WILL SAVE ITALY"
" Catholic Action will save Italy in the name of Christ and His Vicar," stated Mgr. Vennini during the opening address in Rome to the Conference of Italian Catholic Action leaders and delegates.
Some 1,000 members of Italian Catholic Action attended the Conference which was held in the Pontifical University Institute at St. John Lateran under the presidency of Cardinal Lavitrano, head of the Cardinals' Committee for Italian Catholic Action.
During the opening address Mgr. Vennini read a letter from Mgr. Montini, of the Papal Secretariate of State, bringing a message from the Pope and the Pontifical blessing.
I Let those in responsible posiP tions in Catholic Action, the letter I stated, recall with a renewed spirit of trust the Pope's affirmation of the Movement as " the collaboration of the laity in the hierarchial apostolate."
Their first thought, therefore, should be to maintain the closest union between the Bishop and the Holy See -end that not only as a matter of formal and passive discipline but also as an expression of an affectionate interior fidelity, prompt to appreciate the Church's meaning and to make its doctrines and exhortations the rule of their life.
As a family built or. unity, it, should draw its members to concord, comprehension and obedience to all the social virtues so necessary to a reigrt of charity, and as a school of action it should adapt its programmes to the needs of the time and attend particularly to the education of the people in the discharge of their civic duties and rights.
" It is necessary," the letter continues, " that Catholic militants make their presence felt by every opportune modern nteans wherever there arises the duty of defending and diffusing the teaching of Christ, and especially in the social fields."
In a very frank address on Italian youth, a very experienced military chaplain said that those who had served the war fell into these classes as to their religious outlook. There was an extremely small group of fervent believers, but their faith was not very profound There swan a small minority of atheists, who followed out logically their lack of belief. while the vast majority were wavering liable to fall away at the very first difficulty, but professing their faith on particular occasions.
This youth, he said, has seen the collapse of every moral ideal, has a thirst for power and ownership, a cold and calculating sensuality, but its
occasional deeds of heroism show that it has not entirely lost the thought of Christ. From past Ideologies they inherit a violent and superficial mentality. but, he declared, those who undertake the teaching of this youth must not he discouraged.