INDUSTRIALISM AND THE CHURCH Can a Worker Serve God ?
Sitto—There is one aspect of the industrial question which those opposed to the system never do consider nor explain fully and I would very much' like an answer to one question. Is there any quality inherent in the system which makes it impossible,
or very difficult, for an industrial worker to attain to the object for which lie NUS created, viz., the knowing, loving and serving God, of becoming a virtuous man? That eppears to me to al:. the whole and the only question and elf, analyses of what the Industrial System ie. of what are its ends, all talk about hualan dignity, the expression of human personality and so on seem to be so very much beside the point. If we are to take Our Lord in His Humanity and the Saints as our exemplars I am not aware that lie or they worried very much about their dignity and His and their tnesonality seems to have expressed itself not in deeds but in a mode of existence.
With fifteen years' experience in the Shoe Trade and of conditions in an industrial town I know of no reason why a factory worker should not live a good Christian life, because so many of them do, and, if religion is at a low ebb among factory operatives and their families, to argue that it is an effect proceeding from the cause of industrial conditions appease to me tp he an entire fallacy. It would he possible to produce all the shoes requited in this sountry in a working week. of forty hours, under good conditions. with ample holidays, leaving every evenihg and Saturday and Sunday entirely free for the operative to stand upon his dignity or to express his personality among his cabbages or at the local as so many of them, again, do.
I assume all of your correspondents are solely concerned with the re-Chrietianization of life in England and this appears to he something quite unrelated to conditions of work, methods of production or motives of profit. Rather I would suggest that the cause lies in the loss of belief in God, lack of teaching of the Christian story, and an absence of grace through the non-frequentation of the Sacraments. English life and customs are pagan because English people are not Catholics, and do not receive grace through prayer and the Sacraments. It seems quite simple and, if it is true, may I suggest that the efforts of the lay apostle arid of the Oasts should all be devoted to the constructive work of re-Christianizing England rather than the destructive work of criticising England? The war is doing quite enough in the way of destruction not only with bombs among buildings but also in
ideas and complacency. It is all to the good, hut we Catholics have also got to realize that it is we and we alone who can construct the new City of God. If all the enthusiasm which undoubtedly exists could be harnessed in the movement of the Sword of the Spirit we could sweep England from end to end and, havitig brought back God and Our Lord and Our Lady back to the land, we could Christianize the social question out of existence. Here is a Movement to hand with fine leaders and the sanction and blessing of our Church. Is it impussihle to find unity of action within it or has Truth so many facets that even the Sword of the Spirit is suspect to some?
T. S. MANN.
I, Greenfield Avenue, Northampton.
Definition of Industrialism
SIR,—Tbe excellent letter of Dr. Cecil Gill, with its definition of Industrialism is most opportune although the definition quoted by Fr. Marshall previously is sound as far as it goes.
May I suggest a more consolidated definition which will embrace both, eliminate a weakness in the definition by Dr. Gill and will indicate wherein the evils lie, of which Fr. Burke rightly complains. Industrialism is the manifestation of an Attitude of mind towards labour, and, theoretically at any rate, the State for the Public Good as distinct from The Common Good. A corporate body, for " economic " good, or an individual for private good may use industrialism without consideration of profit as a motive, without industrialism being any the less evil.
I suggest then that Industrialism may be defined as " The disregard or subservience of the person as the prime factor in labour," primacy being given to " economic," mathematical, mechanical and other factors in judging the perfection or the work or process.
The result of this is that specialist intelligence becomes dominant as opposed to the dominance of virtue.
On Dr. Gill's note 2, I would suggest that the word labour should be given its eortect place and dignity. Horses, machines' and natural forces wore, wherein is no dignity. Labour is personal, and man when actin in accordance with his nature labours. wherein is dignity.
These suggestions are not put forward as being destructive of Dr. Ellis's definition but as an attempt to consolidate it.
Folders Lane, Burgess Hill, Sussex.
Facts and Principles
SIB,—Evidently " Machine Tool Maker " has not followed this correspondence from the beginning, otherwise he would not have made many of the points he does, or at any rate not in the way he does. I do not think that either yourself or your readers would allow me to insert do capo into the score at this stage.
