The Bishops of India have issued a statement welcoming the independence of their country and saying that they look to the future with hopefulness and optimism.
Signed by Mgr. Mathias, S.C., Archbishop of Madras and Mgr. Pothakamuri, Bishop of Bangalore, the message defines the attitude of the Church to the social problems of India.
" India," say the Bishops, " has vast potential resources. These can in due course contribute to an increase of national wealth. This must raise the purchasing power of the nation and the standard of living of the poorer classes."
RACE AND LEADERSHIP The Bishops then state: " The Catholic Church does not recognise superiority of colour or caste. She abhors racialism and declares that all men are equal before the Creator in moral position and value. Each nation or rare may have its own characteristics, aptitudes and special gifts. It is by cultivating all that is true. good and noble that a nation is enriched and attains to high virtue."
Asserting that patriotism is both a virtue and a duty the Bishops then appeal to all Catholics to "give of their best to the motherland."
They conclude: " At this turning point of India's political history. our thoughts are with our national leaders. Their responsibilities are great, their burden heavy. ln the
difficult days that lie ahead, they will need more than ever strength, courage and perseverance. On Pentecost Sunday we prayed for them in a special manner. We shall continue to pray for them so that God may grant them light, guidance and wisdom."
Vatican Invited To World Food Talks
The Vatican has been invited to send an observer to the Food and Agricultural Organisation Conference now meeting in Geneva.
The invitation followed an informal request by the Holy See in view of its interest in the problems under discussion.
International Red Cross Societies have also been invited to send an observer.
U.S. Cardinal for Vatican?
Rome newsapers reported on Sunday that Cardinal Spellman of New York will arrive in Rome soon to take office as the Vatican Secretary of State.
Cardinal Spellman has often been mentioned as a likely candidate for this vacant post, one of the highest in the Church.
Cardinal Sapieha Ill A new church in Cracow was recently consecrated by the Auxiliary Bishop, Mgr. ROSPOINI, because Cardinal Sapieha, Archbishop of Cracow. was reported