Page 4, 28th January 1949

28th January 1949
Page 4
Page 4, 28th January 1949 — IN A FEW WORDS

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Takes Your Breath Away WHILE I was looking with a friend at a truly tragic photograph in a popular paper, well entitled for once: "No smiles at priest's wedding," we noted the reported comment of someone attending the function: " I'm a Catholic myself but Mr. Coakley is in love with the girl, and that's what comes first, . isn't it ?" My •friend exclaimed: " Doesn't reading a sentence like that make you despair of the Sword, Catholic Action, and the numberless Societies ? Is it possible to break through the rooted paganism of our generation ?" A bit Unfair on the societies (and still more by implication parishes), but it does take one's breath away to read such sentiments. By the way, it is well to realise that from the Catholic point of view the function reported is an " attempt to marry," not a marriage, since the parties are Catholics and the marriage a register office one.

The Latest Press Offering THE antics of the national press never cease 'to cause a normal person to throw up his hands in wonder Thus I see that the Sunday Labour and Trade Union paper can think of nothing better than to sell its wares on the basis of the life story of Sidney Stanley I This man was at the centre of the trouble which has involved the Labour Government in such anxiety, and his mode of life is about as far removed from any decent Labour ideals as may well be imagined. Is he to be held up as a warning ? Not a bit of it. People are expected to buy the paper to share in the thrills of super-spivvery. Such irresponsibility I The Drug Actedron IAM sorry to see that very wide publicity has been given to the account that Cardinal Mindszenty himself wrote or prepared the account of the Communist use of the drug Actedron which breaks down a prisoner's resistance and causes hint to confess to anything he is asked to. In the original report about the drug it was so stated. Actually, as was made clear in our columns last week, the account was written by a priest who had discussed the matter with the Cardinal and who acted on the Cardinal's instructions. The distinction is not a very material one, but it is so easy for enemies to pick up small discrepancies of this kind and try to ridicule the whole business on the basis of them. A very exact and verifiable account of a thing like this should always be given.

"Miraculous" Years

HAVE just heard that Archbishop

Bishop of Southwark is hoping that a Coadjutor Bishop, with right of succession, will be appointed. One is not surprised when one realkes that he was consecrated Bishop in 1904. It seems almost impossible, for the human mind cannot easily rid itself of the three score years and ten as the normal span of life, and any notable excess of this, especially among those who have lived public lives. borders on the miraculous. Thus to live to 90 (the Bishop is 84) makes the 40s to 30s the middle of life instead of. as they seem at the time, the threshold of old age I A. remarkable feature of Archbishop Amigo's later years is his vigour of mind and body, despite recent indifferent health. More About Corpora! Punishment THIS question of corporal punish ment, like the Irish question and the Jews, seems to arouse an extraordinary amount of controversial heat. I have had a number of letters, including one who writes of her niece withdrawing from a convent school, where she was a mistress, because she was unable to stand the way the children were punished. Smacks and rapping of knuckles with canes were mentioned. She has now gone to a Montessori school where " discipline is excellent without the rod." Last week, I wondered whether there was any connection between the' Catholic outlook and this conservatism in educational methods. I have since wondered whether the explanation may not lie in the fact that large numbers of religious teachers, whether men or women, are really amateurs at the job. Perhaps the too frequent use of corporal punishment is explained by a lack of sufficient training in more rational methods of keeping order and getting good work out of children. Corporal punishment seems to be rapidly decreasing in Jesuit schools. Has this fact any causal relation with the fact that in these colleges the proportion of trained lay masters is rapidly increasing?

The Perfect Way WRITING of corporal punishment reminds me of the awful occasion when one of my children, at a very tender age, was told very imperatively not to touch a trap placed In the fireplace. About two hours later, during which there was an unaccustomed silence in the house,

the boy was discovered lying on the floor, pale-faced and tense, with his finger caught in the very same trap. On discovery, he burst into the loudest howl of his career.

That Hymn

1T seems clear that the Jotter's leg has been pulled—not a very difficult thing to do. I am told that my famous " Calvinist " hymn is a wellknown parody of a real hymn which begins:

" We are the choice celestial few Till all the rOst be won . .."

and is as well known in theological colleges as the famous The bells of Hell go ting-a-ling F Of you and not for me; For me the Angels sing ting-a-ling, They've got the goods for me."

My only excuse is that "the choice celestial few " sounds just as much of a parody as the other version, My New Signature THE above paragraph should prepare the reader for my signatu 0, as rendered by our artist. Quite why the artist's sub-conscious mind should see me as a cave-man hewing my work out of rocks, I don't know; but there's something in us that responds favourably to the idea of being primitive. Al any rate, it's a pleasant design, and having thus proved my naivete. I shall in future endeavour to live up to it.

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