On one point, however, I may be allowed a word. . Generalisations on industrialism are only entirely valid when they are in
terms of principle. Its complications preclude generalisations on fact purporting to cover the whole range. For example, neither my point nor " Machine Tool Maker's " would apply exactly to Textile operations.
This correspondence began in terms or principle, but at an early stage Mr. Benvenisti announced that he had blue prints thrown at him with instructions to turn out twenty-five of whatever it was before lunch. Naturally I pursued the argument from the wide-spread types of lighter engineering sug
gested by this statement. Whatever Mr. Benvenistas gadgets are, I feel sure that he does not make twenty-five " large propeller shafts or crank-shafts " before lunch.
Remarkably few people make large propeller shafts and crank-shafts at all, and whatever be our views on industrialism, they can only be justified (or be of interest) in your columns when they can be shown to be characteristic of the processes imposed on a decisive number of participants. In that sense my generalisation stands, In that sense " Machine Tool Maker's dues not.
It is also pertinent to say that machine tool makers are the aristocrats of inch'strialism. They gut what jam there may be in that. infernal brew. But one does not observe. in this or any other dismission, that the automatic hands and press workers make impassioned defences of their work. They are the great majority of the souls engaged.
Weeford Cottage Hill, Sutton Goldfield.
A Spiritual Remedy
Sts,--What I wish Mr. Benvenisti could see is that since man, as man, is suffering, as a result of our present system, in that part of him that is most important, namely, the spiritual sphere, the remedy for our social ills must be a spiritual remedy; that spiritual remedies involve self-sacrifice, that we must learn, therefore, to accept, at least in theory, the idea of civjhisation hetert of its " comforts " in order to become more human. We must, that is to say, accept the primacy of the spiritual and work from that as a principle. To attempt to view the Church's reaching in the light of economic facts is not only the reversal of the proper order of things, it is to ignore the causes of our present distress.
Let me throw into the balance the weight ot a judgment far inure telling than any of mine could ever be. " It is the opinion of some, and the error is already very common, that the social question is merely an economic one, whereas, in point of fact, it is first of all a moral and religious matter, and for that reason its settlement is to be sought mainly in the moral lase and the pronouncements of religion." Pope Leo XIII, Graves de Commit'''. January 18, 1901.
(Rev.) .1. A. V. BURKE.
SIR,—It seems to me that the letters you have received from critics of Catholie Convent education, though they may Amain certain truths, also contain most unreasonable generalisations, while all fail to consider the point that convent schools must fall in with the present educational and social system. Moreover, from reading these letters the thought struck me that the fundamental argument of the critics (though they are all unaware or it) is to say that the main fault of Lowdent education is that their ideals are too high.
" They try to surpass other schools in the number of their successes." Since the educational system of this country is based on the School Certificate and Higher School examinations surely this attitude must raise or, at least, keep up the standard of Catholic girls' education. In any case it cannot be said that it is the convents which are here at fault; it is rather the whole attitude of this country towards education.
" They cater for the elite, and breed snobbishness." This is an old criticism of convents. On this point 1 would like to suggest that the ,number of snobbish schools among Catholic girls' convents is very much lower than among the vast number of private and semi-private vaguely religious or non-religious schools in England. If there were no snobbishness among Catholic parents there would be no demand for this type or school.
I do not mean to say that there is no room for improvement anywhere. Far from it. We would wish our convents to be the finest girls' schools in the country, and our ideals with regard to the education of our children cannot be too high. But mere prejudice and a refusal to consider circumstances will help vneenitthser the cause of education nor the crew
Finally 1 would like very much to be allowed to expiess in your paper my debt to a convent education. Both as a schoolgirl and as a lay-teacher in three different convents in three different parts of England I can say that I personally disagree entirely with both criticisms. And the very real and Warm Chrislian courtesy I have owl with in working with nuns has given me a deep respect for these despised convents.
BRENDA M. DUNCOMBE, B.A., Oxon. Norcot, Sanderstead. Surrey.
A Man's. View
Sta,—May a man, please, contribute a small note?
I send my children to a convent because am sure that they will be taught to be good Catholics. My Protestant friends send their daughters because they are sure that the children will be taught what is right and will be preserved from what is wrong.
