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The Catholic times. [volume] (Columbus, Ohio) 1951-current, October 09, 1953, Image 4

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Friday, Oct. 9. 1953
Published Every Week by
The Catholic Times. Inc.
Columbus. Ohio
NOTICE. Send All Changes of Address to
P. 0 Box 636 Columbus. Ohio
Executive and Editorial Offices:
246 E Town Street, Columbus 15. Ohin
Telephones ADams 5195 ADams 5190
Addres* all communications for publication
tn O Pox 636, Columbus 16. Ohio
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the ta»tor* ef ths parishes
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•lie Times
Anatiymoo* rammun lea tier* will he HisregsraM
We de tiot hoM ouraelte* re’txjesiW* *ey sieses
•r opinion* expressed the eemmuPeatione of our
"BMTMpnn dee t*.
Bntared a* Sernnd Claes Master at Poet Offiee.
Columbus. Ohio.
St Fratiria de Stales Patron of the Ca’holi* Preea
ana «f the Dieeese of Columbus. Prey for Ue I
This Paper Printed by Union Labor
Mission Sunday
In a secular civilization, such as our own, daily
press determines to a great extent our outlook on
the world. In the clash of international interests,
there is danger that Catholics may forget that all
history previous to the coming of Christ was in
preparation for that event and all history since
has been the highway over which the Kingdom of
God marches to its fullness and perfection.
Fittingly therefore the Holy Father sets aside one
Sunday a year, which is called Mission Sunday, in
v hieh Catholics are bidden to take their eyes nff
political maneuvers and cast them upon the Mis
sions of the world. Nineteen hundred years after
the Redemption on Calvary, there are still 1.100.
000.000 pagans in the world. The evangelization
of this number presently involves the services
of over 100.000 missionaries who last year, in ad
dition to planting the Church in pagan lands, aided
60.000.000 orphans, aged. sick, children and lepers.
On Mission Sunday. October 18. the Catholics will be
given an opportunity to fulfill a duty imposed by
the Sacrament of Confirmation, namely to offer
sacrifices and prayers for lhe progress of the
Church throughout the world.
America is the most generous country in the
world. Granted that it has been more blessed than
other countries, its spirit of charity is none the
less remarkable. This year when the Society for
the Propagation of the Faith takes up the collec
tion for all missions, at home and abroad. America
should approach it with the full realization of the
fact that two-thirds of the people of the world go
to bed hungry every night: and while life expectancy
in the United Stales ia 68 years, in India it is only
26. Therefore we must hurry to their aid with our
wealth both spiritual and material. Suffused with
love of neighbor for Christ’s sake, may our Cath
olics see history as the unfolding of the prayer:
"Thy Kingdom Come.”
“Radiant Crown’"
The new encyclical of the Holy Father proclaim
ing th* Marion Year in commemoration of the
centenary of the proclamation of the dogma of the
Immaculate Conception of lhe Rlessed Virgin Mary
brings joy to the hearts of all the faithful. In more
ways than one this an age of Mary, and the an
nouncing of the special year in her honor only con
firms it.
The love with which Mary a clients have turned
to her during these recent decades has been most
inspiring Since long before the terrible World
War II. during the short period of cold peace and
during the cold war in Korea, pleading hearts over
the world have turned to Mary. The Holy Father
himself has frequently urged that increasing and
incessant petition* be directed to the Holy Mother
of God to bring peace to hearts of men, a peace
that can enme only through union with Christ.
On November 1, 1951. Pope Pius XII crowned
all the tributes paid to Mary hy proclaiming offic
ially for the whole Church the dogma of her glor
ious assumption into Heaven. Meanwhile through
out the world individuals and dioceses and nations
have consecrated themselves to the Immaculate
Heart of Mary heeding her request given to the
little children of Fatima. The Pope saw fit to con
secrate the whole world to Mary under thia same
title. The increase and effectiveness of the Legion of
Mary, such movements as Father Peyton's Rosary
Crusade. and the other Marian groups arc likewise
indicative ol this constant plea going to Mary for
the return of men and nations to Christ, with con
sequent peace the world.
