Mr. Auberon Waugh is so intent on shocking the neighbours that he may like to know that one of his readers is actually shocked. I do not at all mind that IN HIS VIEW -unemployment is an occasion for blimpish admonitions, or that "dirty jokes" arc, in his view, "so often the only common ground between people of different race. creed and culture"; and I have not the least objection to his youthful little games with words likt "outwardlooking". But I confess I find it scandalous to read in a Catholic paper that "a solicitude for the welfare of undernourished pe.ople in distant lands" is somehow less appropriate than "keeping a keen and predatory eye on commercial opportunities" in these places.
Of course, this may merely he another of Mr. Waugh's little jokes. He has a very lively sense of humour. But how are we to relate such remarks to the Gospels when these deal with the question "Who is my neighbour?", or cornrnand us to feed the hungry, or entrust us with the mission to teach all nations. And how do they bear on Pope BenedictXV's comment, in his encyclical Pacem Dei that "The Gospel has not one law for individuals and another for States and nations". From a writer who devotes part of his column to some very sound objections to "blatant heresies" in sermons, "however churlishly delivered" and even suggests that some priests ought to be confined to parish announcements it comes especially strangely to be told: "A government's job is to protect the interests of the people it governs, not those of remote and hosti:e nations. If these are so far incapable of managing their own affairs as to be unable to feed themselves properly, that is to be regretted . . it is not charitable to give them money to spend. thereby postponing the time of their having to find it for themselves". Or perhaps we have all been wrong about the Good Samaritan. Perhaps. having reeretterl the stranger's disabilities. the Samaritan should have hurried off home, to encourage a speedy recovery. Perhaps the Good Samaritan was a square.
I was not present at the sermon so tartly reported (February 8) by Mr. Auberon Waugh; I cannot therefore speak of its quality. I write, however, to correct Mr. Waugh's theology. He suggests that the preacher, in saying "Hugh Gaitskell is no more". was guilty of blatant heresy of a kind for which men have been burned. In fact the statement to which Mr. Waugh takes exception is strictly orthodox.
A person. when he dies, ceases to exist. His body may continue to exist for some time, and his soul for ever; but until soul and body are reunited at the Resurrec lion the person is no more. We may say, by synecdoche, that St. Peter is in heaven; as we may say, by synedoche that St. Peter is buried in Rome. Strictly, however, it is St. Peter's soul that is in heaven, and St. Peter's body that is in Rome. A a0l11 is one part of a person, and a body another part; but neither a disembodied soul nor an inanimate body is a person. The statement quoted by Mr. Waugh, so far from being heterodox, is in full accord with the teaching of St. Thomas (Summit Theologica la, 75, 4).
Rev. Anthony Kenny SS. Peter & Paul. Crosby.
[Mr. Waugh writes: Pr. Kenny does not explain in what sense Cardinal Godfrey can be said to continue to exist while Hugh Gaitskell does not. I do not believe St. Thomas made any special allowance for the clergy.-EDITOR.)
We should be grateful to Mr. Auberon Waugh for his strictures on the use of currently popular phrases "the Church must move with the times". This would seem to be saying or implying a good deal more than that the Church should make use of suitable modern equipment or devices in its ministry, hut it is said all too ghtily or profoundly by many, including some who should know better.
Any explanations that I have been given range from the simple to the ingenious, involving Bingo at one extreme to near heresy at the other.
Mr. Waugh has demonstrated most ably that it is a phrase which could be done without,
I have today cancelled my order for the CATHOLTC FIERALD.
I dislike intensely that Mr. Auberon Waugh should include our Pope among "less thoughtful and less scrupulous men", for he has said frequently that "the Church must move with the ti flies".
"It is nasty and stupid" of Mr. Waugh to use this expression and then give it his pejorative meaning. It is also dishonest.
N. M. Welton
For the benefit of Mr. Auberon Waugh I would like to suggest a "revised" version of St. Luke, Chapter 10.
And the Samaritan came back to the inn where the man was taken care of. and found that not only did he not get any interest on his two pence, but he did not even gel the money back. And he cursed his outward lookingness and took great care for the rest of his life, so as not to be tempted again to make had investments. And Mammon hlessed him, and whatever he invested yielded good money. And the man who had fallen among robbers died because he was unable to feed himself properly. and that was to be regretted.