Page 6, 8th July 1938

8th July 1938
Page 6

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Organisations: Select Committee
Locations: Bath, Cleveland, Rome


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A Defence of Orthodoxy SIR,—Fr. Martin D'Arcy recently gave a series of wireless talks on Reason and Religion, in which he pointed out that the present decay of reason was responsible for the cult of unorthodox " cures " and belief in every sort of irrational and magic remedy.

The two letters in the current issue of the CATHOLIC HERALD illustrate this admirably. Mrs. Angel has much criticism of doctors. Doctors cannot be infallible, any more than other professions. Diagnosis cannot always be made at a glance. Perhaps Mrs. Angel did not give any of her round dozen of doctors a reasonable chance of investigating her case.

Her letter is an admirable example of argument from the particular to the general. Mr. Clark propounds an unorthodox theory of disease based on nerve-pressure from spinal displacement. Unfortunately evidence of spinal displacement is not shown in any X-ray examination. As a radiologist, I can personally say that never once in a very extensive experience have I seen such a displacement. The theory of chiropractice came first. The facts are conveniently ignored.

Is not the crux of the matter this? Orthodox medicine is based on scientific study of all the observed facts of disease. Nothing is postulated which cannot be proved by scientific methods. We as Catholics believe in reason and rational proof. Doctors are quite prepared to accept any new discovery, wherever it comes from, provided a case is made out at the bar of reason. The recent proceedings before a Select Committee on the proposed Bill to legalise osteopathy, showed that the claims of this " cult " could not be substantiated for a minute before an impartial lay tribunal. As Catholics we believe in reason. Orthodoxy is the only rational system of medicine. Doctors are not infallible, but that does not invalidate the system. All other systems have failed to establish any rational ideas underlying them.



SIR,—With all due deference to Fr. Simcox, one fails to sec that there is a conflict between the two methods of dealing with the Church and the Bible before the sixteenth century. Surely they are complementary.

The Church permitted Bibles in the vernacular, but did not wish them to be scattered broadcast, so that they should get into the hands of excitable and shallowthinking people who would put false interpretations on the sacred text. Unless Sir Thomas More is set aside, because his statements do not suit the theories of some non-Catholic scholars, it seems clear that there was an accurate English translation, as distinct from the Wycliffite, but that it was read only by those lay people to whom the Bishops saw fit to entrust it.

Henry VIII's open Bible was in a very different case. being an inaccurate translation which was set up in churches, a few years after the break from Rome, to be misinterpreted by any lapsed or illinstructed Catholic who chose to read or listen to it.

Non-Catholic scholars cannot be expected to understand the Church's guardianship of the Scriptures because they do not see that she is the Divine Teacher.

KATHARINE CHOLMELEY. 8, Cleveland Place East, Bath.

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