OCR Interpretation

The Catholic times. [volume] (Columbus, Ohio) 1951-current, August 27, 1954, Image 4

Image and text provided by Ohio History Connection, Columbus, OH

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83007243/1954-08-27/ed-1/seq-4/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for

Friday, August 27, 1954
Published Every Week by
The Catholic Times. Inc.
Columbus. Ohio
NOTICE. Send All Changes of Address to
P. O. Box 636 Columbus. Ohio
Executive and Editorial Offices:
246 E. Town Street, Columbus 15. Ohio
Address all communications for publication
to P. O. Box 636. Columbus 16, Ohio
Telephones: CA. 4-5195 CA. 4-5196
Priee of The Catholic Time* per year. Al)
Mihaenptiona ahould be presented to our office throuzb
the pastor* of the parishes.
Remittances should be made payable to The Cath
olic Times.
Anonymous communications will be disregarded.
We do not hold ourselves responsible for any views
or opinions expressed in the communications of our
Lntered as Second Class Matter at Post Office,
Columbus, Ohio.
St. Francis de Sales, Patron of the Catholic Press.
Pray for us I
This Paper Printed by Union Labor
A Pressing Need I
Congress has adjourned and its accomplishments!
are being extolled or lamented, according to one s!
evaluation of its legislative activity. Whatever ourl
opinion, there is one piece of legislation passed!
by this Congress which gives us an added oppor-l
(unity to help our less fortunate brothers in Christ.!
The Refugee Relief Act of 1953 was passed just!
a year ago. This Law permits 214,000 persons to I
come into the United States from the crowded!
camps and hovels in which they are now living!
after fleeing from Communist countries. A major I
ity of these refugees are Catholic. Since they know!
that, under Communism, they would be robbed oil
the priceless heritage of their Faith, they have pip
ferred to give up their homes rather than theirl
The Catholics of the Diocese Columbus gavel
a generous response to the Displaced Persons pro-1
gram which was in effect from 1948 to 1952. I hey I
were responsible for bringing 390 of these people!
into the Diocese and aided them further in theirl
adjustment to a new and strange environment. Wei
have a well-founded hope, therefore, that our Ca-I
tholic people will not be found wanting in this new!
program to help the refugees.
The entire program under the Refugee Relief!
Act has been slow in its early stages. By the end!
ot 1953, only four persons had come into this coun-l
trv under its provisions. By now, this number has!
noticeably increased, but still only a small percent
age of the 214.000 have entered the United States
Some people in the Diocese have already offered!
assurances for refugees. Five assurances have been!
submitted, requesting a total of twelve persons.!
Although this is commendable, it is obvious that!
more must be done if we are to meet out obliga-l
tions in Charity toward these people.
The new law requires that a home and a job be!
provided for the refugee before he can immigrate!
Assurance against becoming a public charge is also!
necessary and transportation costs from Europe!
must be provided. All of these do not have to be
provided by the same party. Everyone is encour-l
aged to offer whatever help he can provide.
’rhe sponsorship under the Refugee Relief Act!
must be specific and personal. |t is not possible!
for an agency to be a sponsor, nor can blanket as-1
surances be given without specifying the actual!
home and job being provided. In these provisions
the new program differs from the Displaced P« I
sons Act.
Further details about this program can be pro I
vided by the Catholic Welfare Bureau. 246 East!
Town Street, olumbus, Ohio. All who can help utl
this program are being urged to call or write that!
The resettlement of the homeless refugees isi
admittedly a huge undertaking-—one which evokes!
wore from the hard-hearted and brings discourage I
ment tn the faint hearted. From the true Christian!
however, it should bring forth a Christ-like Charity!
or love for the poor and homeless. It should arouse!
sympathy and a courageous resolve to help the!
suffering members of the Mystical Body of Christ!
We should rest uneasy under our protective roof!
and on our comfortable bed as long as we know!
that it is still true that “The foxes have dens, andl
the birds ol the an- have nests, but the Son of Man!
has nowhere to hy His head.”
