'I objected.. Why did he not quote my words ?'
By Fr. Patrick O'Connor: Saigon
CRAHAM Greene's criticism of Cardinal Spellman's visit to Vietnam has been denounced as " untrue and unfair" by Bishop Pham-ngoc-Chi, Vicar Apostolic of Buichu, who is now in Sa.gon.
Christian workers in France may split up
ABATTLE between a large minority calling for the mmediate abolition of capitalism old a majority which favours a lower " progressive revolution " nay lead to a split, in the French
2onfederation of Christian Workers.
Moderate leaders of t h e 2rganisation won a vote of conidence for their policies by only 2,303 to 1.564 at the confederaion's annual meeting in Paris.
Majority leaders then decided to saclude members of the minority !Tom the confederation's executive ;ommittee, on which they have seld two seats.
It is not yet known whether the minority will continue their opposition within the confederation or f they will set up a new organise:ion.
The battle between the two factions has been going on for several years. It led to the resigna:ion of M. Gaston Tessier as confederation president and his replacement by. another moderate, M. Maurice Bouladoux,
During the meeting the leaders of the minority, who call them
s e l v e s " reconstructionists," severely criticised the confederation leaders for their agreement with the Laniel Government during the summer strikes of 1953. The minority claimed that the leaders had let slip a chance to make an " economic revolution."
Majority leaders replied that the policies followed in 1953 had led to an overall increase of eight per cent in wages and raised the minimum wage by 26 per cent.
M. Bouladoux argued that change must come slowly,
" It is not by. waving a magic wand that we can make the present system disappear." he said. " It Is necessary to fight step by step. We have already won a great deal and we shall continue to win."
The minority want to get rid of the capitalist system at once and set up a new economic system in which trade unions. with Government co-operation. will direct large enterprises which affect the general welfare,
`Chaplain of the Year' decorated
General Ridgway, U.S. Army Chief of Staff, on Sunday in Washington presented the Four Chaplains award to Fr. Cormac Walsh, as Chaplain of the Year, for heroism in Korea.
The Four Chaplains award commemorates a priest and three nonCatholic chaplains who went down together when an American warship was sunk during the war,
The Bishop heads the Catholic Committee for Refugees and accompanied the Cardinal throughout his four-day visit in
January, Mr. Greene did not arrive until more than a month later.
" His Eminence left an impression of great Christian kindness on Catholics and non-Catholics alike," the Bishop said.
He protested aaainst Mr. Greene's alleged quotation from an unnamed " Vietnamese priest " regarding what Cardinal Spellman told Vietnamese listeners.
(Mr. Greene wrote of Cardinal Spellman's visit as "unfortunate" and quoted a Vietnamese priest as staling ; "He spoke to us much of the Calf of Gold but less of the Mother of God.") "I believe I heard every talk His Eminence gave in Vietnam," the Bishop said. " He praised our people for their strong faith and the missionaries from France. Spain, Canada. etc., for their work.
" He commended the French Navy and Air Force for their humanitarian efforts in bringing two-thirds of the refugees south, and the American Navy for bringing the rest.
When he encouraged our refugees by assuring them of assistance, everybody recognised it as a mark of Christian charity."
The Bishop. who first met Mr. Greene in December, 1952, met him again here this year.
" Mr. Greene," he said, " will remember I told him explicitly of the good done by the Cardinal's visit, and I objected when he criticised it in my presence.
" Why did he not quote my words instead of an alleged statement that I cannot imagine cooling, either as regards its wording or its meaning, from any Vietnamese priest? "
Bishop Chi censured Mr. Greene also for criticising the visit to Vietnam of Cardinal Gilroy, Archbishop of Sydney. and Archbishop O'Brien of Canberra, Australia. "The kindly visit of Cardinal Gilroy and Archbishop O'Brien was likewise welcomed everywhere here," he said. " It was an expression of Australia's practical sympathy, already proved by material aid for our people in their need."
A Communist-controlled newspaper in Hanoi has been using translations of Graham Greene& articles on Vietnam.
The Hanoi daily Thoi Moi (Modern Times) for May 16 and 24 published extracts of Mr. Greene's first two articles from the Sunday Times, including his comments on Catholicism and the alleged political use of religion during the visits of Cardinal Spellman and of Cardinal Gilroy and Archbishop O'Brien.