Discretion of Bishops Allowed by Holy, See
Sp ,—With regard to the decision of the S. Congregation of Rites in 1922, I think that it is incorrect to sum it up as "an approbation dressed in an exhortation to prudence which demands nothing more than the prevention of disorder."
The true summary of this important decree is given by the able compilers of the index, the Authentic Interpretations to the Code, issued from the Vatican Press in 1935, as follows: " It is best that the Faithful assisting at Mass should not make the
responses in place of the server." The actual words in the Latin are: "Non expedit ut fideles Sacro adstantes simul respondeant, loco ministri. sacerdoti celebranti."
In fact the Supreme Authority in the Church, instead of positively approving the practice., merely tolerates it. The Holy See, having explained its own opinion, leaves the matter in the power of the Bishops. The reason it gives against the practice is that it confuses and disquiets not only the celebrant but also the assisting laity; in consequence there is danger that the rubrics of the Mass are not properly performed as well as the Holy Sacrifice itself.
Most interesting is this Decree emanating from the S. Cong. of Riles as it shows how loath is the Holy See to impede the powers of Bishops to rule their own Dioceses. There are occasions when the " Missa Dialogata," as it is called, may be very profitable; for example, when organised bodies, such as soldiers, assist at Mass. or when a special effort is needed to keep the attention of those who assist; but the mind of Rome is clear when it advises the Bishops: " Quapropter expedit, ut servetur praxis communis, ut in simili casu pluries responsum est."
Sm—May I be allowed to protest against the article " Anti-Semitism " in the current issue of your paper? It strikes me as being all the more mischievous for its pretence of being moderate and reasonable. Beginning with a general condemnation of AntiSemitism, it goes on to enunciate the stock arguments of the " moderate " Anti-Semite in a way which is calculated to arouse suspicion of the unfortunate Jewish people in the minds of their hitherto well-disposed fellow-citizens.
To say that " Jews as a whole stand for certain disruptive influences " is unfair and untrue, as anyone who associates much with Jews can tell you. No doubt there are dangerous and "disruptive" Jews, but the vast majority are perfectly harmless. There arc also dangerous and disruptive Gentiles! Let us keep our " warnings " and "severe measures " for those persons, of whatever race, who deserve them, and refrain from casting suspicion on one race in particular.
You say that " when they are successful they tend to control a country internationally by the wealth which they gather." It is the old story of "Jew financiers." But let us think of the matter without prejudice. Are the financiers who " control a country internationally " all Jews? And, granted that many of them are, what is it that has led to so many Jews becoming financiers? History gives us the answer; the centuries during which Jews were excluded from most honourable professions; the fact that Christians, while despising them, were only too willing to avail themselves of their money-lending activities; the greed of rulers who would only protect this oppressed race in return for money; all this forced them into finance. as it were, and the tendency thus fostered still remains.
Again you say that " when they are unsuccessful they easily become the leaders and disseminators of international revolutionary doctrines." And again I ask, insofar as this is true, why is it so? Obviously because they are, and have been, everywhere more
or less persecuted and disliked. At the present time, I know, many of our poorer London Jews are turning Red "; and I know also the reason it is entirely because of the persecution of Jews by the Nazis. Our Jews, like so many others today, are inclined to think of the world as rapidly dividing into two opposed camps—Fascist and Communist; and as they see Fascists in at least one country persecuting Jews—and signs of similar tendencies in the Fascists of other countries, including our own— they naturally tend to join the camp opposed to Fascism. It is for a similar reason that most Catholics support Franco —because Franco's opponents persecute Catholics.
Anti-Semitism, however moderate. is in my opinion a far greater danger to the world than any Jews are. But worse still is the fact (which I see and deplore almost daily) that its prevalence among professing Christians is ever driving Jews away from Christ—making them unwilling even to consider the possibility of the truth of Christianity, to read a Catholic book or paper, or even to take notice of the Pope's pronouncements on social questions.
37, Brook Green, W.6.
[The pbraee " Jews as a whole " may have been misleading. It was not intended to ipean " most Jews," but Jews who get talked about, Jews in the news. The point of the article was to distinguish between Jews as individuals and the control of such Jewish
disruptive tendencies as may exist. Our correspondent seems to admit that they do exist.—EDITOR. I
Sue—I cannot help connecting two subjects which have been so ably discussed in your columns—the representation of Our Lady, and the persecution of the Jews, However beautiful representations of Our Lady may be. they are not really true unless they represent her as the noblest of Jewesses.
May not the lack of such representations have been a factor in the development of that frame of mind which connives at such horrors?
J. E. S. Secrna.
,The Bungalow, Palace Road, Ripon.