Verily this is the age of Mary, and the Marian
Year serves admirably Io emphasize this fact. It
would seem that Mary’s "Radiant Crown” becomes
increasingly radiant with the passing years. The
Martan Year may well be the occasion for Mary
to lei the light ol her "Crown of Glory” shine upon
the whole world, particularly upon Russia, and bring
peace to all men of good will.
What Is lhe Purpose?
Sickening as the reports from Poland are. we
should use them Io bripg home to ourselves and
others the true nature of Communist aggression and
subjugation. Their "modus operandi” indicates the
order and importance of what they consider to he
the greatest obstacles placed in the way of their
world dominating schemes.
So much, is heard today from well intentioned,
supposedly educated people, blatantly anti-commun
l*t who reduce their opposition to the Marxist
sstem tn the single plane of social economy. They
see it merely as the reverse of a system of gov
ernment to which they subscribe -never adverting
to the fact that economics is just one small phase
of the Communist philosophy.
The encroachment of the state on the individ
ual's right of private ownership would seem, ac
cording to these prisons, to be the great and only
evil born of Communism Fix up this one point,
they sa. and Communism takes its place with
all those other forms of government which differ
from nur own.
The way in which Communist policy is carried
nut quickly gives the lie to any such simplified,
almost rosy view of the problem now facing the
Mere economics all that is involved in the
CommunHs quest, even if it were the most import
ant part of the quest, we should have no stories
of violent persecution and wholesale crimes against
humanity emanating daily from those places al
ready existing under Communism. It takas no such
elaborately planned criminal acts to merely change
the economies of various countries, even if the pro
posed new economic system is something that is
seen to be immoral by those forced to live by it.
The process ot Communis! aggression was men
boned as the true index or criterion of Commun
ist intent. Do they wish merely tn dethrone Capital
ism and replace it with Socialism? Are they inter
solely in the economic status nf the worker
and establishing his rightful place in world so
ciety? Let the history of their acts prove their
Economic leaders are passed over almost un
noticed by the Communists in their haste to per
secute and destroy religion. A means to the end.
you say? Surely—but what end? Socialized economy?
Not a bit of it!
Religion is the one thing opposing the total
Communist philosophy which is geared not to re
place economic systems but to destruction of all
morality—to the subverting of the whole world pur
pose as esablished, not by man, but by Almighty
The entire reason for man's creation and his
daily existence, the cause and end of man s pres
ence on this earth is denied by Communist philos
ophy. Communism’s purpose is to make man the
sole measure of his destiny, to create a world in
his own image. The resulting chaos is the measure
of Communisms philosophy, intent, purpose—and
Man’s Law?
The intentional infraction of any safety law
with the attendant possibility of injury to others
is a sin against God long before it becomes a crime
against the state.
"Thou shalt not kill” cries much louder than the
warning whistle, red flashers, stop lights and yel
low speed signs.
Yol are not just accountable to the police offi
cer for a traffic violation where someone could be
injured. Some one else is standing behind him.
Just Among Ourselves
Pasting Cammens Considered ar Inconsiderate
Isn't it about time that we taK concerted action,
against the ineptitude, the bad taste, even the down
right scandal of much of the. queer absurdity called
“religious advertising?” Our concerted action might
take lhe form of a loud and continuing shout,—by
way of letters to editors,—against the folly of our
own Catholic press in printing the trash.
There are certain secular magazines of low estate
which publish stories intended.—ostensibly at least,
and by the repeated assurances of their authors.—
to show that crime does not pay, and that carnal
sin brings only misery. Yet these same magazines
pander to carnality in their advertisements, and
the tone of some of the stories makes crime singu
larly attractive. We may be shocked at the conflict
between claim and performance in such secular
publications. Rut what words have we to express
the shock when a comparable conflict appears in
a publication of our own?
