. 9 Addressing Bishops WHAT with the Hierarchy gathered together in London for the traditional Low Week meeting and reception, it may be a good moment to comment on the suggestion made in a recent letter that in these days we should adopt the American custom of addressing their Lordships as "Bishop" or "Bishop So-and-so," rather than "My Lord." 1 certainly think that on formal occasions and in official correspondence, the full title should be used, for this is the title of office— "My Lord." or "My Lord Bishop of X," or where there is a personal acquaintance, "My dear Lord Bishop." And f o r m a l addresses should really be "The Lord Bishop of X." But one wonders whether today such formality acts as a barrier between Bishop and people on informal occasions. Unfortunately. the alternative ways are not very pleasing. "Monsignor," though it -means "My -Lord," has now become the title of lesser dignitaries in this country. and so we cannot get away with the ease and naturalness of the Italian or French mode of address. "Dr. X" seems to be an Irish tradition and has been favoured by some Bishops, but it is certainly not very dignified. The American "Bishop" can easily become, as a correspondent mentions this week, "Bish"— and even if it does not become that, it sounds a bit like that. One Bishop has suggested to me that the best alternative is the simple "Father." The Pope himself is "the Holy Father," and Bishops are "Fathers in God." So in personal and pastoral intercourse, why not just "Father," with the signature "Your filially," reserving the grand full title and words of address and signature for the impersonal and official occasion?
Churchill's Visits to the Holy Father HE only too aptly named 1 last volume of Churchill's War Memoirs. Triumph and Tragedy (Cassell, 30s.), contains a a brief account of Sir Winston's audience with the Holy Father in August, 1944. He recalls that he had been received in audience by Pope Pius XI in 1926. when he had been Chancellor of the Exchequer, and had "preserved most agreeable memories of the kindness with which We bad been received." On this occasion the Noble Guards were lined up and "the Pope received me in his study with the dignity and informality which he can so happily combine. We had no lack of topics for conversation. The one that bulked largest at this audience, as it had done with his predecessor eighteen years before, was the danger of Communism." And the Prime Minister adds: "I have always had the greatest dislike of it; and should I ever have the honour of another audience with 'the Supreme Pontiff I should not hesitate to recur to the
subject." Winston Churchill's dislike of Communists was not, alas, being communicated at the time to Parliament.
Cause of the Tragedy T N a way, this is an ironic 'commentary, because so much of this last volume describes the "tragedy" of the barren military triumph. the tragedy caused by an utter failure of all our political leaders to understand the real nature of Communism. Churchill's thesis is that he was always doing his best to prevent the headlong fling into the Communist arms, but it is at least arguable that at that stage nothing but the politically impossible turning of the war against Stalin could have saved Poland and the world. The real harm. I think, was done much earlier, when all the Allied leaders forgot Chamberlain's pledge that we were fighting the "evil things," which primarily meant Nazism and Fascism, but logically included Communism. Unconditional Surrender and a refusal to distinguish Nazis and Fascists from other Germans and Italians involved not only the selling of Poland to Communism, but the permanent weakening of Europe in the face of its greatest enemy. The first immoralities bred all the subsequent disasters.
Informal writing THIS last volume suggests a more hasty compilation than the earlier ones, but like them it is a book glowing with the author's brilliant personality. How terrible is the chapter on The Martyrdom of Warsaw, and bow tragic the punishment of Roosevelt and Churchill in their helplessness before Stalin's icy cruelty. But in the same book one cannot help enjoying Churchill'; impish informality, as when he describes his visit to a motor torpedo boat after D Day and found the officers singing songs at night. "At the end they sang the chorus of 'Rule Britannia.' I asked them what were the words, Nobody knew them. So I recited some of Thomson's noble lines myself, and for the benefit and instruction of the reader (if he needs any) I reprint them here." And he does so.
Intelligent punishment TF you were a judge, how 1would you punish a 17-yearold boy convicted of stealing a motorbike and roaring through the streets? Judge Holzschuh, of Darmstadt, in Germany, sentenced such a boy to a year's membership of a local walking club so that he may learn the beauty of the nature he never secs. A 16year-old boy convicted of robbing a younger boy was sentenced to helping the younger boy with his homework for a year. On this imaginative system of crime and punishment, the judge has helped to cut the local delinquency rate by 40 per cent. Something to think about here, Cheap hearing-aid MY recent reference to microphones in church — in my local church, by the way, microphones. free, gratis and for nothing, have just been installed by two members of the congregation, and what a difference it makes — has inspired a reader to send me the story of the kerbside salesman who offered a hearing-aid in an envelope for half a crown. "No batteries. no complicated apparatus to go wrong. easy to fix." The sucker who bought it discovered that the envelope only contained an ordinary bootlace. When he returned to complain furiously, the seller shouted: "If you stuff one end in your ear and tuck the other under your coat, everyone
will shout at you so loud that you
won't be able to help hearing."