We have noted with some surprise the contribution "Malta Dilemma" in the last issue of "C.H.", in particular the suggestion that "the only real solution is for the Church to open her arms to Dom Mintoff, to call for the slate to be wiped clean on both sides".
We are convinced that the Church has opened her arms to Mr. Mintoff arid that her antis are atill open. Proof of this, apart from frequent appeals by Archbishop Gonei, lies in the fact that on the eve of the resignation of Mr. Mintoff's Government in 195e, the Church immediately accepted his overtures for peace.
To call for the slate to be wiped clean on both sides seems to imply that both Mr. Mintoff and the Church have blotted their sides of the slate. We sincerely believe that Mr. Mintoff has blotted his side of the slate.
Apart from such blots as his attacks on our Archbishop in public meetings and broadcasts, one need only mention such things as his refusal to ask for written guarantees about religion at the time of the "Integration" issue, a refusal which was hotly denied by him at the time, but proved against him in Court; his affiliation to the Red-dominated AfroAsian People's Solidarity Organization, which he carried through behind the back of the Executive of his own party; the Policy Statement published in March, 1961 by the Executive of his party; his speech to the Labour League of Youth of the 30th July, 1961; and the unremitting attacks on the Church which appear in his party's newspapers.
More recent blots are some of the amendments to the "Independence Constitution" which he and his party have moved: Among others these include his attempt to introduce into our practically all-Catholic island civil marriage even for Catholics and divorce for non-Catholics (cf. White Paper, Annex B, Amend. 4F (4) and (5)): his plea that public morality should not he interpreted as exclusively equivalent to the morality or decency upheld by one particular creed (cf. ibid. 28 (4a)). ostensibly by the Catholic Church; and his blatant attempt to muzzle the Church through section 37A—an amendment moved by his party— which would make it a corrupt practice and therefore a criminal act, for the Church to declare it grievously wrong for a Catholic to vote for a party which embraces teaching condemned by the Church.
This attempt. to our immense surprise, seems to enjoy the favour of your "Commonwealth Correspondent" who. in his contribution. terms it "quite fair in principle". It can hardly be called "fair", we believe. to deny liberty of speech and action only to the Church's authorities, and to deny to the Church what is allowed to all associations, namely to punish or, if need be. even expel those who consistently break her rules.
A final blot which. we feel, stains Mr. Mintoff's side of the slate is his vaunted challenge lcpealed in his most recent public meeting of the 11th Aug.. 1963, that if he cannot get what he wants by fair means, he is ready to "tight for it even in the streets".
The Church could not but try to persuade Mr. Mintoff to clean his side of the slate, and all that she has done was done, we sincerely believe, with only this end in view. There may have been some blots on the slates of some individuals, but we cannot help thinking that the side of the slate which belongs to the Church as such is clean and needs no further cleaning.
The Church, we feel, is ready to talk to Mr. Mintoff and welcome him with arms wide open. The Church, however, cannot open her arms to teaching which she herself condemns, to laicism, to violence.
The dialogue with Mr. Minted can only start and the solution to our dilemma will only be found when he shows sincere willingness to follow more orthodox Catholic views instead of his intransigent challenge flung at a recent public meeting held at Hamrun on the 2nd June. 1963: "With these people (i.e. the Church authorities) you cannot reason. You cap only use force (il-forza hiss). When we're strong enough. and are stronger than they are, they will come to us ( wanedhom jigu)".
(Revv.) Arthur Said Pullicino, Emmanuel Agius, Edgar Allard, Joseph Mifsud Bonnici, Victor. Cilia, Joseph M. Pace, Vincent Deguara, Alfred Manche', Joseph Grech Cremona, Antoine Said Pullicino, Annetto Depasquale, Joe Bugeja, Maurice Mifsud, John Azzopardi, Laurence Gatte Mahe.
With reference to Mr. Reynolds letter in last week's CATHOLIC HURALD. I recently saw an advance copy of just what Mr. Reynolds scents to be looking for. This is the complete psalter in English, translated by the Grail, directly from the Hebrew, which Collins arc publishing in a Fontana edition in the early autumn.
As the original rhythmic structure of the psalms has been kept in this translation it is ideal for recitation. I was greatly impressed by the simplicity and vitality of the English and am sure that it will help to answer the need for a modern psalter for lay people.
