THE " be good Catholics but
sever with Vatican " line thought up by Moscow for toeing by satellites, is about to be restarted in Poland, with Gomulka as obedient pupil of Mao TseTung, who tried it out in China with disastrous results for Catholic. unity.
Thanks, however, to prompt action taken by Vatican Radio (see last week's CATHOLIC HERALD), the China Move has been nipped in the bud, and Catholics there now know that they cannot have Catholicism without Rome.
But Gomulka of Poland. the Communist ruler who has learnt at last that he cannot " co-exist " with the Cardinal Primate, is shortly to act the host to the Chinese puppet, and from him he will learn the "know-how" of how to get Catholics to break with Rome—and remain Catholics (7).
The Pax organisation of Poland —very innocent looking in itself— has failed to wean loyal Catholics away from Rome, thanks to the Carainala quick intervention. But other ruses will he tried.
SAYS a correspondent just back from Poland:—
The fight is on again between the Cardinal and Gomulka, though both sides prefer to keep it as quiet as possible. The Cardinal is vigorously campaigning against Pax. He refused to see the wellknown writer Mine. KossakSzatkowska, the authoress of many hooks translated into English, who recently returned to Poland and who is reliably informed to be closely associated with Pax,
Pax is not only supported by the Communist Party, and very powerful, because of the many enterprises it owns (thanks to the Stalinists). industrial, commercial, agricultural etc. Pax enjoys the direct support of the Kremlin and its leader; the notorious B. Pieseski is said to be a personal friend of General Serov. The Pax press is well edited and enjoys every possible privilege, whereas the Universal Weekly, the only tolerated really Catholic paper, is heavily censored and curtailed.
Gomulka reproaches the Cardinal for having done nothing for the "People's Poland " in Rome, by which is meant, that he did not obtain the Vatican's recognition of Oder-Neisse line, and that he failed to get an authorisation for organised co-existence between Catholicism and Communism.
Gomulka's resentment. of course, greatly weakens any chances the Cardinal might have of obtaining further concessions and undermines those so far obtained.
THERE are already ugly rumours among leading Communists about the possibility of Poland following Red China's policy towards the Church. Many fear, that in the not too distant future the Cardinal might he faced with an ultimatum, demanding the Polish. Church's complete independence from Rome " except for purely dogmatic matters."
The Cardinal is also being blamed for refusing to join in the present campaign of hatred against Dr. Adenauer of the West German Government, a campaign in which Gomulka is particularly closely collaborating with Khrushchev.
The official visit, which Mao TseTung is to pay Poland in December or January, is therefore awaited with some anxiety in Catholic circles, particularly as the Chinese Embassy in Warsaw is observing very keenly the situation of the Church in Poland and other satellite countries.
THE POPE KNEW 'THE BRIDGE'
FR. JOHN OESTERRICHER, director of the Institute of Judaeo-Christian Studies, Seton Hall University, Orange, N.J. (who recently visited England) has presented the Institute's yearbook, "The Bridge," to the Pope.
During the audience at which the presentation was made, the Pope showed that he was familiar with the work of the Institute. Fr. Ocsterricher reported that before hi had an opportunity to explain why he had come to see His Holiness, the Pope said, "Oh yes, 'The Bridge,' I shall read it with interest
This was the second volume of " The Bridge" which the Pope received. The first one was presented to him in 1955.
The meeting with the Pontiff was of particular interest to him, Fr. Oesterricher said, because words spoken by the Pope when he opened the Holy Door on the eve of-the 1950 Holy Year were in great part the inspiration for the work. of the institute.
At that time, the priest recalled, the Holy Father said: " We open this Holy Door for all those Who adore Christ, not excluding those who vainly await His coming to adore Him as the One promised by the Prophets, and we extend to them a fatherly welcome."
The Holy Door is the door of St. Peter's Basilica which is kept walled up except during Holy Years.
"A DYING NATION"
ACCUSES CATHOLICS OF PRACTISING BIRTH CONTROL GERMANY is a dying nation, according to Salvatorian Fr. Maurus H. Stark, director of the Catholic Family League at Muenster.
From 1949 to 1956 the German birth rate decreased from 16.8 to 15.7 per thousand persons, Fr. Stark pointed out. While European countries behind the Iron Curtain and Asian nations show constantly growing birth rates (up to 18.9 per thousand). the population increase in Germany now is only 4.9 per thousand as against 6.6 in 1949.
A constantly growing number of German families, he said, seem to restrict themselves to only one child, when three children per family is the minimum to _maintain the present numerical level.
The result of the practice of birth control which is spreading rapidly, even among Catholics, begins to be felt in a critical labour shortage. At the present time there are 250,000 lab opportunities in Western Germany that are not being filled.
School graduations show an annual decline between 50,000 and 80,000. By 1970, he said, there will he jobs for 40,000 engineers that will not be filled because of the lack of applicants.
Abortions, Fr. Stark declared, number in the hundreds of thousands every year in Germany.