Japanese broadcasts are seeking to woo the missionaries to the " new order." Thus an official Japanese broadcast recently declared that the
" Catholic mission " of Hong Kong
had sent a message to certain missionaries in the Philippines expressing the hope that they would co-operate with the Japanese armies.
That this is pure propaganda is suggested by the fact that no person in Hong Kong would have any authority to instruct or advise missionaries in the Philippines. On the contrary some missionaries in Hong Kong are under the jurisdiction of Superiors in Manila.
Those familiar with the missions also say that this patently baseless broadcast is of the same nature as a palpably false report from Tokyo that the Archbishop of Matila and another Bishop pledged " whole-hearted co-operation " with the Japanese forces for the creation of a " new order " in East Asia.
It also has been observed that in recent official broadcasts, Japan's authorities have apparently been making serious efforts ta " play up " religions angles in a manner that is so exaggerated that the broadcasts are obviously stamped as no thing more than propaganda. An In stance was a recent broadcast alleging that 11.5. troops desecrated church property in the Philippines. Al the same tune, the Japanese radio has been stressing freedom of religion In Japan.
It seems at !Mt significant that no reports of any particular persecution of Catholics (other than bomb damage) have yet reached this country or the U.S.A.
Facts About Far East MISSIONS
Singapore is an area which counts same 60,000 Catholics and represents a promising field of Catholic missionary work.
The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd in Siegapore is the cathedral of the diocese of Malacca, of which Mgr. Adrian bevels, a member of the Paris Foreign Missions, is Bishop.
The De La Salle Brothers here have 1,300 boys in their schools, more than 1,000 of them Catholics and the majority Chinese. " The school receives State aid," he adds, " and there is no restriction whatever on the teaching of religion." Les Dames de St: Maur have a school in which there are 2,000 girl pupils, many of them Chinese.
With the choice of Java as the general headquarters of General Archibald Wavell, Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of the United Nations in the East, the flourishing Carmelite missions of the Vicariate Apostolic of Malang more than ever face the serious threat of total war.
Established in 1923 by the ecclesiastical division of the Vicariate or Batavia, the missions of Malang began with only three Carmelite Fathers and 46 Ursuline Sisters. Today the personnel numbers 30 Carmelite priests of the Dutch Province, 38 teaching Brothers, 152 Sisters and about 1130 catechists, all under the jurisdiction of Mgr. Avcrtanus Albers, 0. Cams., Vicar Apostolic and Titular Bishop of Tobna.
According to the latest available statistics, the Catholic population of about 14,000 souls is served by 13 parishes and 106 Mission Marione (nine of which have resident priests), 85 elementary schools and 15 secondary schools, five hospitals and three orphanages. Another school for about 500 students was schethiled to open this month.
The largest school has 1,100 pupils. Besides some 30 Catholic attivity groups, there are two periodicals in the Dutch language and One in the Javanese.
Facts About Far East MISSIONARIES
The Rev. Robert Cairns, M.M., long engaged in relief work in Canton and recently returned to his station in Sanciart Island, has been taken into custody by the Japanese. His present whereabouts is not known. This is the only news of the 185 Maryknoll missioners at work on the South China mainland.
All the Canadian missionaries in the Japanese Empire and in Manchukuo have remained in their missions. Up to the present assurances have been given by the Japanese Government as to their wellbeing, it was stated by the Quebec Foreign Mission Society, who have had official news.
While rejoicing in this happy news, the Society states there is still no word from the Canadian missionaries at Davao in the Philippines.
Practical proof that the religious and charitable work of the large body of American religious in South China still continues, despite the difficulties of the hour, is found in the cabled request for a .substantial amount of money which the national headquarters of the Maryknoll Society has just received from Mgr. Frederick A. Donaghy, MM., Vicar Apostolic of Wuchow.
Many of the 6,000 Catholic lepers on the island of Callon in the Philippines will die of starvation within a month urtl..,s the Japanese blockade of the colony is lifted. Fr. Hugh J. McNulty. Si., former chaplain of Culion, has declared. Father McNulty returned to the Stales in 1938, after having spent six years with the lepers " Within three months the entire food supply will be exhausted." he said.
More than ninety-five per cent. of the food used by the lepers in Cution is sent by ship from Manila, 180 miles away, explained Fr. McNulty. This food is dispensed to _lepers from a central Government kitchen. Most of it is uncooked and is taken by the lepers to their huts -or dormitories. Normally, it is not a large amount which each leper receives, because the Government allows them only eight cents a day for food.