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Adelaide Southern Cross Newspaper Archives Oct 20 1944, Page 1

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Adelaide Southern Cross (Newspaper) - October 20, 1944, Adelaide, South AustraliaNational Library of Australia the last Days of Monte cass1no but it Rome Rome july 28 . Correspondent for Many years to come there will be argument As to whether it was necessary or expedient to bomb the world famous Benedictine Abbey of Monte Cassino. A Hose who defend the action de Clare that the germans had made a stronghold of the monastery Hill which held up the Allied efforts to push northward and liberate Italy from nazi tyranny. They assert too that the bombing of the Abbey was necessary to save the useless expenditure of Allied lives. Those who oppose this theory Point out that there was no Advance at this Point in the line for months after the Abbey was bombed and that the Mountain itself eventually was taken from the rear in an encircling movement that negatived much of the advantage of its Posi Tion As a High Point overlooking the town of Cassino. They assert too that the bombing of the Abbey forced its final evacuation by the Small group of monks still remaining there to guard the sacred edifice enabled the germans to move into the Structure for the first time and by levelling the superstructure actually gave the nazis positions which were Well nigh impenetrable. One of the most interesting things in this connection to me has been the fact that from at least a half dozen unrelated sources i have heard the idea put Forth spontaneously that the bombing of Monte Cassino and its results led eventually to the spar ing of Rome. I have heard one per son sneak of Monte Cassino As Rome s without attempting to weigh the military value of the different arguments i have sought out facts concerning the position of Monte Cas sino Abbey in this War. Before the Start of hostilities Monte Cassino was a quiet historic spot in a Section of Italy that is largely mountainous. It was known the world Over As the birth place of the Benedictine order which has contributed so much to the spread of civilisation and christianity throughout Europe. It was also Well known As the burial place of st. Benedict and his twin sister st. Scholastica who according to tradition died within a few Days of each other in the year 543. Approached through the town of Cassino itself which nestled in a pleasant Valley but which now is virtually obliterated the Abbey loomed atop the Centre of three prominences that stood out before the Eye. When Italy entered the War Ger mans began to appear in this Vici nity in Ever increasing numbers but they gave the impression of always being on the move of coming and going. They often paid visits to the monastery. Following the col lapse of Mussolini s regime and the announcement of the italian armistice last summer just about september 8, in fact the germans came to the town of Cassino in considerable num Bers. This time they october the germans called upon the Benedictines to evacuate the Abbey of Monte Cassino. The Abbot protested and made objections which were disregarded. There were then 30 priests 25 Lay Brothers and five or six novices in the monastery. The Lay. Students who attended the Abbey Seminary were away on Vaca Tion and were never Given Opportunity to return. A Between october 19 and november 4 last All but eleven of the Benedic Tine priests and Brothers withdrew from the Abbey to Rome. The remainder went on As before except that they had the very Large task of caring for the numerous refugees who had come to them for Aid and Comfort. December found the nazis coming close to the Abbey itself. They took Over portions of the monastery Hill but established a Neutral zone of some. 300 Yards about the Abbey and " this they promised not to enter. They did not keep this Promise because later they came very close to the monastery monks of Monte Cassino have told me. I have found relatively few individuals Here who now say the Ger continued on Page two future relations of Italy with the holy see provisional set up Rome August 17.with the return of the government to Rome Italy is about to write a new Page in her history. The big question that suggests itself is that of the political complexion of the state and its relations with the holy see. Phese questions cannot be answered categorically now for several Rea sons. Much will depend upon the outcome of the War now a foregone conclusion on the length of the War about which there is much Specula Tion and upon other future develop ments which cannot be foreseen at All or at Best dimly at this time. However some facts already established will be helpful As a Frame through which to watch coming events. The first of these is that Italy As such is organising herself for the first time without the existence of the so called roman question. This was settled by the Lateran treaty and the concordat of 1929. At the same time because of the deep seated antipathy to Mussolini and All his works there is a real fear in some quarters that extremists will seek to abrogate