TYRANNY IN OUR MIDST ABYSSINIA : A DEFENCE OF ITALY PRO-RUSSIA: IS THE MOSCOW ISSUE AN EXPLOITED " RED HERRING" ?
THE HERESY OF HENRY THE EIGHTH
INDIRECT PERSECUTION Examples of Overlooked Tyranny In Our Midst (From Fr. Martindale) SIR,—May I congratulate you on your destined expansion of the Herald. I will try to ensure a sale of six more copies weekly.
Would you some day take up the matter of "indirect persecution"; that is, the exclusion of Catholics from (e.g.) welfare jobs locally controlled because their conscience as well as their intelligence forbids them to recommend, and even teach, contraception and so forth? I make no sweeping generalisation; but by now I have met a sufficient number of cases of well-trained, intelligent, sympathetic girls and others who sought (as in increasing numbers they do) a welfare job, only to be asked: "Is not your name Philomena? Are you perhaps a Catholic? If so, would that mean that you would refuse to serve in a contraceptive clinic?" When she has answered yes to the lot of it her number is up.
Take another point. An architect recently said to a friend of mine: "We have entered upon a new cycle of civilisation— that of the one-child family. I am told to design flats, with the specification that 'of course' no one with families of more than two need be catered for or shall be accommodated." Observe, the architect was fatalist: he said, "Such are the facts. I can't alter them; I merely submit to them."
But the landlord, aiming at nothing save rents, was creating the facts—forcing a certain way of behaving upon his fellowhumans. "If you dare to have more than two children, you shan't get a house." Or, if the poor devil is offered a house by the local authority, it is probably nowhere near where his work lies.
I know a Londoner who is being turned out because he is "overcrowded"; no doubt he is; but at least he is tolerably near his work. (He walks to it in about three-quarters of an hour daily.) He is offered a house in a place from which to get to his work (by bus and tram—extra and unmanageable expense) would take him longer than it takes to get from London to Brighton.
All this happens outside of "parliament." Parliament does not persecute. But politics do; not least, local politics. And doctors themselves say that their profession is now being "politicalised," with all the corrupt jobbery that that implies. And the important little men with pockets and theories who sit on local boards can dictate to men and women what anyway they shall .do actually with their own bodies, in complete disregard of what they think. I hope that your paper will provide no end of facts about this camouflaged tyranny—I literally mean "no end," because you never will have finished.
C. C. MARTINDALE. 114, Mount Street, W.1.
[This letter is referred to in a Note and Comment on page 6.—Eptroal
BRITAIN AND ITALY From Sir Leo Chiozza Money SIR,—When King George visited Italy with Queen Mary on May 13, 1923, he uttered the following words at the War Cemetery of Montecchio, where the Italians have reverently cared for the British dead: "In a world where all men are each other's debtors. the Western world's debt to Italy begins at each nation's birth, since it was from Italy, old in unconquerable youth, that they received the first framing of their laws, life and arts. And the long centuries of unbroken peace between us make Britain and her sons not least of Italy's debtors in civilisation."
Has Italy done anything to render her unworthy of friendship?
There is profound misconception. Our people have not heard both sides of the case, and thus we see the holders of a fourth of the world, gained by conquest, so lacking in sense of humour as to cast stones at Mussolini for taking from the Negus the territories stolen by the Shoans from tribes who view his departure with joy! Three-fourths of "Abyssinia" was brutally conquered by Menelik after 1885 by using rifles against spears. Millions of the inhabitants were murdered, startred or sold into slavery. Deserts were created. Thus arose the wealth which the Negus meanly counted on a British warship, and to which British tars gave porterage!
As for the last six months, Italy won her war by using the latest weapons, as Kitchener did at Omdurman, when he killed 10,000 Dervishes and lost only 500 men. Italy used gas only in reprisal, as we did in the Great War. Mr. E. Boulton can find no better or later authority on gas than the head of our own Poison Gas Department, in the latest Encyclopaedia Bri.annica. The war was not won by mustard or any other gas, as was shown by the military correspondent of the Morning Post, General Sir C. W. Gwynn, on April 20, 1936; your readers can order this back number from their newsagents.
