■ 4110a FROM PAGE ONE In defending, therefore, the principle of private property, the Church pursues a high ethical social purpose. She does not intend to defend the present state of affairs absolutely and simply, as if she saw in it the expiession of God's will, or to defend as a matter of principle the rich and the plutocrats against the poor and the indigent.
Far from it. From the very beginning she has been the defender of the oppressed against the tyranny of the powerful and has always sponsored the just claims of all classes of workers against every injustice. But the Church aims rather at securing that the institution of private property be such as it should be according to the designs of God's wisdom and the disposition of the elements in the social order—a necessary presupposition to human initiative—an incentive to work to the advantage of life's purpose here and hereafter, and end of the liberty and the dignity of man, created in the likeness ofGod who, front the beginning, assigned him for his benefit dominion over ffiaterial things.
Take away front the worker the hope of acquiring some goods or personal property, and what other natural incentive can you offer him to make him work hard, to save, to live soberly, when not a few men and peoples to-day have lost all and have nothing left but their capacity to work.
WAR-TIME BUREAUCRACY DANGER
0R perhaps men want to perpetuate the economic conditions of war-time by which, in some countries, the public authority has control of all means of production and provides fur everybody and everything, but with the lash of severe discipline? Or perhaps they want to lie down before the dictatorship of a political group which, as the ruling caste, will dispose of the means of production and at the same time of the daily bread and hence, of the will to work as individuals?
The social and economic policy of the future, the controlling power of the State, of local bodies, of professional institutions, cannot permanentlensecure
their ends, perfect a genuine productivity of social life, ant normal retans on national economy, except by thus fixing and safeguarding the vital functions of private property in its personal and social values. When the distribution of property is an obstacle to this end it is not necessatily nor always an outcome of the extension of private inheritance—the State may. in the public interest, intervene by regulating its use or, even, if it cannot equitably meet the situation its any other way, by decreeing the expropriation of property, giving a suitable indemnity. For the same purpose, small and medium holdings in agriculture. in the arts and trades, in commerce and industry, should he guaranteed and promoted.
Co-operative unions should ensure for them the advantages of big business. Where big business even to-day shows itself more productive there should be given the possibility of tempering the labour contract with it contract of coownership. And it should not be said that technical progress is opposed to such a scheme and that in its irresistible currents, it carries all activities forward towards gigantic businesses and organisations before which a social system, founded on the private property of individuals, must inevitably collapse.
No. Technical progress does not determine economic life as a destined and necessary factor. It has, indeed, too often yielded timidly to the demands of the rapacious, selfish plans calculated to accumulate capital indefinitely.
Why should it not then yield also to the necessity of maintaining and ensuring private property for all—that cornerstone of social order? Even technical progress as a social factor should not prevail over the general good, but should rather be directed and subordinated to it.
Ar the end of this war, which has overwhelmed all the activities of human life and has turned them into new channels, the problem of the future shaping of the social order will give rise to a fierce struggle between the various policies. In this struggle the Christian social idea has the arduous but noble mission of bringing forward and demonstrating theoretically. and in practice to the followers of other schools that, in this field, so important for the peaceful development of relations between men, the postulates of true equity and the principles of Christianity can be united in dose wedlock and bring forth security and prosperity for all those who can lay aside prejudice and passion and give ear to the teaching of truth.
We are confident that our faithful sons and daughters of the Catholic world, as heralds of the Christian social idea, will contribute, even at the price of considerable sacrifices, to the progress towards that social justice 'after which all true disciples of Christ must hunger and thirst.
THE CASE OF ITALY
TURNING to the conditions prevalent now in Rome, the Pope says that although the city no longer resounds to the rumble of battle there still remains the fatal effect and harm that systematic requisitioning and the rernoval or destruction of precious means of transport have caused to the supplying of food in sufficient quantities and at a reasonable price. Everyone recognises that this abnormal situation, together with the equally vast destruction. requisitioning and removal of powerful means of production, has caused a paralysis of economic life whose material and spiritual repercussions on the population become every day more alarming and menacing.
No sterile accusations. he says, will afford a remedy for such evils hut only sincere and generous collaboration by all who have the power and authority to serve the interests of the State. Is it not perhaps desirable to have cooperation towards the coatmoil good of upright. honest, experienced people, who are sincere (did untarnished by any stain of crime or real abuse, even If the past they found themselves in another political camp? Would not such. moreoVer, open the way to unity of purpose?
Accordingly, the Pope continues, knowing as we do the profound misery into which large sections of Italy have fallen, we remind especially those who, in the country itself, possess large supplies and abundant reserves of fcod, of their obligation not to withdraw them through greed of greater profit Irons those who are languishing from hunger—mindful of the terrible punishment with which the Eternal Judge threatens him who is without pity for his suffering brother.
