Soldiers in Rome IiANY of OM reade:s have been very "kind in sending to us letters, or extracts from letters, from their serving relatives who write borne to describe their experiences in Rome and their audiences with the Holy Father. These letters always make interesting reading, though it is not possible for us these days to reproduce them. It is one of those cases when each soldier pours forth his deepest feelings about one of the real red-letter days of his life, but evidently from the point of view of the general public there is a certain similarity between the different lettersBut it is a fine thing to think that the war has brought the blessing of a pilgrimage to Rome to so many Catholice who might otherwise have never had the opportunity.
The Respect for Priests The Respect for Priests I HAVE been most interested to mite one feature of the correspondence we have received in connection with the controversy about Fr. Coughlin. An extraordinarily large number of simple and moving letters have been sent simply denouncing any attacks on a
Catholic priest. Most of the writers have obviously not been concerned with the Issues involved. They simply want
to say that they don't wish to see a priest accused of anything. A number have even stated that they have ceased to buy the paper because of certain letters attacking Fr. Coughlin. The moral for me, 1 must say, is that the intense love and respect of Catholics for the priesthood and priests put an immensely heavy weight of responsibility on those called by God to this high vocation. Priests, I think, cannot legitimately claim exemption from attack in political and social matters, but doubtful political behaviour, quite apart from the merits of the case, does involve a degree of scandal which may not be fully realised—and it involves it just because the average Catholic insists that every priest shall be above all suspicion. And it is well that it be so. The roots of the Faith go very deep indeed.
Topsy-Turvy Ireland Topsy-Turvy Ireland I WAS amused to read in the Irish ,Library Bulletin, a magazine of Catholic provenance, a review of a recent best-seller cheek-by-jowl with a very long list of recently banned books. The review is full of praise for the bestseller in question, ending only with the caution, " a book fur adults." I have read it, and even my well-practised eyebrows were raised very high when I came to certain passages Queer Controversial Methods CCONTROVERSIAL manners can be very queer. Some weeks ago I was asked to reply in a Western dailY paper I,-) one of the regular 'anti-Papal attacks launched by DI. Townsend, the present Moderator of the Free Churches. I did so. Dr. Townsend replied. I replied again challenging him to establish the truth of a whole heap of wild allegations. including one that the Catholic press in this country backed Italy in the Italo-Abyssinian war. To this letter there was, so far as I know, no reply. What was my surprise to he sent a cutting from the Baptist Times which printed apparently as a leading article, the second of Dr. Townsend's letters. Though I was attacked personally in it, not a hint was given that 1 had replied, still less that Dr. Townsend had not replied to my challenge. I wrote to the Baptist Times to protest. To date—and it is three Or four weeks ago—my letter has not been published. I don't claim to be different from others, but I think I can really say that I jLIt cccmelcln'i behave like that.
Saving rr HE original Fr. McNabb habit of A using any old bit of paper to write letters and articles on has developed into an almost universal practice since the war. I have noted recently the backs (arid fronts) of all sons of Government forms, the notepaper of an Archdiocesan Tribunal (excellent quality), proficiency cettiticates of a Lifesaving Society and what seemed to be some war savings reward. The latter reminds me of a letter from the Far East in which a soldier tells of the hard-up state of the troops. In the course of a local war savings campaign a gala was held. My friend and some others decided to enter for the swimming competition in order to get a very much needed 30s. prize. With a tremendous effort one of them did indeed win a race. With delight he took his turn in the queue for the money prizes to receive his reward in the shape of war savings certificates I I dare not reproduce his language. I wonder the censor passed it I .JOTTER