Dates disprove the charge, not made until late in March, when the war was won. The dates are conclusive. The turning point of the campaign was the great battle of Enderta (Amba Aradam), February 16-17, which was actually witnessed by the foreign war correspondents from Badoglio's observation post. By March 1, Ras Seyoum, Ras Kassa and Ras Imru were in flight. Ras Desta had been defeated in the south long before. As for Ras Naisibu, Wahih Pasha himself denies that gas was used against him. On March 4, Badoglio claimed with truth that the northern armies were already crushed; the battle of Lake Ashangi (April 1) was a last desperate throw; the Negus himself attacked and gas was again impossible.
The whole sale gas yarn was the idea of the Negus. It was also backed by fiery bishops, but not by soldiers or airmen. Notable that the Aeroplane (April 8, 1936, also worth buying) denounces the gas tales as "hypocrisy, cant and humbug."
Now to the positive side. Italy, even while at war, has freed slaves and made them paid free workers, established hospitals and dispensaries, fought disease, isolated lepers, protected children, set up schools, imported ploughs and tractors, taught hygiene, cleaned towns and made the most wonderful roads and bridges. I wish your readers could see the photographs of what has been already accomplished.
Yet it is not more wonderful than the works in Italy, where malarial marshes have been turned into flourishing civilisations and glorious improvements made, even while South Wales, Durham, Newcastle, Scotland and other districts, rich in natural wealth, have become "distressed areas." Peace work in Italy has gone on, despite sanctions and the war.
A final word. In 1915 we Liberal M.P.s were called to a secret meeting at which Mr. Asquith begged us to save our country -; consenting to what he called a loathed coalition with the Tories. Why? Because, he said, it was essehtial to show a united nation and get Italy into the war. The position, he said, was desperate. So Italy came in, and sealed the Treaty of London with the blood of 672,000 Italian soldiers. Then came the peace, and at Versailles Italy was treated as an enemy and the Treaty of London torn up with scorn. Yet we talk of breaking treaties!
LEO CHIOZZA MONEY. Bramley, May 29.
RUSSIA: OUR " RED " HERRING?
SIR,—This is to express my regret at tendencies which have recently been manifested in the Catholic Herald. I am not a Roman Catholic, although I claim to be a Catholic. However, the article by Stanley James on " Rome versus Moscow," with a sympathetic editorial note, has caused me some alarm.
The conclusions, that Mussolini may be clearing the ground for a Christian civilisation, and that the Christian civilisation [nay only be achieved when the antiChristians have been " answered " (?), simplify the problems very ineptly.
In other words set up Mussolinis throughout Europe, stifle all criticism of the state and its rulers, direct all antagonisms against the theist in Russia, and the millennium has been glimpsed!
It might be practicable if Corporativism and Christianity were synonymous, but it is obvious to-day that there is not one country which will turn against Russia because of its irreligion, although plenty would because of its politics.
Corporativism will not direct itself against Russia's evaluation of the spirit, but against Russia's views on property, and the threat to material comfort which such ideas spread. The Russian Revolution may have been lustrated by blood, but neither Germany nor Italy can claim to have spared that dangerous fluid in the achievement and consolidation of their power.
Christians must use some intelligence in giving Cwsar what he claims, and when he uses the Devil's tools to prepare a place where we shall be contented Catholics, it is just as well to pause; I fancy the traditions of the Catacombs should merit more support than the traditions of the Colosseum.
I consider that the Moscow issue as exploited in your paper is turning out to be the proverbial herring, which is unquestionably Red; we must set our own economic house in order (as well as our spiritual) before we concentrate on " paying out " Russia; and perhaps in the process we may have a lot to learn from Russia.
When, in our own lands, poverty is not known, and oppression and lust are in check, and Christianity has become an energetic love, then we can turn to Russia, not in chastisement, but in love, which we believe overcomes all things.
SIR,—Are the values of the Russian so different from those of the other nations you cite in contradistinction?