these agree ments As the Handiwork of the for Mer Duce. The action party has already indicated its mind to do this. The action party believes a recent statement said every establishment or state religion is incompatible with the Freedom of religion and Equality of Cults. It re affirms that the state should recognise the Catholic Church. As to the others Independence of organisation and action with in the limits of the common Law. It Hopes for the participation of All the spiritual forces of the country in the reconstruction work which must be done not Only in the economic and political Fields but also in the moral in this connection it should be said that the Lateran treaty which established the sovereignty of the holy see is not questioned but the concordat which regulates the relations Between the holy see and Italy definitely is. It should be recalled that Pope Pius i said the Lateran treaty and the concordat must stand together or fall together or this was at least the late pontiff s opinion. Secondly it is not yet known what form of government Italy will have whether a monarchy some form of a democratic state or a combination of both or a revolutionary state. Palmiro Togliatti communist Leader says to Day that communism will respect catholicism and the holy see. But will it do so i repeat Here to Day in Rome capital of the Catholic world tog Liatti said that we will respect the Catholic Faith the traditional Faith of the majority of the italian people. We will respect this Faith and we ask Only that the representatives and pastors of the Catholic Church on their part respect our Faith our symbols and our thirdly respecting the present government of Italy various prob lems present themselves. What Powers does it enjoy with regard to the occupation authorities ? is it a government in the real sense of the word or Only a cardboard govern ment the italian people have the impression that the present govern ment does not enjoy any too much Confidence or esteem from the forces of occupation who do the actual governing. There is belief that different poli tical sentiments will Rise and decline in Power As the Northern sections of the country Are liberated. It is also asserted that the present Cabinet is almost mathematical with two representatives of each of the anti fascist parties and therefore in not a real reflection of political adherence. One is justified in asking How in a country so Catholic As Italy there can be any conceivable possibility of a government not having the Best possible relations with the holy see. The obvious answer is that anti clerical governments have existed in countries that Are largely Catholic. United Italy was politically the re sult of aggression against the papal states. It has been traditional in continued on Page two. The prestige of the Pope in Italy to Day new York times article new has gone the King has gone and nobody mourns. The Pope remains the Winner of Italy s one Vic tory the saving of is the comment of an old Liberal quoted Anne o Hare Mccormick in her new York times column wire Essed from Rome on August 20. Writing from the eternal City where she has Bee. Observing at first hand the increasing prestige of the Vatican in All circles miss Mccormick says the change in the position of the Pope is one of the most interesting changes that has taken place in Italy during the she writes count Carlo Sforza reflected the disposition of his colleagues in the government left As Well As right when he said in his speech to Day in 1915 an italian statesman imposed in agreements for future peace a for Mula needlessly offensive to the High est spiritual authority existing in Italy and the world. To Day such a policy would offend the spirit of any italian because to Day All italians share the feeling of heart Felt gratitude for the action of a Church that,1 As in Carroccio times has so often and nobly helped patriots fighting for the cause of Italy which is also the cause of Christian civilisation this attitude is largely due to the extraordinary popularity of the pre sent pontiff. Presiding Over a world wide Church in a world wide War that is also a civil and religious War Pope Pius Xii comes out of the ordeal a stronger figure As far As liberated Italy is concerned than he was before. An old Liberal com menting to Day on the place of the Christian democratic party in the coalition said the last thing that i expected in the crisis was the resurgence of the Catholic party in greater Force than the communists and socialists. An equally surprising i phenomenon is the rising prestige or the Pope " j miss Mccormick says the romans give credit to the Pope for the spar ing of the City which gives them added reason to desire to perpetuate the Neutral status of the the Sanctuary he extended to the persecuted the hunted and the Home less during the nine months Between the armistice and the entering of Rome so impressed the City that it adopted his example. Miss Mccormick says. Hiding someone on the run be came the thing to do she continues. This secret sharing of danger cleared away fascism More effectively than an official purge. Almost 