More oTHib Kind
The shadow that is cast on the world by thel
death of a great man more often than not brightens,I
instead of dims, what it touches. And such is thel
case we are witnessing with the passing of Italy s|
statesman Alcide de Gasperi. I
The judgment of history on the man's total ef
fed on the world in which he lived is easily fore
cast from the appraisals of his contemporaries. And
thev are all at one to this: Alcide de Gasperi wasl
a great statesman he was a deeply religious man.
When speaking of the man, friend and foe alike
recognized that these two statements were emin
ently true and joined together inseparably. He was
great and he was religious. And what makes this
judgment particularly significant? It is the fact that I
his lifelong business was politics.
In a world that has come to view the appellation
••politician’’ with suspicion, religion and politics
have been adjudged to be as elementarv opposed
as oil and water. The life of Alcide de Gasperi is
comforting proof that politics and religion do mix I
Jt is io he hoped that from his example the world
elements must do more than
mix—they must be compounded.
De Gasperi’s one aim through more than titty
years of political life was to applv to government
hristian principles. His stature in the present world,
as seen from his accomplishments, is w hat it is, be
cause of his success in carrying out his aim.
This singleness of purpose of his was well known
to all. So well known, in fact that his political en
emies tried to discredit him They called him a
"Vatican lackey."
This gave de Gasperi hut another apportunii v
to onenlv publicize his political "Credo" In retort
to this jibe he said:
"If this is an attempt to embarrass me lor my
Faith, I declare that it is useless because I do not
make any secret of that, nor do I make any secret
nf mv devotion to the Church, my devotion and ad
miration as an Italian and as a Catholic toward the
present Pontiff, who in his teachings and all his
immense works and cares has but one policy, that of
a charity which knows no limits and of a defense
for th* rights of peoples unparalleled in the world!
De Gasperi died with the name of his Saviour!
nr, his lip* as his last words We pray that God be I
tn him Hi- faithful MFVa*t and 1n us hv I
raising among us more of his like. I
Absent-Minded Professors
Recalling the number of limes we have been the
ms of ui own preoccupation in our everyday
existence, we are struck with the uneasy query that
maybe just such a shortsighted stumbling has taken
place in our spiritual life It should be obvious to
us all, as Christians, that the dne thing of para
mount importance for us all is to do the will of
God. We are convinced that in this way lies hap
piness, now’ and in the world to come. And yet, on
occasion, we stumble and scramble, this way and
that, saying, "1 would do the will nf God now if
1 only knew what Mil Surrh 'hi is the acme
of abaent-mindedneiB Mr professors of tha true
Where is the will of God to Jte found? We
have only io recall to mind the lessons of the lit
tle catechism. The will of God can be found at all
times in the Ten Commandments, the precepts of
the Church, and the counsels of our confessors. It
is this obvious. It is this easy. It comes with the
sense of a letdown, almost. And yet, maybe, we
have been so busy with nonessentials that we have
missed the answer all along. St. Paul prays that
we all may know this answer and “be filled with
the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom
and understanding.”
Just Among Ourselves
Passing C»mm»nl Considered er Inconsiderate
Turning the pages of a modern educational
journal, one is amazed to find an interminable suc
cession of advertisements for "audio-visual aids."
It seems that educators are now to please the eye
and ear of the pupil even though the young mind
remains impervious to pedagogical effort. For
"audio-visual” is pedagese for “school sound-movies.”
Doubtless, the use of pictures, moving or still
as the Ancient Mariner’s ocean, is important in
education. It has always been considered so. To
reach the mind through vision as well as through
hearing is manifestly better than to reach the mind
through either sense alone. But surely there is to
day an overplus of emphasis on this audio-visual
business. The advertisements for a-v-a in pedagog
ical publications are as repetitious and fulsome as
the TV ads for cigarettes or beers. Time cannot
wither them nor custom stale their infinite variety.
This is at least partly because they are withered
and stale to begin with.