It is at least arguable that the independence and responsibility of the Russian are little, if at all, inferior to that of the wage and salary earning classes in any other country. The economic structure of Russia is largely our own: big capital and a divace between ownership and responsibility.
Country's honour: Is not the Russian Communist as zealous for his country's good as the Fascist? What of Germany and Italy? Are you not Saddened by their " example ": the indoctrination of the child with the idea that war is a glorious thing and death in battle the equivalent for the man of maternity for the woman? Is not this as anti-God as anything we can parallel in Russia? And has not Catholic Italy given us a glorious example of the identity in form and method of its Imperialism with that of any other Power?
What of liberty? Political liberty is almost non-existent in either Germany or Italy; economic liberty in any country is only very nominal.
It is time we Catholics adopted a "close season" for Communism and did a little hard thinking in translating our unimpeachable general principles into a practical policy that will fill stomachs and save souls. Communism, like the regimes of Hitler and Mussolini, is born of despair. Unless we can abolish or substantially mitigate poverty and social injustice our denunciations of Communism are vain.
LEO V. Bus. 6 Leyburn Road, Failsworth, Manchester.
rThe above two letters are referred to in a Note and Comment on page 15.—Enyr0R.1
THE UKRAINE AND POLAND SIR,—Mr. G. V. Speaight's letter appears, if he will forgive my saying so, to be based upon a series of misapprehensions.
' 1. He claims that "the Ukraine never has been a self-governing nation." This is untrue. The Ukrainian kingdom (sometimes called "the Kingdom of Halyeh and Vladimir") was independent from the twelfth to the sixteenth century and again from 1654 to 1709.
Furthermore, an independent Ukrainian Republic was established in 1918 and formally recognised by Great Britain and Russia!
2. In view of the fact that I expressly referred to the tragic famine in the Soviet Ukraine, I am completely at a loss to understand the relevance of the second paragraph of Mr. Speaight's letter.
3. He states that there are 3,000 Ukrainian elementary schools in Poland. Unfortunately this figure is thirteen years out of date. The latest Polish official statistics given in the Seym budget debate show 457. Moreover, the five million Ukrainians in Poland have not got so much as a single university.
4. "The Ukrainian separatist movement was largely stirred up by Austrian officials." Actually the very reverse was the case. Austrian officials banned all attempts to found a Ukrainian paper, and many Ukrainians, including the poet Shashkevych, were kept under constant police supervision.
5. I never alleged bitterness between the people (as distinct from the government) of Poland and the Ukrainian minority.
6. He says that "it would be a pity if the Catholic Herald . • . should fail to stress the vital importance to us all of a Catholic Poland . . ." This has, as far as I am aware, never been denied. As, however, my article dealt with Ukrainian problems, it naturally did not stress Polish problems as such. But I am unable to understand why the freedom of a Catholic Poland must of necessity entail the denial of freedom to the Ukrainians. It seems to me that it would be a far greater pity if the Catholic Herald should fail to stress the real situation in Central Europe and the right of all races to freedom and justice.
YOUR CENTRAL EUROPEAN CORRESPONDENT.
WAS HENRY VIII A SCHISMATIC OR A HERETIC?
SIR,—Why do so many of our great historians still uphold the popular fallacy that Henry Viii was a scriismatic but not a heretic? It is an inexdusable error which betokens crass ignorance of, or gross indifference to, even the major points of theology. I do not emphatically affirm that Henry was a formal heretic, though I think it likely, but that he was a material heretic does not even admit of opinion or disputation. We have the infallible -decree of the Council of Florence (1439)—"Definimus unam sanctam catholicam et apostolicam sedem et Romanum Pontificem per universam orbem tenere Primatum."
Now Henry acted in direct opposition to this decree and was, therefore, ipso facto, a heretic. If he acted without knowledge of the decree then he was a material heretic; if he acted with knowledge of the decree then he was a formal heretic in the fullest p-r1 w-mst sense of the word.
QUIDAM REBUS GESTIS STUDENS.