MY WIFE (a South African) and I (a Rhodesian) were gratified to read Douglas Brown's sympathetic article (June 23) on the GovernmentUniversity clash in South Africa. Even though we think the student protest will prove to be no more effectual than previous ones, the Cape Town incidents at least serve to keep the issues before the public eye and we are grateful to Mr. Brown for his part in doing so through your columns. But we do regret that he spoilt the effect by ill-informed, rather cheap sneers at the boycott movement and at Peter Hain. We can only assume that he wrote with lack of knowledge about the aims and achievements of the boycott movement and about Hain's family history.
We have no doubt that, on reflection, he will withdraw his peculiar assertion that supporters of the boycott movement regard South African whites as less than human; those of us who know the Republic also know how all too human the "Europeans" are; they are certainly no better than the non-whites and therefore no more harm is wished to whites than it is to non-whites, nor is their human dignity any the less regarded.
But to boycott the 'All-Whites' in sports is by no means to harm any South African; it is merely to indicate that discrimination can cut both ways and, judging from the belated, sudden. but welcome attention being paid by white sportsmen to non-white cricket and rugby, the world's sports boycott of South Africa has had a powerful effect in concentrating the minds of white players in directions which they had ignored before. Given the quasi-religious homage paid by whites to sport the boycott movement is well aimed at where it hurts the whites most — in the sports-field.
Peter Hain, being a South African white, is well aware of his people's fanatic devotion to playing sport so he chose that sector in which to carry on his campaign against apartheid other people choose other methods, like writing to the
CATIIOL IC HERALD!
But there is more to Peter Hain than the shrewd tactician— his family history gives a clue to his motivation. His father and mother were, respectively, chairman and secretary of the Pretoria branch of the S. African Liberal Party which, under Alan Paton's leadership, was probably the nearest thing to a Christian resistance movement in South
Africa. To be liberal or a Liberal in South Africa was and is a quick way to lose friends and, sometimes, jobs; to be a Liberal Party officer in the 1960s was downright dangerous. In October 1963 Mrs. Hain was "banned" by the Minister of Justice and in September 1964 Mr. Hain was also "banned." To be served with a "banning order" means this: you are permitted to move only in a specified area, possible under police supervision; you are forbidden to attend any public or social gathering; you are forbidden to publish anything; you are forbidden to enter schools, courts or newspaper offices; you may not belong to listed organisations; you are forbidden to communicate with another banned or listed person; your banning lasts five years and is renewable at the Minister's behest; arid there is no appeal to the courts.
That this sort of outrage should be enacted in the laws of a country which claims to be the standard-bearer of western, democratic civilisation is bad; that the legislators claim Christian sanction for similar and far worse laws is nothing less than blasphemy.
The effect of the banning orders on the Hain family may be imagined; a little thought will bring home the ramifications of the bans on Mr. and Mrs. Hain but two examples will suffice to indicate the range of effect. Mr. Hain, an architect, was effectively barred from earning a living while Mrs. Hain could not attend her children's birthday parties. Eventually they were driven from their own country, which is why Peter Hain pursues his campaign against apartheid from where he can.
He knows, from his own experience, just what that wretched crew in the South African government will do to anyone who openly questions their selfassumed infallibility, their Inquisition methods. And if Mr. Brown doubts the effectiveness of Hain's campaign he should have heard the South African Radio's External Service's hymn of hate against him and his parents during the Stop the Seventy Tour episode. Much as we appreciate Mr. Brown's support for the South African students we do, you will gather, feel that his rather snide remarks about the boycott and about Peter Hain reveal more of Mr. Brown than they condemn a useful episode in the fight against apartheid.
B. J. H. Blancharde
(Mrs.) R. M. Blancharde Division of Advanced Studies, School of Education,
University of Bristol.
Need to get back to basics
ayoung person in contact
with other young people, I feel the need for a return to basic Christianity in the Church has never been greater.
So many young people are searching for total fulfilment in their lives. Yet . the Catholic Church continues to play the role of servant to the materialist culture. The Hierarchy wonders why young people are interested in other religions and philosophies; when some of them tolerate and even condone the erosion of their own faith. Christ cannot continue to save souls if the "Rock" of Christianity is allowed to crumble. The Church should purge itself of its corrupt elements; offer strength instead of pandering to weakness and hypocrisy.
There is an unfortunate plague of woolly-headed theologians and priests; they should forget their intellect, we need no guide but the living Word of Jesus Christ. The strength of Catholicism should not be in the number of churches but in the faith. hope and charity of its members. Let us sacrifice our alliance with the materialist culture and put an end to the mockery of Christ's teaching.
Let us look to those people who, following the example of Christ, have quietly and humbly devoted their lives to God and the service of the poor, hungry and sick throughout the world. Let the Church once more become an unblemished light of guidance for those sincerely seeking God. David M. Adams 29 Holdershurst Village, Bournemouth, Hants.
THERE now seems to be a new diplomatic formula by which statements emanating from Roman sources and Roman dignitaries are either introduced or concluded. It is "The irresponsible outlook of certain priests
. is profoundly disturbing the faithful and causing great suffering to the Holy Father."
I can assure you, with all due respect to the people who invented these formulas and who evidently copied them from the diplomatic jargon of the countries behind the Iron Curtain, that this new mode of address is causing a lot of harm to the Church, and a lot of distress to clergymen especially amongst the educated classes; it gives the impression of falsehood and artificiality, One is bound to ask who are these priests? Who are these Judascs? Which is this country where these things are happening?
