Sharp differences over how much stress the Church should give the social problem today were expressed at a round table discussion by Catholic intellectuals here, Members of the panel were Douglas Woodruff, editor of the Tablet, Arnold Lunn, P. J. S. Serrarens, general secretary of the International Federation of Chrittian Trade Unions, and Fr. Bouchenski, Dominican educator and philosopher.
Mr. Woodruff and Mr. Lunn contended that an attempt by the Church to capture the working class has led it into talking to the masses as if their material considerations were the be-all and end-all of their existence.
Mr. Serrarens stoutly disagreed, declaring that Christ taught us to ask for " our daily bread", and insisted that the modern social problems must be answered by the Church by spelling out the teachings contained in the gospels.
Dr. Richard Pattee, of the National Catholic Welfare Conference, acted as chairman of the discussions. The round table meeting was a highlight of the six-week summer school being held at the University of Fribourg here under the sponsorship of the Newman Club Federation, the National Federation of Catholic College Students, the N.C.W.C., and Pax Romano.
Mr. Woodruff stated that the Catholic Church of the 20th century
has been characterised by an attempt to recapture the proletariat, He felt, he said, that the Church should not allow itself to become associated with mere social remedies which by their nature could only lead to State control and to the exercise of powers in opposition to the very thing for which the Church strives.
Supporting Mr. Woodruff's views, Mr. Lunn declared that this age has built for itself a disgusting idol known as the common man, whereas there are others to be saved besides the proletariat.
The real spiritual crisis, Mr. Lunn insisted, lies in the fact that " Catholics haven't got any guts", while every Communist is a propagandist for his party.
Mr. Serrareps declared that the Church has the duty to promote social justice is part of its obligation
to promote and safeguard human dignity.
Fr. Bouchenski claimed that many Christians are suffering from an inferiority complex and are looking for a compromise. He called on Catholics to rid themselves of this mentality, to deepen their faith, to. renew their allegiance to the great Catholic tradition, and to enlarge that tradition so that it may be used as a solution to mankind's present problems,
Some 400 students attended the lectures given by 27 leading Catholic intellectuals from most of the coun
tries of Western Europe. Nearly 200 students came from the U.S.; the majority crossed the Atlantic from Quebec on the Dutch student ship Volendam and, before arriving in Switzerland, toured Holland. Belgium and Prance.