" Deliver me frain blood" (Psalm I. 16).
"My peace l give unto yott---not the world giveth do I give moo you (John xis.. 271
I am told that the Catholic public and perhaps members of other religious bodies expect that on the earliest opportunity should express my thoughts and feelings on the Italian-Abyssinian situation as affecting the Pope and the Church. I seize on this occasion to speak my mind; I will speak freely. without leer of the favour or of the hostility of extremists-whether they be fascists, nazis, bolshevists, or imperialists of any type, whether they be pacifists or jingoists. Sin and hloodguiltiness have too long deluged the world. Word a fail to tell of the orgy or blood and horror whh which our sins have filled these unhappy times. Apparently no lessons suffice to warn some rulers of the world against the demon or war.
The people do not want war, the people loathe war. It is not the people who make war. but those who th:nk to he sufe front its awful consequences, (never; to gain thereby: it iv they w1zo,. wan! war.
With Pope Pius XI we pray that war may be everted, and if our prayer for peace avail not against war-seekers and war-makers. then. Li S the same pope said on several occasions, we shall be forced to pray to the Lerd, "Scatter the nations thin want war." el)*-adfitaiis.iireMileffflth t ha wee Id beef. use sin is the cause of war, -ttit.1 no nation can say with the Pharisee, " We are not as other men."
MEN OF BLOOD Now, in vae of all we ought to have learnt from the last great war, there are Men who do not shrink from the chance of hurling the world once more into a whirlpool of blood. men who seem not to heed the tiller ruin of Our civilisation which will follow another world-war. No less than that is the menace of this moment.
Indignation has no bounds when we see that Africa. that ill-used continent of practically unarmed people, is made the focus and playground of scientific slaughter. The educated African —the "intelligence" of the native population-and nowadays there are many intelligent, cultured Africans—may well and do cry out:
" You Europeans, have you not done enough to etisMce us, to use us for your own ambitions and for your own avaricious purposes. We are weak now and not capable of uniting, but the day will come 'ellen the black races of our country, and tlw black descendants of our forebear.v whom you made slaves for your commercialism vjll become conscious of their numbers and perhaps of their power."
CHALLENGES What may he the effect on the attitude of the black and coloured races of this latest attempt at conquest in Africa I have tried to explain in the current number of the Mont/i.
From my spoken and written words. as soon as ever I was able to address you, my dear people, you can tell how I foresaw and how 1 warned you against the dangers that threaten, and how I pleaded for individual and collective effort to realise the peace of Christ in the Kingdom or Christ, and how my appeal came to you straight from our Holy Father the Pope.
But I am continually challenged, in letters signed and letters anonymous, to speak out and to induce the Pope to speak out against the war. We shall see later what the present pontiff and his predecessors have said to prevent this war and wars generally.
Rut just now I would impress on you all the necessity of keeping yourselves free from the war-mind. The war-mind 'newts the loss of balance and judgment, the surrender to unreason. The symptom of the war-mind is disregard of facts
ernd f Prow'', in front, niT} 111,.
Rome were rung for the great Italian rally five days ago. I OUT authorised by the Holy See to let it be known that this assertion is absolutely false.
I am even reproached for ordering bells to be rung here in this diocese on the outbreak or war! That is a ludicrous falsehood. " But bells in Rome and other parts of Italy were rung for the rally." I reply that canon law expressly forbids the use of church bells for secular purposes. and a special decree of the Saered•Couned of the Congregation warns bishops and others against allowing any breach of this law.
I reply further that the fascistv can commandeer the church bells and much else. and I have reliable testimony that church bells vere rung (if and where they were rung) by compulsion.
"But the Pope allows priests to go with the Italian forces as military chaplains."
Could he refuse to do so? The poor soldiers of the Italian army, mostly conscripts or forcibly " volutheers," are not to blame. and their souls are the object or God's loving care ia war or out of war.
WHAT CAN HE DO?
Well, what can the Pope do to prevent this or any other war? He is a helpless old man with a sendl police Iorcc to guard himself, to guard the priceless ireestives of art and archa.ology or the Vatican. and to protect his diminutive state which eneures his due independence in the exercise of his unissareaL right and ..dety ssaiests:11 atn' to guide oi$ *WA/sea of all races.
Can he denounce a neighbouring power --a power armed with absolute control of everything and with every modern instrument of force? He could excommunicate." Yes! and thus make war with his dictator aeighboor inevitable, besides upsetting the peace and the consciences of the great mass of Italians, with the result of a fierce anti-clerical outbreak.
Has he been invited by the contending parties in this Italo-Abyssinian dispute to be judge and arbitrator to settle the quarrel? He has not. I have insisted, and I insist again. that the Pope was expressly excluded by the secret Pact of London in 1915 from future deliberations in the councils of peace.
Until he is invited to imercetze by both .vides, he cannot act a.s a judge. As an independent sovereign he has no grounds for intervention in this present case, not even those grounds enjoyed by a member of the League of Nations. to joie, which league, through italy's express stipulation, he was not invited.
LEO AND BENEDICT
The present Pope and his predecessors have made .incessant and unavailing efforts to avert war, or to infuse some rne3Stire of moderation in the conduct or war, and to instil some ordinary common sense into the conditions of peace.
Leo XII] warned the nations against the mad competition in armaments. His words are deserving of attention no A'. though they received little, if Fitny, attention when he uttered .them— "Civilisation propped up on bayonets
cannot last." The same earnest appeal ' to the world has been re-echoed by his successors—to no purpose.
Benedict XV's efforts eind appeals for peace are a matter of well-known history —or should • be well-known by wellintentioned -and well-ieformed men. His peace note of August. 1917, was set aside, his encyclicals on peace were disregarded; but they should be read by all who are opposed to violence and love the brotherhood of man. In Constantinople. at least, Benedict XV is redognised as the peacemaker, for his statue has there been erected in a semi-public place by the contributions of people of all nationalities and of many creeds; on the base of that statue are the words: "To tlw Benefactor of Mhankind."
THE POPES RIGHT AND DUTY The Pope has no encouragement to speak if he knows lw will not be listened to.
As head of the Church he has no