Men of four nations visit Lourdes during congress
ROBERT SCHUMAN, former Foreign 11-I • Minister of France, exchanged ideas this week with missionary nuns, Catholic businessmen and sociologists from Italy, Spain, Germany and France during sessions of the Social Study The presence of prominent politicians at this the best-attended and best-organised conference for years was partly explained by the subject: War and Peace—and the Catholic attitude to both.
Recognising that prayer is as necessary as efficacious action for peace, delegates ended their discussions as they began them—with a day of prayer and penance at Lourdes.
The extreme topicality of the subject produced lectures and debates of an unusually high quality. The idea came from M. Charles Flory, president of the Semaines Sociales, awl Cardinal Feltin, Archbishop of Paris and international director of the Pit Christi movement.
The week opened with a day of recollection and prayer in Pau's Church of St. Martin, Many delegates, priests and laymen, also travelled to near-by Lourdes last week end.
The Holy Father's lively interest in their deliberations was shown by the presence as an observer of Mgr. Valentini, of the Secretariate of State, and by the inaugural message sent through Mgr. Montini, pro-Secretary of State.
"Never before in human history," said Mgr. Montine has there been such enormous discord. Dissension on a world scale has invaded the lives of peoples. It is inflamed by social difficulties and engages their entire attention.
"The origins of the struggle are both ideological and economic, and the struggle itself penetrates to the heart of family life and institutions. Its psychological effect exhausts the will's resistance and obscures the judgment."
The message spoke of the difficulties created for Catholics by these conditions. and said that it was a matter for little astonishment if sometimes they were misled by false peace propaganda.
"The graver the danger, the more Urgent is the task of averting it." it warned delegates. "In our restless age, when peace is profaned by the hypocritical pretensions of those who would turn this ideal to their own ends and the detriment of others. let all the children of the Church deserve the Gospel beatitude—Blessed are the peacemakers.' " Turkey's thanks
The Pope's own persistent efforts for world peace and those of his great predecessors were described in a lecture by one of the French delegates, M. Maurice Vaussard, who expressed his amazement that "only one nation—and that Turkey, a nonChristian nation—has raised a statue to honour the peace work of a Pope."
The statue. in fact, commemorates the gratitude of the Turkish people for Pope Benedict XV's efforts to secure peace.
One of the most thought-provoking discussions of the week was that which followed the searching analysis of the Catholic approach to such problems as mass-bombing, conscription and total warfare. by the renowned French Dominican sociologist. Fr. Ducatillon.