Que stions of the week by
Miic hael de In liedoyere THE Archbishop of York, pre sumably on the principle that if you are not believed the first time you may be believed the second, has repeated the substance of his remarks about Reunion made three months ago, this time in reference to the recent Holy Office decree on the subject.
In parenthesis we note the unfailing regularity with which diocesan letters of the leading prelates of the Anglican Communion are publicised throughout the Press and B.B.C., while we rarely hear the views of our own leading Bishops.
It is good that Christian leaders should get a good Press, but might not improved " public relations " and more regular pronouncements of public interest ensure that Catholic views are as widely heard as Anglican ?
We confess we find Dr. Ciarhett's general position rather hard to follow. He is now claiming that there is no substantial difference between Catholics and Anglicans, seeing that they possess in common " the same scriptures. the same creeds, the same sacraments, and the same apostolic ministry." 'The similarity here is, to say the least. very rough.
Thus succeeding creeds have expressed ever more clearly, and in the light of difficulties and false doctrines raised by heretics, the truth of revelation, as for example in the addition of the phrase filioque, and the sequence for Catholics includes the
" creed " or Profession of Faith of Pius IV which
dealt with the errors of the Reformers. Does Dr. Garhett include it in his creeds ?
The 25th Anglican Article rejects five of the seven Catholic sacraments as " but states of life and have not the nature of Sacraments as have Baptism and the I.ord's Supper." While the credentials of the Anglican Ministry have been the subject of Catholic inquiry into the facts, and Anglican Orders have been pronounced invalid. We mention these things, not in the spirit of controversy. but to make clear that this approach to the whole problem cannot possibly carry any weight, and may be very misleading to the millions who have had the chance of reading about Dr. Garbett's views.
The Holy See
THESE views are all the stranger in view of Dr. Garbett's remarks about England's relations with the Holy See.
He mentioned that Parliament under Mary submitted to the Pope, but upbraided Cardinal Griffin for supposing that Parliament might do so once again.
He did not mention that the English people for a thousand years and more accepted the full Papal ecclesiastical claims and that the Church in England—the Church so similar in his view to the present Anglican Communion—throughout that time was the Catholic Church in communion with the See of Rome: the Roman Catholic Church.
Nor, we imagine, does anyone suppose that a British Parliament will ever again submit to the Pope or ever be expected so to do.
The hope and prayer of Catholics is that more and more of the British people will come to realise the illogical, schismatic and heretical position of the Established Church and other Protestant Communions and decide to make common cause again with their own English ancestors in submitting spiritually to the Vicar of Christ, and thus—and thus alone— visibly share with the Mystical Body of Christ " the same scriptures, the same creeds, the same sacraments, and the same apostolic ministry?'
IT' is to this end that Catholics
are interested in the so-called quest of " Reunion," and anyone who supposes otherwise is deceiving himself. But this does not mean that any cooperation and conversations are purely a oneway traffic.
in the first place, Catholics are perfectly aware that AnglicanS and others, though in very varying degrees, do share a great deal of Catholic doctrine, objectively considered, just as they are aware that many outside the Catholic Church, by God's grace, live Christian supernatural lives.
Vis-a-vis the world generally, and still more those definitely hostile to Christianity. this sharing should create a deep common bond in defence, first and foremost. of the Natural Law which is the application to temporal matters of God's Eternal Law, as it affects the whole range of secular life, and, in defence, also, of the vitally important spiritual and moral values held in common.
Even in this degree of cooperation, the ultimate Catholic aim will always he the ever-wider adherence of all who thus struggle together against unbelief to the Catholic Church wherein alone is complete defence against error and wherein alone lies a guarantee of that fullest supernatural life, if a man will cooperate with grace, which alone can throw back the tide of ignorance, evil and scepticism which covers the earth. How could anyone expect us to take any other view?
IN the second place, there is room for cooperation in clarifying our minds about where exactly we
stand in regard to one another. Catholics will not deny that they may well misunderstand Anglican positions. Perhaps Dr. Garbett himself can establish better than we have been able to do his claim to similarities between his faith as an Anglican Bishop and ours. Let the matter then be discussed, and if it is found that the differences which divide us are narrower than we imagined, then the road to be travelled by Dr. Garbett will be all the shorter.
