"THE POPE has spoken, but words will not feed the hungry. Prompt action is required." Thus Cardinal Heenan in his,Pastoral Letter on World Hunger.
There will be few people to quarrel with the sane sentiments and ideas expressed by the Cardinal for he manages to put in prose, without frills and rhetoric, the case for alleviating the poverty of some nations amidst the roaring affluence of the Twentieth Century. The nub of the Pastoral is expressed in the following paragraphs : "Look around your church and home and % see what can be sold for the poor. You may 5 have chalices, vestments and monstrances which are used only once or twice a year. They • can be sold. Jewellery which is seldom worn — • brooches, rings• necklaces and earrings — could save children who are starving to death /; at this moment. Look in your wardrobes not for old clothes but for good suits and dresses g you can do without ...
"During the war when our country was 5 threatened we sold our pots and kettles, stayed 5 at home unless our journeys were really neces sary, saved fuel and denied ourselves all kinds
of luxuries. Why were we so ready to make /5 these sacrifices? Because there was a war on and we were in danger. There is a war on now. 0 It is the war on want and we are in mortal
The Cardinal is, of course, right. The fight against poverty will never be won by ternporary exercises in charity, but how does one really convince people that there is a war on • when they are living in comfort and have • grown soft on the luxuries of life in the Sixties?
O Remember the phoney war of 1939-40. It 0 wasn't until Dunkirk and when the bombs 5 began to fall that Britain decided to sell her ; pots and pans.
The Dunkirk we are facing at the moment is 0 purely a spiritual and humanitarian one. Chris tians must be made aware by every source of publicity at the Church's command that unless % they act at once this Dunkirk could turn out to be an unmitigated disaster with no second % chance of winning the war on want.