AWORLD gathering of university students and graduates was told this week that their duty is not only to study and help solve the social problems of the age, but also to become personally involved in works of charity. Bishop John Wright of Pittsburgh was addressing the 25th congress of Pax Romana, held this year in Uruguay.
This "double apostolatc of truth and action", he said,"is mandatory for every Christian intellectual". The Bishop saw this symbolised in the work of Frederic Ozanam, the 19th century Professor at the University of Paris who founded the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Then as now, charged the Bishop, "positive atheism and negative agnosticism, supplemented by an anti-Christianity that dominated the press. schools and forums, welcomed any doctrines which could bc called 'liberal' whatever their title to that worthy name . . ."
While leading young students out of religious indifference and into a marriage between religion and liberty, said the Bishop, Ozanam worked daily among the lonely and troubled in garrets and hospitals, in city and country. When he died, he could count 2,000 centres of social activity built up by his movement.
Attributing the emergence of modern Christian Democracy in Europe partly to the efforts of the university Catholics of Ozanam's day, Bishop Wright offered a "historical parallel for the future implicit in the recent past" and in the present. Such groups of intellectuals, even when heavily outnumbered, have exerted some of the moit powerful influence in history.
THOUGH the Chinese brand of Communism exerts a powerful influence in Latin America. it has no monopoly of the Chinese population there. Many of them are dispersed Christians, and, in Brazil, a team of 10 Chinese priests from the diocese of Chenting (northern China) are caring for 5,000 Chinese in the city of Sao Paolo, and have built a
Chinese Catholic school there with primary and secondary sections.
There is a Sino-Brazilian parish in the City. and, within 50 miles of it. two Chinese priests minister to a Brazilian parish containing 35 mission stations. Three members of the team are attached to the Chinese radio service, and all of them help with parish work among the over-crowded districts of Sao Paolo.
Over to Lima, capital of Peru. where the Franciscan Bishop Farricio Ceol of Kichow (central China) has opened the John XXIII Chinese Catholic School. which will have at least 1,300 pupils by 1973. Chinese ruins have come from Canada and the U.S. to help.
AFREE clinic for the poor of Jolo in Sulu, Philippine Islands where 90 per cent of the people are Moslems, is being operated by the Knights of Columbus, who supply doctors and nurses willing to give a number of hours each week to the clinic's patients without charge. Countless thousands of Moslems are said to have benefited from the clinic. and without it they would have had no medical aid at all. At times there are acute shortages of medicine, and Bishop Francis McSorley, O.M.I. has to make personal appeals among friends in the United States.
DESPI1 E enduring and widespread fervour and loyalty to the faith, Poland is changing from a Catholic country into a lay and pluralistic society. This is the view of certain Catholic writers in Poland, who evidently feel that the long-term policy of Gomulka's Communist regime is already reaping profits.
While granting that the role of Catholicism continues to be of considerable significance in Polish society, Julius Eska, for instance. points. Out some recent changes. In the past. moral standards sought to conform with the Christian ethic. Dealing with a nonCatholic was exceptional. Freethinkers were regarded with suspicion. State ceremonies, in recognition of all this, were linked with religious rites.
But today, standards of behaviour in conflict with Catholic norms are acquiring "equality of rights". The number of nonCatholics is growing steadily, ranging from outright atheists to various kinds of "enquirers" on the border line between Catholicism and irreligion. Un-Catholic attitudes are regarded, in many social groups. as natural. They no
longer shock. Religion is now being regarded as something essentially private. Catholic and national are no longer synonymous.
AN intensive programme of rural development has been undertaken by Catholic missionaries in the diocese of Ruteng, for the whole of the tropical island of Florea.
The diocese contains 170,000 Catholics. comprising two-thirds of the population, and there are 170 Catholic schools. The mission is run by the Divine Word Fathers.
HEAD of French Catholic Action and Paris correspondent of the CATHOLTC HERALD, M. Henri Rollet has now been named President of the International Federation of Catholic Men, in succession to the Spanish scientist. Professor Otero Navascues.
At the forthcoming congress of the Conference of International Catholic Organisations, M. Rolle( will direct the Commission on social questions. Other topics at the congress due to be held in Buenos Aires from August 7-12 will include labour relations,
farmers. international relations, the lay apostolate, and training of youth for leadership.
The International Federation of Catholic Youth will meet there when the congress is over (August 13-14). Those taking part will include the Young Christian Workers, the Young Christian Students, the Young Christian Farmers, and the World Federation of Catholic Young Women and Girls.
AFORMER Protestant clergyman and a married man, F.ckehardt Breiding, has been ordained a priest, by special dispensation of the Holy See, at the age of 40. He was received into the Church in 1959.
The first married convert clergyman to be granted a dispensation to he ordained was Ir. Rudolf Goethe, who became a priest in 1951 at the age of 71.
Lutheran dioceses in many parts of Germany are offering prayers for the success of the Vatican Council. The Lutheran Bishop of Hamburg. Dr. D. Karl Witte, has specially composed a prayer for this intention. and he has circulated it to all his pastors, asking that it should be used in all parishes.
ACHILDREN'S village for orphans will be built in Korea as a result of money-raising activities by 80,000 Austrian Catholic boys and girls. The campaign was launched on Family Fast Day during Lent. The youths collected £7.000.
The orphans who will receive
the benefit of this are being cared for by an Austrian welfare worker, Mari Ileissenberger, in Taegu. Korea. The money was originally to have been used to feed the orphans, but as it would have been enough for 10 years' food supply, it was decided to build homes for them instead.
In a message to the Pax Rnmana Congress in Montevideo, Pope John has urged Catholic universities to open their doors to students from all social classes and to form a Catholic elite in a world full of change.