The degree of education may be plus or minus as compared with other schools but the certainty of right prevailing over wrong is the reason why Catholics and pagans send teeir children to convents. Catholics nave a " pluS " here, their duty, which is an example quickly followed by their non Catholic friends.
My wife is not a Catholic. In fact, she is bitterly opposed, but when consulted by an atheist friend tog:offing the education of the atheist children, my wife advised the convent. These two atheist children are now in charge of the nuns and are two very likely souls for God, Let us thank God for giving us Convents —the remaining aact growing oasis of Christ's love in children's young lives, and let us pray for the sweet and charitable women who devote their lives l'or our babies, G. I. LLOYD. Windsor 1109se, 83, Kingsway,
SIR, — Miss Dorothy Macardle is widely reported in the West of England to have stated in her recent lecture to the Co-operative Workers' Educational Association at Bristol that " Ireland is neutral and is strictly maintained as such." Then she added : " and any breach of this has to be confessed to a priest."
What does she mean by this?
III does not make nruch difference what she means by it as it is nonsense.—EDITOR, C.H.1
SOLDIERS AND PRAYER BOOKS
SIR.—During the last year I have attended Mass in many different churches throughout the British isles, and always I have noticed that only a negligible number of the soldiers and airmen bad prayer books.
If the civilian members of the congregations contributed a penny each, an ample supply of the excellent C.T.S. Prayer Books for Soldiers could be provided in the Church porch, to be borrowed by the Services on entering the Church, and returned after Mass.
C. M. ROBERes. 48. Bishops Mansions, London, S.W.6.
U.S.S.R. AND RELIGION
Sta,-1 fully endorse your Russian correspondent's opinion that no appreciable change in the Soviet Government general attitude towards religion had taken place during recent years in spite of the introduction of the socalled " Stalin Constitution " which gave, on paper, some rights of worship to the believers.
There is ample evidence of that in the
Soviet official Press and reports. Writing on the occasion of the 21st anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution, Bezhozhnii (No. 10, October, 1938) boasted that during these years the Communists " smashed up and suppressed Servitors of religious cults, bearers of religious ideology," and thus cleared away the obstacles for the movement " forward. towards the complete victory of Communism on the Globe."
Komsomol Pravda (December 23, 1938) reported that in connection with the general elections to the Supreme Soviet or the U.S.S.R. the Norkonivnudel (OGPU) " liquidated a considerable number of counter-revolutionary elements amongst
servitors of religion." The paper asserted that owing to this lirmidetion many churches were closed.
Red Gazette (October 27, 1938) published a report of a trial, by the criminal department of the Leningrad provincial court, of seven young peasants who were accused of reading the Scripture at their private meetings and of holding discussions of religious matters. The accused were found guilty and six of them were sentenced to ten years' and (Joe to eight years' imprisonment with hard The Soviet administrative practice is that the reading of the Scripture is permitted only in the registered churches •and only during the divine services. I have in my files several other clippings from the Soviet papers where similar cases of prosecution of people for reading the Scripture outside the churches are reported. For instance, 12 peasants belonging to the sect of Sabbatharians were severely punished for reading the Bible and for the observation of Jewish and Christian holidays (Bezbozhnik, November 21, 1938).
Soviet Justice (No. 23/24, December, 1938) reported that many Muslem mullahs and Jewish rabbi were prosecuted in the courts for performing the rite or circumcision on the male children of their co-religionists. As there is no clause in the Soviet Criminal Code forbidding this operation, the accused were dealt with under the clause which punishes illegal abortions!
I have in my tiles many clippings from the Soviet papers in which similar cases of religious prosecution and persecution during recent years are reported, and I should be glad to place this evidence at the dispose! of His Grace, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is reported to have said that " in recent years the Soviet Government had abandoned some of the mistaktes of its earlier regime."
ANATOLE V. BAIKALOPP.
ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST'S RELICS
SIR,—In your " Shorts " (issue of October 24) you say that the relics of St. John the Evangelist are presumably at Ephesus where
he died a natural death, Fr. Rawes in The Beloved Disciple (Berns and Oates) maintained the bodily Assumption of the Saint, partly on the ground of there being no primary relics. (vid. Cornelius a Lapide on St. Matthew ; account of the resurrection of many O.T. Saints at the Crucifixion.)
