London Catholic Bookshops THERE has been some hearthurning, • I hear, about the wide publicity given to one or two new Catholic bookshops in London First, there are others, Mr. Shearman has opened one in Homer Row. IVIarylebone Road, and plans to open another near Edgware Road, though his ventures, he tells me, are on the small scale. Second, some of the old-established boolsshops are in danger of being overlooked after their long and successful struggles. These, too, just because they have an old tradition and long experience often have books unobtainable elsewhere or know where to get them.
Bakers, in Charlotte Street, has been going for three generations and has in its time collected important libraries. Coldwells, of Red Lion Passage, Holborn, was burnt to the ground in one night and has risen again within a stone's throw in premises full of preRaphaelite ghosts. Mr. Caldwell is generally , considered the best man to find you the unfindable.
" wHY is it that in advertising in Catholic papers for vocations the male orders ask for " men and boys ' (or " youths ") but the female orders only require " young ladies "? Is this a class distinction? Would young gentlemen, women and girls be turned down?" Such are the questions put to me by a correspondent.
Presumably this is just another example of the refining process which has made the word e woman " almost rude. Somehow men have remained stouthearted enough to stand by their name and even to look rather askance at " gentleman," and especially " young gentleman:.
I suppose advertisements for vocations are necessary and not wholly undesirable, but have you ever seen the quantity and the wording to be found in some American Catholic papers? The wording in some cases would do Almost just as well for an invitation to gain as a chiropodist or a mannequin
Old Man Gloom wHEN 1 went into our office after the issue of last week's paper, I found the wall decorated with a bold picture of " Old Man Gloom," our news editor's response to the letter on the subject we printed last week. To show our good-will. 1 print the picture. The odd thing is that I would take a bet that few newspaper offices in the country possess a more uniformly cheerful and light-hearted staff. If the times are gloomy, and we feel obliged to say so, we certainly do not let the old man affect us personally too much—and thst. I suggest. is the right way for our readers to take our columns. There can be inner joy in the midst of outer darkness. Still, O.M.G. will remind us to try to impart more cheerfulness.
Catholics and Animals A MONO my valued correspondents is Miss Frieda Le Pia, who, being deaf and blind, takes the trouble to have parts of this paper Brailled. She is, like so many of our readers, not a Catholic. She is an ardent pacifist and a great lover of animals and children. I am afraid that much which appears in our columns is not wholly to her liking. And now she has teken the trouble to write and publish a pamphlet, Are Animals Given an 4fter14.ie? (People's Dispensary for Sick Animals of the Poor, 14, Clifford Street, W.I., price Is.), in answer to a reply given by our theologian to the question: ' How do we know that animals have not got souls?"
Her answer is a little strange, because she by-passes this question, except for an appenilix and argues three points on which every Catholic would agree with her. namely. that animals can feel, love and respond to love (quite how. and in what sense. can, of course, be discussed); that they serve God and His universe by helping in the creation and preservation of beauty; and that they bring us closer to God. Her specific answer to out theologian is rather beside the point because he was using scholastic terminology and I am afraid Miss Le Pia knows nothing of it.
I recommend some pages of Sheila K. Smith's Kitchen Fugue for common sense, sympathy and Christian outlook on animals, their past, their present and their future.
In this connection I was interested
in the point made in this week's Tablet that the Holy Office has replied affirmatively to the questions: " Have animalS rights of any kind as against their masters and owners?" and " Does the floly Office hold it to be sinful to torture dumb animals?"
As Good as Itma WAS greatly looking forward test I week to the B.B.0 discussion on Picasso in which Professor Bodkin and Herbert Read were to cross swords, with a painter in the background to bring the critics back to earth. Unfortunately the B.B.C. chose a most inadequate chairman, and the lareument was a complete waste of half-anhour, unless indeed one treated it as an alternative to Itma! I should say that in these discussions it is quite essential that the chairman be as knowledgeable as the speakers, What would have happened but for Professor Bodkin's sense of humour, I cannot imagine. He was the only person present with any.
The Child's Judgment A FRIEND of mine took his young 4-1son. aged 9, to see the much-discussed Paul Klee exhibition at the National Gallery The boy summed it up as he left : " The drawing is like a child's; the colours are grown-up," An excellent judgment
Wise ant: Otherwise
"Then one walks out into Piccadilly Circus, and sees all the little molls, with their Ginger Rogers' hair-do, and no longer enough G.I.s to go round, and the pessimism of the Picassos at the Victoria and Albert seems at once something less than an understatement." —Simon Harcourt-.Bmith,