IT would be wrong to say that the CATHOLIC HERALD has consciously been a leader in the movement for the revival of the Liturgy in this country. Our aim has never been to lead, but to be a channel through which the mind of the Catholic people of this country may express itself.
In trying to catch the voice and feelings of our people, we have found ourselves expres.sing in letters or articles in almost every issue the keen interest of so many in this great revival.
What we have done in this respect has been well rewarded this week by the privilege that has been given to us in making public an important Memorand.urn concerning the vital connection between the Christian formation through the Liturgy and Catholic Action. This Memorandum in receiving the express approval of Cardinal Pizzardo, Head of all Catholic Action, and the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster becomes much more than the expression of a private or party sentiment: it expresses the mind of the Pope.
In his comments upon it Dom Bernard MeElligott (to whom this paper is so much indebted for his articles " The Liturgy and the People," a series that is immediately being resumed after the author's absence in Rome) emphasises that the primacy of the Liturgy in this context is not to be understood as mere Ritualism, but as the inner formation of our lives through the traditional Catholic Sacrifice, the Sacrifice of the Mass, the core and cercT htistian worship and spirituality.
Not only has there been a danger of dissociating the Liturgy from Catholic Action, but also of misinterpreting the meaning of the Liturgical revival as no more than an insistence on correct and historical ceremonial.
This Memorandum will guard against the double error and give us all the guidance we need in understanding the basic principles behind the contemporary movements which are, after all, nothing but the the action of the one Mystical Body of Christ put into a language and perspective suited to our times. More serious are the suggestions made from certain Catholic sources that he is too tolerant and broadminded, His impartial attitude towards Spain is quoted against him, and the allegation is made that under his rule Jewish, Masonic, Liberal and Protestant influences have come to dominate the commercial and economic forces of Christian Ireland, working their way into the soul of the country. We have more than once emphasised the responsibility today of Catholic Ireland, the last Christian democracy, and our Irish Correspondent, who is accused of party bias, has never failed to denounce all signs of the paganising influences in his country. In our world, whose parts are so linked up financially and morally, it is no easy matter to keep even a Christian island free from the evil effects of this internationalism, but we have little doubt that Mr. de Valera's aim is the fine one of maintaining a just and tolerant rule in the light of the essential truths of Christianity and of the ideals of the Irish nation. He can be powerfully helped to this end by the spiritual activities of the keenest of his Catholic subjects, whether they are his political followers, followers of Mr. Cosgrave or uncommitted to politics: mere party faction and jealousy, on the contrary, will help neither Christianity nor Ireland,