We appeal, moreover, to those peoples whose resources have not been substantially affected by the war to give to the population of Italy. within the limits of their capacill and without prejudice to what is due to other nations in equal want. the help it needs, espeCially in the initial stages of its rebirth.
We readily acknowledge what has been done in this direction by the Allied Powers, and we know that it is intended to do still more. We likewise willingly appreciate the efforts made by
the Italian authorities. We, who arc placed by the work of our Apostolic Ministry in a position to know the sorrows of the poor and of the oppressed, feel in our heart more than anyone a genuine gratitude towards all those in Italy and abroad, Governments bishops, clerics and laymen who have co-operated and are still co-operating towaMs this noble end.
lf, unfortunately, it has not been hitherto possible for us to obtain the use of sailing vessels or other boats to transport foodstuffs or to send back refugees to their homes, we are nevertheless confident that we shall soon receive other means of relieving numerous wants. And as in the past, so too in the future, we shall remain profoundly grateful to all who enable us to shorten the regrettable propottion between our own scanty resources and the immense extent of the most urgent need.
In this support, lent from one nation to the other. we recognise as begun already during the war. though only within the restricted limits that the war allows, the reawakening of a sense of generosity both humanly exalted and politically wise. It is a sense which, in the heat of battle and in the impassioned assertion of conflicting interests, may indeed be weakened but which cannot be entirely extinguished, and which, based as it is on human nature aka and on the Christian concept of life. must afterwards return to its place of full honour as soon as ever the sword has accomplished its hard task.
ANXIOUS FOR PEACE
THERE is certainly nothing that we A desire more ardently than to see the swift dawn of that day when the clash of arms ceases and peace, security and prosperity ire restored to so great a part of mankind that has been tortured and brought almost to the end of its physical and moral forces. Countless souls are sighing for that day as shipwrecked sailors watch for the rise of the morning star.
Many, however, note even now that the transition from the violent tempest to the great tranquillity of peace may yet be painful and bitter. They understand that the stages of the journey from the cessation of hostilities to the establishment of normal conditions of life may reveal even greater difficulties than people think. It is accordingly all the more essential that a strong spirit of solidarity arise between the nations, so as to render more speedy and more lasting the world's restoration to health.
Already, in our Christmas Message of 1939, we expressed a desire for the creation of international organisations which, while avoiding the omissions and defects of the past. should be really capable of preserving peace according to the principles of equity against all possible threats in the future. Since to-day in the light of such terrible experiences. the desire to secure a new world-wide peace institution of this kind is ever more and more oltmpying the attention and care of statesmen and peonies, we gladly express our sympathy and hope that its actual achievement may really corsespond in the largest measure to the nobility of its end, which is the maintenance of tranquillity and security in the world for the benefit of all.
PITY PRISONERS AND INTERNEES
BUT perhaps nobody looks forward so anxiously to the end of the conflict and to the rebirth of mutual concord as the millions of prisoners and civilian internees, compelled by the war to eat the hard bread of captivity and of forced labour in a foreign land. Their sorrow for their protracted absence from motile's, wives and children. for the long separation learn al people and things they love. consumes and wears them down and arouses in them a poignant sense of isolation and abandonment, such as only those can measure who can penetrate the deep agony of their hearts.
And Since this war, together with its consequences, whether necessary or arbitrary, has led to history's most gigantic and tragic migration of peoples, it will be an achievement of high altruism, of clear-sighted justice and of wise organisation if those unfortunates are not kept waiting beyond the strictly necessary time for their liberation, already too long delayed. Such a solution, which naturally would not exclude certain perhaps indispensable precautions, would be the first ray of sunshine in the blackness of the night. a Symbolic herald of a new era in which all peace-loving nations, great and small, strong and weak. victors and vanquished, will share no less in the rights and duties than in the benefits of a true civilisation.
WHEN SWORDS MUST BE UNSHEATHED
THE sword can—and indeed at times must—open the way to peace. The shadow of the sword may also weigh upon the transition from the cessation of hostilities to the formal conclusion of peace. The threat of the sword may loom inevitably, within juridically necessary and .morally justifiable limits. even after the conclusion of peace, to safeguard the observance of rightful obligations and prevent temptation to conflict. But the soul of a peace worthy of the name and the purifying spirit of a solution is a justice which impartially measures out what is due to everyone and takes from all their just due, a justice which does not give everything to everyone, but which gives love to all and wrongs no one, a justice which is worthy of the truth and which is the mother of a healthy freedom and sure greatness.
Mass now at Great Missenden
A Mass centre has now been established at Great Missenden, Bucks, and will be served by the Rev. Fr. IDreves, from Princes Risborough.
The first Mass will be offered this Sunday at 10 in the rooms of the Y.W.C.A. in Great Missenden,