Cardinal Hinsley has approved the following statement as an introduction to his plan to form a committee in England for the assistance of religious refugees from Germany.
The attention of the Christian world has been concentrated during the last two years on the terrible suffering of the Church in Spain. This, however, must not blind our eyes to the subtle and deadly persecution of the Church in Germany. Increasing numbers of German Catholics are being driven from their country and have to find refuge in a foreign land. A few, of the more fortunate sometimes manage to obtain menial and underpaid tasks for which neither their training nor their education has fitted them. The plight, however, of hundreds is far worse as they have to exist in enforced idleness. They wander aimlessly and hopelessly along the streets of great cities and are ready victims for every insidious temptation. Pathetic. too, is the fate of young children and even more of the adolescent whose education has now become impossible.
The Red Man's Chance is it to be wondered at that the Communists see in all this misery their opportunity?
Supplied, apparently, with unlimited funds they place these for their own purposes wholeheartedly at the disposal of the refugees.
They own houses and even whole districts where they provide free accom modation. In addition to this purely material assistance they have established in Prague a special University for refugees while in Paris they have set up a number of schools which give university courses gratis.
The city of Paris is divided into districts and nightly in each district free lectures are given on different subjects. In every way the Communist refugee organisation is systematic and thorough. There is the gravest danger that Catholic refugees will have their faith sapped and once Communist they will be entirely lost to the Church.
The danger is aggravated by the fact that Catholic refugees naturally turn for spiritual sympathy and temporal help to their co-religionists abroad.
Unhappily, partly owing to the lack of means, partly also it is feared in some cases owing to a lack of proper understanding of the tragedy, the assistance given is all too inadequate.
The Communists have not failed to exaggerate the position and to turn the circumstances to their profit. in Paris alone, there are over 40,000 Christian German refugees.
Cardinal Innitxer's Task
The Holy Father appointed Cardinal Innilzer of Vienna President of the Committees for the Assistance of German Catholic Refugees on the continent. The Cardinal has done everything within his power, but as Austria is the poorest of all the turopean countries the work he could achieve has been very limited. Recent developments of the political situation in Austria are bound to make the position more acute for the unfortunate refugees in that country.
Aid is being given in many countries, by the Catholics, but in most cases, they are sadly hampered by lack of funds.
The most urgent practical considerations for Catholics at the moment is to see how best they can alleviate the sufferings of the refugees, to strengthen their morale and help them to start life afresh. There is the (Continued at foot of next column.) problem first of their material subsistence, then there is the question of education and the safeguarding of the religion of the younger generation and the protection of adolescent youth from the dangers of Comm uni sm.
Only by the united action of all Catholics in every country can the German Catholic refugees be saved from disaster. As members of the Mystical Body of Christ how can we ignore the piteous cries for help from these our persecuted brethren?