Like all the theories and gadgetries which keep
modern educators’ hearts aflutter, these audio
visual aids have to do with methods. About the
actual content of the message which teacher tries
to impart to pupil, there is small discussion today.
Many prominent educators feel that there is no
tike discussing it many others feel that it doesn’t
matter much. Take a class of pupils to visit a fac
tory show them a reel or two of film which pictures
the development of an industry lecture them a
little about being observant of how father puts in
the screens or draws his pay-check—and there you
have a school course in "social relations,” or "cur
rent history,” or citizenship in action," or—the old
favorite—"problems in democracy.” You have a
fine choice of labels,-—indeed an almost unlimited
choice,—for almost any activity or screen show or
"field trip” that school children can be entertained
In a word, it does not matter much what is
taught it matters supremely that it be taught in
the most modern fashion. That is, it matters not
what mental fare is served so long as it is served
well. Education has currently surrendered the effort
to deal with truth or reality it is concerned almost
exclusively with the way in which its effort is to
be expended. Ask a modern educator whit is the
purpose of education. He will tell you, quoting the
highest authorities, that "the ultimate aims and
objectives of the educative process cannot be sharp,
ly determined.” How then should he know what
truths, what facts, what theories, willl serve his
purpose? His purpose is not defined. He doesn’t
know what his purpose is. But, whatever it is or
may turn out to be, he is determined on pursuing
it in the most scientific and fashionable way. Meth,
od. not matter or puroose, is his interest, his darling,
his be-all and end-all.
But. even
he steps on himself in trying to
make the "educative process” a matter of learning
without tears. He wants schooling to be an effort
less and entertaining business, when by its very
nature, it is a burden and a hardship to pupil and
teacher alike, and particularly to pupil. The mod
ern educator is like the advertiser who tells men
that his special brand of lather makes shaving a
delightful experience, when every man who hears
him knows that shaving is a confounded nuisance.
The results of shaving may be pleasant the process
itself is not a thing that a man would indulge in for
its own sake it is a thing he would not do at all,
but that consideration of his own comfort or the
current fashion forces him to do it. It is so with
schooling. The results of it may please the process
is a bother and a bore when it is not productive
of actual suffering
Now. if you turn a school into an entertain
ment hall, it is inevitably an inferior sort of en
tertainment that you provide. The audio-visual aid
may indeed be an aid, but while it may be good in
struction, it is necessarily poor pastime. Give pu
pils their choice of going out to the neighborhood
movie or of enjoying a nice film on the school pro
jector, and you will only need a minute to put the
cover on the gadget for audio-visual aid. That is
what is meant by saying that an entertaining sort
of education is necessarily inferior entertainment.
It is a question whether it be not also an inferior
sort of education.
Human nature, in young or old, feels a sort of
self-respect, a realization of dignity, in performing
a task, even when the task is unpalatable. Yes, hu
man nature feels this self-respect in being assigned
Io a task it performs shabbily. But human* nature
experiences no lift of self-respect in being told
that a task is not a task, but is "fun*’. There is a
great deal of common sense in Mr. Dooley's re
mark,—which sums up a valuable philosophy of edu
cation,—that it doesn't matter what you teach
children, so long as it is hard. You cannot educate
children—or adults—by entertaining them.
A schooling need not be planned for hardships.
There can be enough of that, even in a streamlined
school, equipped with endless glass, air-condition
ing, gymnasium, and a fleet of modern busses. But
pupils should know from the first that they are not
going to school to play, nor for entertainment, but
to work. Despite what educators and their quotable
philosophers say about the "indeterminateness” of
educational aims and objectives, there is a general
notion, in educators and all others, that education
is somehow meant to fit a child for life. And you
can’t fit a child for life by teaching him to ignore
personal responsibilities and personal efforts, and
to regard everything as play, entertainment, and
"fun”. Life itself will soon teach him a different
lesson, and in his bitterness (like David in his wrath)
he will cry out that all men are liars—especially
It is good that we have made great improvement
in the physical arrangements for education. But we
should sometimes pause to inquire whether our
easing of material difficulties which attended the
old-time schooling has not been also an easing-out
of education itself. As we examine the magnificent
equipment of a modern school, we may justifiably
ask whether we have not got rid of much more
than the old bleak walls, crude benches, the water
bucket. and the pot bellied stove.
