Page 12, 21st May 1937

21st May 1937
Page 12
Page 12, 21st May 1937 — " Divini Redemptoris"

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Organisations: His Church
People: Jesus Christ
Locations: Rome


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" Divini Redemptoris"

Summary of sections 51-59 in C.'atholer Herald for May 14.

This part of the Encyclical outlines the

Pope's view as' to the way in which the Communist attack is to be met. Having dealt with the exercise of justice, in private life, he proceeds to deal with the Liptak:at-Me of justice to the tunneunity's ii u• aftuirs, And here he WIPP more refer, to occupational groups. 'Phis time it is ha cunneetiun with the problem of competition. The evil uf competition is that it refers the adjustment of prires and wages to thea eeintes (I: Iieii pa rt y

eecure the best it eau for iisalf rather

limn to any moral Aandard. renicds this Ii, suggests o,..mpational groups ereeineeil on e functional hasis. These being units in a 'ashen t :,11L•hl I herva.e and yet exercising aatenomons eighte would he uble to fix prices' end wages ar:cording to WI ii i

llaving thus outlined the Catholic alternativo to Communism His Holiness deals with

the need of social LIdy propegamle, II that the Deposit-10u may Lg illformed and reasoned. Elul:lee-es is laid im the part that may Lie played Ily 'iii MASI) u OA and I. reinforced by von,ideral ion of the fait that ta DIM Uli lets have wlopled policy to whirh IIII.v On their ciciiI. ILIIdI.I lee disguise of sympathywith ilriflng ititiIlyyl 10,1 and huninii1.41 mon movements. tuthol iu ars W a Med against co-operating with Comniuni-d. wider these conditions. Filially the Pope reealls us tu the need of /inner anti pe 0(11100.


Ministers and Co-Workers in Catholic Social Action PRIESTS 60. To apply the remedies thus briefly indicated to the task of saving the world as We have traced it above, Jesus Christ, our Divine King, has chosen priests as the first-line ministers and messengers of His gospel. Theirs is the duty, assigned to them by a special vocation, under the direction of their Bishops and in filial obedience to the Vicar of Christ on earth. of keeping alight in the world the torch of Faith, and of filling the hearts of the Faithful with that supernatural trust which has aided the Church to fight and win so many other

battles in the name of Christ: "This is the victory which overcometh the world, our Faith."

61. To priests in a special way We recommend anew the oft-repeated counsel of Our Predecessor„ Leo XIII, to go to the working-man. We make this advice Our own, and, faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Church, We thus complete it: " Go to the working man, especially where he is poor; and in general, go to the poor." The poor are obviously more exposed than others to the wiles of agitators who, taking advantage of their extreme need, kindle their hearts to envy of the rich and urge them to seize by force what fortune seems to have denied them unjustly. If the priest will not go to the working man and to the poor, to warn them or to disabuse them of prejudice and .false theory, they will become an easy prey for the apostles of communism.

62. Indisputably, much has been clone in

this direction, especially after the publication of the Encyclicals Raton novarum and Quadragesimo wino. We are happy to voice Our paternal approval of the zealous pastoral activity manifested by so many Bishops and priests who have with due prudence and caution been planning and applying new methods of apostolate more adapted to modern needs. But for the solution of our present problem, all this effort is still inadequate. When our country is in danger, everything not strictly necessary, everything not hearing directly on the urgent matter of unified defence, takes second place. So we must act in today's crisis. Every other enterprise, however attractive and helpful. must yield before the vital need of protecting the very foundation of the Faith and of Christian civilisation. Let our parish priests, therefore, while providing of course for the normal needs of the Faithful, dedicate the better part of their endeavours and their zeal to winning back the labouring masses to Christ and to His Church. Let them work to infuse the Christian spirit into quarters where it is least at home. The willing response of the masses, and results far exceeding their expectations, will not fail to reward them for their strenuous pioneer labour. This has been and continues to be our experience in Rome and in other capitals, where zealous parish communities are being formed as new churches are built in the suburban districts, and real miracles are being worked in the conversion of people whose hostility to religion has been due solely to the fact that they did not know it.

