Strikes still hamper pilgrims
ABOUT 400 pilgrbus from the Southwark diocese, who arrived back in London from Lourdes a day late on Tuesday evening because of the French strikes, brought with them 25 invalids from the Hexham and Newcastle pilgrimage besides their own 40.
The northern pilgrims had to be left behind when their party of 950, unable to get trains from Lourdes, made the 700 mile journey to Dieppe in 27 motor coaches.
The party, led by Bishop McCormack, got back last Sunday, three days late.
The Holy See is reported to have been "in close contact with French authorities" about the situation of pilgrims of all nations held up in France.
France's own 80th national pilgrimage for which 40,000 people. including 1,200 invalids, were to have started out on Tuesday in 16 special trains had to be abandoned after the organising committee had appealed in vain to the four railway unions.
A pilgrimage of about 200 people organised by the Redemptorists from the Menevia diocese, which was to leave next Monday, has been postponed. It will probably join in with the big British pilgrimage to Lourdes due to leave on September 4.
This will be made up of the Catholic Association's annual pilgrimage and pilgrims from the Shrewsbury. Northampton, Nottingham and Clifton dioceses. It will he led by six Bishops, and nearly 1.000 people arc expected to take part.
Cardinal Sire Archbishop of Genoa, leader of 1,500 Italian pilgrims stranded in Lourdes this week, went back without them to seek help from the Italian Government.
The Government may ask French permission to send Italian rolling stock into France to get the pilgrims away.
Cardinal Sin i said the Italian coasul at Toulouse had already asked the French Engineering Corps to drive a trainload of pilgrims to the
Edinburgh play defends Mary Queen of Scots
Chief among the Catholic contributions to Edinburgh's International Festival of Music and Drama opening on Sunday is George ScottMoneriefrs new play on Mary Queen of Scots.
Marie Ney is taking the leading part and Esme Church is producing the play in the Lauriston Hall.
The play, "Fotheringhay." deals with the last hours of the Queen, and Mr. Scott-Moncrieff hopes it will serve to combat ancient errors and prejudices still current about Scotland's last Catholic monarch.
The writer said: "In this Coronation year of 1953 it is worthy of record that of all the Sovereigns in the Europe of her day, Mary Stuart is the only one whose descendant still retains her throne."
The Edinburgh Grail group are giving performances of their mime, "Via Crucis."