CATHOLICS DIVIDED Catholic Action Overshadowed
From Our Belgian Correspondent Next Sunday's Brussels by-election will cause Belgian Catholics some sorrow. It stages the saddening split between two groups of excellent Catholics.
According to M. Van Zeeland and his supporters, the stake in this election is the Regime. Its fate, and that of the Belgian Constitution, hang in the balance.
Unfortunately this electoral welter hides the admirable movement of Catholic Action and activity of which Belgium is the scene and which the Press has now little space to record. I refer particularly to the Congress of the International Union of Catholic Feminine Leagues, held for three days in Brussels and attended by Cardinal Van Roey, and Bishop Myers of Westminster.
It is a sign that beneath all this political confusion there runs a strong current of effort and hope for the continued Christian and Catholic well being of Belgium.
Degrelle and Catholic Action
Perhaps the clearest view of the Catholic Party support of M. Van Zeeland is that given by the Antwerp Senator, M. Temmerman, in his address to the Brussels electors.
Referring to the clamour of the Resist Press for the " Overthrow of the Regime" in recent months,Senator Temmerman said: " Thus, in this election, the Regime is at stake.
" Now, the Regime under which we have lived for over a century is one of wide liberty and true tolerance. If this Regime be removed, it can be replaced only by a Regime of absolute authority, i.e., a Dictatorship."
With undeniable sincerity—for which, having known him so long, I can vouch— M. Temmerman continued: " Descending from the serene and sublime heights of Catholic Action ' where the levers of control had been entrusted to him and where lay open to him a vast field of action, blinded by his insatiable pride, he snatched at the political quarry, thus betraying the confidence of his chiefs and the fidelity of his adherents."
" And in his desertion—for such it was— he has pillaged even the Rally Call of 'Catholic Action.' that Call of Faith and Show of Triumph of Christ the King! Christus Vincit."
"Adopting this impelling invocation for his new Party, he has scandalously mutilated it, stripping it of all its beauty, grandeur and force, leaving hare but the affirmation, brazen and pagan. totalitarian and dictatorial—Rex Vincit!"
Leon Degrelle defends himself and his party views, exclaiming: " If the Government has chosen the route to Socialism and revolution it is not through the fault of Rex. On the contrary, at the last elections we saved the country. Without us, it was the triumph of the Popular Front in Belgium."