Page 1, 5th September 1947

5th September 1947
Page 1
Page 1, 5th September 1947 — In a Letter to President Truman

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Locations: Vatican City


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In a Letter to President Truman


Two Vital Papal Statements:

I "Those who possess the truth must be conscientious to define it clearly when its foes cleverly distort it, bold to defend it and generous enough to set the course of their lives, both national and personal, by its dictates. This will require, moreover, correcting not a few aberrations. Social injustices, racial injustices and religious animosities exist to-day among men, and groups who boast of a Christian civilisation, and they are a very useful and often effective weapon in the hands of those who are bent on destroying all the good that civilisation has brought to man." 2 "Faithful custodian of eternal Truth and loving mother of all, from her foundations almost 2,000 years ago, she has championed the individual against despotic rule, the labouring man against oppression, religion against persecution. Her divinely-given mission often brings her into conflict with the powers of evil, whose sole strength is in their physical force and brutalised spirit, and her leaders are sent into exile or cast into prison or die under torture. This is history of today. But the Church is unafraid. She cannot compromise with an avowed enemy of God."

In an historic exchange of greetings, the most cordial between the Holy See and a non-Catholic Powet since the Reformation, President Truman, last Thursday, pledged the U.S. people and all their resources to work with the Pope " and every agency of good the world over for an enduring peace." The two paragraphs printed above are taken from the Pope's reply, the full text of which appears on page 3.

The interchange of greetings was brought about by the arrival in Vatican City of the mission of Mr. Myron C. Taylor, Personal Representative of the President of the United States, who was received in private audience by the

Pope on Tuesday, August 26. It was at this audience that Mr. Taylor presented the Pope with the President's message.

Opening his letter, Mr. Truman told the Holy Father that the previous exchanges of views between the Pope and himself, and his predecessor in office, Mr. Roosevelt had contributed profoundly to a sound and lasting peace.

He continued " I desire to do everything in my power to support and contribute to a concert of all the forces striving for a moral world order. These forces are in the homes of peaceful and law-abiding citizens in every part of the world who are exemplifying in their own lives the principles of the good neighbour; the Golden Rule itself.

FARMS AND FACTORIES " They are on the farms, in the factories, mines and little shops in all parts of the world where the principles of free co-operation and voluntary association in self-government are honoured.

"These moral aspirations are in the hearts of good men the world over. They arc in the churches, and in school."

The President goes on to say that the war demonstrated that all persons "regardless of divergent religious allegiances can unite " for the preservation of what is right.

.. They tnust unite (heir efforts in the cause of enduring peace, if they are not one by one to he weakened and rendered impotent at the times of their great need.

"They have, individually and together, the duty to vindicate, by their thoughts and deeds, the great hopes for which men fought in World War 11 and the hopes which to-day all serious thinking men and women throughout the world know must be attained."

The President continued by speaking of the formidable tasks which confront the people of the world in their work to restore the rule of moral order as opposed to the rule of force.

" The hopes and ideals of mankind," he said, " have often been jeopardised by force. They will be jeopardised to-day by any division of the moral forces of the world ...

I PLEDGE FULL FAITH "As the chosen leader of the people of the United States, I am privileged to pledge full faith to you once again to work with Your Holiness and with every agency of good the world over, for an enduring peace. An enduring peace can only be built upon Christian principles.

"To such a consummation we dedicate all our resources, both Spiritual and material, remembering always that except the Lord build the house. they labour ik vain who build it."

Ending, Mr. Truman proclaimed his own faith and task: "I believe that the greatest need of the world to-day, fundamental to all else, is a renewal of faith.

" I seek to encourage renewed faith in the dignity and worth of the human person in all lands, to the end that the individual's sacred rights, inherent in his relationship with God and his fellows will be respected in every land."

The full text of the Pope's 'letter in reply will be found on page 3. Comment on page 4.

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