Bilbao Bishop Appeals To British Catholics
The arrival, expected today, from Bilbao of 4,000 Basque children in Engkind imposes a duty on Catholics in this country.
Whatever views May be taken of the action of the Basque people in Spain's civil war, these children are blameless. As Catholics they make an undeniable claim on their fellow-Catholics for both spiritual and material help.
An appeal in this connection has been made by the Bishop of Vitoria to the Archbishop of Westminster (Mgr. Minsky), who has invited Catholic Societies and individual Catholics to do everything they can for the Basque children.
The initial arrangements for the child
understand that theNational Joint Committee for Spanish Relief have also invited our 4:0-operatdon. and desire to nominate a Catholic mires' eta' ive On their Committee. I have asked the VI`I'S I v C a ri 0 IL Craven-48, Compton Street, W.C.1---to give his experience and help i ii the cause. We may surely trust that the usual consideration of our countrymen will he extended to ow' fcllovv-Cal holies who are enduring this misery ;aid exile. We at least will do our duly s1.1 r as lies in 113 for the souls and bodies of these homeless members of the Church.
The good Director of St. Francis Xavier's College, .Potters Bar. the Rev. A. Sanchex, has promised the help of his students. some of whom are Basques. They will be invaluable as interpreters, though he assures tee that all the Basques uuderstand Spanish. We may, .however, also ask for the assistance of Kane. of the Spanish refugees already in this country.
Our schools al North Hyde, Brentwood. Wadtharnstow. and Hammersmith have generously eOlISCIII:ed In house sonw of the boys and girls among those evacuated frffill The Bislicip's Committee for Spanish Relief will uo iloubt cent inee for these new arrivals the good work that they have done for other refugees. Much is asked, but great certainly will be the reward of generosity.
Archbishop of Westminster.
Archbishop's House, : Westminster, SAVA. May 4, 19:37.
Basque Bishop's Appeal Prom Bishop of Vitoria. Y°IV:rittleRALE'
is letter to Your Grace with sentiments.of deepest sorrow and love, sorrow for the misfortunes of war which are afflicting Spain, above all my beloved diocese of Vitoria, love for the children, innocent souls, who have absolutely no responsibility for this terrible tragedy.
God alone knows the prayers that I have directed to Heaven that He may send us peace, which the world cannot give, and which. founded on Christian justice and Christian charity, is the only source and guarantee of the peace of Christ in the .Kingdom of Christ.
My little .onesl. I am informed by the Press and by personal correspondence that from that section of my diocese which is still in the midst of -terrors of war—that is to say, flit bee—h u nd reds of children have departed, and are departing, for foreign countries to escape famine and gunfire.
It fills me with grief to learn that nearly all of them up to the present are being generously received in colleges and fatuities from which they will certainly not derive love for Jesus Christ awl for His Church, but detriment to their Faith.
As the shepherd of all those whom God will demand an account of me, as a father of these little ones to whom I myself have administered the sacrament of Confirmation in my frequent pastoral visitations throughout the diocese, I beg Your Grace with_ all my strength, for Your Grace undoubtedly knows better than I the gravity of the situation, to deign to take as inueli interest as is possible for Your Grace in these souls, I nnocent of all that has happened, and for n11 whom Christ has shown His predileetion and to whom He has given His mosi failjiful blessings.
I would wish that at least the children who are obliged to pass through your country, and who are the sons and daughters of nmst Christian parents. Nvhose great glory is their membership in the China+, May be received in centres or in families where their Faith will run no risk.
I know OA certain groups hostile to the Church seek to profit by this occasion in order to inculcate these angelic souls with anti-Christian principles.
In such circumstances. Your Grace will not.wonder that I open to you my heart as a brother in Christ. Our Lord. to manifest my anxiety and my desires. Thus will be relieved in part, at least, concerning the finwer of Christianity in danger of being transformed into thorns of the Church, the responsibility which I bear towards that same Church, my beloved dioeese, and my own conscience, as shepherd of their souls.
May Your Grace be pleased to accept the homage of profound respect with which I am Your Grace's humble servant in Our Lord.
144 MATFAI MCGICA,
Bishop of Vitoria.
Via Quirivale, 23. Rome. April 28', 1937.