100,000 homeless persons from the War zone and devastated areas Are fed there the Vatican every jews received first priority at the Vatican miss Mccormick reveals italian jews and jews who escaped Here from Germany and other occupied countries but All the hunted found Sanctuary in the Vatican and its hundreds of convents and Monas teries in the Rome comparing the physical appearance of his holiness to Day strength ened and revitalised to that of four years ago when he looked oppressed and agonised by the tragedy that he had been powerless to Avert miss Mccormick states that he at tributes this in part to the great com fort and refreshment of spirit he derives from the throngs of Allied soldiers who crowd the audience Cham Bers of the Vatican every Day. Observing that the pontiff gives no interviews but answers questions freely and asks a great Many pertinent questions himself miss Mccormick believes by now he must be pretty familiar with the american Point of View on most problems of War and peace and As Victory approaches this interest is naturally miss Mccormick emphasises Aser Roleous the idea that his holiness does not want a Complete and decisive Victory and says that what concerns him is the policy to be pursued by the victors after the War is won. In conclusion. Miss Mccormick por trays the pontiff Blessing the soldiers of Many armies tall White Robed his eyes fairly ablaze with life in his Mobile Strong featured the Fate of Bishop is still impressions by n. Guinea priest m Rev. For. W. A. Hasan of the missionary society of the divine word who is at present in Mel Bourne is one of the survivors after 18 months in the hands of the japanese. He tells of Bishop Yoerks s.v.d., vicar Apos Tolic of Central new Guinea whose Fate is unknown. To first met Bishop Yoerks s.v.d., seven years ago. As a new missionary under Bishop Yoerks i shall never forget the first impression i got of my Bishop. It was about 2 o clock on an october morning that i arrived by a Small Schooner and All were sleeping at that Island station of Kair Iru All save one that was his lordship Bishop Joseph Yoerks vicar apostolic of Central new Guinea. Dressed in a pair of none too new Khaki trousers and a White. Shirt with sleeves rolled up and Bare footed he stretched Forth his hands in Welcome and genuine was the smile that played upon his lips. What a venerable appearance he had with his Beautiful full Black Beard save for its tinges of Grey a big Man More than six feet and weigh ing about 14 Stone. His hands were big and Roulf and my own seemed lost in his when we Shook hands. I Felt at Home at once with my new Superior. And As the years passed i have Learned to love and respect him deeply. It was a common thing to see this Bishop out in his Garden hoeing digging planting Bare footed. Mak ing new roads around about his mis Sion station on the Island of Kair Iru was one of his hobbies and few there were who could hold out with him when he said come out Here you Lazy kids of mine and get some exer Cise for he was a believer that work out in the open helped one to forget the Many Wor Ries that must fall to the lot of every priest. A tonic and medi Cine. He said was bodily exercise in the form of a bit of work the rough kind. Bishop Yoerks too was a sea faring Man Par excellence. Few sea faring men of the new Guinea coast line knew More than he about sail ing schooners in and out the reef jag gered coast line and up the River Banks with their Many sandbanks hidden save to the Eye and experience of one who knew the danger spots. Bishop Yoerks captained the Mission schooners of the Central new Guinea missions for Many a year. When he made his annual tour of the Mission stations to give confirmation he As the Captain of the Schooner took care that the cargo got off at the right station and checked up the machine. Often i have seen him standing at the wheel his trousers grease covered his shirt spotted unload the ship s cargo help sweep and clean up the deck and then go to the Mission station Tell the missionaries the news roundabouts sit continued on Page two to Day is the Day to act a death bed will is As sorry substitute for a carefully prepared Docu ment As a death bed repentance is Abr a Well ordered the More of Lett those words Are read the stronger does the truth contained in them became evident. The making of a will is wot something to be performed in an extremity. It is a duty to be undertaken with a Clear mind when in perfect health. The testator should be in a Posi Tion to carefully consider what he intends to do with his property and he should Bear in mind that whatever he May decide whilst alive cannot be altered by him after death. For this Rea son he should not be swayed by any momentary impulse but should calmly consider tire claims and need of those dependent upon him. The appointment of a permanent and trustworthy executor is a vital part of your will. Elder s trustee company offers both them advantages. Call or write for particulars. Elder s trustee and exec us company limited elder House 37-39 Currie st., Adelaide. I

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