Page 1, 21st May 1937

21st May 1937
Page 1

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A Catholic Responsibility

Mgr. Hinsley, Archbishop of Westminster, has issued the following appeal on behalf of the Basque refugees corning to England:

The Catholics of this country have been most generous in their response to appeals made on behalf of those suffering in some form or other by reason of the Civil War in Spain. It is with great reluctance, therefore, that we make one more appeal bringing to your notice the case of the children who are now being sent over to England from the preeminently Catholic Basque country. They are being sent to us, and confined to our care so that their faith may be safeguarded. Now is not the time to argue whether they should be evacuated or not, we have not had any say in their coming; the fact is they are coming and we must look after them.

We appeal then for these children, " innocent souls, who have absolutely no responsibility for this terrible tragedy." " My little ones, as a Father of these little ones to whom I have administered the Sacrament of Confirmation, I beg Your Grace with all my strength to take as much interest as is possible in these Souls innocent of all that has happened." (Extracts from letter of Bishop of Vitoria to Archbishop Hinsley).

As the Archbishop to whom the appeal of the Bishop of Vitoria has been addressed we feel a tremendous responsibility has been placed upon us for the welfare of these children and the safe guarding of their precious faith. We appeal for a generous response, we beg of you to accept this additional burden in the spirit in which previous appeals have been met. Bear in mind always that this is for the children who are the greatest sufferers in this struggle, but who have had no part at all in causing the strife, and who in the words of their bishop are " innocent of all that has happened."

The whole Hierarchy join with us in this appeal; they feel that this is a matter which can be confidently placed before you; the needs of the children will not fail to touch your hearts.


Archbishop of Westminster.

Donations to be sent to Archbishop Hinsley, Archbishop's House, Westminster, London, S.W.1, and marked " Basque Children Fund."

Owing to delays the Basque children evacuated from Bilbao will only be reaching this country within the next few days.

Though the number is officially stated to be 2,000, probably 4,000 will find refuge here.

The Catholic Herald thanks those readers who have already volunteered to share their homes with these children and has forwarded their names and addresses to the Catholic representative, Canon Craven, on the National Joint Committee. It is understood, however, that at present it is not intended to send the refugees to private homes.

Hero of the Cabeza Shot

Captain Santiago Cortes, who defended the shrine of Nuestra Dame de la Cabeza (see page 3) has been executed.

Despite the fact that in the ccurse of his heroic defence of a religious shrine he was many times wounded, and only surrendered through complete lack of munitions and food, he was immediately courtmartialled on capture. Owing to his wounds he had been taken to the hospital at Jaen and the court-martial was held around his bed. He was carried out into the open space by the hospital and shot.

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