By all means, let us have audio-visual aids. But
let us not,—as the advertisers appear to want us to
do,—allow the aids to take over the work. A crutch
cannot walk for us, though it may help us to walk.
A fine moving picture of legislators in action, golf
ers at work, millers making flour, or loafers touring
the Orient, may help us understand things valu
able to understand but the picture can do no think
ing for us, nor of itself can it prod us to think. Of
itself, it can nnly entertain us. and that not vividly,
but boringly.
The uprising in Warsaw start
ed on August 1. 1944. The Polish
Home Army, thousands strong,
appeared apparently out of the
ground. It was a force that wore
a variety of uniforms, out of ne
cessity, and that it was able to
stand off the vastly superior nazi
The old saying, "Read il and
weep,” runs through my mind
as 1 examine the leading direc
tive article for the Soviet fifth
column in the August issue of
Political Affairs. But I would
change the
thought, for ev
ery leading
person in our
govern ment
and in public
life to "read it
—and learn
how to fight
The article
has a different
purpose from
that, of course. Written by Wil
liam Z. Foster, national chair
man of (he Communist Party, it
teaches Moscow s followers how
to work for the destruction of
the United States. But in the
course of the discussion, Foster
sings a hymn of praise to recent
Soviet victories and cannot re
strain himself from indicating
that these Moscow gains are the
results of the blindness of those
supposedly leading the Ameri
can nation.
Pleated At Blindneit
As leader of the Kremlin’s
trained infiltrators here, Foster
is more than pleased at this
blindness, and his aim is to make
certain that it is intensified. He
points out with much elation
that "American imperialism and
its allies are going from one
defeat to another," and tells why
this is occurring. To put it brief
ly, and freed from the commun
ist jargon which Foster must em
ploy for conspiratorial purpos
es, these defeats are taking place
because American leadership is
yielding to what the Kremlin
wants it to do.
If any person wishes genuine
ly to save this country, rather
than merely to talk about being
"against communism,” he should
take the contents of this column
and use it to write everyone
in Washington from the Presi
dent down. For Foster reveals
A Sad Anniversary
marks the tenth anniversary of
one of the saddest developments
of World War II, the failure of
the Soviet Red army to help the
patriotic Poles in Warsaw who
had risen in revolt against the
nazi war machine.
This anniversary is being re
called with memorial service in
several different countries. Here
in Washington, a Congressional
committee has made public testi
mony it took from the., heroic
Polish commander and others
relating to this incident. It sheds
new light on one phase of the
matter that had let the Western
Allies in for some criticism. It
seems now that the Russians,
who were then our allies, block
ed the efforts of the United
States and England to come to
the aid of the Poles.
army lor 63 days was one of the
marvels of the time.
"Soviet propaganda strongly
encouraged the Poles to revolt
against the crumbling nazi ar
my,” says a report issued by
the House of Representatives se
lect committee, headed by Repre
sentative Charles J. Kersten of
Wisconsin, which is investigat
ing communist aggression. “At
that time the Red army was in
the suburbs of Warsaw, separat
ed only by the Vistula River
from the city itself. Poles were
sure that when the revolt start
ed the Red army would come to
their help since it was in a full
offensive against the Germans.
When the uprising started the
Red army stopped its offensive.
