Maria Monk Rings the Bells of St. Mary's I1' is a remarkable thing that this country, where the number of divorces mount daily and where love and sex " arc scarcely distinguished and where the press panders at every moment to such debasing fashions—it is a remarkable thing, I say, that the Crosby film should be received with marked coolness and a spate of moral criticism. The Maria Monk mentality pierces into the open and genial picture of Catholic religious life. and one critic finds the relationship between the priest and the nun to be e veiled and hypocritical love affair! And as for the trick to save a clever child from the woodenness of examination results, well, that is far more dishonest than any persecution and treaty-breaking by our friends in .the East. The mentality of the nun whom I know and who .was the most popular girl in the school and who wrote to a friend just before leaving: " Isn't this ghastly? I find I've got a vocation," is quite beyond the post-Reformation comprehension.
Goebbels' Scientific Propaganda THE degree to which Goebbels had worked out the scientific basis for propaganda was explained to me this week over a lunch by a highly placed diplomat posted in Berlin during the last years of the pre-war Hitler regime. Goebbels, who, according to my informant, was far and away the most intelligent Nazi, had charts and graphs and formulae worked out with such accuracy that he could conduct the people like an orchestra leader. RV could work out exactly, for example, how to deal with a bit of bad news. What was important, he knew, was not the item of bad or good news, but the relation between them, and his aim was always to cause quick and big rises in optimism. For this reason he exaggerated had news to the precise degree required by his charts to cause the most effective rise to a piece of subsequent good news. Ho used this technique for all it was worth in the later stages of the war, but he failed because it became impossible to create the good news. Hitler's timidity with foreign diplomats and Ribbentrop's stupidity were other points on which my friend expatiated. Round-table conversation with Hitler depended on someone asking the Fuchrcr how his architectural . plans were getting on. The contrast between the excited Hitlerian temperament and the precision of most Germans was always a puzzle to foreigners.
The Professors' Holiday HERE is a story I have been told of Cardinal Griffin's visit to Ireland. In company with the Canadian and Australian Cardinals. he visited Maynooth. Custom apparently demands that any visiting Cardinals should ask the President for a holiday for the students. Cardinal McGuigan accordingly made his request to the President, who smilingly consented. Then came Cardinal Gilroy's turn, who also asked that the students might have a free day. This was also granted. Cardinal Griffin noted an anxious look b' the Presidential eye as he approached, Dare he ask that the young wee e'ssoutd lay aside their books for a third day? No! he dared not! Instead, with a twinkle in his eye, he suggested that surely the President and his staff deserved a holiday too, and so, would the President grant a day's holiday to the professorial staff I Needless to say the professors got their holiday!
Boys' Town near Rome MISS Joan Morris, the Editor of Art Notes. writes about a " Boys' Town " near Rome, in continent on Fr. Daniere reference to the need. " I thought it might interest him and others to know," she says, " that such a work has already been started. It is called 11 VIllagglo del Funciulla (Boys' Village), and is near Civitavecchiaan hour and a half by road from Rome. It is run pretty much on the lines of Fr. Flanagan's ' Boys' Town.' 11 he experiment was started with thirty of the worst cases among the thousands of little vagabond delinquents that have been such a problem in Rome since the capitulation. The boys have their own mayor—at present a child of thirteen. Every evening they hold their court of justice, when punishment ' suitable to the crime ' is dealt out to those who are 'found guilty • by the vote of the boys' jury. They run their bank and newspaper. The grounds are large and without battlers, us no boy is forced to stay there against his will. So far their training has been confined to gardening and farming. They also have their schooltime. The experiment seems to be proving a great success, and the boys enter heart and soul into the life. They looked very happy. ' Boys' Village has already wen great interest from at. different quarters and has a good deal of publicity, even outside Italy, especially in America. • The Swiss Government has offered two huts to be useu as a carpenter's and a mechanic's workshop: The director of the experimen, Is Don Antonio Rivolta, of the Com pany of St. Paul, who has already been working very hard for the protection of juvenile delinquents during the war."
Women in Diplomatic Service THE announcement that British A women are to be admitted to the Diplomatic and Consular Services is of special interest to St. Joan's Alliance, which has played a continuous part in co-operation with the principle national women's organisations in togmg the government of the day to bring this innovation about. Asked to comment on the victory, Miss Barry, hon., secretary of the Alliance, said: " we have been working on this (or years and in 1934, Mrs. Laughton Matnews, who was then our chairman, gave evidence on our behalf before the Interdepartmental Committee set up to enquire into the entry of women into these two services. In 1941 we went in a deputation to Mr. Eden and at the end of last year we again gave evidence to the Bevin Committee. As Catholic women we welcome this news, even though it is only a qualified victory—as only 10 per cent oh women are to he admitted for the present and there is also a marriage bar But we remember that the first woman diplomat was a Catholic—St. Catherine of Siena--who was instrumental in bringing the Pope back to the Vatican after the Avignon exile."