The Grail, I believe. has already
published 54 of these psalms with Pere Gellineau's musical setting but now for the first time we have the whole 150 (words only) in a paper-back edition.
Will someone please explain why our "missions" arc preached to the converted (i.c. inside Catholic Churches); or why our friars are no longer fulfilling their agentd job of going out "into the highways and byways" of this pagan land'?
Derek E. B. Ahlquist (Oblate) O.S.B.
Mr. J. J. Coughlan asks whether it is licit for a man to draw an income from the ownership of shares in any enterprise. Why ever not? No moral theologian has ever suggested that it is not licit to derive an income from investing money in a profitable. enterprise. The ownership of shares represents part-ownership of the enterprise. just as in an ordinary, unincorporated partnership. It is quite distinct from lending at a contractual rate of interest. and the question of usury does not. therefore, arise.
In the case of lending at a contractual rate of interest. there can be no question under modern conditions of this being illicit. provided the actual rate charged is not excessive. The extrinsic titles to interest were recognised by the scholastic writers themselves, and whereas. in medieval times, one might have regarded the onus of proof as resting with those wishing to charge interest, today the situation is reversed.
For example, the profitable investment of money in an enterprise, through the ownership of shares. are so great that lending inevitably means that a loss is incurred, which may be compensated by charging interest.
Beyond this. it is open to question whether usury is in itself illicit. The specific condemnation of usury in scripture and by the medieval Church rests on the harmful social effects of lending at interest, to impecunious borrowers. THese objections do not arise in the case of loans to business men wishing to expand their enterprises with the aid of borrowed funds.
St. Thomas, it is true, argued that usury was, by its very nature, contrary to commutative justice. but this argument is open to question. For a fuller discussion, I would refer the reader to Interest: an historical and analytical study in economics and modern ethics by Dr. T. F. Divine Si. and published by the Marquette University Press.
J. Jackson Queen's College.
In his article "How England lost it's Faith", Cormac Rigby is apparently unable to distinguish morally between the fires of Smithfield and the destruction of Dresden. Allow me to do so.
As a result of laws dealing with religion the subjects of the English State were confronted with the choice of obedience to the State or to their conscience. Many of those who died chose their conscience.
Those who died at Dresden had no such choice. The wanton massacre of refugees and hospital inmates by order of the highest British and American officers for purposes of terrorism is an affirmation that anything is permissible in war. Such a position is anathematized by the Church. John Darner. London, S.E.3.
WHY NOT SUBMISSION?
The note of warning sounded by Ronald Flaxman is timely indeed. The objections that he raises can be directed in particular at the much-publicised hooks by Dr. Hans Kong.
One could very easily get the impression from these books that the problem of Christian Unity could be eventually solved by mutual concessions between Catholics and Protestants as between two "parts" of a divided Church.
Everything suggests a conference between equals. No wonder The Council and Re-union received an enthusiastic welcome in Anglican circles. They could be forgiven for seeing in it the old Branch Theory resurrected and decked out in Catholic vestments.
Nowhere is it suggested to Protestants that the ultimate object of Catholics in striving for Christian unity must be the " submission " of all dissident Christians. to the undivided Church of Christ.
One does not bargain with Christ about terms of submission or. to use the softer word, "reconciliation", and. to use St. Augustine's phrase, "the Church is Christ". This is the real roadblock between us and our Protestant friends, and we must come to it sooner or later.
This is not to disagree with all that Dr. Kung says. He rightly stresses that there are many faults on our side as well as on that of Protestants. Our attitude to Holy Scripture. our incomprehensible forms of worship, our bureaucratic forms of discipline and many other things are rightly castigated. It is our fault if the true Church of Christ looks other than Christlikc and it is small wonder that many do not recog,nise it for what it is.
Everything could be wrong with the Church except what is right with it, namely, its divine constitution as the Mystical Body of Christ. This question "What is the Church?" is, the crucial one for Protestants.
The alternative to the principle of private judgement of the Scriptures is the principle of the divinely appointed authority of the Church. The four centuries or more since Luther have not abated by one iota the starkness of this alternative.
We can indeed learn much from Protestants as Dr. Kung says, but what they have to learn from us 1s vital for the resolving of our differences. Let us with humility and charity point out to them what it is.
