Charity on the roads
C.H.' Netherlands Correspondent
IN a special pastoral letter the Dutch bishops urge the faithful to practice charity on the roads. This duty, they say, -has a spiritual as well as a material aspect.
" Every day," the bishops write, "another horrible drama is enacted in our country and people are killed or maimed for life because of the irresponsible behaviour of drivers."
Pedestrians, too, are often guilty, the bishops point out.
They praise the civil authorities for all the safety measures taken, but say that unfortunately traffic regulations are often considered by drivers to be merely technical measures, and not a matter of conscience. Avoiding a fine for a traffic offence, the letter says, cannot give a driver a clear conscience. A driving licence guarantees sufficient technical skill to drive. But it is no proof that the holder feels himself responsible for his own life and safety and that of his fellow men.
" Our respect for our fellow men," continue the bishops. " demands a continuous tight against our own egoism. As in all other human relations, charity must be practiced in today's complex traffic system. This charity must develop a traffic pattern based on prudence, moderation and kindness.
" When confronted with an accident, charity should overcome all fright, all aversion to blood, that feeling of powerlessness, and our haste to continue on our journey. If we cannot do anything materially, let us think of the spiritual salvation of a man suddenly faced with God's judgement."
The bishops reminded the faithful that their duty in case of an accident was to find a priest, and to help their fellow man to prepare lo meet God.