Page 4, 6th June 1941

6th June 1941
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Page 4, 6th June 1941 — Too Old At Fifty 0 UR Labour Correspondent raises. the
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Too Old At Fifty 0 UR Labour Correspondent raises. the

Keywords: Human Interest

question in another column of youth versus age amongst our legislators. t seems that only three of the M.P.s are under 30 years of age, while 53 are over 70. The majority are over 50.

It may be of interest to recall that the average age of the elected pope is between 60 and 70. It is true that there were three very young popes. John XII was elected at 18, Gregory V at 24, and John X1 at 25. the oldest is said to have been St. Agatho at 104, and he reigned for three years, Celestin III at 86, Gregory IX and Gregory X.11 at 84. But to come to more familiar times. Leo XIII and Pius X were 68 when elected, and Leo lived and worked for 20 years afterwards. Benedict XV was 60 and Pius XI was 65; and, again. Pius XI did excellent work for seventeen years. Our present Holy Father was 63 when he was elected on March 2, 1939, and he is the one person in the world on whom we depend to pull us through this dangerous and difficult tide in human affairs. And when we consider those who assist the Holy Father in government of the Church we find that it works out about the same average of 60 and over. The Cardinals and Bishops throughout the Church are generally well over the fifty mark. The canonical age for a Bishop is 33. There have been some in recent times who had just reached this limit of youth at their consecration, but they are exceptional, and we generally expect a rotund 50 to make us happy in the choice of the Holy See, These facts about our own ecclesiastical world may give us a line how we are to judge of the general question of youth versus age in run ning the secular world. It is probably in the end not so much a question of physical measurement in terms of years—we do so like to think in quantities in our mechanical machine age—as a question of mental quality. It is the mind which counts most, and a young and vigorous mind can quite well go on functioning perfectly in a body, which is old in terms of years. On the other hand it may be that the clergy, in escaping to some extent the hard grinding swirl and pace of modern life, can keep their mental vigour longer than the lay folk. But in that case it is a question of the lay folk resolving to slow down this awful rush of our abnormal activities and getting hack to the standard of peace and quiet of the clerical life. But in the end it not the physical age preponderance of our Parliamentarians which should really affect us, but the presence in their minds, whatever whate their age, of the right principles. Six hundred and fifteen M.P.s pledged to the Papal Social Encyclicals and the Pope's Five Peace Points would soon re-make a tired and aged world into a vigorous and youthful giant.




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