Page 7, 4th October 1963

4th October 1963
Page 7
Page 7, 4th October 1963 — NEWS IN BRIEF
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NEWS IN BRIEF

Methodist Address: A Methodist minister, Rev. Eugene L. Smith. of New York, addressed a meeting of more than 1,000 Catholic missionaries in Washington. He was the first non-Catholic religious leader to address the Catholic missionary meeting in the 14 years of its sponsorship by the Mission Secretariate.

Maryknoll Reinstated: Fr. Felix McGowan, American Maryknol: missionary who was suspended by his religious superiors for unauthorised trips to Cuba, has been reinstated, following his assurance that he will in future abide by the instructions of his superiors. Fr. McGawan had given interviews in Cuba denying that there was any religious persecution under the Miracles Studied: Pope Paul and the full complement of the Sacred Congregation of Rites have reviewed miracles attributed to three Italians, thus taking one of the last steps in the process of beatification, All three are expected to be beatified during the Ecumenical Council. They are: Vincdnt Romano, a diocesan priest who served near Naples: Leonard Murialdo. founder of the Pious Society of Si. Joseph of Turin; and

Passionist priest, Dominic of the Mother of God.

Salute to Canada: Pope Paul, speaking in both English and French, made a special broadcast to Canada marking the opening of a communications conference. During the broadcast, made over Radio Canada, the Pope recalled visiting Canada—"a great country. a young country, a Christian country, magnificently preserved and develo Ted", New Zealand Expansion: Between 1956 and 1961 Catholics in New Zealand increased from 310.723 to 363.964, and their percentage in the total population rose to 17.1 per cent according to a new publication released by the government.

Social revolution is "absolutely necessary" in Latin America to remove the barriers standing in the way of economic development, says a Jesuit sociologist in a pamphlet analysing the potential of the Alliance for Progress.

"The poverty of Latin America." Fr. Roger Vekemans, S.J., writes, "is such that it would require rapid economic development to overcome it.

"Revolution becomes absolutely necessary to remove the barriers that make such change impossible. since the social structures standing in the way of economic development are rigidly established." IT is no pleasure to return to

an old theme, hut arrangements for the world's press at the opening of the second session of the Council were a deplorable shambles, which revolted Catholic and nonCatholic reporters alike.

Most of us were herded in a cattle pen type of section to One side of the papal altar. From the position where I was there was practically no view of the Council Chamber. hut it did offer a perfect view of the altar where Cardinal Tisserant sang Solemn Pontifical Mass, and of the Pope on a few occasions when he emerged from behind the Bernini columns where the throne was placed.

1 say deliberately "offered a view" because most of us working pressmen were forced to decline it by the vulgar behaviour of hordes of non-press people shoved in among us, who stood on seats, heaved, yammered and generally behaved like wrestling match fans, even throughout the Mass.

I regret to say that there were also some foreign priests among them — priests who, on all these papal occasions, adopt the ruse of coming to St. Peter's wearing a surplice to give the impres.sion that they are taking part in ceremonies in which they have no part whatever, Then, having got in more easily than the common herd. they proceed to grab whatever they consider the best available position. It is an old trick which. I hope. will soon he exposed and scotched by the right authorities.

On all these occasions, the press are allotted the ragbag of the Basilica, in which are thrown all thc hangers-on who hinder journalists from doing what would be, under the best circumstances, a long and difficult job.

(At the second session's opening. we had to arrive at 8 a.m., and we were still there after p.m., and there still lay ahead the arduous job of putting our stories together).

I reported not long ago that the limit had been reached when Pope Paul graciously granted a special audience to the press soon after his election, when someone with a babe in arms appeared, and I suggested that she should be termed the special representative of the Nursery News.

On Sunday, however, even that limit was exceeded when a woman arrived with two children, all of the age of three and twins (not that that matters), accompanied by a buxom nurse and a bevy of admiring friends who proceeded to hoist the gabbling children on to their shoulders, and jump up and down on the journalists' benches.

They were aided and abetted by jostling priests with cameras, seminarians apparently in train

tog for the football finals, girls with giggles, and the rest of the unruly mob who created conditions tinder which I for one have rarely worked before, and frankly don't intend to work again.

At that special audience, Pope Paul called the journalists his friends, u riviendss,. and reminded them affectionately that his father had once been a journalist too. He promised us all the help he could As an accredited. Vatieun correspondent, I intend to do my share of attempting to see that the Pope, who is obviously going to stand no nonsense on any Vatican level, learns of the indignity his friends suffer in the cause of the profession to which his father was so dedicated.

From a distance, it might appear that Rome, these days is greatly preoccupied with the Ecumenical Council, or at any rate, its outward and visible signs. Actually, among the rank and file of Italians, there is very little excitement about it.

Unexcited

They are no longer interested in the ceremonial. or for that matter, just the personalities taking part: all they desire is that it gets right on with the job and produces results. The pomp and circumstance belonged, naturally, to the inaugural ceremonies last year, when all Rome saw good Pope John's long-promised — and long-prepared — Vatican II emerge into reality.

Now, Pope Paul himself has set the programme, and the pace, for a real. no-nonsense second session, which Is expected to push on with essentials, produce less talk and more action, arid generally provide not only the Catholic hut the whole Christian world with a lasting example of what can be achieved when men of goodwill, common sense and initiative get together for the common good.

Inflation

In any case. Italians have a lot on their triads — and the threat of less in their pockets and stomachs — right now. Italy is facing inflation, which can be clothed in fancy language by the economists, but to the ordinary man in the street, and the housewife in particular, means already a frightening cost-of-living.

The "caretaker" government of Premier Giovanni Leone, which will stand aside for a new CentreLeft coalition of Christian Democrats and Socialists in less than a month. has proclaimed a semiausterity programme providing for reductions in government spending and imports, higher taxes on luxury items and other measures.

But even while these attempted remedies were being announced, the price of milk rose, the cost of meat and vegetables soared and the wage-earner could see little immediate prospect of life being made easier for himself. his wife, or his children.

While he is undoubtedly fascinated by the attempted undermining of La Dolce Vita through the imposition of heavier taxes on such essentials as champagne, liqueurs, jewels, furs, playing cards and antique furniture, the ordinary fellow would feel that salvation from dread inflation was coming a little nearer his own home if only some strong character would emerge in the government to declare an immediate, no-holds-barred assault on the notorious, blood-sucking hordes of "middlemen" who infest the markets and grab the major cut on outrageously high prices of basic foods, leaving producers and retailers next to nothing and putting these things beyond the pockets of many

cit n s. ize cit n s. ize There were riots recently in

Milan against spiralling rents and other brakes-off prices. This is significant, because when the usually docile Italians begin to revolt' against hardships something is really wrong. If you want to know what I mean, ride in a Rome bus and seethe indignities, not to say physical injuries, inflicted upon citizens by to-hellwith-you-all drivers, who care neither for paying passengers, road safety, common courtesy, or municipal property. In less civilised countries the drivers would run the risk of lynching: here, the Romans just take it. It is a measure of the tolerance and stamina they show in facing other adversities as well.




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