The Papal Motu Proprio ordering next Sunday, November 24, to be a universal day of prayer is the best answer to recent attacks on the Papacy.
The Holy Father, spitefully indicted for not withholding his blessing from Italian soldiers risking their lives in loyal obedience to a pagan Government over which they have no sort of control, speaks of " this cruel struggle" which " instead of abating, continues to gather violence" so that his " voice, pleading for peace is drowned in the clash of arms."
But the Pope's voice can still rise in Christian papers above the din of a world in arms which are the consequence of the sins and infidelities in which all peoples and all rulers share, and he can still call on all Christians to pray with him that " order being restored in justice and minds being appeased through Christian charity, true peace may unite as brothers all the peoples of the human family, giving them tranquillity and prosperity."
It is not in this or that minor judgment as to who is in the right and who in the wrong that the high office of the Vicar of Christ is exercised at the present time but in the passionate plea to all of us to be converted to " the spirit of goodwill and thirst and hunger for justice and universal love " that alone can bring Christian peace.
But this call for a universal examination of conscience does not preclude the Pope from denouncing the gross evils and injustices that he knows of, and this week the Vatican Radio which has just stated: If we mention facts these facts have been ascertained by the authorities of the Church," has broadcast a fearless attack on the persecution of Nazism and a pointed reply to those elements in reoent German propaganda which have tried to minimise the differences between National Socialism and the Church.
PAPAL MOTU PROPRIO
Next Sunday, November 24, has been appointed by the Pope as a universal Day of Prayer in union with the Holy Father.
The intentions enumerated by the Pope L Repose of the souls of those killed in the war.
li. Grace for all suffering through the war.
lit. The restoration of order in justice and true peace.
LEFT NOTHING UNDONE
The Papal Motu Proprio reads as follows:
" All know that ever since this new and terrible war began to convulse Europe, We have left nothing undone which was called for by the responsibility attaching to the office entrusted to Us by God or suggested
by Our paternal love for all peoples. We have done so, not only that by means of a more equitable and just order the concord which is now, alas, lacking among so many nations should be established, but also that all those to whom the fury of the raging conflict has brought hurt and sorrow, might have all possible divine comfort and human aid extended to them.
" But, since this crhel struggle, instead of abating, continues to gather violence and Our voice, pleading for peace, is drowned in the clash of arms, We turn Our minds in trepidation, but yet in confidence, to the Father of Mercies and God of all comfort, and implore for the human rave times more peaceful from Him Who bends wills of men and, by His divine directions, orders the course of events. Well do We know, however, that Our prayers will be more efficacious if, in perfect conformity of minds, the prayers of Our children are joined to Ours.
" As, therefore,.at the approach of last May, We invited all the faithful, especially the children, to the altar of the Virgin Mother of God to implore the aid of Heaven, so now We ordain that throughout the world, on November 24 next, public prayers be offered in union with Us. And We cherish the confidence that every child of the Church will willingly second Our desires so as to form an immense chorus of prayers, which, rising aloft and penetrating the heavens, will win for us favours and the mercy of God.
" We hope, too, and this is something of graver importance, that the Crusade of Prayer will be accompanied by acts of penance and by the spiritual improvement of each one's life brought into closer accord with the law of Christ. The present necessities and the possibilities of danger which the morrow may bring ask for this. Divine Justice and Divine Mercy, which we must conciliate, demand it.
" But since there is no more powerful means of placating and conciliating Divine Majesty than the Holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist, through which the Redeemer of the human race Himself is offered ' in every place a clean oblation,' We desire that on the day on which these sacred functions shall take place all ministers of the altar shall, in the celebration of Holy Mass, unite themselves spiritually to Us, who shall offer the Divine Sacrifice over the Tomb of the Apostles in the Vatican Basilica.
"Accordingly. by Motu Proprio, in virtue of Our apostolic authority, We establish that on November 24 all those who are bound to say Mass for the people entrusted to them dedicate the Holy Sacrifice according to Our intention. We wish, moreover, that all other priests, whether diocesan or regular, should know that they will do something very pleasing to Us if on that Sunday, as they raise the Divine Host, they join in Our intention.
And Our intention is this: that by the infinite worth of all these Saerifices of the Holy Eucharist to be offered on that day to the Eternal Father, at every moment and in every part of the world, all those who have died as a result of the war may obtain eternal rest, that exiles, refugees and prisoners and all, in fine, who suffer or mourn through the calamity of the present conflict, may have the heaven-sent comforts of grace, that, finally, order being restored in justice and minds being appeased through Christian charity, true peace may unite as brothers all the peoples of the human family, giving them back tranquility and prosperity."