Fr. Rawes maintains that if any primary relics of St. John were to be found they would be at St. John Lateran. There are three secondary relics of his: the cup in which poison was offered to him, a coat which belonged to him and a piece of chain
with which he was bound. Further, he adduces the belief of such saints as St. Hippolytus and St. John of Damascus that St. John was living in the body with Enoch and Elijah and would come back with them in the days of Anti-Christ. St. Peter Damien believed in the Assumption of St. John, and Cornelius a Lapide wrote of St. Thomas Aquinas Joannetn resurrexisse pie quorpre opinotur Divus Thomas. As Fr. Rawes says, "A pious opinion of St. Thomas is to be treated with all respect."
A. If. BAYERsroce.
26, Mansfield Road, Reading.
AUSTRIAN CHRISTIAN SOCIALISTS
SIR,—The Association of Austrian Chriselan Socialists in Great Britain has been founded by Austrians, now in this country, who were members of the Christian Social Party in Austria.
The Christian Socials were the political backbone of Austria though they are, for many reasons, inadequately represented in numbers among the Austrian emigres in this country. Their leaders included Mgr. SeipeI, Dollfuss and Schuschnigg and the Christian Social Early programme is even to-day backed by roost of the best elements in Austria, including peasants, craftsmen, former members of Christian Trade Unions and Catholic intellectuals.
Membership of the Association of Austrian Christian Socialists in Great Britain is open to all those in the United Kingdom who accept the principles of the farmer Christian Social Party in Austria. These principles may be summarised as The abolishment of class hatred and class struggle; the establishment or social justice on the basis of democracy and improved economic conditions; the defence of Austria's independence and sovereignty and international co-operation, especially with Austria's neighbours in the Danube basis. The Association will welcome as patrons any persons who approve these principles and care to give it their support and help.
E. F. WEISS.
The Red House, Sedgeberrow. Evesham, Worcs,
A CHRISTIAN CHRISTMAS
Sill,—With the war running into its third year we think everybody will agree that it is more than ever important to bring home to the public—especially men and women serving in the Forces—the true meaning of Christmas.
To forward this very ideal we have again this year launched a special Campaign—a Campaign for a Christian Christmas.
We deplore the widespread use of nonChristian—one might easily say pagan Christmas Cards and so, to forward our Campaign we are once again printing our own Christian Christmas Cards.
Everyone is doine their hit these days for the great V Campaign—but we would beg your readers to help us in our C Campaign for Christian Christmas Cards. We should welcome any inquiries on the subject.
Miss C. GREVILLE, General Co-ordinating Secretary, C.A.G.O.
Acton Burnell Park, Shrewsbury,
NO ANII I.ENGLISH BIAS II Emigration Warning
SIR,—By a mistake, I understand, the misplacing of a square bracket in a recent Irish Letter made it seem as though I were responsible—and not the CATHOLIC HERALD—for the printing of some criticisms of Cardinal MacRory's address on emigration by Dr. Ashe. Had 1 deemed this criticism 10 have been sufficiently important to mention I would also have given the credentials of the critic who is in fact a noted campaigner against Catholicism.
Let she explain thanhe Hierarchy's warnings about the dangers of emigration have no such anti-English implication as such critics allege.
At all times, as every responsible Catholic knows, the clergy rightly deem it their duty
to warn parents against those dangers, and
deprecate any unnecessary movement of young people from a Catholic environment
and home influences, to non-Catholic and
pagan environment in cities over sea.
The CATHOLIC HERALD itself has published accounts of the disedifying environment into which our homeless exiles go, which gave offence by their frankness; but what it was right for an English Catholic paper to say cannot become wrong when it is solert,nly endorsed by Catholic churchmen.
The head of a Catholic college in Englend lamented some time ago the loss of most of his pupils to the practice of their religion, despite the English clergy's heroic efforts to preserve their flock from pagan influences of the time. The dangers surely are not less for young people who, as migrants, are removed from home observation and care as well as from the general aids of a Catholic environment.