For there are Catholic papers and magazines
which labor well and constantly in their articles,
essays, stories, and departments to make people know
and understand the truth and the unique glory of
the Faith. And yet the advertising pages of the same
publications too frequently carry matter which
falsifies or disorts Catholic belief and practice to
such an extent that these must appear to non-Ca
tholics as superstitious or. merely silly.
What must an honest inquirer into Catholicity
think when he picks up a Catholic magazine and
finds page after page of advertisements for voca
tions? Likely enough, the magazine will have some
reference in its reading-matter to vocation as a call
from God the ads seem to indicate that it comes
from a printed appeal. What must the uninstructed
reader think of us w hen he finds that, he can store
up endless spiritual profits hy sending a quarter
to McGillicudy’s Corners where there is “a shrine?”
Our own beloved Times has recently come a
cropper in this business. Two weeks ago it printed
a quarter-page advertisement for rosary-beads—at
98 with lhe amazing, wonderful, colossal, stu
pendous. unbelievable charm, feature and irresist
ible attraction of Lourdes waler in three of the
beads! "Imagine,” cries the ad (which is sprink
led with exclamation points, or "astonishers” as
Rill Nye aptly calls them) "Imagine praying to Our
Blessed Mother and actually touching beads con
taining water from the miraculous spring created
by Holy Mary!”
Any Catholic knows that it was not a Catholic
who wrote that line. But that fact is beside the
point. The point is that the presence of a few
drops of water from Ixuirde* is here made to seem
as iVnportant as, or more important than the devout
praying of the rosary Of course, no sane Catholic
believes anything of the kind. Rut what will those
outside the faith, whom we are lo bring lo the
knowledge of the faith.—what will they think of
our devotion to the rosary and ft e Rlessed Mother
as they read this silly advertisement?
The purpose of our religion is lo make us holy
and get us on to heaven. To this end we cherish the
true doctrine by faith: we offer to God true wor
ship with His own Church: we gain grace by prayer
and the sacraments. Beyond this, and in line with
this, we have pious practices, and we use aacra
mentals. Rut we never mix up essentials and non
essentials so as to put minor things in the place of
maior things. To do so would he a denial of the
faith itself.
Arid yet there are people among nur nwn who
are all agog with the importance of this little pil
grimage or that largely attended novena. There are
people who are ready to travel at great expense
and inconvenience to see a spot where a True or
even a questionable apparition has occurred the
same people usually refuse to make the slightest
sacrifice to be present at Holy Mass, or to visit
Our Lord, not in anparition but in Real Presence
in the nearest parish church.

There are people, even among nur own. who
are unwilling tn devote ten or twelve honestly
praverful minutes to the saying of the rosary. Many
nt these will be eager to possess beads with Lourdes
water in them. And these are the people wh.i give
to others, ill-instructed nr outside the Church, an
utterly misleading notion nf what the Catholic re
ligion is.
St. Paul, writing under the divine inspiration,
tells the Corinthians that they,-—and we,—are tn
give offence to no man “lest our ministry he
hlamed.” We have all the ministry of showing, by
life and practices, the truth of our necessary relig
ion: through us others are to come to the knowl
edge of the truth. Our ministry is tn be blamed
indeed it we put in the wav of others the stumbling
block. the scandal. of a false representation of what
we truly helieve. Thus we turn them ,from God
instead of drawing them to Him.
Waler from lhe spring at Lourdes is something
to use with reverence as a distinctly minor object
which may remind us of the loving and powerful
intercession of the Blessed Mother: it may help us
to seek that intercession, and thus it may arouse
or increase our devotion. 11 is the devotion that
counts, not the water itself. A sick person cured in
the spring at Lourdes does not pray to the water,
either before his cure or after it is effected he
prays to God through Mary, first in petition, and
then in thanksgiving. He may not even think of
the water itself at all.
