Maude Petro I WAS very sorry to hear of the death of Maude Petre at the age of 80. The age seems incredible. Last time I saw her was about three years ago. She had ridden three or four miles on her bicycle, talked learnedly and vigorously for over an hour and then set off again on her return country-ride RS though she were fifty. Her name is, of course, closely associated with the Modernist movement, and her bestknown book is Tyrrell's life. But Maude Petre herself was never condemned, and, as far as I am aware, she has always been a practising Catholic. Her literary vigour was as remark able as her physical strength. The Guardian has just published three articles by her pen on von IWO, in which she seemed to argue that the Baron's fidelity to the Church and his fear of mysticism affected the logic of his thought. Another article of hers (in which there is an interesting description of Tyrrell) is to be found in the current Horizon, a review that would appear to be essentially for the younger generation 1.
Accounting for the Clergy A GRIEVING Catholic publisher 'FL writes to me to ask if I can persuade the clergy and "executive nuns" to study elementary accounting, so that they may deal more correctly with firms like his. He writes: " The particular point in my mind is the extraordinary attitude they adopt towards Credit Notes. These we, and I suppose most other firms who supply the clergy and convents, have to issue from time to time, sometimes because we have made a mistake—more often because they have misled us by ordering something they do not want. When they get a Credit Note they either think it is another kind of invoice and either try to pay it, or actually do pay it, as happens more frequently than you might suppose, or they will deduct if from their next statement when they pay it, and will then hang on to it and try to use it about six or seven times. I have even known a priest take a cancelled Credit Note into one of our shops and use it as %sort of cash."
Fallible Pontiff HAGIOGRAPHERS speak of "fidelity " in little things" as being one of the marks of sanctity. There is no danger of our contemporary pontiffs of journalism imitating the saints in this, and since " fidelity in little things " is taken as a sign of tidelity in great things we may judge the worth of a man like Hannen Swatter by his carelessness in matters of detail that happen to mean a great deal to those against whom he writes. Commenting on recent notes about the Guernica affair, Hannen Swatter thinks nothing of transposing quotations from Catholic papers, attributing to us the views of the Universe and to the Universe our views, Miss Winifrede Holywell. the columnist of our contemporary, is a popular writer, but she is decidedly not a writer of this paper. No doubt the Universe feels much the same about our contributors. For gross carelessness of this kind the average journalist incurs the risk of being sacked, but Swaffer is allowed to go on pontificating with the clearest evidence of fallibility in greater things and smaller. And he probably gets a couple of thousand a year for it I Though I wrote to Swatter about it, he has not, at the time of writing, hid the goodness to inform his readers of his carelessness.
Revival of Culture
J. WAS impressed by the number of people who were going in and out of the French Paintings Exhibition at the London National Gallery the other day when I paid a visit. The quite extraordinary London interest in paintings, music and lectures of all kinds sloes really seem to suggest some revival of culture in this country.
would guess that the cause is ultimately the B.B.C. The standard of most of its programmes is deplorably low, but It does from time to tane deliver the goods. It may be that the public, stimulated by the occasional serious programmes, is catching up with it. 1 wonder if it will recognise the fact in time I To return to the exhibition I should say that it is easily the best show since the war. Having had for so long to put up with reproductions, however good, of French paintings, I was quite surprised to discover again the quality and beauty .of originals. I did not realise how very far shout of the original even the best reproductions still are.
Appeals to Italy I HAD a chat last week with an Italian. • He was a " militant " Catholic
Actionist in his country, as well as a Liberal and democrat. No one could be more anti-Fascist and his loyalty to " the decent things " could scarcely be better proved than by the fact that he has broadcast to his countrymen since the war from London. Yet he is in despair at the mistakes being made by our propaganda. What is the use of appealing, he said, to the people? What is the use of suggesting that the people of Italy should actually work for the defeat .of their country even to get rid of the Germans? Italian morale has been very shaky, but in his opinion the recent speeches of Mussolini (appealing to. the people on the things they understand, food, what will happen to them under defeat, etc.), and of Churchill (a wholly British, superior, appeal) will have strengthened their morale--as will any sort of indiscrim
inate bombing. This democrat confessed that it is to the Church, the military and the bureaucracy that any present appeal must he made—and on generous and statesmanlike terms.
Catholic Papers in the Middle East I AM reminded about the need for Catholic papers to be sent out to
chaplains in the Middle East. We made an appeal about this some time ago, and though certain individual readers have been generous, the response was not very wide. It is easy to imagine what Catholic papers mean to our men, thousands of miles away and cut off from their usual contacts. Catholic papers, more than others (some of which they would in any case get), help to keep them in touch with life at home. (I am reminded of a nephew of mine at present in the Garden of Eden, as I tell my children. He is being asked by my daughter to bring back an apple I) Anyhow. if youscan help, send any contribution you can afford to me, and it will mean more papers for these lads.
Too Many Papers
is with trembling that a journalist complains of too many papers, but the extraordinary number of publications that reach editdrial desks do suggest the'question whether the newsprint can be afforded. Have you seen this year's " Dog World Annual?" Thick, beautifully illustrated and all on superpaper. The Government rightly hesitates to discriminate between one paper and another, for fear of infringing on free speech. Where, however, it is purely a question of commercial interests, a different view might well be taken.
JOTTER RECENT REMARKS Wise and Otherwise " The Church of England, under the wise guidance of the Archbishop of Canterbury. and Sir Robert Martin, has always put the interests of the ehitdren before any denominational interest."— The Observer.
"Unless you've got to read or work it is always a mistake to travel firstclass nowadays."—" Critic " in New Statesman.
" War . . . overtakes societies when they have been living upon ideas that conflict too violently with the laws governing the Universe." — Dorothy Sayers.
"None better than the Catholic press knows its deficiencies."—Canon Jackman.