Page 7, 18th August 1939

18th August 1939
Page 7
Page 7, 18th August 1939 — TEXAS PRELATE MAKES FIRM STAND Differs from Majority of U.S. Catholics on Neutrality Issue
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TEXAS PRELATE MAKES FIRM STAND Differs from Majority of U.S. Catholics on Neutrality Issue

From Our Own Correspondent NEW YORK.

A policy of isolation or " blind neutrality " for the United States cannot be reconciled with Catholic teachings, Dr. Robert E. Lucey, Bishop of Amarillo, Texas, declared in a radio broadcast over a Pittsburg station.

Dr. Lueey's attack on isolation and rigid neutrality is the second made by the Texas prelate.

In both attacks, Dr. Lucey stands out as differing from the majority of Catholic opinion, as expressed in the Catholic Press. which has been overwhelmingly opposed to the President's foreign policies.

Bishop Lucey declares that the United States, as one of the family of nations, simply cannot adopt a policy of aloofness from world affairs. Any such isolationist policy is against Catholic teachings on international law, the Texas prelate

contends, although he recognises the good will and good intentions of those Catholics seeking to keep this country out of European entanglements.

In this connection Mgr. Lucey said: " Those citizens who preach neutrality are earnest and honest; they do not realize that neutrality in the face of crime is itself a crime."

Admitting that a policy of friendly and helpful interest in world affairs may entail some risks, the Bishop meets such objections in these words :

The Aggressor

" How can you recognise unjust aggression? You might make a mistake of judgment. Again the answer is evident. If you can't find the aggressor you can't punish him. But only too frequently the aggressor is very much in evidence. Do you doubt. who was the aggressor In Ethiopia? If hard pressed could you find the aggressor in the tragedy of China? Were Bohemia and Moravia taken by brute force? Who invaded and seized Albania? My friends, let us not deceive ourselves. Even the man in the tercet could put his finger on the aggressor in these wanton acts of cruelty."

In conclusion, the Texas prelate said : " As far as entangling alliances are concerned there is no necessity to entangle ourselves in anything, but it would be well for us and for the world if we supported peace loving nations In their efforts to restrain militaristic governments. We need not and shall not go to war, but we ought to make It abundantly clear that America loves liberty; that America knows right from wrong; and that America will give neither support nor encouragement to governments that keep the world in terror."

Bishop Lucey's radio address is printed at length and favourably commented on in The Pittsburgh Catholic, which is the only diocesan weekly opposed to an isolationist policy.




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