ASPECTRE is stalking the corridors of those strongholds of dialectical materialism, the Russian universities,' in the form of the increasing interest in religion among young students. The Soviet daily Komsomolskaia Pravda calls it the "fashion" of religion and attributes it to the emotional and aesthetic influence of Russian traditions which the young must study as part of their patriotic formation.
Like it or not. admits the
Communist organ, much of the Russian heritage is a spiritual one. When young people are asked why they go to the Church they say it is to find a peace and tranquillity which they are unable to find anywhere else.
A militant atheist even spoke of the emotion he felt during a sermon on brotherhood and justice in the light of the Gospel and pointed out its similarity to the doctrines of Marx and Lenin.
counteracting recipe is traditional and predictable. 'Don't be fooled', it tells the youngsters, 'religion has only changed on the surface, at heart it is the same as ever, an opium of the people which has lulled the downtrodden to sleep over the centuries, making them live in hope of a paradise in another world.'
Fr. Thomas McGoldrick, Chaplain to Liverpool University Catholic students,
has for several years been the amused possessor of a title reasonably unique among clergymen. It dates from when the Liverpool Chaplaincy took out a public-house licence for the bar. Licensing authority parlance accordingly describes him as: "Thomas McGoldrick, Clerk in Holy Orders, Licensed Victualler."