Sie,--Lay leaders of Catholic Action must sigh almost with despair when perusing statements made by well meaning but short-sighted colleagues. And in reply to a correspondent's plea quoted in a recent issue " In the name of Catholic Action cannot something be done," I would like to take this opportunity to reply: " In the name of Catholic Action, there is plenty to be done, and hi Heaven's name get on and do it!"
One correspondent declares that he is willing to organise. Surely here lies a danger to Catholic Action. Most of us have our pet schemes, and in our desire to put them into execution overlook the fact that there are plenty of good Catholic organisations and organisers in this country. The danger of any great increase in the number, and the resultant overlapping, has already been recognised by the Hierarchy's Council of Action, and will only add to the confusion that already exists.
It is within the bounds of existing local societies that we can voice our suggestions, and if useful be sure of the co-operation of other members. The desire to organise something new tends to become something of a craze in the present drive in connection with Catholic Action. In the interest of the Lay Apostolate useful purpose would be served if enthusiasts would give—and encourage others to give— greater support to the Catholic societies already in existence. Good generals need plenty of privates. and an abundance of generals coupled with a dearth of privates results only in chaos.
Local branches of such societies as the Guild of the Blessed Sacrament. the Children and Legion of Mary, the Knights of St. Columba, are--or at least should be power-houses in connection with Catholic Action. • And those of us who are back benchers here have an opportunity, not only to voice our suggestions, but to ensure that our local lay leaders conform to OUT ideal of complete co-operation with the clergy. A strong back-bench can do much in this respect.
Regarding the question of finance, some Catholics have failed to co-operate even under present conditions. There seems little use of incurring further financial obligations while so many fail to cooperate in the reduction of school and church debts or in the increase of the circulation of Catholic newspapers.
Fr. McNabb has recently pointed out that Catholic Action is already with us. And for the benefit of those puzzled enthusiasts the writer would like to repeat " There is plenty to be done." In Heaven's name get on and do it!
A. S. CHRIS-HE,
ERIC GILL, COMMUNIST?
S1R,—We have all heard a great deal, especially during these last few weeks, of what the Church has to say about Communism, and when, on several occasions recently, I have seen the name of a prominent Catholic thinker linked with Communism,
I must admit that I find myself in a state of mental confusion. I ask myself if it be possible for a man who is a devout and enthusiastic Catholic as I know Mr. Eric Gill, the well-known sculptor, to be, to have any connection or even affinity with the thing we know as Communism.
Is not Communism a definite antithesis on fundamentals to Catholic social teaching?