Page 7, 28th January 1955

28th January 1955
Page 7
Page 7, 28th January 1955 — CARDINAL CRITICISES UNIONS

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People: R. P. Walsh, Olson, Pla
Locations: Madrid, Toledo, London


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'Disappointment' caused by too small a role

WHILE Catholic trade unionists in this country are discussing the somewhat discouraging present condition of the Association of Catholic Trade Unionists, Cardinal Pla, Archbishop of Toledo, has publicly criticised the small role Spanish workers have in their trade unions.

The Cardinal's remarks follow recent criticism of the Government-controlled union system in Spain by Bishop Pildain of the Canary Islands, who said that the unions are neither genuine nor in conformity with Christian social principles.

In an interview with the Madrid Catholic daily Ya, the Cardinal blames the workers small role for

their general "disappointment " and expresses concern for the great number of Spanish workers separated from the Church.

His Eminence also defends the work of Catholic Action among the workers-a moot point between Catholic Action leaders and some members of the Spanish Government.

"Catholic Action is not invading an alien area, nor is it crashing into the rights of others," he says. " We are counting on a powerful leaven, particularly the workers' Brotherhood of Catholic Action, to provide a strong mystical fervour. But great sections of the workers remain apart.

" From an overall viewpoint it must be said that the disappointment of the workers must be laid principally to the Mall direct Mee they have in their organisations, with the exception of Catholic Action."

The Workers' Brotherhood of Catholic Action was established by the Spanish Hierarchy in 1947. It now has some 5,000 activists and 7,000 other members. An estimated 50.000 other workers are sympathetic to its cause.

The organisation's weekly paper. Tu, suspended publication in 1941 because Al: censorship difficulties.

ACTU discusses `C.H.' article Two immediate results have followed the account in THE CATHOLIC HERALD last Week Of the present position of the Associations of Catholic Trade Unionists.

Mr. R. P. Walsh. Editor of the Catholic WorAer and general secretary of the Federation of Aseociations ot Catholic Trade Unionists. reports that he has been discussing the question with two leading members of a national Catholic organisation who offered the help of their society.

M a result, they will propose to their organisation that all the members should be reminded of the importance of being active members of their ttade unions and further that those members who can will be urged to join ACTU. THE CATHOLIC HERALD art icle was keenly discussed at a meeting of the national executive corn mittee of the federation last weekend in London.

Representatives of some diocesan associations felt that Mr. Olson's letter did not clearly enough show that he was referring to Westminster and that other diocesan associations are in a much stronger position.

It was generally agreed that the facts in the article were all true but it was held that the emphasis should be more on the need for new members.

To meet the problem of those who want to join ACTU but live in areas where the Movement is weak, new arrangements are being made to link them direct with the general secretary.

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