THE CHRISTMAS NUMBER always seems to come too early. The reason, I believe, is to give advertisers a chance to boost their Christmas goods, and, for ourselves. let us not forget there is an extra three weeks, to ponder on our purchases. This concession to the advertiser is a reasonable one and a reminder of a paper's needs of advertising revenue for its very existence.
Circulation alone won't make it solvent. as we saw recently in the regrettable disappearance of two old-established national dailies with a hugh readership.
WE should be grateful not only for secular advertisements in a Catholic paper but that no attempt is made to dictate policy. In a country like ours where the Catholic community albeit vigorous, is in a minority. the Catholic press has an all-important part to play.
Our papers give us news of what our fellow-Catholic are doing. and the problems they have to face in all parts of our country in the world at large. Little of this is of interest to the secular press and so is generally ignored.
I find this country-wide and world-with: Catholic news thrill
ing and uplifting : it is striking evidence of our laity as members of Christ's Mystical Body that knows no frontiers, geographical, racial, social or political.
A further and equally important function of our papers, and one which the CATHOLIC HERALD. fulfils with conscientiousness and clarity, is calmly considered commentary on the week's general news, which in this age of blatent publicity, so often raises problems, where
Catholics, clerical as well as lay. need guidance.
The so-called popular press inevitably presents "news" sensationally, playing for an emotional reaction to which Catholics are not immune. We need a corrective in the form of appraisal of such news in the light of the Church's teaching and the sound principles of Catholic moral theology.
THE ultimate authority in all matters concerning Faith and Morals is, of course, vested in the Holy Father and our Bishops as successors of St. Peter and the Apostles. It is a primary duty of our Catholic press to give their pronounce. ments, so often distorted in the secular papers, full and exact publicity. Yet there are many matters of opinion on which all members of Christ's Church, lay as well as clerical, have the right to express their views.
For this open forum. sometimes criticised, our own paper is truly a Catholic herald.