Libraries & Spaces
The Pattern for Peace and The Papal Peace Program1
John Courtney Murray, S.J.
The "Declaration on World Peace," issued simultaneously on October 7, 1943, by Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish leaders has been widely hailed as a significant document.2 A major feature of its significance would seem to lie in the fact that it proves beyond doubt the truth of our Holy Father's conviction that there is an immense body of right-thinking men, of all religious faiths, who are in agreement with him as to the religious and moral bases necessary for a new world order. Properly speaking, the Declaration did not aim at bringing Catholics, