NEWS AND NOTES
TUESDAY is the Feast of SS. Peter and Paul. That 'we Papists s'iould not have simply a " Saint Peter's Day " but a feast of obligation dedicated to both Mundi Magister atque 'coeli Janitor is an overwhelming answer to those wh ) accuse us of having robbed Paul to pay Peter. Worthy Protestants have a strange notion that Catholics (who hear his Letters read aloud •in church almost every Sunday) are rather shy of St. Paul " because he taught Justification by Faith." The true Pauline doctrine of Justification by Faith (which is not quite the same as the Lutheran) is taught by the Catholic Church every day.• Hence, while honouring St. Peter as Clavicularius Regni, we go on to acclaim St. Paul as Praedicator' Veritatis in universo mundo. Yet we must never forget that the keys of Peter open
NEW SERIES.. Vol. CXV. No. 3,893.
While our article " Genf or Geneva " was' being printed, an editorial note on the same topic was
ready for consumption by.readers of the Guardian. Regret at Brazil's departure from the League, said the Guardian, is tempered by the knowledge that the gain will be greater than the loss. Germany's election at the meet-ing of the Assembly in September should now be assured, and it is more important that the League should include the Powers whose political and economic resources qualify them for the epithet " great " than that it should waste tears over the defection of nations which have imperfectly grasped the principles of the Covenant.
Here speaks with no uncertain sound one of those prophets who used to be called, a dozen years ago, " Spiritual Homers." Germany is calmly taken at the old valuation. But on what grounds is it assumed that the future of Brazil must be less important than that of the German Reich ?
A critic of our own article asks us how we know that Brazil has a great future. The answer is that we don't. But neither does the ',Guardian nor any-body else know that Germany's future is to be great. A leading article in last Tuesday's Times emphasized the sinister fact that, at the Referen-dum last Sunday, the Socialists and Communists polled thirty-six per cent. of the German people. The article also-said :— It is of grave significance that more than 14.,000,000 men and women of one of the foremost and most highly educated races of Europe have supported ;. violation of natural morality.
Is it, then, so certain that Germany is entitled to a permanent seat on the Council the very day of her admission to membership of the League?` Our own suggestion was that she ought to serve a few years of apprenticeship in a non-permanent seat, and we have not yet met with any attempt at a reasonable argument against our view. We grant that we do not know Brazil's future. But we cer-tainly know Germany's past. If, under the pres-sure of a growing population, she had fought merely for a wider place in the sun and had been defeated we should have felt much sympathy with her and would have been in the forefront of the peacemakers on the morrow of the conflict. But Germany—not only her Kaiser but her people at large—lusted for the lordship of the world, and stuck at nothing in the attempt to win it. This we have forgiven ; but it is idle to expect that we shall forget so terrible a lesson. We maintain that the immediate grant of a permanent seat to Germany would be both a folly and an injustice. September is being looked forward to by every pro-German as the month when we must all join in pressing the grapes of benevolence into Germany's cup until it runs over. Fortunately there are still more than .ten weeks for reflection, and we shall be deeply disappointed in our statesmen if they do not come to see that it will be both more decent and more prudent to let Germany begin her career in the League modestly.
Further on in its Note the Guardian quotes a French journalist of the Left and brings in the names of Descartes and Goethe. We cannot see that these names are any more relevant than would be the names of Cervantes and Calderon. But, if writers' names are to be invoked, we could mention such Spaniards as the Dominican Francisco de Victoria, as well as Fen:Rand Vasquez and Diego Covarruvias, to whom Grotius was so much in-debted for his ideas on War and Peace—the two themes which are the main business of the League of Nations. Goethe is far less pertinent to the discussion than these Spaniards. Moreover, it was not only hundreds of years ago that the Peninsula made contributions to the ethical discussions which the League of Nations exists to further. Brazil and Spain have proved at Geneva that Spanish and Portuguese minds are exceptionally well-fitted for exploring the jus gentium. The levity with which pro-Germans are bowing these two States out of Geneva speaks badly for their devotion to the League's interests. They speak falsely when they brand those of us who do not agree with them as anti-Germans ; but we speak truly when we say that their attitude to Spain and Brazil shows them to be, in essence, anti-Leaguers.