At one time, one was given the impression that it was those heathen German theologians: then it was those terrible Frenchmen like Cardinal Tisserant with his dreadful diaries, next it was the American Church with all their clergy leaving the priesthood and numerous and numberless other sensational utterings which are given a good press.
I think, again with all due eespect to all the powers that be, that Rome talks too much, and that the time has come for a long silent prayer too.
I think that things should start being put in order in Rome itself first. Secondly the bishops of all Catholic countries should stop lecturing and find out what is wrong with the Church, and then come together and try to find a spiritual solution to the world's ills by doing something themselves rather than wait for somebody to carry out their orders.
Carton S. Cauchi 'I al-M irakli, Malta.
Schools and integration
ONCE again you feature an article (July 21) more or less advocating the abolition of Catholic schools in Northern Ireland, in the alleged interests of peace. What proof is there that this would lead to greater social peace? Has integration of schools between black and white in America had this effect?
Is the Chief Rabbi's recent call for all Jewish children to be brought up in Jewish schools a threat to peace here'? How long do you think Catholic education will last in Eire and Great Britain if it is abolished in Northem Ireland? Above all. what right has anyone to play with the faith of our children in pursuance of some social theory?
The fact is that the Church laid down. most recently at Vatican II, that parents have "a duty to entrust their children to Catholic schools." (Declaration on Christian Education). A Catholic newspaper ought to follow the teaching of the Church and not concern itself overmuch with dubious sociological theories cooked up by people who base them on the atheistic premise that the State is supreme over all and that the Church only exists by permission of .the State.
G. J. A. Stern 6 Eton Court,
Shepherds Hill, London, N.6.
Positive action needed on Rhythm research
HUNIANAE Vitae condemned contraceptives as being evil not because they are aesthetically repugnant or medically unsafe (the pill is permitted as a them, peutic measure) but because easy sex "would make the woman a slave to her lord and master and the road to marital infidelity wide and easy."
As regards research, the initiative and finance must come from the Catholic community and this :means Rome. It is futile issuing moral and social encyclicals unless they are accompanied by positive action. Peter's Pence could be the English Catholics' contribution towards this project.
Rome is in a position to call together all the scientists of the world; Rome is in a position to set the example; Rome is in a position to be a leader. Why oh why is she always throughout nistory the follower? Probably because like the medical profession she is male dominated. Most especially the Vatican. (Mrs.) Marie Hastings 20 Leys Close,
Harefield, Uxbridge, Middlesex.
PEOPLE who are concerned to defend the Latin Mass are neither exclusively conservative nor liberal but are dealing with genuine theological and pastoral problems which require attention at the highest level of scholarship—not at the Level of four letters you published last week which had as their target the Catholic Priests' Association.
In this totally irrelevant context, I must protest at the lampooning of the Latin Mass Society. The address, W.1 is recognised by the Post Office and so, presumably, :by your readers.
Vernor Miles London. W.2.
'Absolute doctrine' and the immature
WHAT does Michael Barrett mean by "Absolute doctrine"? Why should he be "alarmed" because Catholic laity and priests have come to question certain assumptions which have little (if any) bearing on either Christian or Scriptural foundations?
"Rules have to be obeyed," he says "or there is no point in anything " Presumably he means Christianity as "anything"; and "the rules" means so much to him that he quits! As a cradle Catholic — so often tempted to quit, for other reasons than Michael Barrett's I am "alarmed" at the immaturity of Catholics who heed a kind of insurance policy before they can "believe." In a personality of Michael Barrett's standing in B.B.C.'s Nation wide programme, I find it horribly discriminating. May I recommend a serious study of St. Paul to Mr. Barrett. For him the rules were crutches, mere props to help our weakness — not meant to encourage it and destroy Christian faith. (Mrs.) Margaret Saville 17 Ramin House, 38 Granville Road, Reading.
SURELY the Catholic Faith is nothing less than the expression of Truth, in the Person of Christ'h No human authority can alter this, though human insufficiency may obscure the infallible Spirit of God. St. Peter incurred sharp rebuke in attempting to dissuade Our Lord from His obedience in moving towards the sacrifice of the Cross. There was a traitor among the Apostles. In the moment of crisis, they all lost their nerve and fled, But they all came back.
Let us pray for those who fail, and that when we ourselves fail we may always be numbered among those who return. Come back. Mike!
Winifred Rogers 14 Whittington's Way, Hastings.
Fate of Le_opold pp_er
RESIDE the tragic situations
facing millions of people throughout the world today, the fate of one sick and lonely old man may seem insignificant. Yet the case of Leopold Trepper has inspired -the formation of cornmittees in America, France, Holland. Switzerland. and now in England.
Leopold Trepper, a Polish Jew, headed the legendary Red Orchestra, an anti-Nazi espionage network considered to have shortened the war, Imprisoned first by the Nazis and then by Stalin. he 'became, after rehabilitation, head of the Polish-Jewish community. Now aged 68, he has five times been refused permission to leave Poland.
The ad hoc British Free Trepper Committee is urgently appealing for immediate support: Leopold Trepper does not expect to survive for long. Wendy Mantle, Hon. Sec. British Free Trepper Committee. 114 Mansfield Road, London. N.W.3.