D. J. Doyle Liverpool 12.
Surely it is not wrong to speak of a "family re-union". Since non-Catholics undoubtedly receive grace it follows that in some sense they are already related to the Church because all grace comes to men through the Church. and outside the Church there is no salvation. What speaks more eloquently of a father's longing for a "family re-union" than Pope John's words to non-Catholics in 1959, "Let us call you sons and brothers When we lovingly invite you to the unity of the Church, we are inviting you not to the home of a .stranger, hut to your own, your Father's, house". (Encyclical Letter "Ad Petri Cathettram").
Frederick Beddow 84, London Crescent, Handescott, Shrewsbury.
There are many admirable charities at the present time in need of funds. The direct contribution by cheque is today probably the most old-fashioned way of meeting these appeals. Apart from contracts, one route to which (so far as I am aware) Catholic charities and organisations such as Catholic Truth and Sword of the Spirit pay too little attention is the sale of Christmas cards.
Already the time for ordering up to 300 Christmas cards has arrived and the commercial firms offer their wares. I know of one (not large and not charity) organisation that makes £2,000 net from the sale of Christmas cards— enough to pay a part time secretary and have much left over. Some of the organisation work I am sure nuns might take over.
Many Catholic cards are not suitable for general distribution: but I recall that an enterprising Italian nuncio to China encouraged a Chinese artist—this is but one instance: Africa could be another—to design cards of the Madonna and Child which were
entirely lovely. Can nothing he done amid so many extended hands?
George E. Gordon Catlin In view of the howl that goes correspondents year after year, it up from both clerical and lay is vastly amusing to observe that the religious are way ahead this time with their advertisements for Christmas cards.
The Redemptorist "Novena" magazine for July asks everybody to watch for an announcement in the next issue about the big deal in Christmas cards that they've pulled off. The Honiton Augustinians have been advertising Christmas cards for a fortnight. 1 his week the Poor Clare Colettines in Edinburgh arc advertising their Christmas cards.
Who will throw the first stone ibis year? Giles Hunt. Harrogate.
A CAT HO L1C HERALD survey hist December showed .some 30 million Christmas cards were sold as fundraisers for Various charities last year. —EorroR.
As a recent convert to the Church I take your paper for the elucidation contained in its pages of the mind and spirit of the communion to which I pow belong. Most of the paper is intelligible and informative with one regular exception, viz. the correspondence column whenever the name of Mr. Waugh occurs.
I can pay Mr. Waugh neither the compliment of angering nie nor that of stirring me to adulation. His articles arc usually unexceptional. frequently interesting, almost always kindly: but what can one say of the mind of your readers when Mr. Waugh must postcribe his 'Critic on the Mat' with a warning of intended irony? Sadly enough one needs only to have read the attacks on him which portray the inflexible, uncritical arrogance of some of your readers to appreciate in this postscript Mr. Waugh's kindly concern is for them.
It is equally sad that on the subject of 'Rightly Arrogant' Mr. Waugh can offer only stammering, blushing and fluttering of eyelids in his dialogue wih Protestants. Happily the Church believes it can and must offer more.
The Second Vatican Council has opened immense fields for self-appraisal and renewal in the Church and in our dialogue not with 'separated Christians' hut with separated brethren we can offer in necessarlis unitas, in du/9ns libertas, in omnibus autem caritas. Mr. Waugh might begin by discussing the Real Presence— not Transubstantiation which few enough Catholics seem to understand — with say a Methodist friend. It could prove a pleasant
surprise. D. W. M. James,
We are appalled at the misplaced charity on Dr. Ward in "Comment", a man totally and viciously corrupt and immoral; futhermore. a corruptor of youth, who has given untold scandal to countless souls, is sentimentally glossed over because a reverend mother received free treatment—such condonation in a Catholic paper shows to what extent so-called good Catholics are influenced by our pagan environment.
This is signed by one on behalf of very many. J. Fitz-Patrick. Liverpool.
The case of Doctor Stephen Ward has many aspects, but to Catholics the urgently important one is for the necessity of the Apostolate for prayer, so simple yet so powerful. Doctor Ward did not pass from this life without prayers being said for him.