At first, Soviet propaganda and
Stalin denied any revolt in War
saw later, when asked by Roose
velt and Churchill to help War
saw, Stalin refused. Finally the
government of the USSR and Sta
lin personally branded the War
saw patriots as fascists and re
"When the American and
Do More Than Weep!
that the communist conspiracy
and its friends have been able
to persuade our government up
on a course of action, which the
Reds intend to use to destroy
"Peaceful Co-Existence"
That course of action is rep
resented by Stalin’s slogan
"peaceful co-existence,” which
has now been repeated, as I
have said before, by the titular
heads of both the Republican
and Democratic parties, Foster
has entitled his own article most
appropriately “The Question of
Peaceful Co-Existence of the
USA and the USSR.”
Encouraged by the surrender
of our political leaders to a pol
icy expressed by Stalin's slogan,
Foster boldly declares that true
*‘p e ace ful co-existence” can
come about only through the to
tal disarmament of the United
States, the destruction of all its
atomic weapons, (he sanctioning
of Soviet aggression under the
fictitious claim that this repre
sents “independence of coun
tries,” the full recognition of Red
China, and the complete liquida
tion of NATO and the European
Defense Community. In other
words, the Kremlin means to use
the blindness of the American
nation which leads us contin
ually to negotiate with Soviet
Russia to a place where we
tcill be defenseless.
Drugging The U.S.
But Foster goes farther than
that. He shows clearly to Mos
cow’s followers that this drug
ging of the United States into
the belief that it can negotiate
with Soviet Russia will lead to
the destruction of "American im
perialism,” that is, our Republic.
To sum it up, the Communist
leader points out that pressing
forward with, the concept oj
'‘peaceful coexistence" unit lead
to victory within the United
(States jor the Reds "in the
world struggle for Socialism.’
In that conclusion, Foster is
correct, even though he distorts
the facts in order to reach it.
British authorities determined to
help the Polish patriots by drop
ping arms and supplies by air,
the government of the USSR re
fused landing facilities in com
munist-held territory. We and
the British nevertheless made
several drops of supplies on
Warsaw. Following this, the
Western Allies were warned
that if any further efforts were
made to help the Warsaw patri
ots, pilots landing on communist
held territory would be interned
until after the war.
"As a result of such tactics,
the center and heart of the Pol
ish organized resistance, loyal to
the Polish government in exile,
and completely anti-communist,
was wiped out by the nazis while
the Red army idly looked on.”
The Kersten committee re
ports that it heard testimony
with regard to this matter in
Ixindon, and that Gen. Thaddeus
Bor-Komorowski, commander-in
chief of the Polish Home Army,
and several officers of his for
mer staff were among those who
And it is a conclusion W’hich
gives us a warning that if the
United States continues to per
sist in following the will-o’-the
wisp of negotiating itself into
peace with Soviet Russia, it will
bring about its own final de
There is only one way to end
war from the Communist view
pont, he writes on the same pag
es where he talks so glibly of
“peace.” Here are his words:
“Stalin, among his last state
ments, re-emphasized Innin's po
sition that so long as imperial
ism lasts, there will be danger
of war a warning which is
doubly pertinent with re.gard to
American imperialism.” To put it
more directly, the sole way that
true “peace” can be won, accord
ing to the Kremlin, is by the
Soviet conquest of the United
States of America. And Foster
indicates that this is coming
quicker than many people imag
The poison in "peaceful co
existence” is that it persuades a
number of the American people
to the belief that some kind of
stable relations can be reached
with the Soviet dictatorship by
continually talking with Soviet
leaders. Every experience of
ours shows this to be false, and
yet our leaders continue to fol
low the path which is leading
from defeat to defeat.
In his frank and courageous
manner. General Mark W. Clark
cut through the whole stupidity
of this attitude, when he ap
peared before the Senate Sub
committee on Internal Security
on August 10. The only road to
American security, General Clark
showed, is by breaking off rela
tions with Soviet Russia and its
satellite regimes. To save the
United States, readers of this
column have an obligation to
get General Clark’s statement,
study it, and use it widely. Even
before that, they can express
their support of it by a flood of
letters to Washington.
Inquiry Corner
Father Healey
Q. Is is possible for the souls
to come back to earth e. g. in
haunted houses, seances, etc.
