Readers of the leaders and notes on this page will, no doubt, have noticed that these continually harp upon differences and distinctions within hazy ideas and words that form the current coin of the ordinary citizen's mind rather than upon the few matters about which we are all agreed.
It is not a pleasant task always to be having to pick holes in what is taken for granted, but it is a necessary task if action of any sort is to be fruitful and not lead to an even deeper entanglement than that with which the world today is faced.
It may therefore be imagined with what pleasure and relief we turn to the subject-matter of these remarks.
Next Wednesday the King and Queen are to be crowned, and there cannot be the smallest doubt that every citizen, barring perhaps a few irreconcilables who may rightly be named cranks, will be heart and soul with their Majesties on that auspicious day.
Let us therefore at once renew our loyalty and allegiance to King George and Queen Elizabeth and humbly wish them both many long and happy years to rule over us. That this may be so is the object of the prayers of all their Catholic subjects during these days.
Dornine, Salvum Fac Regem! God Save the King!
On Wednesday therefore the whole nation will be one, one, not in any mere undigested abstract word, like peace or democracy or love of humanity, but one in the coolly thought-out acceptance of the monarchy as a vital need and strength for our country, one in our common resolution to maintain and revere it, and one in our devotion to the person of King George VI, as called by God to represent in his person this ancient institution.
This unity, we believe, is genuine and of supreme value, but, alas, it is too severely limited in its scope. It takes in too little of our make-up. It affects too few of the factors which go to form our social life. Not only that, but, in our view, it can too easily be made use of as a cloak behind which to hide behaviour which, if it were brought out into the open, would receive universal condemnation.
It has been the view of this paper that the sole guarantee of the justice and propriety of public acts lies in their always remaining imputable to the individual persons who are responsible for them. There can be no doubt that the modern State has been rapidly disintegrating into an organisation so cornplex that it has become virtually impossible to bring home to any one person the responsibility for the actions on which the happiness and safety of the people depend. The will of the people, the machinery of State, econ omics, the law, the Crown anything will serve as an impersonal excuse to shield the imputability of individual persons. In the modern State crime alone is imputable, but unfortunately too often the apparently virtuous acts of today are seen to be criminal tomorrow.
The restoration of the person to his full and open responsibility for all that he does seems to us to be the fundamental need of the present-day. It is indeed the immediate consequence of the serious acceptance of Christianity as a way of life, for the essence of the !atter lies in every man's submission to and responsibility before God and His justice.
Certain other countries have realised this need and in rough and often imperfect fashion have expressed it by turning to personal leaders, full in the gaze of the people. That is an exaggeration with as many faults as our own bureaucratic mixture of plutocracy and ochlocracy.
For us a better way lies open : the restoration to the monarch of some of powers and responsibilities taken from him not by any decree of the nation but by the irrmponsible and impersonal will of the strongest We have no doubt that this suggestion will be enough to arouse hostile emotions sufficient in themselves to prove how limited in scope is the unity around the King this week.
Meanwhile, whatever may be the future story of our country, we once again repeat the prayer and with all the more fervour because of our medita, tions: Domine Salvum Fac Regem! God Save The King!