and all in the name of the Church!

Perhaps it is too much to expect him to realize the serious consequences to the British Empire of a rebel victory in Spain. With Spain a client state of Italy, thc route through the Mediterranean would be impossible to maintain. Patriotism begins at home.

Let me add that I greatly appreciated the straightforward narrative of the Liverpool school teacher, Miss Cousins, in the same issue. I am able to confirm its general outline, but she has erred in saying, with reference to the afternoon bombing of Palma on July 30, " many bombs struck the Cathedral." I was on the quarterdeck of the

Repulse at the same time. It is possible that the Cathedral may have suffered damage from one bomb aimed at the Almudaina barracks, but my own impression is that it escaped unhurt; it was not otherwise hit. As every magistrate knows, eyeAvitnesSes seldom agree. but I can emphatically reassure your readers on this Point. What has subsequently happened I cannot say.

IVOR THOMAS.

16a, John Street, Adelphi, W.C.2.

Parties' Names

very much regret that you persist in referring to the two opposing parties in the Spanish conflict as "Government troops or supporters " and " Rebels " or " Insurgents," even after having received, as I presume you have, the Archbishop of Westminster's letter to the Press (published in one of your contemporaries and a London daily), in which is enclosed a letter from Mgr. Henson of the English College, Valladolid. The latter states instead of Government forces and Rebels it should be " rabble " and " the forces of Christian law and order." Surely a Catholic paper can at least call the Rebels "anti-Red or " Patriots"?

I would also like to call your attention to the fact that General Franco is certainly not the commander of Government forces and in any case he is in the south of Spain, not north.

R. J. HEANEY.

123, Wharncliffe Gardens, St. John's Wood, N.W.8.

[The "Catholic: Herald" did NOT receive the Archbishop of Westminster's letter to the press, referred to above. We regret the mistake in regard to General Franco, which, indeed, was so obvious that it can hardly have been accounted more than a blunder at the press.—Editor.]

Red and Black

SIR.—In the references to the attitude of the Press towards the Civil War in Spain in your leading article, " What is at Stake?" last week there was one omission which deserves correction.

The Observer on the previous Sunday led off with an editorial under the heading of " Spain and the Powers," which was emin ently sane and balanced. After pleading for a detached attitude on our part and the encouragement of the same attitude in France, the writer proceeded: The parties of the French Left view with a very natural concern the possibility of a regime of Fascist type establishing itself upon their southern frontier. Such a state of things would sharpen every menace to which constitutional government in their own country is already subject. But when the alternative is the spread of Communism in Europe, with its fomentation of civil war among all peoples, it lies with M. Blum and his colleagues to brace themselves to firm decision. Only a rigid aloofness from the Spanish contest can keep the diplomatic relations of France and this country unimpaired. We can partake in no course that connives at the " Red ruin " in the hope of countering the Black.

The last sentence is especially worthy of note. It shows that there is at least a section of the educated public which, faced with the real issues, is prepared to forget its anti-clerical prejudices against " the Black."

STANLEY B. Js.

Force and Money Will Not -Restore Religion

SIR,-1 venture to make a brief comment on two points arising from articles which appear in your paper:

" Spanish Priests Tell Their Story " (page

1) . . . •they alone (the rebels) can restore religion to our country."

No, sir; religion will be restored in Spain firstly, because the promise of our Lord cannot and will not fail, and secondly, because it is hoped that the clergy will abandon the traditional policy of relying on successful generals and financial magnates and will go forth again to evangelise the people (a generous and brave people well worth the effort), and bring them back to God and to a reign of social justice.

" Majorca's Tragedy " (page 3). Really there is a terrible tragedy when Church and Fatherland had to rely on the efforts of Tuan March (l) to be saved from Communism. The neglect of the Masses is at the source of this cataclysm. You may be sure that the Kingdom of God cannot be restored by the tainted money of a lawbreaker.

Let us keep clear heads, clean hands and warm hearts, and, above all, trust in God, in His mercy and His justice.

L. DE LA TORRE.

Appearance and Reality

SIR,—In view of what is happening in Spain, I predict three coming conflicts among the human beings who call themselves Christians: belief against unbelief; youth against age; and those who have got all they want in the way of money and goods against those who have nothing. The coming great war will be God and Heaven, against the devil and Hell. So all Roman Catholics from 7 to 80 years old must learn their catechism off by heart so that they will know what is right and what is wrong. I. MAY,

7, Wild Street, Oldham, Lancs.

ST. THOMAS MORE

Sir,—The reference to the story of St. Thomas More, his daughter and Will RoPee is surely taken from John Aubrey—his Brief Lives chiefly of contemporaries.

Aubrey was born in 1626, but his father lived long, and would therefore have a long memory. He is an authority..for the Catholicism of Shakespeare, which is the more reliable as this is not to his personal taste. As for our reasons for accepting his authority generally, Madame de Chambrun has dealt with these at the end of her Shakespeare (Librairie Plon, Paris).

It is true that Aubrey is too frank for our modern taste; but that does not necessarily disprove his facts.

Is it not also possible that St. Thomas More was too frank for us'? And that this does not necessarily disprove the facts about St. Thomas More?

JAMES OLIVER.

[This hardly answers Mgr. Hallett, , as Aubrey himself may have been relying on Utopia. Perhaps some antiquarian can discover an earlier source? —Editor.]

HISTORY TEXT BOOKS IN CATHOLIC SCHOOLS

StR,—In a few weeks a new scholastic year will be beginning, and the stock-cup boards will be replenished. May I urge the need for history text-books written by Catholics? I recently encountered the following inaccuracies and half-truths in a text in use at a Catholic college: (a) " If orthodox Catholics chose to keep private priests to say Mass in their own chapels, Elizabeth did not mind." (And we pray for the canonisatiort of two hundred and ten Elizabethan martyrs!) (b) Of the Florentine Platonists it was stated : " Their great work was to show that the Schoolmen were the Pharisees of the Middle Ages."

(c) Edward Seymour, that plunderer of four bishops' palaces and much other ecclesiastical property, is thus described: "Somerset, a lofty-minded, tolerant gentleman whose only real fault was that he was born too soon."

(d) The Reformers went too fast and too far; that was the reason for the failure of the Edwardian attempt to make England Protestant."

And much else in the same strain. When I remonstrated with those in authority, I was countered with the argument that it was better for the pupils to meet such inaccuracies in order that the teacher could, by rectifying them, train the scholars to answer non-Catholic objections for which they would otherwise be unprepared.

This argument ignored three things: (1) that the teacher's time is severely limited (at this college there were only two periods per week allotted to history); (2) the weaker pupils are likely to remember the inaccuracy to the exclusion of the correct version; (3) the teacher may not always have opportunity to discover what particular misinterpretation has been absorbed by the individual pupil.

It is this third fact which renders statements of the type (c) and (d), above, more dangerous than (a) and (b), for half-truths, distortions and false conclusions tend to be recurrent in a work uninformed by Catholic philosophy; and because they are semiconcealed they are doubly pernicious.

" HONOURS GRADUATE."

23rd July, 1936.




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