It offends Catholic sensibility to have Imurdes
water advertised as a kind of charm, or gadget, or
something to carry around, enclosed in beads, as a
sort of super-duper rabbit’Afoot. Against such ad
vertising we must make effective protest, for it
can do, and is doing, incalculable harm. “Sentire
cum ecclesia" is the sane direction for Catholic
living the phrase means to conform with e mind
and spirit nf the Church. Let us keep first things
Their danger arises from the
diabolically clever manner with
which the persecutors nf the
Church mix up Catholicism and
nationalism, religion and patriot
ism. and from their efforts to
draw a distinction between
"scheming Vatican circles” and
the Holy Father as spiritual head
of the Universal Church.
Osservatore Romano has re
cently pointed out hnw this
Perhaps I may be pardoned
for a personal word this week.
Sunday, October 11, marks the
eighth anniversary of my de
parture from
the Communist
and return to
the Church. In
the midst of
the sense of
deep gratitude
which I wish
to share with
the readers of
this colunm, 1
have done a
bit of soul searching.
One of the first things 1 did
was to pick up the Daily Worker
and learn that it still assails
me. There was no reassurance
in that knowledge. For the ex
Z'oinmunist cannot be said to be
fulfilling his function unless he
harms, retards, and helps break
down the conspiracy.
When a Communist, lie devot
ed so much energy to spreading
this spiritual disease of our
time that he has no option—if
he is sincere in his reformation
—but to expand equal or even
greater energy to end it And
that thought applies, though in
a slightly different way. to those
who did not fall into "the griev
ous sickness’’ that 1 did-—to quote
St. Augustine.
No Easy Task
Two days after this, for me.
notable date nf October 11,
comes the remembrance nf the
great miracle of Our Lady at
Fatima Her appeal against
atheistic Communism, even be
fore it came into power in Soviet
Russia, was that we save our
selves from it through prayer
and also through penance.
It is no easy task tn take part
In actually eoming tn grips wjth
America’s First Christopher
‘Trial’ Reflects Red
spects the “trial” and sentence
of Bishop Czeslaw Kaczmarek
before a Polish communist court
were strictly in accordance with
the pattern traced by the perse
cution of Catholic leaders
throughout the Soviet orbit. The
free world has almost become
used to the catalogue of "charg
es” which vary little, be it in
Yugoslavia or China, in Hungary
or Poland of Czechoslovakia.
But there is one aspect of the
Warsaw u i ci a I proceedings
which! according to students of
lhe worldwide communist war
on religion in general and the
Catholic Church in particular,
deserves the closest attention.
Unless properly understood it
may mislead and deceive even
those who are friendly toward
the Church and abhor the per
secution to which she is sub
scheme works. By denouncing
the Vatican as the spearhead of
all kinds of devious “reaction
ary” movements allegedly aim
ing to undo the vast political,
economic and social changes of
the past 50 or 75 years, an ef
fort is made to arouse ancient
national and racial antgonisms,
to stir up old resentments, and to
profit by old grievances.
Thu*, lor the Catholics of Slo
venia and Croatia the Vatican is
depicted as the "traditional en
emy of the Slavsk’ and the "ally-’
what is termed “Italian im
perialistic ambitions” along the
Adriatic Sea.
In Hungary, an attempt is
made to poison the minds of
proud, patriotic Hungarians by
denouncing the Vatican as a
supporter of largely imaginary
plans looking toward a restora
tion of the Hapsburg monarchy.
Both in Czechoslovakia and
Poland, the communist propa
gandists, exploiting the memor
ies of nazi Germany's ruthless
sunpression of the Czechs and
Poles, peddle spurious i’evi
der.ee” showing that the Vati
can is 100 per cent on the side
nf the Germans and supports
German revisionist claims.
In China and other Far East
ern countries, where the people
strive for national independence.
A Challenge To Be Met
Communism as it operates.
