Christian International meets in Italy
A new aggressive policy for Christian Democracy and closer collaboration between all the various Catholic Parties throughout Europe is the aim of a convention which has been meeting in Sorrento, Italy, under the auspices of the New International Group.
Represented at the congress were many of Europe's leading parties, reflecting the strength of the Catholic Parties in the postwar world.
There was Felix Hordes, Austrian Minister of Education and secretary-general of the Volks Partei, Hr. Graef, undersecretary of the Austrian Home Office, a delegation of the Saar Popular Party, led by the President of the Council of Ministers.
Italian Christian Democrats were there in force. The powerful French M.R.P. was represented by M. Roberto Dichet, its general secretary. There were President Von Brentano of the Parliamentary Group of the Christian Democratic Union in the West German Government, Vice-President Gielen of the Catholic People's Party of Holland, and a number of others. In all leaders from some fifteen nations were present. "Shame on us if we give to this convention and to our arguments a character which is purely defensive," cried Signor Taviani, secretary of the Italian Christian Democrat Party.
" We do not want to merely defend and conserve the Christian face
of Europe." he continued. "We want to build in Europe a new brotherhood of individuals and peoples on the basis of Christian principles and democratic peoples.
"I would say that the danger of Bolshevism presents itself more as a call to reality than as a phantasm of fear."
Christian Democracy alone can solve the problem of contempory democracy, that of reconciling liberty and authority, he said.
" The peoples of Europe. from Austria to France, from Germany to Belgium. from the low countries to Italy, have gone to the Christian Democrats to save for them, in the fact of the opposite but interdependent, dangers of the Left and of theRight, authority in liberty and liberty with authority."
In a message, Sgnr. Sturm, founder of the Italian party urged delegates " to show that the responsibility of the Christian Democrats is not just something temporary due to the current popularity of fighting Comm un ism."
The Italian Prime Minister, Signor Dc Gasperi, appealed to France and Germany to solve their difficulties speedily and to look well to the future.
He went on to say that greater justice must be done to the poor in order to overcome Communism.
Sense of unity
Signor De Gasperi concluded by saying that one thing alone is essential and that is the sense of unity in the human family. the sense of universal brotherhood which is above nations and politics arid is the heritage of Christianity.
A resolution adopted by the Congress condemned Communism and called for an international inquiry by U.N.O. to establish the quantity of arms in each country.
It proclaimed the intention of the Christian Democrat parties to work in agreement with any parties, movements and men of Christian democratic principles " aga rist Cornmunism and in collaboration " with all the forces of the free world."
It declared that " this revival will not be either possible, deep or effective, if it is not accomplished on the basis of the Christian spirit and the democratic method."
Finally it declared its belief in the need for the realisation of unity in Europe and proposed that " at the coming session of the European Assembly all democratic countries be admitted and that the Council of Europe institute a European political authority endowed with effective power."