Peter's Bark Sinking ?
IWONDER how many readers noticed a rather sensational misprint in last week's CAI HOLIC HERALD in a report of a speech made by the Bishop of Nottingham? By the omission of a " not " his Lordship was reported as saying that " there are holes in Peter's Bark." This gloomy reflexion was followed by a context which would appear to make something of a Graf Spee of the
Universal Ship. The speech continued: " at the same time there are no railings at the side and if people venture too near the edge they may fall overboard." The second quotation is perfectly accurate but owing to the first misprint it reads like piling
on the agony. I can imagine some sensational journalist who has nursed a secret grievance against the Church for years, getting hold of this piece and going on the front page with it as: " Candid admission of Roman Catholic Bishop. Peter's Bark sinking. Rumours of Intended t Scuttling denied in Rome. Crew still have hope of being saved."
The New Jerusalem
As one who, throughout the fashion of pacifism, constantly argued against the pacifist fallacies, I could not help feeling a vague disgust on picking up a new book called The Case Against Pacifism, by John Lewis (Allan and Unwin. 2s. 6d.). Are human beings so sills, that in one decade they can pour out books for pacifism, and in the next begin a series of books against it? This appears to be a very Left book, singing the praises of the Soviet, and it is therefore at least logical, since the biggest absurdity of all was trying to associate bloody revolution with Christian pacifism.
My friend Gillie Potter will especially enjoy the verse from Blake with which the book ends: " I will not cease from mental fight, Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand Till I have built Jerusalem In England's green and pleasant land."
Dorothy Sayers Apologist
By accident I have only just seen Dorothy Sayers' pamphlet, Creed or Chaos? Some parts of it are brilliant, and pages 27 to the end do summarise as neatly as anything else I know the essential notes of the Christian Faith. The summary is under seven heads: God, Man, Sin, Judgment, Matter, Work, Society. Only once does she (I think) speak too strongly or at least ambiguously. She writes: " The whole doctrine of • original sin ' will halve to be restated, in terms which the ordinary modern man, brought up on biology and Freudian psychology, can understand." But I imagine that many of out Catholic psychologists will sympathise when she writes that " these sciences have done an enormous amount to expose the nature and mechanism of man's inner dislocation and ought to be powerful weapons in the hand of the Church."
Guy Fawkes : 5th Columnist
MUSSOLINI'S invasion of Greece on the anniversary of the March on Rome will (among other results) have given new credit to the " date prophets," who always used to say that such and such a country would be invaded at such and such a time " because it is Hitler's birthday," or some other commemoration of widespread happiness. But to turn to a lesser theme, about which I can't help my " date consciousness" creeping in, I hope the two new Penguin Specials announced for November 5 are not intended to have any ideological connexion with Guy Fawkes. Both those books, Europe In Chains. by Paul Einzig, and Labour in the War. by John Price, could be considered rather Left wing, whereas Guy Fawkes was what nowadays we call a Fifth Columnist. Indeed, Fawkes showed the worst Fascist temperament when he tried to blow up the House of Parliament, so perhaps the Left wingers have a special reason for celebrating his burning.
A READER writes: I-A "I was so interested in your article on Iceland, but disappointed that you did not publish a photograph of the truly beautiful cathedral of Reykjavik. The setting of the cathedral, of which I took this photo on a Catholic cruise, is similar to that of rural England. The building stands at the top of a hill and is surrounded by pasture land, where cows of the Guernsey type, are to be seen gently eating or moving about."
T HEARD, with a peculiarly personal sense I of loss, of the death of the Bishop of Portsmouth. This is not because I knew him, but because he confirmed me nearly thirty years ago. So long as one knew that the Bishop who confirmed one was still alive, one could still feel youngish. Now another of the artificial props by which one kids oneself about the passage of time has gone. But I have never forgotten the very definite slap that the vigorous young Bishop (he was about forty-six) gave me during the ceremony.
ijAviNG had some windows in our house " blown out by enemy action, we proceeded to take steps to have them doctored up. Possessing some glass we hoped to have real windows again. " Do you think it's really worth it?" was the depressing query of the man who mends windows. And this in a country district!
We Bid the Parson Farewell
AN A.R.P. warden writes to me : " Out of evil shall come good, and out of the evil of the war one of the blessings is
the opportunity of making new friendships. The thought came home to me forcibly when my section of air raid wardens gathered to bid farewell to a young Church of England padre who was leaving us to join the Army as chaplain. Cheery, conscientious, capable, he has been a good companion on patrol in the silent watches of the night. The parting gift he carries with him bears the names of Anglicans, Catholics, Jews and Nondescripts—a motley crew but a happy and friendly one. With the exception of two—one Catholic, the other Anglican-1 had never set eyes to my. knowledge on any of my colleagues of two years ago. Yet many firm friendships have resulted. We each said our little piece in praise of the parson. and the burden of our remarks was that the Blitzkrieg had broken down barriers of class and creed, and we saw in it an augury for wider sympathy and understanding when the scourge of the war is no more."
As a father of a family, I want to protest against the toy trade racket. I have never seen the matter referred to in print. I
(Continued at loot of next column). recently bought for a child what purported to be a little chemistry set. It was well and attractively got up and it sold for a few shillings. In fact, it was utterly and completely useless, and its contents could not have been worth sixpence. Though some toys are good and cheap, the market is flooded with sheer junk arranged to deceive the eye of the fond parent and the innocent child. Where it is a case of enticing from the child his few pennies of pocket-money it is a peculiarly heartless racket ; and it is not always easy for the parent to persuade the child that the stuff is not worth a frac tion of what he is willing to pay. .
A CORRESPONDENT kindly sends me themes of a Norwegian carol, freely translated! from memory. It may serve to console an exile from Norway and interest
others. , Lower your heads, ye Mountains, Summon your tides, ye Seas, Flower and flower again, o Sorrell, Mary will stoop to these.
Wander, winds. through the thirsty grasses, Branches of larch and birchen trees.
Sing! SingI Her feet are on the mountains And not alone she wanders on her way. Mary has left the city of the shadows Where Herod vowed to take the sword and slay.
Bethlehem is there for her desires, Bethlehem where Kings will come and pray.