Whether on the local level or
lhe national scale, he who takes
a stand for his country and for
God today is bound to be incon
venienced, misrepresented, ahd
sometimes harassed, But if it
be looked upon as a penance and
an obligation, then the perform
ance of this duty will bring its
own satisfaction.
Back the Attorney General
At this present moment, the
Communist conspiracy is de
nouncing Attorney General Her
bert Brownell with the same
venom with which it has gone
after others who have sought to
restrain it. The move by the At
torney General against the Com
munist fronts, w hich is so essent
ial to American security, has
brought a torrent of abuse down
upon his head. The September 6
issue of the Daily Worker de
clares in a long article that
“Brownell is out in the open as
a backer of McCarthyism.” Five
days later, the National Com
mittee of the Communist Party
issued a call for action against
Brownell. bitterly criticizing
his measures against the fronts
and even for the arrest of Rob
ert Thomnson and Sid Stein, the
Red fugitives from justice.
No matter what a man’t parti
san political advcrcnce may be.
he is bound as an American to
give encouragement to the At
torney General in his effort to
bring the Communist fronts be
fore the- Subversive Activities
Control Board.
The call made by the Red
leadership will get a big re
sponse. and Washington will re
ceive many letters protesting
against the Department of Jus
tice moves. There is an obliga
tion upon everyone who wishes
actually to halt Communism to
lhe Vatican is denounced as a
supporter of European "colonial
exploiters” and as an enemy of
Many other examples could be
cited to show how communism
works mightily to saddle the
Holy See with a multitude of un
popular political- and social
schemes, and thus present it to
ignorant minds as a sinister pow
er of "reaction.” And, incident
ally, jt is not only the commun
ists who seek to arouse antagon
ism toward the Holy Sec with
such methods.
The danger is—and according
to many reports it is not only a
potential, but an acute danger—
that such schemes may prove
successful with those Catholics
who fail lo have a clear concep
tion of the spiritual function of
the Holy See and allow national
and patriotic sentiments and
ambitions to becloud their du
ties and loyalties toward the
That patriotism and Catholic
ism are not opposed to each oth
er hut are supplementary be
comes clear from even an ele
mentary knowledge nf Catholic
teaching. But communism does
not cease in its efforts to con
strue a contrast and to exploit
faulty conceptions for the bene
fit of Red tyrannies.
let the Attorney General know
that his campaign should go for
ward. Organizations as well as
individuals can express them
selves, and that means that
someone must raise the ques
tion in various local organiza
When we learn what the Com
munists are heading up to in
their attack on the Department
of Justice, we can be even more
aware of our responsibilities.
The call made by the Red lead
ership on September 11 ends
with the demand that the FBI
be abolished. “What is needed.”
this call declares, “is to abolish
the secret political police in the
United States. The American peo
ple arc ir reasingly worried
about FBI snooping, recruitment
of stool pigeons, and harassment
of neighbors and friends.”
This totally false series of
charges against the FBI will be
whispered about, will find those
who will gepcat it before groups
of all sorts, and thus lay the
foundations for what the Reds
are seeking. That is nothing
other than the "refusing to ’co
operate’ with the secret police,
by refusing to give information
or io finger their neighbors and
fellow workers.” The Reds urge
that the idea be spread that all
door* should be closed “in the
faces of FBI snoopers.”
It is largely useless to talk
about opposing Communism un
less, in addition to our prayerrs.
we do something about these
concrete operations of the con
spiracy. Nothing would be more
healthful than the spreading of
the idea that the defense of
America requires every bit of
cooperation witji the FBI that
can be given. Here is a chall
enge laid down hy the Soviet
fifth column, that must be met.
Must Stolen Articles
Always Be Returned?
Q. Does one have to restore a
stolen article taken some time
ago wifen one did not know
about restitution? How do you
determine the value of a stolen
article to be restored? What if
one doesn't know for sure the
identity of the owner?
