"The assault of Communism has only been made possible by a long series of Christian betrayals in the past.
"The Christian way is never the was' of war, it is never the crusade on behalf of righteousness against the 'devil.'
"War may in the end prove the unavoidable last resort to protect the freedom of man, but even if so, it should be fought with all the resources of a realistic diplomacy to make a peace which, however unsatisfactory, will save more from the wreckage than any long-deferred outand-out victory could ever do."
The speaker based his view on an analysis of the political and diplomatic history of this century.
"in my lifetime," he said, "we have already fought two 'crusades' for righteousness against the 'devil,' and in each case we have left the world far worse than we found it."
Traditional Christian-based diplomacy. he explained. is always based on the realisation that in this "vale of tears" only limited ends can be attained in the temporal order, Christianity teaches that the "absoulte," the perfect ideal. belongs only to the spiritual order, to God.
That is why in Christian history war and peace are always conceived as limited ideals. "You make the best of a bad job."
Tf war is necessary to break a political deadlock, then all the resources of Christian diplomacy are used to limit that war and to return to even an unsatisfactory peace as soon as possible.
It was only with the three great Revolutions—the English, the American and the French—that the ideas of absolute ends, absolute outcries, and total popular participation in "people's" wars began. This was only possible because by then even Christians were ceasing to believe in Christian salues.
Men were giving up a real faith in the supernatural order and transferring it to the temporal. National glory, progress, liberalism, socialism were thought to be the real object of society, and as everyone had a different idea of temporal perfection, bitter and prolonged wars had to be fought to ensure the absolute triumph of a party ideal.
"This is well known. but what is not realised is that Catholics and Christians were as ready to betray true Christian ideals as were antiChristians.
"Nationalism. democracy and later even socialism and fascism were served by otherwise good Catholics with as much devotion as by antiCatholics. It was a wholesale selling of the pass."
The speaker strongly contrasted the attitude of the Popes to the practice of their sons.
"In the first world war. Benedict XV gave the world Christianity and did his utmost to bring the war to an end that would save the world. But Catholics dismissed his counsel as angrily as non-Catholics. He was con
sidered to he on the side of the enemy in both warring camps.
"After that war a punitive peace was imposed on the vanquished, so that in the end only revolution and anarchy were the victors.
The first war to end wars ended by creating the greatest revolution against the whole Christian conception of life."
Accepting that the war against Hitler we had made possible was a just war, the speaker showed how exactix the same mistakes were made in the face of the constant teaching and advice of Pius Xlf.
The conception of totally destroying Germany. the ruthlessness of weapons. the absolute Communist alliance and. above all, "Unconditional Surrender" led to the division and destruction of Europe.
"We complain today of the betrayal of Yalta," he said, "hut Yalta only legally recorded the situation created by the manner of pursuing victory.
"Poland was forgotten and betrayed; Germany was to he a vacuum; Italy had been a total-war battleground; France was divided into bitterly opposed camps; Spain had long been ostracised.
"Europe was destroyed, and the wonder is that Russia was halted so far east.
The speaker explained this longstanding wholesale betrayal of Christian ideals to the fact that they had forgotten that the Church is not only a visible institution but also a fellowship of men and women called upon to live the new life of grace and to witness to the Christian way in temporal matters. "The record of the Popes. which is still there for all to read in the 20th century is magnificent, but because the Popes were talking in that 'mixed territory' where spiritual truths have to he applied to temporal matters. Christians, already wedded to nationalism and other secular 'isms,' thought they could pay no attention.
A third time ?
"And having lost the sense that they had a duty as Christians to live up to Christian principles of social conduct, they were unable to resist the destructive current of total war and the pursuit at any cost of absolute temporal ideals of nationalism, liberalism, fascism and social. ism which have brought the world to the brink of total destruction with A-bombs and H-bombs.
"Arc we to be caught a third time, and in the name of a 'Christianity' which is now almost non-existent in our political and diplomatic world, to engage in a third war of righteousness or secular religion against Communism?
"However hopeless Communism may seem—and let us never forget that it was brought to birth by our own failure to witness to Christian v a iues — it is made up of Communists and their victims.
"Communists' are men like ourselves. They are our neighbours in the Gospel sense. Our first duty is to help them to truth; our last to fieht them. And helping them means trying to remove the evil conditions which cause Communism to spread and thrive.
It means witnessing in our own lives, individually and in our society, to a better way which will nevertheless not be on this earth a perfect way.
"The task will require holiness of Christians a n d infinite patience among rulers and politicians."
Italian Chief Scout
The Italian Scout Association has chosen Dr. 0. Monass, presidentgeneral, to be the first Chief Scout in Italy since the movement was banned by the Fascist regime.