THE DOG has not barked for a long time. That is what is so significant (my dear Watson). [he long silence as to the full horrors undergone by the Christians of Lebanon is puzzling and sinister. For two years "Aid for Christian Lebanon" (ACL) was too poor to publish a bulletin. Now it has, and it drips with dynamite. (ACL, Oxford House, Church Street, Knighton, Powys).
There is no space here to summarise the reported sufferings of the embattled Lebanese Chrisitians in the face of the Palestine Liberation Organisation and attempts by Syria to absorb Lebanon into a Greater Syria. This column did report the recent reception by the Vatican of the PLO's foreign policy chief Farouk Kuddoumi, but not what the latter subsequently said to the press. namely that "the position of the Vatican is one of solidarity with the Palestine people and their struggle for liberation."
In Lebanese Christian eyes this means an endorsement of terrorism. In Israeli eyes it means a commitment to destroy Israel. In other eyes, it will mean quite different things. The Vatican made no demurrer or even comment on the views attributed to it by the PLO. The situation. presumably, is too "delicate."
The current ACL bulletin sheds more light on certain aspects of events in the Lebanese "cockpit" than much of the national press has even attempted for many months hack. Sniping, killing and torturing of Christians in Lebanon, if the reports are true, make even Northern Ireland seem peaceful by comparison. And what a fantastic statement to be able to make at this moment!
"Barbarism has destroyed this beautiful land right down to the core," writes John Laffm in the bulletin. "In some places orgies of killings have occurred." The many thousands of Lebanese Greek Catholics, and other Christians, feel that no one on the outside either knows or cares about their fate.
Sobering nonsense from Spike
AS A CONTRIBUTION to this Spring Books issue of the Catholic Herald, Urbanus would like to pay special tribute to a zany masterpiece written and illustrated br the one and only Spike Milligan. It is called "Unspun Socks from a Chicken's Laundry' and is published hr Messrs. M & J Hobbs at £4.50. The title. as the author explains, doesn't mean anything and the book could have been called Munkey Punk Rockers Look or doggie's woolly vest, or just about anything else.
The question is though: have we got a new kind of Belloc in our midst vv thing cautionary verses in phrases — inspired largely by children's malapropisms and invented words — that also have something serious to say to this crazy world we now live in?
Spike's offering consists of poems and drawings that not only recall Belloc but also the wisdom of Chesterton in such "Funny" books for "children" as The Coloured Lands. Remember it? A collector's item nowadars.
Behind the Milligan badinage there lurks some sobering philosophy. Do you, for example, have any idea where you are going in life? If you can't see the future why not use the past as a mirror? Milligan asks the question in one of his many throw-away bits of "nonsense":
-I know a man who's back to front. The strangest man I've
He can't tell where he going. But he kflow.s where he's been."
Troubles for the Trids
"THE TRENDY and the Tridentinist were walking hand in hand ..." Or were they?
It appears that two sorts of Mass were being simultaneously celebrated in Westminster cathedral recently : a Tridentine Mass in the crypt and Mass for 1500 young people up above. When the latter got going with guitars an angry Trid came up to complain about such unseemly noise.
But by the time he'd reached the upper church the 15(11) were hushed in silent worship. The Trid was amazed and being a nice fellow did not like to complain. He went downstairs and in delighted tones told his friends that the erstwhile noisy youth had not lost the faith but were