CHOIRS CHILD CARE INSTITUTIONS
It is good to see the increased interest shewn by Catholics in recent years in the work done in the name of the Church by the Rescue Societies.
From letters which appear in your columns front time to time however. it does seem as though the Catholic public at large is not yet fully aware of the aims of the Societies and of the means by which they seek to carry them out.
Historically the Rescue Societies began their work a century ago when the Church was finding its feet after the restoration of the hierarchy. The Bishops saw that thousands of Catholic children were losing their faith through no fault of their own by being placed by public authorities in the workhouses. They set up Rescue Societies and urged religious communities to help in the work, The 'Rescue' clement of the name referred to the efforts made to save the children's souls.
The social pattern has changed considerably during the hundred years since then and legislation has done much to alleviate the lot of the deprived child. Regulations safeguard the religion of Catholic children cared for by the State and so some of the work which the Church had at one time to do alone is now done for it out of the money which Catholics as citizens pay in rates and taxes.
A child may today suffer religious deprivation. material deprivation or both. It may be helped by its own religious body or by the local authority. Which is the appropriate organisation depends to some extent on the nature of the deprivation.
If the child is in need on religious grounds the Rescue Societies undertake the responsibility of providing help. Since a child has a body as well as a soul, help for the soul postulates help for the body. Would any Catholic be happy if the Rescue Societies which act in his name were satisfied with lower standards than those required by their secular counterparts—if they were to continue to act as though there had been no change in social conditions in the last hundred years?
In his letter published in your
Mr. F. B. Smith wishes to know whether and under what circumstances it is right to draw an income from shares in a concern making contraceptives.
1 should like to extend that question and ask whether it is licit for a man, his legal heirs and assignees, to draw an income in perpetuity from the simple ownership of shares in any concern?
If this be answered in the affirmative I shout like to ask whether is is possible under present circumstances to commit a mortal sin of usury and, if so, how?
120 Willerby Road. Hull, Yorks, columns on August 2nd Father Harvey put quite simply and exactly the opinion of every layperson and priest working for the Rescue Societies when he wrote "The Catholic church cannot expect to he allowed to remain in a field with national standards of professional competence unless the practitioners command respect as to competence and training".
A few weeks ago you published an interview granted to Mr. Hugh Kay by the Bishop of Salford. In the context of child-care Mr, Kay asked Bishop Beck if he considered of any importance the need of professional remuneration for lay people working in this field. The Bishop answered unequivocally that this was his opinion.
It is the opinion too of every priest engaged in work of child care. It would be unrealistic to claim that our Catholic people as a whole are yet persuaded as a body that the need for their help is greater than ever-and this because the Rescue Societies are trying to do their work in a competent and modern way.
In an earlier part of this letter a distinction was made between children taken into care by the Rescue Societies as such and chil drcn taken into care by local authorities on purely welfare grounds. It is a fact that some Rescue Societies in addition to doing their own work net as agents for local authorities who meet their costs. Others—notably the Crusade of Rescue -deliberately limit their work to children in need on purely religious grounds. Historically the Crusade was founded for this and its problems differ from those of many of the provincial dioceses.
Whatever be the work done the aim lobe same—to save souls by providing help suited to the need and appropriate to the age.
It can he said without hesitation that by far the greater number of children taken into care every year by the Rescue Societies—and this includes those hundreds of children placed with adoptive parents — are put into families where they receive that type of Catholic upbringing which is today considered to be the best preparation for life. It is reasonable and good sense—not to say just—to make a realistic allowance to the good souls who take on the sometimes exacting work ou foster-parents. The. lab° uee r —even the Catholic labourer in the field of child care—is worthy of his hire.
(Very Rev. Canon) D. H. O'Neill. Administrator, Lancaster Diocesan Protection and Rescue Society. Under the above heading in the CAT'HOL1C HERALD of 26.7.63, your correspondent, S. W. Wake, refers to the need of people competent to instruct in plainsong, and to the Diploma of Plainsong which the Society of St. Gregory is to award to those successful in a series of three examinations.
The letter was published on the eve of the Society's Summer School. and hence 1 had the opportunity of discussing it with a large gathering of members of the Society. As a result, may I make the following points; I. The Diploma in Plainsong course has only been running two years, and so far the Advanced Examination has not been taken.
2. We admit the principle that these examinations may be held at times and in places other than the Summer Schools; and some such have already been held.
3. A diploma in plainsong, like any other diploma, should only he awarded to persons who have attained a high standard in both theoretical and practical knowledge of their subject; which in our case includes those elements which Mr. Wates considers "quite unnecessary", 4. Altogether apart from exams and diplomas, attendance at our Summer Schools has produced in many of our members, priests, working knowledge of plainsong, and these people could be of great help to choirs and congregations up and down the country.
5. 1 am already compiling a list, from such people. of those who are willing to take charge of -plainsong courses in their own districts.
If any choirs or others would like to take advantage of this proferred help, would they please write to me. But I must give the warning that we cannot promise to do everything everywhere—not yet at any rate.
A. S. E. Barrett, Hon. Secretary of the Society of St. Gregory.
45, Broad Street, Alresford, Hants.