Ste,-Does Mr. T. Walsh wish to assert that any Pope condoned the immoral principle that it is permissible to sell any human being body and soul so that his or her soul should be exposed to perdition owing to circumstances rendering the practice of religion wholly impossible?
Both St. Peter and St. Paul, forseeing that the conversion of the pagan world to the full acceptance of Christian principles would be a long and painful process, never condemned slavery outright, hut rather strove to mitigate its baneful effects by warning Christian masters of their heavy responsibility towards their slaves in the eyes of that universal Master for whom there is neither bondsman nor freeman. but all are brothers in Christ.
The theologians of the Middle Ages. under the influence of Aristotle, used the term " slave" is-enlist but attached to it the sense of " serf," i.e., a worker tied to the soil but enjoying all the rights of a Christian whose dignity could not he outraged without grievous sin. Some Popes were. no doubt. deceived by the too numerous Mammon-worshippers. because they relied too much on the Christian sense of baptized rulers. and the absence of this same Christian sense does lead into error many students of original manuscripts. It was not until 1815 that the Christian rulers condemned the evil principle by abolishing every kind of servitude. The Popes therefore who accepted before that date the practical solution advocated by SS. Peter and Paul should not be ranked by Christians with avaricious sleve-dealers.
Rev. Thurstan Collins.
Rijksweg RyckholtL. Gronsveld. Holland.