Page 1, 8th October 1954

8th October 1954
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Page 1, 8th October 1954 — Holy Father tells World's doctors:
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Locations: Pretoria, Durban

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Holy Father tells World's doctors:

ALL-OUT 'ABC WAR'

UNDER RED FLAG

Is IMMORAL

Need for defence cannot justify annihilation

THE Holy Father declared last week that if "ABC" warfare—a war with atomic, bacteriological (germ) and chemical weapons—involves such an extension of evil that it completely escapes human control, then its use, even in defence, must be rejected as immoral.

"In a case like this," said His Holiness, "there can be no question of 'defence' against injustice and of necessary 'safeguarding' of lawful possessions."

"It is a case of pure and simple annihilation of all human life within the range of the war-like action. No reason can be adduced to allow this."

The Holy Father was addressing the delegates attending the congress of the World Medical Association. They had asked His Holiness to speak on the ethical problems of medicine, with particular reference to the conduct of the doctor in ABC warfare and experiments on human beings.

"That the doctor has a privileged part to play during war is clear enough," said the Pope. Never more urgently than then is he called upon to tend and to heal soldiers and civilians, friends and enemies.

'No doubt whatever..'

"The doctor must be protected by the natural law which bids him intervene when his help is required, just as it also guarantees him the protection of international conventions.

"But has the doctor also a part to play in the course of the working out, the perfecting, the developing of the means of modem warfare, particularly of atomic, bacteriological and chemical warfare?

-This question cannot be answered without answering another : Is total war, is modern war, is ARC war, licit in principle?

"There can be no doubt whatever, in the light of the horrors and immense sufferings caused by modern warfare, that to start such warfare without a just motive—that is, a war forced on a defendant through an evident and very ,grave injustice (indeed, an inevitable war)—constitutes a crime to be punished by severe national and international sanctions.

It is no even possible to pose in principle the question of the permissibility of this ABC war except in cases when it must be deemed indispensable for self-defence in the conditions just noted.

"But even in those circumstances, every means must he tried, through international arrangements, to avoid such a war. and to restrict its use through limits sufficiently clear and narrow to ensure that its effects arc no more than the strictest needs of self-defence."

Medical abuses After stating the principles about modern warfare, the Pope referred to the medical experiments and abuses which have been brought into public notice through post-war trials.

"It is easily understood," said His Holiness, "that research and practical medicine cannot do without some sort of experimenting on the living man, but it is necessary to know the conditions, limits, obstacles and decisive basic principles of such work.

"In desperate cases, where the patient would die if no intervention is made and when some cure, some means, some operation exists which. without excluding every danger. still has a certain possibility of success, a right and reflective mind will at once admit that a doctor can, with the Continued on page

Act to perotuate apartheid policy

THE Hierarchy of South Africa, meeting in Pretoria, have expressed their determination to retain, at whatever cost, control of the 790 Catholic Bantu mission schools with their 120,000 boys and girls.

Under the Muth African Gov ernment's Bantu Education Act the religious bodies have to pass over to he Government the schools they have built or main tain them entirely at their own expense.

In view of the poverty of the missions the Bishops have taken

what is regarded as an heroic decision.

The Act has been described as the gravest challenge to the Church's missionary endeavour in the history of the country.

The Bishops met in Pretoria after the Minister of Native Affairs, Dr. 14. F. Verwoerd, had made it clear that no exception to the Act would he made in favour of Catholic mission schools.

The 790 Catholic schools have 2.333 African and European teachers and religious. About 2,000 of them are Africans drawing modest salaries.

In addition, Catholics have six teachers' training colleges.

The resolution

Archbishop Damian°, Apostolic Delegate to South Africa, presided at the Hierarchy's meeting. The chairman was Archbishop Hurley, O.M.L. of Durban.

In their resolution, which was submitted to the Minister of Native Affairs. the Bishops made the following points:

1. The Catholic Church "has a• right to possess and conduct its own schools," which are an essential part of the Church's apostolate and Indispensable in the true and proper education of its children."

2. The Bishops "gravely fear that any Catholic institution entering the community school system cannot retain its Catholic character nor provide the kind of education that accords with our principles."

3. The Bishops declare it their duty to strive by all means in our power to provide Catholic schools for our Bantu children, even if this demands exceptional sacrifices of our devoted laity, religious and clergy."

The Bishops therefore resolved "that we retain our Catholic school huildings for our own purposes; that we embark on a vigorous and concentrated campaign to provide whatever education we can for our children by means of our own type of school.

Pastoral coming

"That in view of our conviction that parents have a right to a share in the benefits of public revenue so as to provide school facilities for their children and payment of the teachers, we apply for subsidies in terms of Section It of Act 47 of 1953.

That we permit our Catholic institutions in make available their premises as departmental training colleges, provided that the Church has a satisfactory measure of control in the academic department as well as over the hostel."

The Bishops announced that they would issue a pastoral in November explaining in greater detail the import of the resolution and calling for the full support of the faithful.

60,000 on mountain

Some 60,000 people attended Mass celebrated at the mountain-top sanctuary of Our Lady of Penha, near Guimaraes. in Portugal. A four-hour procession had made its way up the mountain paths from the town carrying the statue of Our Lady back to its shrine.




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