CATHOLIC YOUTH TO BE RETAINED " Your Cause is Our Cause"
From Our German Correspondent In all Catholic churches throughout Germany a joint pastoral letter of the hierarchy has been read. It is addressed to the Catholic youth and asks the boys and girls, the young men and women, to remain faithful to Christ and to His Church, in spite of all troubles and persecutions.
The publication of this letter in the press, and any references to its existence, were forbidden. But for the first time the document was read in the German programme of the Vatican radio-station.
The Youth Associations
The pastoral denies categorically the rumours that the bishops are prepared to admit, in exchange of some more or less delusive promises of the Nazis, the dissolution of the Catholic youth associations. They affirm that they watch over those associations as the apple of their eye.
Referring to the Hitler Youth to which so many young Catholics are compelled by all kinds of pressure to belong, the bishops say : " Catholic faithfulness will oblige you the more urgently to arm you against religious lukewarmness and indifference. That will always be so, if all ties of decency and good manners are dissolved, if by word and image the Pope and the bishops, priests and religious, and your own young brothers in Christ are shamelessly mocked.
"If in an association to which you belong your Catholic faith is in danger, you have the duty to leave it. But even if your Catholic honour and faith does not yet oblige you to leave those organisations, it is always in this decisive time a sacred duty to remain in spite of all attacks entirely faithful, entirely conscientious, and entirely Catholic."
A Family Danger
Leaving the Hitler Youth is, unfortunately, not possible without very heavy sacrifices. Those who dare to give up membership risk not only to destroy their own future, but also to involve their fathers in the danger of losing their employment.
Young folk are exhorted in the pastoral to read such Catholic literature as can still be published in Germany, and above all to read the Bible. They are asked to be courageous and firm and to remember the words of the Gospel: "In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."