I end with the publican's prayer, so necessary for us all and especially for myself: "God be merciful to roe, a sinner."
(Mrs.) Ivy Dyer.
I feel the correspondence on Catholic foster-homes calls for some clarification.
Trained in the thirties at the London School of Economics, I undertook various kinds of social work until I became a Children's Officer in 1948 when the Children Act brought us into being.
In appreciating the difficulties of boarding-out it seems to me there are certain considerations to take into account.
(1) It is basic to realise that any child "deprived" for whatever reason from living with its parents in its own home, is in an abnormal situation and can and does react in anti-social ways, i.e. stealing. lying, bed-wetting, masturbation etc.
(2) Not all children are suitable for boarding-out. Their own home experience has been so tragic that they cannot stand the spot-light of individual foster-homes and are happier in the rather more impersonal atmosphere of a small Children's Home.
(3) The young sophisticated adolescent coming into care at, say, 12 or 13, with promiscuous sexual experience, is not an easy foster. child.
l will be seen from this statement of facts that children have to be carefully "matched" to their foster-home. both in material standards and according to the age, sex, habits etc. Excellent though many foster-parents are, it might well be they could not cope with difficulties such as these.
They may 'have had experience
of bringing up their own loved children in an atmosphere of security and affection but it is a very different matter to handle children who have been rejected by their own parents and having the behaviour problems mentioned above as a result.
Reference has been made to the natural parents visiting: it is essential that the childsis kept in touch with its own parents if they wish to visit and arc suitable to do so. After all. the aim of good child care is to prevent the break-up of families and the necessity for taking children into care, and to return children to their parents as soon as possible if they arc able and willing to have them and have been rehabilitated.
Much research has gone into the problems of child care over the years and we now have much greater knowledge as to the reasons why children behave the way they do and the methods of helping them. This surely is the reason for trained staff, to give help and support to foster-parents over what can be extremely difficult situations.
I believe that the Catholic community do not know of the need for this form of care, it is very rarely put to them except perhaps once a year when the Rescue Society Administrator appeals for homes and funds, but it is a great work of charity and I am sure if it was more widely known me would have more response from Catholics at large.
PSALTERIUM ET CITHARA
Your correspondent, J. A. Clarke, has unknowingly given added validity to the theme of my original letter, namely that the accent 11711,51 be on competency. The faults he discusses at considerable length would thus be eliminated. No well-trained organist would accompany a choir in plainsong in any way but unobtrusively. For whole congregations singing it, a more decisive lead with greater body of tone is obviously necessary.
Better congregational singing (which J. A. Clarke rightly urges) can only be promoted by having plenty of supporting instrumental tone available when required. A diploma equivalent to the A.R.C.O., relating entirely to Catholic Church organists, is much needed.
Would the Hierarchy. through the Church Music Association, give a more encouraging lead in this matter? And why not each parish help to pay for training its organist?
It is precisely because the organ's sound is less likely to turn the music at Mass into a secular concert than "fiddle and flute and big bass drum" (which means J. A. Clarke's harp and harpsichord as well) that the Church has traditionally recognised and approved it as the best instrument for its services.
Because some organists play some organs too loudly and too
often during Mass (just as some people drink too much beer or wine, and at the wrong time) is no argument for abolishing either organ or drink. The maxim ,sum non tollit abusus is both good Catholic philosophy and good sense.
Surely every organ has a Swell Salicional or similar PP register? If the organist of J. A. Clarke's church does not use a soft stop for accompanying the choir's plainsong, the remedy is to suppress him and not the organ.
I do not agree that the sole function of the organ must be limited to accompaniment. Good music by Bach, Franck, Rheinberger. Messiaen etc is perfectly permissable in voluntaries at the right times. This is poles apart from the aimless drooling that so often passes for "organ music" in our churches.
Lastly, I could not help smiling at J. A. Clarke's confident assumption that -the organ, after all, is quite a recent arrival". I read in Hopkins & Rimbault's standard work on the instrument:
"The organ was early used in the public service of the Church. Plating, (Lives of the Popes) tells us that it was first employed for religious worship by Pope Vitalian I A.D. 666: hut according to Julianus (a Spanish bishop who flourished A.D. 450) it was in common use in the churches of Spain at least 200 years before Vitalian's time."