Page 4, 7th January 1949

7th January 1949
Page 4
Page 4, 7th January 1949 — IN A FEW WORDS

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The New Year Honours THE greater democratisation of Honours and the growing desuetude of the Catholic Who's Who render the discernment of Catholic names in the lists more and more difficult. No one, at rate, should miss Mgr. E. Dewey, V.G.. the Senior Catholic Naval Chaplain, who receives the C.B.E. The wellknown veteran M.P.. Alderman D. G. Logan also receives the same honour. Sir Michael McDonnell, whose career in the Colonial Service has been eminent, is promoted to the K.B.E. Among many Colonial honours which sound Catholic, I can discern for certain Professor Bernard Heine, who becomes a Knight Bachelor. The Professor married the daughter of Sir David Hennessy, Catholic Lord Mayor of Melbourne. A parishioner of St. Bonaventura's, Bristol, Miss Margaret Gilvary has received the M.B.E. for educational services. Mr. A. E. Slater, who has been 30 years at the Air Ministry. receives a C.B.E., and Dr. W. Barry, of St. Ninian's School, an O.B.E. Lastly I should like to mention General Sir William Morgan's G.C.B., since he has always shown himself a friend to us and has on occasion contributed to our columns. Congratulations all.

The Gloomy View A LEARNED correspondent in Paris, who is very knowledgeable about international affairs, points out to me in a letter the following statistics. According to him 450 million Chinese will soon pass under Communist domination, to be followed in a year or two by 144 million South-Asiatics, from Burma to the Philippines. Add to these 197 million Russians and 96 million of their willy-nilly European satellites, and you get 887 million men in the hands of Moscow.As all these people have a high birthrate, we must expect in due course 1,000 million under Moscow, or dose on half the world. This might be described as the New Year's gloomy thought. The Case of the Rev. W. Witcutt THE Press has inevitably given a great deal of prominence to the news that the Rector of St. Anne's, Wappenbury, Fr. W. Witcutt has been readmitted into the Anglican communion after 23 years in the Catholic Church. It is perhaps a little surprising to hear that he has been accepted as an Anglican curate since, if our memory serves, there has been reluctance for a good many years in accepting such cases for an active Anglican ministry. Fr. Witcutt has been described as " one of the leading writers of philosophy in the Catholic Church in Britain," wbich is a little inaccurate. He is in fact the author of two books, Catholic Thought and Modern Psychology and Blake.: A Psychological Study. The published reason for his grave action is his " dislike for the rigidity of the Roman Catholic Church." He is possibly not the only Catholic who does not personally like this "rigidity ": but only a very exceptional person would consider that such an objection has anything much to do with the validity of the Church's claims.

A case like this must cause profound regret to other Catholics, but it is an individual case whose full explanation is known only to God, and we look upon it not so much as a scandal as a case calling for Catholic prayer. Though it may sound worse to the general public. an epostacy from Catholicism to Anglicanism is surely less grave than the very much commoner case of an apostacy to irreligion and agnosticism.

The Mission House at Home

VERY appropriately on the feast

• of St. Thomas of. Canterbury. the patron of the secular clergy in England. I paid my first visit to the Mission House in Hampstead, %here Fr. Heenan is making his preparations for the great Mission of 1949. At night 1 found the house with some difficulty, and after peering at the numbers of neat bourgeois houses of the district, 1 had not somehow expected a large house in its own grounds. But after being in it a short time 1 realised that the scale of work being tackled by Fr. Heenan involves a headquarters of this type.

Intensive Preparations THERE are now seven priests " working together on the project, and they are looked after by four cheerful and indefatigable Franciscan Sisters, The large rooms seemed to be littered with the correspondence involved in Fr. Heenan's universal invitation to the priests of the country to participate in this great Mission. As for the seven priests, they arc preparing themselves by two months of prayer, study and special lectures. What puzzled me ..was how the vast expenses of this work were being met. Fr. Heenan gave me a few details, but what these details amount to is that the Fathers believe this to be a good work and look to Almighty God to see that sufficient fund* are forthcoming.

Fr. Basset's " AU Sorts"

' EADERS accustomed to look for

Fr. Basset's column above this one must not jump to the conclusion that it has been thrown away with the faults of the old year. On the contrary, it appears on page 3, and will continue to appear there. In spirit Fr. Basset is the youngest of priests, and what we hope is the youthful spirit of THE CATHOLIC HERALD would be much weakened but for his " All Sorts " which stands alone in its glory.

Sermon Report IN1 a New Year resolution sermon

I heard last Sunday the preacher seemed to roe admirably to put a point that must be difficult to get over. After having disposed of us

sinners and exhorted us to amendment, he turned to those who seemed never to have any sins to confess. The preacher, who had already embarked on various marine 'similes, explained that not less dangerous to a ship than the rocks and heavy seas was the fungus which gradually adhered to the hull when it lay idle or was long becalmed. The application of the fungus analogy to those who never seemed to themselves to commit any sins was not difficult to draw.

Priest's Arms NOTES and Queries asks, in reference to ecclesiastical heraldry, what the authority is for the numbers of tassels on the arms of the clergy; and also why our Catholic prelates substitute the ecclesiastical hat for the mitre above their arms? In such circumstances I naturally consult my invaluable reference book, the Catholic Encyclopaedia. As usual, I discover lots of points of interest, for example, that ecclesiastical heraldry is very debased and has brought heraldry into grave disrepute and hopeless confusion. (Here is a topic on which anti-clericals can safely let off steam 1)

As for the tassels, the numbers used are according to the system

recognised in Rome "—a cardinal 30; an archbishop 20; a bishop 12. As for ordinary priests. they should only have two, but " following on the ecclesiastical habit of taking the next higher emblem than was proper " (I quote from the Encyclopaedia), four tassels are now usual. As for the use of the ecclesiastical hat, I find nothing except that the use of the hat became more and more general as time went, the red for a cardinal going back to the 14th century, green for a bishop and black for an ordinary priest, For the New Year BE this all labour on my part, Be this all Tonging till I die— To see Truth with a single eye, To love Truth with a single heart.

Edmund Esdaile.


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