A. We have instances in the
Bible of the appearance of the
departed: "And behold, the cur
tain of the temple was torn in
two from top to bottom and the
earth quaked, and the rocks were
rent, and the tombs were open
ed, and many bodies of the
saints who had fallen asleep
arose and coming forth out of
the tombs after his resurrection,
they came into the holy city,
and appeared to many.” (Mat
thew 27:51-53) Obviously these
apparitions were permitted by
God and there was a good and
proportionate reason. Haunting
a house would scarcely meet
these requirements and certain
ly the confusion of spiritistic
seances cannot be approved by
God. Practically all the pheno
mena connected with such events
have a human explanation. The
very few instances which do
not 'eem to admit of natural
explanation must be attributed
to the devil.
Q. Is Christ or St. Peter the
rock upon which the Christian
Church is built? A neighbor
of mine objects that we crowd
Christ out of the picture by sub
stituting St. Peter as the rock
and Mary as the mediatrix be
tween us and God.
A. St. Paul states the princi
ple well in regard to the Apos
tles: "You are built upon the
foundation of the Apostles, Jesus
Christ Himself being the chief
corner stone.” (Ephesians 2:20)
St. Peter and his successors, the
Roman Pontiffs, are not in com
petition or opposition to Christ.
They arc vicars, which means
one who takes the place of e.g.
vice-president. Christ Himself
gave Peter and his successors
this position: "Thou art Peter,
and unun this rock I will build
my Church ...” (Matthew
16:18-19.) Christ ascended into
heaven and left His Apostles
under the leadership of His vicar
(Luke 22:31-32 John 21:15-17)
and it is this visible organization
which the Catholic Church keeps.
Your neighbor has never studied
the Mass or the Divine Office
nor the Rosary for that matter
il he thinks that devotion to the
Blessed Virgin Mary crowds out
devotion to Christ. We end the
orations at Mass “Through Our
Lord Jesus Christ ...” and
even in the Rosary the medita
tions are, largely concerned with
the life ol Christ.
Q. Why is the Church so slow
to change the Mass into English
The Union
The so-called right-to-work law
recently enacted by the legisla
ture of Louisiana unconditional
ly prohibits the union shop in
that state. For
this reason,
among others
it was vigor
ously opposed
by Archbishop
Rummel of
New Orleans.
In taking this
position, was
the Archbishop
merely ex
pressing a per
sonal political
opinion as
some of his critics have charged
—or was he reflecting the gen
eral Catholic point of view with
reference to the morality of the
union shop? Has the American
Hierarchy said anything official
ly about this subject? What
about American theologians?
To the best of our knowl
edge, neither the general body
of American Bishops nor the
Administrative Board of the Na
tional Catholic Welfare Confer
ence has ever issued an official
statement bearing directly on
the union shop. The reason for
this is that the morality of the
union shop has hardly ever been
called into question by compe
tent spokesmen for the Catholic
point of view. American theo
logians and American Catholic
experts in the field of labor re
lations are almost unanimously
agreed that the union shop is
morally legitimate. Their reason
ing is adequately summarized in
an article by the late Monsignor
John A. Ryan, "Moral Aspects
of Labor Unions,” in the Cath
olic Encyclopedia.
Another useful summary of
the Catholic point of view with
reference to union security is to
be found in a Catholic Universi
ty of America doctoral disserta
tion entitled "The Closed Shop.”
This dissertation was written by
Father Jerome Toner, O.S.B.. of
St. Martin’s College, Olympia,
Washington, under the direction
of Monsignor Ryan and the late
Bishop Haas. The following ex
cerpt from Father Toner's disser
tation will make it clear that
Archbishop Rummel was reflect
ing the general Catholic point of
view when he defended the mor
ality of the union shop.
Papal Approval
"The teachings of the Popes
and their interpretation and ap
plication for American industry
by the Archbishops and Bish
ops.” Father Toner concludes,
"lend substantial although not
specific endorsement to the
Closed Shop. Nowhere is it nam
ed as an evil to be condemned.
