Cardinal Hinsley's Condemnation
Cardinal Illinsley, whose forthright pronouncements since the beginning of the war have been an inspiration and a comfort not only to Catholics but to an increasingly wide public in England and abroad, has administered a deserved rebuke to those " critics of the Pope " who have called upon him to excommunicate " those whom they have decided are war guilty."
In a preface to a book published this week called The Pope Speaks, the Cardinal meets these critics of the Pope of
Peace frontally They don't know what they arc talking about, says the Cardinal. He writes: " Even presumabh well-informed persons have urged the Pope to excommunicate those whom they have decided are war-guilty.
Frank/y, such people either have never had the opportunity of knowing the law and its spirit, or they have not taken the trouble to seek information about it.
Excommunication is a spiritual penalty isf a remedial character pronounced against those who are of the body of the Church but have with knowledge and freely committed a grave offence. The purpose of this Exile from communion is to correct them and bring them back to the path of right eousness. Against whom, then, would the mines of the Pope have him launch Excommunication?
WHO SHALL POPE PUNISH The Cardinal then takes up that point.
" It could not he against those who do not belong to the Church, for they have no communion from which they could be excluded. And hopeless would it be to imagine in this age of materialism that spiritual motives, even the sternest, could have much if any, effect on those who though once enlightened, have given themselves over to blindness and hardness of heart.
Referring to the use of interdict against Catholics under Nazi tyranny, the Cardinal says such penalties are for grave offence committed with " full knowledge " and " perfect freedom.'
" Are those whom the Pope's critics wish to be exiled from the church allowed to know and are they free?
A RAINBOW STORY
Earlier in the foreword the Cardinal recalls that the Popes name means Son of Peace, that his family arms show a rainbow, the dove and an olive branch, and that the motto is Opus jasmine Pax — the Fruit of Justice is Peace.
The Cardinal then continues: The rainbow does not appear in the Papal Arms But as I drove with my conclavists over the bridge of Saint Angelo on the Eve of the conclave, to he " locked up " for the dttialion of the election, 1 drew the attention of d rainbow on a Next day at 4.30 p.m. the time when the third scrutiny of the voting declared Cardinal Pacelli definitely Pope. a rainbow was seen arching over the Great Square of Saint Peter's. May the name and the omens be more than fanciful! .
The Pope Speaks. A compilatioa of his allocutions, messages, broadcasts, addresses and encyclicals since his accession to the Holy See. By Charles Rankin. (Faber and Faber, 7s. 6d.).