S1R, While being deeply moved by the quality of Mr. Prosper Dowden's prose, I was much less happy about his polemic. The tenor of his letter recalls Eric Gill's castigation of the type of Catholic, who when advised of a housing problem in the East End, resolved to make a Novena as a solution !
Prayer is indeed an efficacious instrument but the Faith of the Incarnation demands action as well. One cannot. as Mr. Dowdcn seems to believe, contract out of the moral responsibility which confronts us all merely by uncovering the Satanic source of thermo-nuclear and I would add all forms of modern warfare. To act thus is more the behaviour of a millenarian sectary than a Catholic.
One of these days, Mr. Dowden, in common with us all, might be faced with a moral choice; will he or will he not "press the button"? Will he. on that day, be prepared to unleash nuclear death and terror and still call himself a disciple of Him who counselled His disciples to "resist not evil"? Is he sure in his own mind that thc traditional teaching of Catholic theologians on the sinfulness of indiscriminate warfare and Hbombs of their very nature must be placed in this category is of such limited and academic interest that his conscience need not be perturbed by it? Ultimately. I contend, a choice of weapons is a choice of destiny.
With Mr. Dowden's analysis of the causes of conflict and the ideological ineptitude of the West I would not quarrel. The founders qf PAX were at one with the Marxists and hosts of more respectable thinkers in recognising the underlying economic causes of war and the shabby pusillanimity of our Acquisitive society. Until Catholics. however, are prepared, in Peter Maiirin's words, to "blow the dynamite inherent in he message of the Church", we can do little to prevent C'ommunism. the monster-child of Capitalism and Godless Technology, from claiming its inheritance.
Ian Henderson 100. Boileau Road,