(and other languages that people
understand) so that people can
understand what is going on?
A. It is not self-evident that
we would gain more than we
would lose by such a change.
There are great scholars and
churchmen who hold that we
would, for one thing, lose some
of the sense of the Church Ca
tholic i.e. the praying together
in a common tongue with its set
meanings. They argue too that
it is possible for any interested
Catholic to follow with a missal
in his own language and that
there is great danger is expecting
too much of any such change.
Instruction, formation and zeal
is necessary for fervent prayer
and participation in the Mass.
The prajers of the Missal are
not so emotionally-charged or
self-evident that their use in
English w ould necessarily inspire
the whole congregation. While
there are many who speak elo
quently for it they admit tnat
there is no magic in vernacular
in the liturgy. It could undoubt
edly make it easier for many to
understand the Mass, but before
any general change is made the
Church will investigate the ques
tion thoroughly. In his encycli
cal on the Liturgy (Mediator
Dei) Pope Pius XII states: "The
use of the Latin language, cus
tomary in a considerable portion
of the Church, is a manifest and
beautiful sign of unity, as well
as an effective antidote for any
corruption of doctrinal truth. In
spite of this, the use of the
mother tongue in connection
with several of the rites may be
of much advantage to the people.
But the Apostolic See alone 1*
empowered to grant this per
Q. Do non Catholics have
guardian angels?
A. It would seem that they do,
God denies to no one the general
helps toward salvation for He
wills all men to be saved and
come to the knowledge of the
truth. Certainly the devils are
permitted to attack all men, and
it would seem fitting that good
angels be commissioned to ■de
fend men thus attacked. Since
non-Catholics do not have many
of the opportunities (Sacrament
of Penance, Holy Eucharist etc.)
and helps which Catholics enjoy
it would seem that this protec
tion would be even more neces
sary than for Catholics.
Send questions to Father Ed
ward Healey, Inquiry Corner,
The Catholic Times, Box 636,'
Columbus (16) Ohio.
It receives indirect approval in
the papal idealization of the an
cient guilds which were volun
tary or free associations in ra
sped to membership—that is,
they were "open” so that a work
er was free to join or not to
join—but compulsory or “closed”
in regard to trade or craft that
is. no one who was not a mem
ber of the guild could work at
a trade or craft.”
Father Toner is concerned pri
marily with the closed shop. It
is obvious, however, that what
he says in favor of the closed
shop applies even more strong
ly to the union shop, which is,
relatively speaking, a milder
form of union security.
Father Toner might have add
ed that while the official state
ments of the American hierarchy
do not lend "specific endorse
ment” to the closed or union
shop, they do lend strong sup
port to the proposition that all
workers should be organized in
to trade unions.
Duty To Organize
If the workers are said to have
the duty to organize, it does not
necessarily follow therefrom
that the union shop is morally
legitimate. It will be apparent,
however, that there is a marked
difference between the attitude
of the average opponent of the
union shop and that of the ma
jority of commentators on tha
social encyclicals as to the de
sirability of trade unionism. The
average opponent of the union
shop and the average proponent
of so-called “right-to-work” leg
islation regards the decision (to
organize or not to organize) as
a purely individual decision on
the part of the individual work
ers. By contrast, the American
Bishops, the Canadian Bishops,
and the majority of American
students of Catholic social teach
ing place their emphasis on tha
social responsibility of individual
workers to contribute to the
common good by organizing with
their fellow workers.
It goes without saying, of
course, that the same responsi
bility rests upon employers to
organize into appropriate associ
ations on their own as the nor
mal way of making their requir
ed contribution to the common
good. It also goes without say
ing that every effort must be
made by the members of these
organizations of workers and
employers to bring their poli
cies and practices into line with
Christian teaching. In other
words, to argue in favor of the
morality of the union shop is not
to close one’s eyes to the fact
that some unions (like some em
ployers’ associations) are less
than perfect.

xml | txt