Because the Catholic Bishops of Germany op-posed the Socialist-Communist proposal to confis-cate one hundred per cent. of the property—includ-ing the private property—of the princely houses, an attempt is being made to represent the German Hierarchy as reactionaries and Hohenzollernists. The Catholic Bishops certainly do not endorse any exaggerated claim made by or on behalf of the Princes, and they agree that there ought to be an examination of each claim on its merits, which would almost certainly mean an enormous cutting down of the total by reason of the fact that a good deal of the property in question may justly be re-garded as the patrimony of the people. Again, no Catholic Bishop or any other level-headed person in Germany would think of paying off the Princes in hard cash squeezed out of the taxpayers and sent away to be spent in foreign countries. In the event of Chancellor Marx securing the passage of the Government's own Bill, now that the Socialist Bill has failed to get through the Referendum, the awkward question of the princely claims would be placed on a satisfactory basis but without an in-tolerable strain upon the people. What the Catholic Bishops did was to denounce a campaign which was both theoretically and practically con-temptuous of the rights of private property. In short, the German Hierarchy was confronted by an exhibition of what we have often been forced ..o call Continental Socialism ; and the Bishops did their duty.
That " Colored Catholics " — we copy the phrase, spelling and all, from an official " clip-sheet " printed in Chicago—were allotted good places at the Eucharistic Congress, and that negro priests were chosen to be deacon and subdeacon at a High Mass on the opening day, is welcome news. Our Holy Father's lately-expressed resolve that coloured races shall have no reason for thinking of Christianity as " the white man's religion " would have been poorly backed up by American Catholics if they had cold-shouldered their black brethren at a festival in honour of Him who was made flesh in order to redeem white and black and yellow alike.
It must be remembered that, in thus assimilating negro Catholics at the Chicago Congress, some of our American friends have had to mortify their own feelings. In Great Britain we have found it hard to understand the American white's attitude to the black, and have sometimes been too sweep-ing in our condemnation of it. Lately, however, London has been plagued with a small invasion of " colored men " from the United States, some of whom have received ridiculous adulation and monstrous salaries in reward for their very thin achievements as so-called musicians and comedians. In their train have come some highly objectionable American negroes whose coxcomb airs as they strut about the West End, often with white girls fawning upon them, make one feel inclined to echo the old command, " Jim Crow, git out ! " But at Chicago the presence of negro priests at the very Altar, wearing sacred vestments and imprinted with the indelible character of the priesthood, reminds us that we must judge these transplanted Africans by their possibilities for good and not by the vanities and crimes of a few doubly black sheep who have been demoralized by the allurements of white civilization. Catholics in Europe can help to advance the true interests of the American black by discouraging the degraded nigger-craze which is rampant in so many hotels, restaurants, theatres and cabarets.
Although hyper-political Protestants have suc-ceeded in bringing about the recall, for the present, of the Queen of Holland's Minister to the Holy See, diplomatic relations are not severed. The Archbishop of Utrecht and his suffragans, speak- ing for many Protestants as well as for their own flocks, have informed the Sovereign Pontiff of the facts of the case and have prayed him to leave the Papal Internuncio in Holland. This prayer His Holiness has granted. Thus the position as be-tween Holland and the Vatican is the reverse of the position between the Vatican and Great Britain. Holland has an Internuncio at The Hague and no Minister at the Vatican ; while the Court of St. James's has a Minister at the Vatican but no Nuncio in London.
Among " Letters to the Editor " in another column will be found a communication from Dr. O'Gorman, of the Catholic Medical Guardian. The four-page " Form of Medical Certificate " which accompanied it is described by the Guild as " very simple," but we fear that many general practitioners may not so regard it. The Introduc-tion says : Important information from modern diagnostic methods, if available (electrical reactions, radiography, bio-chemistry, serology, microscopy, bacteriology, &c.) should invariably be given.
Reading this in connection with Dr. O'Gorman's allusion to fees, we are a little uneasy. Is it the Guild's ideal that every sick person going to a wonder-working shrine shall first be put through this formidable mill ?
Not for one moment would we depreciate the advanced methods of diagnosis which are now at the disposal of surgeons and medical -men. We are not competent to discuss them. But certain questions arise out of Dr. O'Gorman's letter which it is proper for an ecclesiastical review to state.
