From Our Own Correspondent
"The genius of Salazar has again been covered with splendour throughout
the Catholic world," Mgr. De Castro, Ecclesiastical Adviser to the Portuguese Minister accredited to the Holy See, told your Correspondent the day the new
Concordat between Portugal and the Holy Sec was being ratified.
Salazar's new diplomatic victory consists in having given the Church all her rights without sacrificing the smallest part of that Constitutional liberty given to every individual.
The question of divorce had to be treated in the most delicate manner. Although there are few cases in Portugal—a Catholic country for centuries—
nevertheless the State permits it. The
Church, on the other hand, could not admit divorce. How find the exact wording so that nobody could accuse the State of violating the personal liberty of the individual as the State conceived it, and at the same time respect one of the basic principles of the Church?
Article XXIV of the Concordat speaks of the Catholic who marries and freely consents to give up divorces No violation of individ
ual liberty is here involved, for the individuals acts according to his own free will and therefore there is no violation of Constitutional liberty while the claims of the Church are wholly respected.
A PRECEDENT FOR AMERICA This is the first Concordat signed between the Vatican and a nation where separation of the Church and State exists, The importance of this Concordat consists mainly in the fact that Portugal's leaders were able to favour the Church and her rights, without violating in the least the principle of this separation.
If this first attempt succeeds it may lead to the possibility of signing other Concordats with nations where the principle of separation between Church anti State exists, the United States, for example.
Those who are opposed to Mr. Myron Taylor's appointment need no longer fear that the principle of separation between Church and State will be violated in the United States, for not only has Portugal a Minister in Rome and the Holy See a Nuncio at Lisbon, but now there is a Concordat. All this does not in the least violate Portugal's Constitution, and the separation between Church Erld State.
END TO COLONIAL CONTROVERSY
Another characteristic of this new Concordat is that it ends all controversies regarding the diocesea which once belonged to Portugal and now are under English rule, as St. Thomas of Meliapor, Cochin, Bombay, Manganore, Quilon and Trichinopoly. The first two of these are still vacant for this very reason. It was rumoured that Portugal would give up the right to England of giving her consent to the appointment of Bishops to these dioceses.
Although this right given to Portugal by the Holy See when this nation was working so hard to extend the Church in the Far East is nothing more than a souvenir and an act of kindness towards Portugal for her great missionary work, the Portuguese Government retains the right to give their consent to the appointment of Bishops over these English dioceses.