Are We Ready For Catholic Action ?
ALBERT HALL RALLY
" Will You Fight For Truth,
Justice And Charity "
—ASKS MGR. HINSLEY.
IT To devote ourselves to a reconstruction of Society in accordance with the teaching of the Gospel.
" To bring the peace of Christ to the world."
These were the intentions that inspired the. Albert Hall Catholic Rally held on Thursday last, as they were stated by Mgr. T-linsley, Archbishop of Westminster, in his opening address as chairman of the meeting.
" Are you prepared to fight for the principles of truth, justice and charity?
" Are you prepared to die for the Faith?" Mgr. Hinsley's challenge was enthusiastically answered all over the hall—" Yes."
"In the struggle before us we do not fight with carnal weapons, or the mechanised forces of modern warfare. Our fight is with principalities and powers and the spirit of evil in high places," continued Mgr. Hinsley.
"IF THERE WERE NO GOD ..."
Mgr. Williams, Archbishop of Birmingham, put forth positive teaching upon social questions and prefaced his speech with the remark:
" If there were no God, if there were no future life, I think 1 should be a Com
munist. They hate the excesses of extreme capitalism, so do I. They see red when they see the oppression of the poor, the slums, and so much unemployment; when they think of the insufficient wages, want of independence. insecurity of tenure of the working nart; when they see vested interests controlling so much of the world's trade, when they hear of food-stuffs being destroyed just when doctors are lamenting the under-feeding of half our people, and when they see no steps being taken by the various governments to stop such abominations. I feel with them in all these things."
They Do Not Face Facts The Archbishop then went on to say that the Communists do not face facts, that instead of justice under their regime there has been injustice, that. the State has become absolute and family life impossible. We Catholics are realists, they are hardheaded men, they recognise the existence of a struggle between good and evil. No destruction of the capitalist system, no economic or political remedies will cure the evils because these methods take for granted that we were made for this world only —but we are not, we are made for God.
if we want to solve the social problem we must obey the laws of God and try to get everyone else to do the same thing.
"No solution of the social problem is right which does not allow for human liberty, and the personal dignity of every man," stated the Archbishop of Birmingham.
" Therefore it is the duty of employers to pay their employees a living wage, a just wage, a wage sufficient to support him and his wife and family. Every man ought to be allowed and encouraged to own some property, especially land. The state may limit the amount which a man owns, the kind of property he may own, the use he may make of it if it is for the corn Milli good that the state should do so. But men should not be, and ought not to be, merely wage-earners who own nothing and have no independence or security of tenure, who are Completely dependent either on individual employers or on the state itself.
Trades Unions Respected
"But man has not only individual rights, he has also social rights and duties, and his highly developed social life leads to many functions being left to the State. The State has its rights, and its authority, and there are well-defined limits beyond which its authority must not extend. I will not go into these here, but what I want to make clear about men considered socially is that working-men have a right to form their own associations for their protection. So also have employers; the Church approves of both these. But in addition she recommends the grouping of both men and masters in any one industry or profession.
" Capital and labour are both necessary to any industry, and both masters and men engaged in one trade have a common interest in the trade itself. Associations of masters and men in any one trade are more likely to secure peace in that trade than any combination of men against masters, or masters against men, working separately.
"So arrangements such as exist in the iron and steel, or the boot and shoe industries, working arrangements set up voluntarily by masters and men to settle questions relating to wages, hours, overtime rates, etc., are all in line with the teaching of the Church. So are Trade Boards to remedy the problem of sweated industries; and Joint Committees of employers and employees to settle all matters of common concern to masters and men."
Read Encyclicals Referring back to the encyclicals of the present Pope and those of Leo X111. on social questions, Archbishop Williams sug
gested that every Catholic employer ought to make a point of reading Rerum Novarum and Quadragesimo Anno at least once a year.
"Can we assert that all Catholic employers pay their workmen a living wage? Can we assert that all Catholic workmen and women give an honest day's work in return for their wage, and do their best for their employers?
" I recently made a suggestion that Catholic employers and business Me n should join the Catholic Social Guild and give a guarantee that they will know Catholic social teaching and will try to put it into practice in their own firms. If We had a list of Catholic firms who guarantee that every one of their employees receives a just wage, sufficient for the support of himself and his family, it would be a good beginning.
"And of course the firm would allow its books to be examined by a competent authority in order to prove to the world that it really is paying a living wage. I hope some day to see such a list formed and published."
Dr. John Heenan spoke upon the relation between Religion and the State. Referring to Russia he said that in theory religion and capitalism were abolished by the Revolution and the worker was the owner of industry. and was working for himself— in practice the masses worked for the Communist State. "Simple people in democratic countries," went on Dr. Heenan, " are asked to believe that one of the greatest facts which has come from the abolition of religion is that the worker may hold up his head and be happy.
" Another great misfortune that has come upon the Russian people through the loss of religion is the ruination of family