Everyone knows that some of our migrants to a non-Catholic environment con tract mixed marriages, or cease the prac tice of the Faith; some even lose it altogether. I do not say how many or how few. If only one soul ceased practice of the Faith, through going unnecessarily from home, those who make little of the Church's warnings would incur the fearful condemnation in the Gospel of those who give scandal to the least of these little ones.
I should apologise to Cardinal MacRory for stating the obvious, were it not that His Eminence understands the need to do so, in a time of so much irresponsibility. In a word, therefore, let me say again that the Irish Hierarchy's warning against the dan gers inherent in emigration was dictated wholly by the spiritual anxiety of good shep herds of their flock, and not by any such political Motive as was imputed in the attack which has got mixed up with my contribution to a Catholic journal.
YOUR littsH CORRESPONDENT, Dublin.
Sta.—Thank you for publishing " R.A.P. Officer's " letter in your issue of October 31.
If his experiences are true in the officers' mess, where one may expect a fairly bright standard of intelligence and education, how Much more is it so in the Ranks, where we have so few " informed Catholics' and so many utter pagans? (More plain speaking, but, honestly, it's true.)
The Army system doesn't help, either.
Apart from the attitude to Church Parades (as distiact from Chtirch Parades, every encouragement is given to the gratification or sexual desires—by lectures, stressing the medical dangers, and offering an excellent service of treatment; and by official sales (through the P.R.1) of appliances designed to rid the sexual act of embarrassment or consequences. The idea is officially encouraged that there is nothing wrong in sexual licence, but it might have awkward effects, against which the Army offer every 'facility.
Faced with such a barrage, we need a strong " opposition." By " us " I mean Catholics; we can give definite reasons for our objections; few others can. But our " opposition " must be instructed. And that is surely a matter for our chaplains. Cle. argutnents call, and must, be put into simple form, leaving out, as far as possible, theo logical terms. " R.A.F. Officer's " point about " the right kind of priests, rightly trained," is very important here. In the event of a shortage of the right mind, could we not have " travelling missions " visiting a different unit each week? Catholic Newspapers and relevant C.T.S. pamphlets could be on show at the same time and personal problems dealt with by the Missioner.
The Infant Church converted the Mighty
Roman Empire. The Catholic Church in Britain, with its great heritage of Martyrs can, and will, by the Grace of God, bring our country back again to her rightful place as " Our Lady's Dowry." The Army of today contains the parents of the next generation. lolls through their Faith, their Hope, and their Charities that we shall conquer— not only Hitler, but ourselves.
I remain, sir, Yours faithfully in Christ, R. Sx,
A RUSSIAN FILM Sr,--I have just seen the much advertised Russian film, Alexander Nevsky, now at the Tatter News Theatre, at Charing Cross Road.
There are two principal villains, one is the Teutonic Grand Master and the other a Teutonic Bishop. There are also two Quislings. one of whom is, of course, a monk.
The Teutonic Bishop from time to time during the film, usually in connection with some piece of villainy, leers with hideous face at the audience and makes the Sign of the Cross. On one occasion there is a closeup of the Bishop's face hearing that expression of mingled cunning and despair _with which in Victorian days the villain of the play used to announce to the audience that his nefarious plot had failed. On the occasion of the close-up shot there was. I think, one somewhat self-conscious laugh from a woman in the front but generally the attitude of the audience appeared to be one of acute bewilderment.
It had been suggested to them recently that there was no Anti-Christian feeling in Russia and, although they could hardly have believed that entirely, it probably had never occurred to them that Christian sentiments would be outraged in a special film shown in Lonlion in this blatant way. At any rate the film will have served this useful purpose that it cannot have left its audience in any doubt as to the attitude of the Russian Government towards Christianity in general.
C. B. V. HEAD.
4, Edge Street, Kensington, W.8.
" WHAT SHALL I READ"
SIR.-1 would like to express my appreciation or the above series which you commenced in your issue dated October 24, 1941. It will form a very helpful guide to a large majority of your readers who look to you for such guidance.
But may I suggest to Stanley B. James that his first list ought to have included The Crisis of our Civilisation by H. Belloc?
FRANCIS B. DUTTON.
" Loreto." 80, Franklyn Avenue. Crewe.
(Letters continued in next column.)