Page 2, 8th July 1949

8th July 1949
Page 2
Page 2, 8th July 1949 — RELIGIOUS TOLERATION
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RELIGIOUS TOLERATION

Sweden and Spain

Sm,-Dr. Halliday Sutherland mentions, in your paper, the restrictions which have, so far, been applied to non-Lutherans in Sweden. As a Nonconformist, I object to these restrictions just as much as any Catholic does. Those restrictions are now being abolished, according to the "Dissenter Bill " which is now before the Swedish Parliament. This Bill will put the Catholic and Nonconformist Churches on an almost equal level with the Lutherans.

It is, however, not quite correct to compare those. limitations to those existing in Spain against the Protestants. A Lutheran pastor in Sweden has until now been the Registrar of births, marriages and deaths in his parish. He has therefore been the only person able to give certificates about age, etc. All this is now being altered, according to the " Dissenter Bill "-which incidentally also permits the setting up of monasteries and convents. Catholics and Nonconformists are equally satisfied with the new Bill.

Mr. lribarren gives a list of Protestant schools in Spain. This list shows that there is in Madrid only one elementary school with 12 pupils-in a population of 1,250.000. The address of that school is given as Bravo Murillo 85. If Mr. Mbarren takes a look at that huge building, he will see that it Was intended for educating about a thousand

pupils. The greater part of that educational establishment is therefore still closed. Mr. iribarren mentions also one address at the Colatrays. The Protestant school in that street is still closed.

If Mr. Reales wants to test the efficiency of the Spanish Customs authorities, I would advise him to purchase a few copies of the Spanish Bible from the British and Foreign Bible Society and take them with him in his luggage.

abets Hems-mom. 37 Dunstan Road, N.W.11.

Ste,-May I add a footnote to Dr. Halliday Sutherland's letter on the Swedish journalist and Spain? At the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod the Spanish choirs and dancers won all hearts by their intelligence and charm and beat all competitors by their grace and accomplishments. One remark, however, was passed on among them with shocked surprise,-the remark of a Scandinavian to a Spanish girl: " But you are an educated people; we were told you were not educated."

At these International Eisteddfodau one is struck by the patriotism of the Catholics of the different countries. A Welsh scholar described this healthy nationalism as only an extension of the Fourth Commandment. Sometimes in E.V.W. camps one is a little exasperated when the workers prefer a benevolent neutral who doesn't speak any of their languages to a chaplain of another nationality who does. But this nationalism, as well as the Faith, is a force with which the Atheistic International has to contend. It does so by founding national Churches and reviving the charge that was made against our Martyrs,-that they were being condemned not for refusing to bend the Will of God to suit man's desires, but because they " interfered in politics."

P. J. SHANNON. Catholic Presbytery, Llangollen, N. Wales,




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