Page 7, 6th October 1939

6th October 1939
Page 7
Page 7, 6th October 1939 — U.S.A. CATHOLICS DISCUSS THE WAR

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Organisations: Federal Government
Locations: YORK, New York


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Nearly All Want to Keep Out

From Our Own Correspondent N'EtV YORK.

America, Comntonweal, Social Justice, The Catholic Worker, and other Catholic periodicals with a national and large reading public, together with numerous smaller periodicals of lesser influence, have expressed isolationist views.

Cloture, " non-partitan " debate, talk of national unity in the face of war—all of these are classified as attempts at establishing a " national ised " Government, that is, a strongly

centralised Federal Government which could work without fear of criticism or opposition.

There i.e virtual unanimity among the Catholic Press in this Issue: Catholic editors want to see all neutrality measures openly and freely debated, without any let or hindrance. They are, as well, chary of talk of national unity, and national emergency, since they generally regard such terminology as Introductory to war propaganda, against Which they stand firm.

Fr. Coughlin in a signed article headed Let's Fight for Peace states: " Whether or not you are aware of It. Great Britain and the Anglophiles own us body and soul and will have their Uncle Shylock, as the British have called us since 1918. to fight their battles, to rot in their trenches and to pay their bills."

Further attacks on Britain are made In another article in the same issue of the journal.

" Leaflets dropped over Germany by British planes indiseate that the neutrality of Holland is not so sacred. Germany violated the Belgian neutrality last time by invading its territory. This time England follows Salt in the air by flying these leaflets over Holland."

Hitler doesn't get off quite scot-free. Although he is considered to be "absolutely right in his main objective of trying to liquidate the Peace Treaty of Versailles"; he is nevertheless " absolutely wrong in the means he has chosen to accomplish this objective.'

Like Social Justice, the Catholic Worker of New York also considers the war unjust.

Blame Not Hitler But . . .

" We believe that Hitler is no more personally responsible than is Chamberlain or Daladier or any other leader.

" The blame rests on the peoples of the entire world, for their materialism, their greed, their idolatrous nationalism, for their refusal to believe in a just peace, for their ruthless subjection of a noble country. Capitalism's betrayal came more quickly in Germany because of the Versailles Treaty, and Nazism flowered as a logical result; the desperate attempt of a hungry and bewildered people.

" Hitler is incidental : the war must have come sooner or later under the circumstances . . . We urge our readers to place the blame where it rightfully belongs, on those of us wbo refused to change a vicious social order, on those of us who failed to work for peace by sharing the gifts of God with other less fortunate peoples."

The Catholic Worker advises its readers to " pray for a peace that will bring not victory but justice: a peace that comes of cone-au:atom not of arms."

The weekly review Commonweal is by comparison only moderately isolationist.

" The modern world is too interdependent to make real isolation possible," it says. " The well-being of the United States depends upon peace and prosperity in other parts of the world,''

"Keep War From Spreading"

Yet it is severely critical of those Americans who favour " all measures Short of war " to bring Hitler to heel. Commonweal states: "Nothing is more misleading than the title, 'all measures short of war,' for the programme thus envisaged is the surest method of bringing us in . . If the United States lifts the embargo on munitions and becomes the arsenal for France and Britain, If we take a large part. in the economic offensive that is already proceeding. Germany will naturally do her utmost to prevent it..

" In fact the common prediction is that we shall be at war in six months. Another war, another Versailles, another world in ruins.

" Our chief task must be to keep that war from spreading, to collaborate with other neutrals in bringing forward procedures for a Just peace."

Michael Williams, former editor of the journal, in his weekly column, recognises that " the overwhelming majority of American people oppose the Nazi cause, in sentiment and thought, and Continued in next column.

favour the allies." Yet he considers that only a serious and direct threat to American interests involved through a defeat of the allies would induce the American nation to support its sentiments to the point of declaring war on Germany.

In this harmonious chorus of opposition to the President's present steps toward the neutrality he visions, there is thus far but one discordant note, sounded in an editorial in the Chicago New World, and in a feature column in the same paper, both of which support the President's policy. Openly favouring the Allied cause, the Chicago New World argues that a cash and carry law would hasten the victory of the Allies and is not necessarily an attempt to fatten America on blood money.

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