Page 4, 7th August 1953

7th August 1953
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Page 4, 7th August 1953 — In a Few Words
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In a Few Words

Street-corner preacher

r, RANK SHEED, describing on 1' television the misery of talking to nobody for ar . hour on the street corner. had ruefully to confess that he was not even certain whether anyone was listening to him on Sunday night. I, who am apt to turn epilogues off rather sharply, guaranteed him at least one listener, and I am perfectly sure that all who remained on to hear him for a minute or two heard him to the end. What a difficult job it is to talk about religion under such appallingly artificial conditions, and make it all sound like a fireside story. Mr. Sheed pulled it off by having a unique story to tell, and telling it with perfect simplicity and candidness. No tricks, no verbal fireworks, no false sentimentality. Just himself (looking, I hasten to add, much less young than he really looks) with his clear mind, his keen sense of fun bubbling quietly somewhere within him, his total sincerity. and his deep sympathy for his fellow-men. I did not time his talk, but for roe it came to an end far too soon—and that is the best compliment 1 can pay to our best street-corner preacher.

Booming society

T WAS surprised to find that the 1 Summer School of the Society of St. Gregory (reported elsewhere in this issue) was so very well attended. Well over a hundred people were present at lectures, and on the day when I was there they all manfully resisted the temptation of the rival Southampton attraction, the exciting ending of the Hampshire-Middlesex match—and that is saying something for liturgy, polyphony and plainsong. This year the society was housed in the spacious rooms and grounds of the convent of the Sainte Union which is a training school. The general subject was "Pius X and Catholic Worship." and I understand that part of the proceedings are published. I am sure the Society is one that very many could join with profit. if only because of the summer schools which are held each year in a different town. are very cheap to attend, and offer a week's full liturgical worship.

Can we complain ?

T MOTORED to Southampton in 1 steady and continuous r a in covering the whole country. it seemed, with a dark, wet pall. Even so, the Southampton road was a continuous procession of cars, heaped with the holiday luggage of hopeful families. But English weather, like the English countryside, never succeeds in remaining the same. In the afternoon, a sunshine all the more brilliant through the reflection from the wet trees and fields made the drive home a lovely experience with the golden valleys lying to the right and left. And now I read that the August Bank Holiday had almost unprecedentedly perfect weather. Can we really complain?

Bishops of History—and Bishops in Life

'TWO of the photographs re1 ceived in our office this week make an amusing contrast. At the pageant of St. Anselm's parish, Tooting Bee, last week, St. Anselm, played by William Cope, stood out in all his historical and pontifical grandeur. But the real Bishop in real life is also a man, and Mgr. Mangers, Bishop of Oslo, relaxes with a sandwich and a pipe on some steps after the procession to Strikestad in the recent Breakspear commemoration. Perhaps we should know more history if its characters were remembered in their off moments rather than in their grand ones.

Mar lvanios LUNCHING recently with Prof. George Catlin, I was very interested to hear accounts of his recent Indian journey. and particularly to be given a graphic picture of the ancient Catholic life in the South. But he was especially eloquent about the late Archbishop Mar Nettie's. In Trivandrum, he said, you saw him day by clay, as Bishop, builder, teacher. But his influence has spread far wider, He spoke for the East to the West and disabused some people of the notion that the two are divided; that humanity does not come first; that the Church is not Catholic; that Christianity is somehow Western rather than, if anything, Eastern. Here is his word for for word tribute. "He held up a light that shone equally anywhere in the world, and knew neither Creek nor Hebrew, but only illuminated mankind. ln a day of doubt he gave active meaning to religion, firm in faith but yet fully concerned with the practical works of mercy and charity, such as colleges, schools and hospitals. He was cast in a great mould."

A model R.A.F. service E have had a good many let ters on that vitally important subject "Religion in the Forces." No wonder! Can one think of any subject of more importance than what happens froth the spiritual point of view to nearly the whole of our male population during the critical years of National Service? The R.A.F., as far as I can make out, have given a lead, and I am not at all surprised to get the following information from an R.A.F. camp. In that camp last Sunday. the Mass was in a Nissen hut made to look exactly like a church. A substantial Service Sun day breakfast was eaten by the cadets at 7 a,m. At 10 a.m. Sunday Mass with The cadets raising the roof with dialogue Mass and many Communions according to the fasting regulations. After Mass the "God Save the Queen" was sung as a hymn in English, followed by the usual prayers for the Queen. Was not this a model for many—not least in singing the National Anthem as a hymn? The practice might, among other things, help to break down the extraordinary Catholic disinterest in national and international events.

Korean armistice overlooked TALKING of this last point, I was told by a journalist of a national paper that he found it impossible to get any pulpit quotations from Catholic churches about the Korean armistice. Anglican material abounded—sermons. special services and prayers of thanksgiving and petition that the halt to that awful war be permanent. Prayers too that the vital political conference he fruitful. Apparently any reference to this all-important subject for the Christian was rare in our churches last Sunday—and this despite the fact that at least one of the Catholic papers thought it right to devote its main story and its leading article to the subject. Frankly, it seemed impossible no to do so.

Catholic 'remarriages'

A GOOD deal of worry to our tireaders seems to be caused by Press reports of Catholic remarriages. Of course, some Catholics just take no notice of Catholic teaching, and the Church as a whole is not to be blamed for that. But the wording of Press reports may be misleading or conceal the fact that a previous marriage was not a marriage in Catholic eyes or had been annulled—that is, declared never to have been a marriage at all. In a recent case, a wellknown Catholic baronet was married in a Catholic church, and the fact that he and his wife were previously "married" was publicised. The facts. T understand, are that the husband had been through a form of marriage hut not in a Catholic church. The wife had been through a form of marriage with a man whose wife was alive at the time. in both these cases there was no marriage in Catholic eyes. Naturally, the whole position had been examined by the competent ecclesiastical authorities before the marriage in a Catholic church was allowed.

JOTTER




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