Although shrines generally are concerned, it will be convenient to take Lourdes alone for the present. What is the prime object of a Lourdes pilgrimage ? Is it, first and foremost, " eviden-tial "—the procuring of miraculous cures by prayer so that their abundant attestation on modern lines may disarm and even convince the sceptic ? Surely not. Our Lady of Lourdes asked for prayers, processions and penances on the spot where she appeared to Blessed Bernadette and described herself as the Immaculate Conception.
Miracles of healing are not the prime fact about Lourdes. Devout pilgrims, not excepting suf-ferers who come back uncured, recognize this, and are always testifying that, having set out for Lourdes as to a spring of physical miracles, they have returned thanking God for it as an ocean of spiritual favours. With the greatest respect for the wise and holy men who have fixed the regular procedure of pilgrimages at Lourdes, we cannot help asking ourselves whether as many cures might not be wrought if they bulked less in the pilgrims' importunities and were more left, as in the first days, to what we may call Our Lady's own good pleasure. Elaborate systems of pre-liminary •medical examination would be entirely praiseworthy if Lourdes were, first and foremost, an auxiliary of apologetics in an unbelieving age; but we repeat that it is a shrine for the soul more than a shrine for the body, and we are afraid that. there is a danger of buying an occasional " scien-tific authentication " at too high a price. An undesirable psychic state may easily be induced in individual sufferers by these bureaucratic prelimi-naries; while, as for the general atmosphere of a pilgrimage, it may be devitalized by insistent warnings that even the evidence of one's own eyes must be distrusted until human science " re-leases " it.
We have felt the more free to make the fore-going observations because The Tablet's own practice in regard to Lourdes cures has been—and shall still be—cautious in the extreme. We have always waited for the bureaux. But Dr. O'Gor-man, and those for whom he speaks, appear to be .suggesting that no sick pilgrim should go to Lourdes without a medical man's signed memo-randum of his pathological and even his physio-logical condition and history. It would be a relief to hear that we have misunderstood Dr. O'Gorman's not very clear letter and that the notarial pathologist is not, after all, to be unduly magnified so far as Lourdes is concerned.
Notwithstanding a recent superfluity of para-graphs about renewed Malines Conversations, The Tablet has maintained its decision, notified some time ago, not to discuss or even chronicle these Conversations save in connection with formal state-ments by responsible persons. The death of the Abbe Portal, which took place rather suddenly last Saturday, evening, does not move us from this resolutiOn. For more than a year we have been in possession of the inner history of the events which led up to the first Malines Conversations; but it :s not our intention to adduce any personalia unless some serious mis-writing of that history in other quarters should call for rectification. Owirkg to Father Portal's regretted death the meeting which had been arranged to take place at Malines this week is postponed. We are confident, however, that the Archbishop of Malines will not encourage any delay in the liwidation which must necessarily be made. • Several readers have sent us cuttings of a spacious article which appeared in the Daily Express on Thursday of last week, under four inches of scare-headings and another four inches of heavy type, to the effect that the Anglican Archbishops and Bishops have locked themselves inside Lambeth Palace and that, although " no word reaches the outer world of the great battle now proceeding within the ancient walls," there may be a " break away of the 700,000 of the Anglo-Catholic Party and their eventual reunion with Rome." It is quite true that Lambeth's decision on Reservation is of immense importance to the Established Church ; but when we are asked how our churches are to accommodate nearly three-quarters of a million more worshippers we must reply that there is no immediate occasion for worry. None the less, Catholics are bound to pray and work for a speedy thaw of the stream of conver-sions which has been lately congealed in the Anglican Church by fond hopes of an impossible " Reunion " with Rome and by exaggerations of the Anglo-Orthodox remedy for Anglican troubles. To prove that we are in earnest, let all of us who can possibly do so repair to the Westminster Cathedral Hall next Friday afternoon, at 5.30 p.m., when Cardinal Bourne will preside over the annual meeting of the excellent Converts' Aid Society.
" As usual, there was inquiry for some Pro-testant equivalent to the Roman Catholic practice of the confessional." So writes the careful London Correspondent of the Manchester Guardian con-cerning the Assembly of the Congregational Union. He adds : The speakers, however, did not elicit any formula which would combine the Protestant emphasis upon private judgment and the inner light with the Catholic insistence upon authoritative moral direction by a priest.