Let our parish priests therefore while pro riding of course for the normal needs of the Faithful, dedicate the better part of their endeavours and their zeal to winning bark the labouring masses' to Christ btu! His


It is to be observed that the Pope defines tale as the primary duty of the priesthood It the present time. The injunction to come into personal contaet with the working-class 4.5115 for special attention in this country where the traditional pulley has been rather that of cultivating friendly relations with social and intellectual leaders ana where the close connection existing in ether countries hetween in peasantry a.nd the priesthood ie

cauited from its ranks is absent. _English Catholicism has been least successful in winning converts in the class to whose religious life in the past Noncooformity ministered. The progress nia,de by Communism aiming this class with the terrilile and far-reaching consequences that may follow demands that earnest attention be given to the omission.

The anti-elericalism of the workers, it is suggested. is not without cause and an appeal III therefore made in the following section for a higher standard of holiness expressing itself in simplicity of life and disinterested service.

63. But the most efficacious means of apostolate among the poor and lowly is the priest's example, the practice of all those sacerdotal virtues which We have described in Our Encyclical Ad Catholic! sacerdatil. Especially needful. however, for the present situation is the shining example of a life which is humble, poor and dis nterested, in imitation of a Divine Master who could say to the world with divine simplicity: "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head." A priest who is really poor and disinterested in the Gospel sense may work among his flock marvels recalling a Saint Vincent de Paul,

a Cure of Ars, a Cottolengo, a Don Bosco and so many others; while an avaricious and selfish priest, as We have noted in the above-mentioned Encyclical, even though he should not plunge with Judas to the abyss of treason, will never he more than empty " sounding brass " and useless " tinkling cymbal." Too often, indeed, he will be a hindrance rather than an instrument of grace in the midst of his people. Furthermore, where a secular priest or religious is obliged by his office to administer temporal property, let him remember that he is not only to observe scrupulously all that charity and justice prescribe, but that he has a special obligation to conduct himself in very truth as a father of the poor.

CATHOLIC ACTION 64. After this appeal to the clergy, We extend Our paternal invitation to Our beloved sons among the laity who are doing battle in the ranks of Catholic Action. On another occasion We have called this movement so dear to Our heart " a particularly providential assistance " in the work of the Church during these troublous times. Catholic Action is in effect a social apostolate also, inasmuch as its object is to spread the Kingdom of Jesus Christ not only among individuals, but also in families and in society. It must, therefore, make it a chief aim to train its members with special care and to prepare them to fight the battles of the Lord. This task of formation, now more urgent and indispensable than ever, which must always precede direct action in the field, will assuredly be served by studycircles, conferences, lecture-courses and the various other activities undertaken with a view to making known the Christian solution of the social problem.

65. The militant leaders of Catholic Action, thus properly prepared and armed, will be the first and immediate apostles of their fellow-workmen. They will be an invaluable aid to the priest in carrying the torch of truth, and in relieving grave spiritual and material suffering, in many sectors where inveterate anti-clerical prejudice or deplorable religious indifference has proved a constant obstacle to the pastoral activity of God's ministers. In this way they will collaborate, under the direction of especially qualified priests, in that work of spiritual aid to the labouring classes on which We set so much store, because it is the means best calculated to save these, Our beloved children, from the snares of Cornmunism.

66. In addition to this individual apostolate which, however useful and efficacious, often goes unheralded, Catholic Action must organise propaganda on a large scale to disseminate knowledge of the fundamental principles on which, according to the Pontifical documents, a Christian Social Order must build.

Catholic Action must organise propaganda an a large scale.

In the preceding paragraph Pius XI defines the nature of this propaganda: it is to deal with " the Christian solution of the social problem." With propaganda concerned with the theological truthe of Catholicism we are familiar. Study circles for the insteuction of the faithful in the Church's social doctrine are also found among us. But social propaganda as deserilica by the lame has yet to he organised on a large scale. This paragraph therefore has special reference to the sitriatitin in our own country.

(To be continued.)

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