Page 5, 25th April 1975

25th April 1975
Page 5
Page 5, 25th April 1975 — Slow evolution for Rhodesia urged

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Slow evolution for Rhodesia urged

From Patrick Wall, MP Heaven preserve us from political priests! They seem only to lose their temper in an argument, charity flies out of the window and their one aim appears to be to vilify their opponent!

Fr E. D. O'Connor is a case in point; the points made in my letter of March 21 were quite clear: (a) Why do we always hear about the views of Bishop Lamont and not about the views of the Archbishop of Salisbury or the other Rhodesian bishops? (b) The fortified villages in the Chilweshe and other reserves in no way resemble concentration camps.

(c) Bishop Lamont was wrong in saying that he could no have Cardinal Rugambwa to stay.

(d) His accusations, 111(C those of Fr O'Connor, were .always directed against the anthorities and rarely if ever against the terrorists who murder and maim.

In his reply (April 4) Fr O'Connor takes up only one of these points. that of Cardinal Rugambwa and admits that 1 was correct in my statement that black and white bishops do live in the same house in Salisbury; but this according to him is "quite an exceptional occurrence", so surely would be a visit from the Cardinal?

Then he drags in the question of the Tangwena. This case is well known and can be fully substantiated. The tribe was, rightly or wrongly, supposed to move and was given a new area with huts and other amenities, including water points, a dispensary and a school.

Most refused to move, and eventually retired to Mozambique from where they had originated, leaving 150 children behind who are still being looked after by the authorities. Some are now drifting back to their new villages.

Fr O'Connor's distortions remind one of the views expressed by Fr Cosmas Desmond, and we all know how he ended up!

Fr O'Connor then turns to personal abuse alleging that only talk. to Rhodesian Front representatives, that I express misinformed opinions after only

Starving in India

"The dogs are dying of starvation on the pavements because the destitute old men and women are scavenging from the dustbins."

In these words, Sister Mary Gerson highlights, the appalling poverty of Tiruvannamalai, South India, where her Sisters are now running a home for the destitute.

It is hard for us to imagine this situation, living, as we do, in a society which wastes as much as it eats — but 1 do appeal to all who read this to share what they have with these pitiful people.

Money is needed, but so are supplies of cotton clothing, bandages, ointment and many other things. To any who can form groups to collect for this cause, I will gladly send details of what is needed, and where to send.

Peggy Bunt Appeals Organiser House of Hospitality Ltd., Holy Cross Priory, Cross-in-Hand, Heathfield, Sussex.

a few days stay and that I supported UD1. In fact he is wrong on all these counts.

When I was last in Rhodesia earlier this year, I talked to more people opposed to the present Rhodesian Government than to those who supported it including, of course, a number of Africans. I did not appear on TV for when I was previously in Rhodesia I complained publically that the RBC had cut out my criticism of aspects of government policy.

If he really wants to know my views on Southern Africa formed after 21 years of direct contact with that part of the continent, may I tell him that they will be published in book form later this month?

Of course the Land Appointment Act divides land tenure into black and white areas, of course the present government has abolished the common voters' roll allowing only for parity between the voters' representatives. Of course there will eventually be a black majority in parliament in Salisbury.

But with all its faults, Rhodesia is a considerably better place for an African to live in than many other African countries. Universities are not arbitrarily closed and students sent into the army as in Tanzania; Asians are not expelled as in Uganda; trade unions are not controlled as in Kenya; minorities are not butchered as ill Ruanda or Burundi.

Unlike South Africa, there are African MPs; unlike Zambia, there are parliamentary parties; unlike Zaire, everyone does not have to conform by changing his name.

Why does Fr O'Connor follow Bishop Lamont in giving only one side of the story? I did not support 1101, which I believed to be a mistake however much the Rhodesians were provoked, and T support detente provided that it does not mean too rapid a change which could be disastrous for all races.

In short, I support evolution, which is inevitably slow, rather than revolution, which could involve a massive blood-letting. Does Fr O'Connor disagree?

Patrick Wall House of Commons.

London, SW1.

Vocations weekend

As I notice that the next issue of the Catholic Herald' will be devoted to vocations, I thought you and Catholic Herald readers may be interested to know of a small effort we are making in this respect.

From May 16 to 18 we are holding a week-end for young people on Monastic life. The week-end consists of sharing in our Office, talks, slides, discussions and an art Workshop.

The talks are related to Benedictine Monasticism and its relevance today. The idea of the week-end is to provide young people with an opportunity to see and find out something about monastic life for themselves.

If you feel a mention of this would be or help and interest to Catholic Herald readers we would be grateful if you could bring it to their notice.

Sister Esther, OSB Priory of Our Lady Queen of Peace.

Priory Close,

London, N14.

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