Page 3, 29th January 1937

29th January 1937
Page 3
Page 3, 29th January 1937 — EVE OF THE EUCHARISTIC CON GRESS India Honours Legate

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Organisations: Congress, Elphinstone College
Locations: Bombay, Stuttgart, Manila


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Fr. Martindale's Message

Father Martindale, S.J., who continues below his impressions while on the voyage to Manila on the Stuttgart, is due to arrive in the Congress city next Sunday. The following day will see the arrival of the Conto Rosso, on which the Cardinal Legate is travelling. Both vessels, on the final stages of their outward course, made stays of a few hours at Colombo and at Singapore.

A great welcome awaited the Legate, on behalf of the Catholics of India, when His Eminence touched Indian soil at Bombay on January 20.

The Conto Rosso dropped anchor opposite the towering arch, a monument of honour to King George V and Queen Mary, which stands like a sentinel of Empire overlooking the sea. The Delegate-Apostolic, Mgr. Kierkels, the Administrator-Apostolic of the diocese, and other high ecclesiastics, at once went on board to present their greetings of homage to the Sovereign Pontiff's representative.

Afterwards Cardinal Dougherty landed and proceeded to the Jehangir Hall, where he was enthusiastically acclaimed by a crowded gathering of bishops, priests and layfolk. Speeches of honour were made by Mgr. Kierkels and by the titular Bishop of Gurza, to which His Eminence replied. A tour of the city followed, enabling the Legate to pay short visits to Elphinstone College, the University, and other institutions, and to see also Bombay's gardens and the famous " Towers of Silence."


By Fr. C. C. Martindale, S.J.

The ship is taking shape. Note—it is not a pilgi image ship, nor even a Ca hole ship, nor had the sk pper (a most fr endly and sane man, at whose table I sit and t n to whose bii:Ige 1 can go when I want to) any idea of what a Eucharistic Congress mesns. But whien things ale put ssnslaiy and friendly-like to such men and, not least, when you a'e dealing wi.h unintimidated Germans, all goes well.

We now not only have Mass continuously flour 5.30 a.m. to 9; not only has the Norddeutschcr Lloyd add.d a fovely monstrance to its normal equipment; but it is possible to have daily Expos tion of the Blessed Sacrament from after Mass till night.

We had. today, a little conference of

priests. All these men are p epari, d to put themselves at the disposal of the crew; to say Mass at any time for them; to do literally anything so as (i) not to disturb the discipline of the ship, and yet (ii) to bring the shepherding of Christ to this very awkwardly-placed, unpastured flo k of His. From now till it reaches Man'la, the ship will sail continuously lit with alaircandles—save indeed at night when official Adoration really is impossible. But then, there is an ed French song : La Messe en Mer—Mass at Sea—relating to times when the Sea was really the only safe place for a Massing-Priest. "Mais comment ferezvous, l'abbe—Saris autel et sans cierge?— Les astres seront allumes—Par Madame la

Vierge!" "But, where no altar-candles are—How will you say your Mass aright? —Our Lady to each little star—Will put Her Light .. ."

German Care of Sailors

A steward (not a Catholic) has been showing me several German magazines concerned with the welfare of seamen. One section is always concerned with a movement called Schonheit dez Arbeit—Beauty in Labour. (After all, the poor clumsy giants in Wagner's Rheingold asked for no more than to have a little beauty in their hard world). All new German ships will be built so that seamen sleep always above water-level; have air; are not packed like herrings; have a recreation-room, and a sufficient variety of interests. I have not yet studied plans about pay, pensions, medical service, and so on.

Now, has the Church taken the lead in bringing about this reformation? NM in England. anyway. I should like—or probably hate—to know about the crew's conditions in our new big ships. Anyway, to make ships bigger and bigger, faster and faster, is a mug's game.

You Should be Hanged

We passed Spain chiefly at night. The Balearics were completely blacked out. At Genoa a Spanish lady and her two daughters came on board. Her husband had been killed.

Gibraltar, they said, was full of Communists, insulting them : " You should be hanged! you should be cut to pieces."

The British authorities, so they said, took no steps 40 stop this sort of thing. Of course I can't vouch for that. But these are not the sort of women who tell lies. It is odd to The how, the moment I get out of our muffled island, I take a far wider perspective and see at once why Continentals call us hypocrites.

It is not merely that we suffer from our Press (as if our Press had liberty! The owner controls the news. Mrs. Tennant made it all too clear in what way the

B.B.C. did likewise). But what has happened is that we, in our physical isolation, have constructed a mental one too, and judge everyone from our own standpoint. Thus we talk about " democracy " in Spain. As if there ever had been, or had been going to be, or could be, any such thing! We ourselves are not a democracy.

Creating and Opposite

They still talk of the " legitimate government " in Spain. It never was either legitimate or a government. They talk of Franco's " revolution." It was a desperate rising of what sanity and grim deter

mination survived, to repel an existing revolution and the far worse One imminent.

Who, in England, is able to believe that vast quantities of men really want " anarchy "—definite law-less-ness?

That men care enough about ideas to wish to destroy everything that has a pedigree in Europe, simply because they wish to create the opposite'? Who for long, for example, have wished to prohibit the teaching of Latin and Greek, and to pull down anything " Gothic"? Who hate God and Jesus C Mist?

Just "All Very Dreadful " I am not surprised that our politicians have cooed to Russia and snubbed Spain. I suppose they think of Russia as more full of unexploited minerals than anywhere else—richer in gold than even S. Africa— and wish to keep on the right side of her in view of concessions later on. And of course they enjoy the idea (common to various forms of Communism and of Fascism) of the Government having all power in its own hands.

But what I cannot understand is, our Catholics. I do not mean our highbrow Communist Catholics (ladies not least) who talk exactly the same cant as the rawest red intelligentsia-undergraduates, but those who profess to regard what is happening in Spain as " all very dreadful" and leave it at that.

Catholic Research

We have amply sufficient rich Catholics who could perfectly well finance three or four intelligent men and women, ready to study Spain on the spot.

If they got murdered—what of it? I doubt if they would: but if they did that might possibly give a few of us a shock. I agree that refugees (startlingly few—well, not startlingly : they naturally prefer Italy or even Germany : Spain has practically been forced—by us—to expect complete un-sympathy within our coasts)—well, I agree that such refugees as exist should be succoured. I am not half so keen on ambulances. One extra one won't do any perceptible good.

But I am keen on facts—on knowing them myself; and on conveying them relentlessly to our population, and doing so loud enough to get through even the cottonwool with which their ears are stuffed. From time to time, even in England, a flash of this sort of perception reaches me: the moment I am out of the Channel the thing conies to me with a rush, and I refind myself mentally at home.

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