Supported But Not Pampered
From Our Bedgian Correspondent The position of priests in the Rexist State was carefully defined by the Rexist leader, Leon Degrelle, on Monday, in a leading article on the front page of his newspaper, Le Pays Reel. He favours a state-supported clergy, but points out that priests' salaries must be sufficient only to provide a modest living.
" There is here a principle which every citizen freed from prejudice must admit without hesitation," he writes. . e" It is that the priest, within the measure wherein ,he accomplishes his ministry in all its purity, is useful to the popular community and upholds among the nation all those virtues which make a nation great . . The priest, admirable instrument in the ennoblement of honour, must lead a life free from material worries, all out for his spiritual mission." Degrelle adds that " we shall givi the priest jusr the wherewithal to live correctly,
and that is all.
Pointing out that it is not the role of the Rexist State to reform the clergy, Degrelle remarks nevertheless that by contact with a saintly poverty the clergy will recover the purity of its mission.
" Burgundy and cigars have never ennobled a priest. The Belgian clergy have everything to gain by living hardily like the Cure d'Ars and the Boscos," he states.
Enlarging on this very specialised duties for priests, Degrelle forbids the entry of the Church into politics. "We know," he says, " that there are still priests who delight to revel in the atmosphere of politico religious guerilla warfare. Such priests must and shall renounce their bellicose desires."