Eleventh Rural Week-end of Muinntir na Tire
" The nine treasures of Christian civilisation" was the subject of a discourse by Fr. E. J. Coyne, Si., at the eleventh Rural Week-end of Muinntir na Tire, the Irish Back-to-the-Land movement, held last week-end at Mount St. Joseph's Cistercian College, Roscrea. Fr. Coyne's discourse was broadcast from Radio Athlone.
These treasures, which to-day are exposed to real danger, are Christian religion, Christian morality, Christian marriage, the Christian family, Christian education, Christian justice, private property, social peace and justice. There was no use in being alarmist, he said. These treasures were not yet attacked in Ireland but were threatened. In Russia they had been all swept away, many had been repudiated in Mexico, and in Spain there was a ruthless and well-planned attack on them.
In how many countries, he asked, despite papal encyclicals, had the proceeds of capital and labour been brought into conformity with the demands of the common good or social justice?
Not Bound By Any Society
The riches of Christianity were not bound up with any particular social or economic system. For several decades there had been an accumulation and convergence of forces clearly incompatible with the continuance of the social and economic system known as Individualistic Capitalism. These had already proved irresistible in many countries, and a change was bound to come in all countries in course of time.
" If we allow ourselves or others to think that the riches of Christ are bound up with our present social system, or in any way favoured by that organisation, we are exposing them to the threat of being swept away with the system and its abuses," said Fr. Coyne.
He pleaded for a greater study of social question for all, since in a changing world, knowledge and skill were required to influence the reconstruction.
Employment of Women
Mr. Aodh de Blacant, a well-known Catholic writer and journalist, expressed disapproval of the increasing number of women employed in industry. This tended to bouleverse the Catholic idea of society, to bring women to be regarded as the wage-earners and men merely as drones. He' believed that the proportion of women in industry should not exceed at most ten to one. ture, replying, said that he and his Ministerial colleagues realised the undesirability of women engaging in industrial employment, but they had up to the present found great difficulty in remedying the situation. The passage into law of the Conditions of (Industrial) Employment Bill had been a step in the desired direction.
Value of Co-operation The value of united effort was stressed by Fr. Boniface, 0. Cist., when he welcomed the visitors. It had been stated that organisations could never stand together in Ireland. It was truer to say that in the past the Irish had little taste for a co-operative movement only destined to make their land a paying proposition for the outsider. That was no longer the case.
The aims of the "Irish Country Women's Association were described by Miss J. Mangan.
They were, she said, the preservation of local handicrafts and traditions, instruction in new handicraft, preservation and improvement of rural amenities, co-operation in disposal of surplus products and promotion of social enjoyment.
In the Free State there are twenty-six guilds with a membership of six hundred.