A. An object which has been
stolen must be restored to its
owner. When the person realiz
es his obligation to restitution
he must restore the object if it
is possible. As far as the value is
concerned, if the object itself
does not exist the equivalent, or
dinarily in money, could satisfy
the obligation. Ordinarily this
would mean the value of the
object to be replaced at the
market-price at the time of re
storation. If the owner can be
found restitution must be made
to him or his heirs. The effort
to find him must be proportion
ed to the value of the article
in question. If the owner is dead
lhe restitution must be made to
his heirs. If he cannot be found
restitution must be made to the
poor or to some pious cause. For
personal advice in the matter of
restitution Catholics should ask
advice in the confessional.
Q. What is the Catholic view
point regarding the movie "Mar
tin Luther"? Are the facts in
the picture true—-or how close
to the truth do they come!
A. For information on movies
Catholics should consult the
CATHOLIC TIMES, and Catholic
magazines. Judging by the pub
licity it is scarcely an authentic!
historical biography. A film glor
ifying a priest who married a
nun and left the Church can
scarcely be a pleasant film for
Catholics. From the available
reviews it would seem that the
movie attempts to avoid offen
sive references to the Catholic
Church and tries to conform to
the historical facts. In so doing,
however, it simply omits the an
swers any educated Catholic
could give to Luther's questions
and objections. One review char
acterized the movie as technical
ly well done but not true. Cer
tainly it does not tell the whole
truth, but is designed to present
a romantic figure in as favorable
a light as possible. Check the
Legion of Decency listing in the
Q. Is it sinful to go into
Chuch without something on
your head?
A. Canon No. 1262 of Canon
Law states (in part) .. “The men
should assist at divine services,
either in church or outside of it,
with uncovered heads, unless the
approved customs of the people
or peculiar circumstances de
mand the contrary the women
should assist in modest dress
and with heads covered, especial
ly when they approach the Table
of the Ixird.” To disregard these
regulations of the Church for
due reverence in God's house
would be sinful if done deliber
ately. Loyal Americans consider
it serious if someone deliberate
ly keeps his hat on wrhen the
flag goes by. Reverence for God
is more important. For a man
to enter a church with his hat on
or a woman without a head cov
ering there would have to be a
proportionate reason. It would
be a grave sin, however, only if
done in a spirit of wilful irrever
Q. In regard ot fraternal cor
rection mentioned in your col
umn some time ago does it refer
to sms committed when you are
present only!
A. It is a grave duty to avert
sin or the proximate occasion of
sin from another. It is not a kind
of scolding administered for sins
committed but has to do with our
duty out of love of our neighbor
to keep him from sin. It would
be rash to act if reports of the
person s sinful actions come to
us through gossip or rash judg
ment. My neighbor must be in
actual spiritual distress, the
need must he grave, and there
must be some hope that he will
profit hy the correction. Ordi
narily it is to be administered
only when it is the only way to
stop a person from sinning i e.
when superiors such as parents
or the pastor for some reason
cannot or do not admonish the
Q. When a non-Cathohc dies
can a priest come in and pray
for that person? Is he permit
ted to hold a service for that
person in a funeral home? Can
a non Catholic be buried with a
service in a Catholic Church?
A. fn particular instances the
pastor as a rule is free to de
cide whether it is fitting and
proper to visit the home or fu
neral parlor for private prayers.
“To take part in the services o£
any funeral other than a Cath
olic funeral.” as a decrefe of the
Fifth Synod of the Diocese of
Columbus states, “a priest must
have the permission of the Ordi
nary.” A non-Catholic cannot be
buried with a service in a Cath
olic Church.
