Addressing the Edinburgh Council of the Knights of St. Columba in the Cathedral Hall on Sunday afternoon, Fr. Eustace Dudley, S.J., took as his subject the Encyclical "Divini Redemptoris" on Atheistic Communism.
There were three forces at work in Europe to-day, he said, to uproot and destroy the Christian revelation as interpreted by the Catholic Church. As political systems, Communism, Nazism and Liberalism might differ fundamentally, but on the religious side they were but three expressions of " this new deluge that threatens the world," that thing " unheard of hitherto."
It might be the new god of the classless society in Russia. the deification of their blood and race in Germany, and that of man as his own fudge and lawmaker in this country. But in all three the Christian God and the Christian revelation must go.
Mother of Bolshevism Liberalism. the mother of Bolshevism, had gone a long way towards the attainment of its object, the isolation of God and the deification of man—a virtually enforced godlessness.
The social, moral, and religious outlook were growingly " communistic." The fifth and sixth Commandments had no objective value in the eyes of the masses as having God for their author. They must be modified to suit the age and its requirements. They were but the expression of the general will.
Hence the new Divorce Bill with additional facilities; hence the " right to kill" and the " right to die " Bills. Youth, as in Germany, is proclaiming that it can live without sin and has no need of grace. And even the Bishops of the Anglican Establishment are surrendering in favour of the easier morality.
The Pope's Call
Once again the Holy Father. said Fr. Dudley, in the face of all this strife and persecution, had called upon " his beloved sons among the laity battling in the ranks of Catholic Action" to counter this subtle propaganda " under the direction of specially qualified priests."
The Communists " perfidiously try to worm their way into professedly Catholic and religious organisations. . They invite I
Catholics to collaborate with them. . " They even maintain that Communism " will not interfere with the practice of religion."
To expose the true nature of this antiGod campaign is the duty of every Catholic worthy of the name.
On the constructive side, Fr. Dudley concluded, we must know and be able to expound to our fellow-men the great social Encyclicals on Labour and its rights, and so remove the wounds of suspicion of and hostility to the Catholic Faith. We should be able to expose the system working in Russia to-day as the contradiction of the Marxist theory, where fratricide and suspicion and fear reign supreme, not brotherhood.
Spain, with a few noble exceptions, is being particularly well featured by the secular Press in the interests of this atheistic propaganda. The man in the street is gathering precisely the impression desired from the contradictory reports from Burgos and Valencia—that both sides, " Red and " Rebels " alike, are as bad as each other, and, " if this is what happens in a Catholic country, what's the good of religion? "
Finally we have to stand four-square in defence of the moral law as having God, not man, for its author; and the Church, and not the State, for its interpreter.