From Our Own Correspondent
Tradition in Belgium is for the Socialists to celebrate the Workers' " Fete de Travail " on May Day, and for the Catholic Workers to commemorate the promulgation of the Rerum Nouctrum Encyclical on Ascension Day.
This year May Day and Ascension Day came next to each other. In
neither case was the usual public parade held, owing to the grave international emergency.
The militant Socialists celebrated in the intimacy of their " Maisons de Peuple." Though this year is the golden jubilee of these Socialist May Day celebrations it being 50 years ago since the Socialists began their drive in Belgium —there was little jubilee enthusiasm. The big event was a meeting at Antwerp. The leader, M. Kamiel Huysmans, was in the chair, supported by M. Speak, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
. . . WITH A THRILL
Ascension Day differed. It vibrated with the thrill of remarkable Catholic manifestations in Brussels, Liege, Ghent, Malines, Antwerp, by the massed ranks of the Christian Catholic Workers, solemn High Mass in each Cathedral, and civil ceremonies afterwards.
The President-General of the Confederation of Christian Syndicates of Belgium recalled the date of the publication of the Rerum Novarum Encyclical, May 15, 1891, forty-nine years ago.
Pope Leo X.III's severe condemnation in his Rerum Novarum Encyclical of Economic Liberalism and of Marxist Socialism opened the eyes of individuals and States, and pointed out the right road.
One result is that to-day Belgium stands at the head of the nations that protect the worker. Belgium is rightly proud of it. There is no need to fear for the future provided the Christian idea prevails.
The Catholic Workers' movement has a dynamism, a faith and ardour, that these celebrations accentuate. " Super-Socialists " they may be, as a sound Catholic Press confrere called them, but under the Catholic ideal and teaching of Rerum. Novarum and led by their clergy and experienced Catholic Social leaders, they promise to defeat the Socialist domination at no distant time.