The confessional is not only or even primarily an institution for moral direction, although its use- fulness in this respect is inestimable. It is a tribunal of penance and a mercy-seat of absolution. We believe that thousands of Protestant young. people are unconsciously craving for the confes-sional in this primary sense, and that no mere cabinet for consultations on good behaviour and the formation of Christian character would satisfy their longings. Still, we are glad to hear that the Congregationalists have any patience at all with a Catholic practice which was at one time anathema.
A courteous High Anglican, in a long letter marked " not for publication," begs us to repu-diate what he calls " the un-primitive Processions of the Blessed Sacrament, and Benedictions with It, of which the Eucharistic Congress at Chicago has given us Extreme Examples." He adds that, if some of the telegrams from America are to be literally believed, he could almost withdraw his objections to the Article of Religion which forbids the Sacrament to be reserved and carried about. Our reply is threefold. First, the messages have emphasized the spectacular side of the Congress—which can easily be described in words—to the neglect of its inward and spiritual importance. Second, practically all the Congressists who have marched in gorgeous Eucharistic Processions and have bent low at Benedictions of the Blessed Sacra-ment, were most careful last Sunday morning to recognize the primary use of the Holy Eucharist by receiving Holy Communion at Mass. Third, there exist in the United States, as in the Pro-testant lands of Europe, " un-primitive " sects who deny the Eucharistic Presence and call it a blas-phemy, thus laying upon Catholics the duty of public affirmation and reparation.
The foregoing paragraph must not be taken to mean that, if there had been no Zwingli or any other heresiarch to deny the Real Presence, then the secondary use of the Most Holy Eucharist would be unjustifiable.. We acknowledge that the receiving of Corpus Christi as part of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the supreme Eucharistic devotion ; but this is not to admit that our Divine Redeemer does not " delight to be with the chil-dren of men " in the reserved Sacrament of the Altar. Nobody who has lingered in a Catholic church to observe the mien of worshippers who steal in for a few moments of recollection and adoration and prayer before the Tabernacle could easily believe that our Master is impatient of such visits, and that He suffers them only as provisory acts of faith performed in abnormal days of un-belief. When we criticize Protestants for locking up their churches and chapels except at service-times we are not always quite reasonable. A Bap-tist would not say his prayers much better by re-pairing " out of hours " to the Baptist chapel. The only advantage he could gain would be a chastening of his mood and a quickening of his piety through the hallowed associations of the place—in short, through its memories. But the essential difference between Catholics and non-Catholics is this very difference between memories and living facts. " This do in remembrance of Me " is the climax of the Protestant Lord's Supper. Catholics, on the other hand, do not merely make a devout commemoration of events in Palestine nineteen hundred years ago. The Incarnation and the Passion are continued for them every day in the Eucharistic miracle.
In the House of Lords there may be a still further polishing of the Adoption Bill, which passed its Third Reading in the House of Com-mons last week ; but even if their lordships do nothing better than endorse the legislative work of he Lower House we shall have ground for rejoic-ing. Briefly, the Bill provides that the adoption of a child may be established on the basis of a decree of the Court. The Court should be the Court of Chancery, for venerable and constitu-tional reasons which we have not space to explain ; but to save expense and delay a decree can also be obtained, when the Bill becomes law, from any County Court or Court of Summary urisdiction. The Catholic Church, as guardian of the family institution, has always discouraged haphazard practices in regard to adopted children and foster-parents. It is obvious, for example, that marriage between a foster-parent and an adopted child ought to be regarded as undesirable. We earnestly hope that a certain group in the House of Lords which is disdainful of Catholic principles in these matters will not lay rude hands upon the Commons'_ good work.
King Alfonso's engagement to visit Oxford next Saturday is confirmed; and the Prince of Wales's Fund for a Department of Spanish Studies wants more money by that date. We thank the Hon. Mrs. Codrington and Miss Fowler (of Monmouth) for the guineas they have sent us; also the.readers who tell us that they have forwarded their offerings to Lord Askwith direct.
Next week's Tablet will be the first number of a new half-yearly volume ; so this is a good moment for the friends who write us kind letters of appre-ciation to find new subscribers.