Page 8, 3rd December 1937

3rd December 1937
Page 8
Page 8, 3rd December 1937 — IN A FEW WORDS Fr. Woodloc - k's Fame— R UNNING my eye

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Locations: York, Oxford


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IN A FEW WORDS Fr. Woodloc - k's Fame— R UNNING my eye

down the " 1,000 Biographies of Prominent Men and Women " that appear in the new Daily Mail Year Book, I noted Fr. Francis Woodlock's name. As far as I can see, he is the only representative of the Catholic clergy, with the exception of Mgr. Hinsley.

This list has none of the social vested interests of the old-fashioned year books. Sportsmen like J. B. Hobbs or Steve Donoghue and members of the profession like Gracie Fields or Leslie Henson take the place of writers, peers or politicians who are not quite household names. In journalistic circles Fr. Woodlock is believed to be the " holder " of the Farm Street Pulpit, and has inherited the fame of Fr. Bernard Vaughan. His sermons are the result of

painstaking work. He told me only the other day that he had collected 3,000 cuttings referring to the Spanish war.

And Fr. D'Arcy's

An exceptional tribute of a very different kind has lately come to another Jesuit, Fr. D'Arcy. He is included in the very short and very diverse list of significant contemporary figures in Wyndham Lewis's latest book, Blasting and Boinbadiering. The others are W. H. Auden, the Left poet who has just won the King's Prize, Christopher Isherwood (Left poet, playwright and novelist), Douglas Jerrold, and Malcolm Muggeridge. publicist. This Wyndham Lewis, by the way, should not be confused with D. B., the wit, who wrote At the Sign of the Blue Moon. This one is serious critic, philosopher and artist, and he is not. as is his namesake, a Catholic. In an exhibition of his drawings some years ago, there was a very good portrait of Fr. D'Arcy. I hear he wants to do another study of the same subject.

The Two Together

It is a privilege to be in the company of the two Jesuits, each of whom has climbed his own particular tree of fame. Anyone who still cherishes the illusion that

Jesuits are all of a type will be surprised. Fr. Woodlock pretends to be the plain blunt Englishman and throws some of those heavy stones which Dr. Johnson is supposed to have kicked when confronted with Berkeley's denial of the reality of matter, saying : " I refute him thus!" The stones are apt to confuse the delicate works of Fr. D'Arcy's complicated mind. but the repairs are made instantaneously. And they are the best of friends, Fr. D'Arcy always defending his confriSre when the latter is criticised for being too unsubtle and crudely orthodox. " Was he not the favourite pupil of Fr. Tyrrell?", he asks with an ironic smile, recalling the actual fact that Fr. Woodlock was taught philosophy by Fr. Tyrrell when the latter was a professor in a Jesuit seminary.

53. Prize for Someone

IWAS sorry to see the name of Mr. A. D. Lindsay, the Master of Balliol, among the signatories to a letter deploring the " United Christian Front " against Communism, especially in Spain. The signatories, by the way, included the Archbishop of York. When up at Oxford, A. D. Lindsay always struck me as one of the sincerest and most fair-minded of Dons, and I learnt much about the real meaning of democracy from his lectures. Now he signs his name to the following statement : "Reference to Spanish history completely dispels the idea that anti-clerical outbreaks in Spain must be prompted by Communism, for they were familiar long before the days of Karl Marx."

I will send a P.O. for Ss. to the correspondent who sends me the best analysis of the logical fallacies contained in this statement.

Not Always Popular!

FEW foreign sovereigns have gained more popularity on account of their simplicity of manner than the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg who when she travelled to England a few years ago to take her son Prince John for his first term at Ampleforth, was fittingly received at every stage of the journey by diplomats and civic dignitaries—until she rang the bell at the guests' entrance to the College. There, as she joyously explained later to Fr. Paul Nevill, the headmaster, " pull the bell, and I pull the bell but nobody comes." The Grand-Duchess's popularity on a similar occasion was less in evidence. Meeting her son's train at Kings Cross at the end of term she arrived too early and, perhaps being impressed by a large notice in the station to the effect that nothing is better than beer, strolled into the bar and asked for "half a pint of bitter," was amused to be told by an angry barmaid that it was out of hours and " It's women like you that make more trouble than they're worth."


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