ENCYCLICAL FOR ALL M.P.s
THE official English translation of Pope John XXIII's socialist encyclical, Mater et Magistra, is hailed in the current number of the Liberal monthly magazine "New Outlook" for its emphasis on co-ownership and the responsibility it places on the shoulders of the artisan.
The new translation, prepared at the request of the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, is published by the Catholic Truth Society and is now on sale at ls. 6d. Copies are being sent to all Members of Parliament and all Trade Union leaders.
The translator is Fr. H. E. Winstone, M.A., who worked from the Latin text as published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis (Vol. Lill, 1961, num. 8). The attractive C.T.S. presentation includes an introductory analysis of the sections, a system of section headings and cross-heads, and a system of numbering for the paragraphs. These, of course, are not contained in the original.
The "New Outlook" article, written by John Hutchieson, opens with the comment; generation ago it would have been unthinkable that Liberals should seek inspiration and support in Papal documents; but times have changed.
"In his encyclical letter Mater et Magistra. Pope John not only demands co-management and coownership of industry. but states bluntly that the initiative is unlikely to come from employers. The impetus must come from the artisans."
Pointing out that Pope John's advocacy of socialisation is something very different from support
of socialism, Mr. Hutchieson continues: "Now the full translation is available, and it is clear that Catholic social teaching is moving on sines roughly parallel to Liberal social policy. As we are dealing with a document of the Roman Catholic Church, we can dismiss any suggestion of a sudden, revolutionary change. This is a development of a process that began years ago."
Mr. Hutchieson quotes passages from the encyclical dealing with workers' participation at plant level in the control and management of their own industry, and adds that this is now the obvious choice for Catholics as the best social principle for British industry. This is of great importance to the Liberal Party which espouses similar social doctrines.