Maybe, too, Dr. Garbett misunderstands us. and here again there can he clarifications, clarifications which might, for example, assure Anglicans that what they imagined was Catholic teaching was not Catholic teaching at all, or what they imagined to be supported by Papal infallibility was no more than a pious devotion, any further claims for which Catholic theologians and scholars would be the first to deny.
Nor in the purely human side of the Church is there any reason why we should not profit by other traditions and experiences.
R. Garbett has raised again the question of Anglican Orders. Evidently this is a question for experts, theological and historical, and it was on the basis of history and traditions, the " facts," that the Catholic conclusions were reached.
We can see no reason why Dr. Garbett's counterclaim should not be frankly discussed with Catholic experts who can explain the whole nature and weight of the Catholic view and assess the weight of that counter-claim. This is surely better than throwing out objections to a public which is totally unable to assess their validity. Lastly, Dr. Garbett repeats his claim that many Catholics go over to Canterbury—perhaps we should say York in this connection. Frankly we do not set great store on statistics in this matter—each soul's pilgrimage is his own responsibility before God, ' and numbers are an accident in the apostolate—, but, as it happens, Catholic figures are available.
Is it too much to ask Dr. Garbett, if he does make and repeat his claims. to go a little further in substantiating them and in describing them.
Such description might, among other things, be very helpful to our Bishops, and helpful, too, to that cause of cooperation which the Archbishop of York professes to have at heart.
THE contrast between Mr.
Churchill's approach to the present international situation and that of the Foreign Minister, in Tuesday's debate, was striking; and it is to he hoped that the Conservative Party will now consider presenting the country with something more like an alternative foreign policy.
This need not lead to divisions in the House, but serve rather to ginger up the Government into emerging from the unimaginative stagnation which has come to mark the tired Mr. Bevin's mind.
It is always easy to play safe. and Mr. Bevin now seems incapable of playing anything else. Yet security it rarely the product of a negative and passive approach : it is the product of a firmly conceived, construclive plan which has vision.
Anything like a comprehensive grasp of the European and world situation amply supports Mr. Churchilli contention that "there can be no hope for a united Europe without Germany, and there is no hope for Germany except within a free and united Europe."
But all depends on how these words are interpreted. The Government, in so far as it agrees with them at all, is determined to move cautiously. ungenerously and unimaginatively.
In doing so, it is all the time losing the chance of gaining the full loyalty of the German people who should be approached with the utmost confidence on our side—a confidence which they will then catch.
Full equality and mutual trust are
absolutely necessary if Mr. Churchill's vision is to be realised. It is true that we must always work hand in hand with America and France, but the supposed French fears of Germany are much exaggerated and they represent political leaders of the old school (such as our Government loves) not the best minds of the country who understand that the quarrel between Gaul and Teuton must end if either Gaul or Teuton is not to be " en-Slav'd." Britain today could give an inspiring lead which would carry America and France with her.
Pot and Kettle
E yEN the staff of the Daily Worker, we imagine, can scarcely have suppressed a smile when the following item from Monday's issue was prepared for the press. Here it is :
" A General Election for both houses of the National Assembly was held in Yugoslavia yesterday under conditions that prevented a free expression of the popular will. " For the past 18 months and more the Tito regime has systematically purged the Yugoslav 'Communist ' Party of all genuine Communists, who have been arrested, tortured and murdered.
" Only candidates of Tito's totally undemocratic National Front were allowed to stand.
" Reuter's correspondent visited several polling stations near Belgrade, and reported that people met casually along the roads were on the whole reluctant to tell correspondents how they voted.
"Some said they thought if they voted against the Government the authorities would find out and it would not be healthy for them."
THE Economic Survey for 1950 A seems to be very much of an " as you were " document. If no crisis takes place and conditions remain fair. then a modest acceleration of pace. with consequent modest benefits may be expected. But the Survey does not disguise the very serious truth that the trend of prices is upwards, and likely to continue so, while any benefits must be dependent on the people remaining satisfied with incomes which will purchase rather less.