I was not at all impressed with the reply given in his article of July 22 by Mr Hugo Young of the Catholic Institute of International Relations, to Mr Patrick Wall's most serious criticism of July 8.
Mr Young says that Mr Wall's comments ought not to be "dignified by a denial" but he misses the point. A member of Parliament has quoted (accurately, I know, , because I checked on my own back copies of the literature in question) from the CI1R's brochures on a variety of internal events, arid the evidence thus obtained shows them to have a serious Left-wing stunt.
When the organisation replies, it Simply cannot brush this aside by muttering that it offends their dignity to have to respond to serious allegations by a writer of this calibre. Of course it offends their dignity — a serious accusation has been made against them — but I am afraid that Mr Young's dignity must be sacrificed to honesty and truth. Mr Young says that the CUR "makes its choices of the issues on yvhich it has a contribution to make": But these choices are most peculiar ones. It is true that it is comparatively easy to criticise Rhodesia, since it is a country where information is easily obtainable, news seireads quickly, ideas and points of view are openly exchanged. • The Church in such a place can easily discuss its position. weigh up the situation, argue the rights and wrongs of various matters. 'This is not true in Eastern Europe or in Russia, or in China.
So obviously the CUR might prefer to choose to write about Rhodesia, simply because it is easier and also because — as Mr Young points out — Rhodesians have strong links with Britain; many people here have friends or relations in Rhodesia and so there is an immediate interest in what goes on in that country. But none of this explains the main point that Mr Wall was making — that in the CIIR's pamphlets allegations are made about the Rhodesian security forces but not about the guerrillas. Frankly, I feel that the CUR is becoming increasingly out of touch, paternaligtic in its approach, and inaccurate in its portrayal of the Church's social teachings.
On Africa, for example, they seem t,o have this idea that the only problems are those between black and white peoples: when chaos comes to Rhodesia and the white people are able to move out, presumably the CIIR will feel that Its work is done.
It won't care about the thousands or black people who will have to suffer (in all probability) a civil war between the two rival guerrilla groups. 1 suspect that the attitude is that "it won't interest our readers, any more". But surely black people are just as important as white ones?
And if the CIIR is so keen to portray the Church's teachings, why is it so selective? The Pope has called atheistic Communism "the most terrible phenomenon". Vatican I I's social teachings repeatedly stressed the importance of the right Co property — currently denied to so many under Marxism. Why isn't the Cil R. campaigning about this?
, if the CUR isn't in any way an official body, as stated by Mr Young, why did it get a grant from the National Catholic Fund to which we were all urged to contribute a couple of Sundays ago?
(Miss) Patrice Eckertery Wembley,
From Lady Diana Richmond
The Catholic Institute for International Relations has already been ably defended against Mr Patrick Wall's attack of July 8. May I add that I owe your paper a debt of ,gratitude for introducing me to the institute?
Et once published an article about .Tviiss Neville's work and comments oo aid to the Yemen. I discovered, reading this, that here was an in • stitute which was intelligent enough to realise that aid poured in to a ..iuntry, often for political reasons, is not always the best way of helping that country.
I wrote at once to find out about, and eventually to join, an association which had such excellent comments to make about a part of the world with which I am to some extent familiar.
I was rewarded later by the issue of two Comments (19 and 29) which, in my view, give an accurate and charitable account of the various problems of the Middle East, and of the particular tragedy of the Lebanon. '
now read all the pamphlets issued with confidence, since, from my own knowledge, I can appreciate the research, analysis and cure so obviously expended upon situations about which I have had an opportunity to learn something at first hand.
I hope we shall have no more sterile criticism of CIIR but rather redoubled support from Catholic readers who, surely, must rejoice to see members of the Church working so effectively both to preserve peace and to help deprived individuals.
Diana Richmond Durham City.
Regarding the Patrick Wall/CIIR correspondence • and articles in "Catholic Herald". On the subject at issue I do not think that CUR should, use the prefix "Catholic". This is quite misleading, if not ambiguous, and may be translated as implying the representation of the Catholic body as a whole, especially when backed up by the "National Catholic Fund".
It is intriguing to analyse the disbursements of lute by the "Nations] Catholic Fund". Those associations with a sociological / political flavour are certainly in the front of the queue, viz, Information Office, £21,313, International Justice & Peace, £15,000, Laity, £10,837, Social Welfare, 115,171, Racial Justice, £13,027, Catholic Youth Service Council, £7,885, Young Catholic Workers, £7,500.
In a succeeding category are: British COunail of Churches £3,000. CHR £2,500, National Conference of Priests £3,700, Universities £3,500, Pax Christi £1,000.
Those bodies with a specifically Catholic flavour bring up,the rear: Missions £900, Religious Life £258, Theology £345, Catechetics £125, Priestly Formation £761, Life Line £1,250, Postulation . £2,500, Ecclesiastical 14,352.
The objects of some of these bodies may be quite legitiinate. but Catholics should be very discriminatory as to where their money goes. James Goldsbury Nottingham.
Several recent letters and articles have referred to our Christian responsibilities in the political sphere.
I have just come back from the Second World Citizens' Assembly, held in the Sorbonne and La Mutualite, which was co-ordinating the efforts of many groups working for the resolution of conflicts in the world by the establishment of a parliament with trans-national powers, one capable of stopping the arms race and implementing the principles of the Declaration of Human Rights in the way recommended by all the recent Popes.
In spite of this, and in spite of the fact that the basic principle emerging in the conference — the principle, of unity in difference — is the human counterpart of our basic Trinitarian Principle, the spiritual leadership in the Conference was to a large extent left to the Shintoist delegation from Japan.
Where were the delegates of the CIIR of the Pax Christi movement, the Justice and Peace Commission? Only the Abbe Pierre spoke forcefully in favour of helping nonChristians by working with them for justice and peace — rather than by 'ignoring them or killing them off. May I therefore bring to the notice of your readers the words of M Mallet, Rector of the University, to the effect that it is unrealistic and Utopian to expect to do away with the arms race if one cannot put in its place a better method of resolving conflicts.
May I also point out that a constitution for World Parliament of three houses — a house of directly elected representatives, a house of nations and a house of experts — has been agreed upon, that delegates to a People's Congress to form the nucleus of the first house have already been elected, that the reform of the United Nations in a federal direction is under discussion arid may well issue in a house of nations and that a "Court of Man" is being set up by well-known workers for justice and peace such as Sean McBride and Philip NoelBaker which could be the germ of the third house?
Further information can be obtamed from the Ecumenical and Peace Centre, Froddle Crook, Armathwaitc who sent two delegates to the conference on behalf of the Community of Christian Love. A. Stephens Founder Secretary of Community of Christian Love Wetheral, Cumbria.