DON STURZO-25 YEARS AGO
NEWS item has curiously,
but ,suitably, reminded me that the "Catholic Herald" is twenty-five years Old this year. I am referring, of course, to the "Catholic herald" as refounded and taken over in 1934 after the death of Charles Diamond. The original "Catholic Herald." founded byDiamond, was essentially an Irish nationalist paper' catering especially for Irish immigrants into this country—and I think no one will deny that we are not that. The news item in question is a report that the veteran priest statesman of Italy, Don S(urzo, has suffered a collapse due to general weakness. Happily, his recovery is expected even though he has reached the patriarchal age of 87, In the mid-thirties Don Sturzo, who often advised and wrote for this paper, was a familiar figure to Catholic writers a n d journalists of reformist views. He lived in Kensington, helped and guarded by the late Barbara Barclay Carter. An exile then from Mussolini's Italy, he certainly exerted a considerable formative influence on the younger Catholic generation which at that time seemed to have a greater desire to better the world in a Christian political and social sense than it has today. But perhaps this is seeing the past with retrospective
senile idealism. Anyway, it gives me the chance of saying that ever since I have relied on Don Stump's great volume on "Church and State" as a guide and reference book of first-class value for balance and commonsense, apart from erudition. I bet it is out of print, though it should_he a . paper-back available to all. Don Sturzo is an honorary senator and still a political force in Italy. May he remain so for some time yet.
Those were the days
THE above reminiscent writ jog has prompted me to take out the "Catholic Herald" file for 1935. The discoveries I have made in it should be proof enough that it is not my habit to live the present in regret for the times that are gone. In fact, it must be years since I have looked at the file. But the discovery I make is that within the first month of the year 1935, when we were only just born, the names of the following writers appeared: Erie Gill, Christopher Hollis, Ronald Knox, Bobby Speaight, Don Sturzo, Fr. Martindale, Christopher Dawson, Lord Clonmore (now Lord Wicklow), Arnold Lunn, E. I. Watkin, Alger Thorold, Dr, W. R. Thompson, F.R.S.. the Bishop of Pella, G. M. Turnell. Fr. Francis Burdett and Osbert Burdett, P. Walsh, Fr. Tom Corbishley, Prof. A. A., Parker. Canon Drinkwater, Fr. J. F. T. Prince, Mary Ellison. .Take away those who have died, and is one not left with a pretty fair proportion of writers who remain outstanding today ? Can one replace the loss with many new names, except for converts like Lord Pakenham ? I shall be glad if someone shows me to be wrong in thinking that those were the days and that we still live on them.
HAVING for the first time, I think, in my life spent a journey reading the whole of the popular Sunday press (with a view to a TV show in the evening), I am now left with complete forgetfulness of everything I read, except for two items in the serious Sunday press: the long extrucls from the Devlin Report in the "Observer" and George Schwartz's column in the "Sunday Times." And I finish with the feeling that the most sensible and practical item in all that mass of reading-material is Schwartz's question: why du free citizens of the United Kingdom have to inform the Passport Authorities of the purpose of their travel ? Not only is it an idiotic question since, as Schwartz points out, the only sensible answer for a passport lasting ten years is "to go from one place to anOther," but it is infernal cheek. Why should the authorities intrude on one's private business or pleasure ? I hope that "to go from one place to another" becomes the stock answer until the question is quietly dropped.
I WAS rather amused and
awed the other day, following a car whose right rear direction light was marked "This Side," and whose left one was marked "Suicide." It had a good effect on the scooter rider who is always tempted to squeeze through on the near side and risk being turned into strawberry jam.
Daily Mass Guide
SUN., AUG. 9 — TWELFTH AFTER PENTECOST. d. Creed. (Green).
MON., AUG. 1 0 — S. LAURENCE. d 2 Cl. (Red).
TUES., AUG. 11 — Feria. comm. SS. Tiburtius and Susanna. (Green).
WED., AUG. 12—S. Clare. d. (White).
THURS., AUG. 13 Feria, C0171111. SS. Hippolytus and Cassian. (Green).
FRI., AUG. 14—Vigil of the Assumption. comm. S. Eusebius. (Purple).
SAT., AUG. 15 — T H E ASSUMPTION. Holyday of Obligation. d. 1 cl. Creed. Preface of Our Lady. (White).
SUN., AUG. 16 — THIRTEENTH AFTER PENTECOST. BT. JOACHIM. d. 2 el. comm. of Sunday. Creed. Common Preface, (White).