Send questions to Rev. Ed
ward F. Healey, The Inquiry
Corner, The Catholic Times. Box
636. Columbus (16) Ohio.
The Church in Sweden
As in the other Scandinavian
countries, I have tried to find
out as much as possible about
the stains and future of Catholic
ism in Sweden
and to set off
the conclusions
against the
background of
e national
e perament,
the social mil
ieu and the
historical tra
Sweden is
the country
where until
most recently,
the largest
number of restrictions on Cathol
icism existed. Whereas in Den
mark. Finland and Norway most
of the historical obstacles to the
restoration of the faith had pass
ed into disuse, in Sweden it was
but a few months ago when the
Church was suffering really or
in theory from some of the most
vexatious forms of legislation.
It is always hard to distinguish
between formal and popular re
strictions. There can be no doubt
that (he Swedish people are th?
least sympathetic to Catholicism
just as the Norwegian and Dan
ish are the most—and the rea
son is in part historical. Sweden
fancies itself the giant of the
north, the staunch defender of
Lutheran orthodoxy against its
its enemies, and the chosen
champion of anti-Catholic'-m.
The fact that Sweden’s national
greatness coincided with the
period during which it stood for
Lutherism against its enemies
contributes a great4 deal to this
state of mind
Clergy Civil Servant*
The Lutheran Church in Swed
en occupies a far more signifi
cant position in the national
life than elsewhere. Although
all the Scandinavian countries
are officially Lutheran, there are
degrees of support and of en
thusiasm. 1 do not mean to imply
that the Swedes are particularly
good Lutherans- all the evidence
seems to point to the fact that
most of them could scarcely care
less. I heard estimates of actual
church attendance that ran from
two per cent in Stockholm to
possibly ten per cent in the
countryside and small towns. At
best, the adherence of the Swed
ish people to the state church
does not constitute much more
than a gesture and a question of
social prestige.
The Lutheran ministers are
civil servants. 1 was astonished
tn discover that in the cities
they have offices, exactly like
doctors or lawyers, and put in a
normal working day, attending
largely to the numerous civil
jobs that fall to their lot. Prec
ious little seems to be done in
encouraging anything like a spir
itual revival among the people.
In point of fact the ordinary
pastor seems to have extremely
little time for it.
Catholic Refugaat
The (,'atholic Church operates
under innumerable handicaps.
The Swedes feel much mors
strongly than other Scandinav
ians about anything that savors
of the invasion of popery. But
there is one outstanding fact
which from the Catholic point of
view sets Sweden off from all
of Scandinavia and that is the
tremendous influx of refugees
from eastern and central Europe.
Before t|jc war there were
only about 5.000 Catholics in
Sweden: today there are 18.000,
the great majority of them Sud
eten Germans, Poles, Lithuanians
and others who have fled the
Red tyranny. They are scatter
ed over Sweden, engaged largely
in industry. The task of °aring
for them is formidable and one
for which the Church is ill-equip
ped. The number of priests for
the whole country is under 50.
One priest handles all northern
Sweden. Even the larger cities
have at best only one small Ca
tholic chapel, accommodating
perhaps 200 people.
I visited the Catholic church
in Helsingborg and in Goteborg,
two rather typical southern cit
ies. Both edifices are tucked
away out of sight, served by
single priest with a few nuns for
supplementary work. Bishop
Arsgar Nelson. Auxiliary of
Stockholm, told me of the enor
mous burden of integrating this
new population into anything
like a cohesive Catholic commun
Sterile Atmosphere
In Sweden Catholicism does
not have as much intellectual
prestige as in Norway or Den
mark. There is no Sigrid Undset.
no Johannes Jorgensen to give
tone and caliber to Catholic
thought. The environment smells
of hostility to such an extent
that no recognition at all is giv
en to Catholicism as anything
other than a minor denomination
working among Poles and other
peoples who probably do not
know any better.
While recognizing the collect
ive virtues of the Swedes and
their capacity to construct a
working corhmunity. I found the
atmosphere quit? frankly de
pressing and sterile. It was W’ith
considerable pleasure that I em
barked at Goteborg on a slow
cnastal steamer fpr the trip up
the coast and to Oslo.

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