Italian prisoners of war in India are well-treated, while German and Italian priests who have been interned are carrying on a full liturgical life, according to the Rev. Mark Tennien, Maryknoll Procurator in Chungking.
"At one city in India where I was offering Mass, the choir was composed of Italian prisoners of war," Fr. Tennien said. " On big feasts and other festive occasions, British authorities allow the prisoners of war to come to the churches in the cities near their camps. Their rendition of Gregorian chant and harmonised music is superb.
" I talked to one of the men, who spoke English well. Ile told me that the prisoners were well-fed and comfortably housed. Their only complaint was the inactivity.
" Most of these prisoners of war are staunchly Catholic. At one war camp where there are some 25,000 men, word went around that interned missioners in North India were in need of assistance. The prisoners of war took up a collection in the camp and were able to send the missioners 5,000 rupees (about f400).
" Interned at Dehra Dun in Northern India are two Italian bishops and 180 missioners, formerly working in different parts of the country.
" In the camp at Debra Dun, the missioners are treated well. Forty altars are used each morning for the celebration of Mass.
" Only a small number of German priests have been interned. Several German priests of the Society of the Divine Word told me that the only restriction placed upon them was that they had to report to the police whenever they wished to leave their territory."