Page 2, 2nd March 1945

2nd March 1945
Page 2
Page 2, 2nd March 1945 — THE WAR "A Priest's Protest"

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Organisations: Truly Christ's Church
Locations: Bristol, Berlin


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THE WAR "A Priest's Protest"

SIR.—Will you permit me as an Anglican vicar to thank " Catholic Priest " for his protest in last week's issue of your paper ? Some of us have been very perplexed that there has been no protest from our spiritual leaders against the methods employed to secure unconditional surrender. Can it be that we have come to call evil good and good evil 7 I have before me a letter from a young Anglican replying to my suggestion that we MUM not render evil lor evil. He writes: " Couldn't there be some mistake in your conception of evil ?"

Presumably he and those, who think with him do not consider it was an evil thing to bomb Berlin when the city contained 3,000,000 evacuees, almost doubling the population and making shelter (roan air-raids impossible. To them it wire a good thing, Reynolds for February 4 contained this: "The time chosen was crucial. Streams of refugees have januned the aipitars arteries for days. Last night there must have been chaos.'' Have we so Compromised with the world that we have lost our sense of right and wrong? If our spiritual leaders by their conspiracy of silence fail to protest against such behaviour may we not say, " A wondetful and horrible thing is committed in the land ; the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priest's bear rule by their means: and my people love to have it so; and what will ye do in the end thereof ?"

But my correspondent goes on to ask : 1' Is it evil to show the Germans by any means that a policy of piracy will not pay ?"

Yes, we believe there are means, but surely we shall not ,convert our enemies from their evil methods by adopting similar tactics and then by trying to persuade ourselves that in our case such methods are not evil but good.

May I venture to suggest that your correspondent calls us (through the medium of your paper) to a day of prayer and fasting -as an act of reparation 7 In this way all those who with him desire to register their protest may (though praying in different places) be united by their " Intention."


The Vicarage. I lough-on-the-Hill, G rantham.

Sta,-I would like most heartily to associate myself with the Catholic priest and his war protest, published in your correspondence columns on Friday last.

Last June my home was completely destroyed by a V-bomb, my little girl was killed, my small son injured and practically all my possessions were shattered beyond repair.

I may then justly claim, with many hundreds of other fathers, the right to

demand vengeance. I could scarcely be blamed if I experienced a profound satisfaction to know that German homes were being destroyed daily by the colossal bombardment which the Allied Air Forces are now directing on Germany. It would be a natural reaction, I suppose, if I were to gloat at the desperate fate which is now rapidly catching up on the German people.

It causes me nothing but horror. What good is it going to do me or my wife to know that to atone for our loss, German parents are now enduring similar agony ? That early June morning while I lay for three or four hours

under the ruins of my home, unable to raise a hand to succour my wife and children, was fraught with horror, and will never be erased from my mind. I do not wish any s parent-English American, Russian. or German-to experience a similar horror.'

So I, too, raise my voice in protest at the methods we arc now employing to enforce total surrender.

Germany must be punished. Of that there is no doubt. For the second time in our lifetime she has thrown the world into confusion and despair. But who is fit to inflict that punishment ? " Let he who is without sin among you throw the first stone."

Are we, who hold the garments of those who are stoning Poland to death, fit administrators of justice ? I doubt it I

The one man who towered above us all like a Colossus has shown signs of weakening. His greatest hour was when he helped to draw up the Atlantic Charter. Now, when he is asked to apply that same Charter to the small nations and for whose protection it was created, what is his reply ? " The Atlantic Charter is a guide, not a rule."

In God's name, whither are we heading 7 Can victory so won bring peace and goodwill to men ?

I am seriously tempted to sign my name. but I am weak as so many of us are. I, too, by my work, have certain influences, and I do not wish them to be endangered by misunderstanding. Further. heing a public servant, I must consider my job for the sake of my wife and the two children whom God, in His goodness, has preserved.

enclose my name and address in a marked envelope, and entrust it to your


Ste.-As Christians, we feel there is certainly no alternative but to support the letter signed " Catholic Priest " in the issue of THE CATHOLIC ' HERALD dated February 23, 1945, and we have no wish to remain anonynious.


Lynthurst Hann Green. Worcs.

Sta. — Allow me, through your columns. to thank "Catholic Priest " for his excellent letter in last week's issue. I sincerely hope the letter will be widely reed, and that other priests Will courageously come forth and express similar sentiments in order to counteract the deplorable effect of recent utterances by those who anew to foreet that they are Catholic priests; they may win cheap popularity. but they lose the respect of thinking Catholics and incite anti-clericalism.


SIR, Truly Christ's Church is not without her witness when " Catholic Priest " proclaims eternal truths which are not welcome to those who disregard them in the conflicts of the kingdoms of this world.

J. R. BOND..

120, Howard Road, Bristol, S.

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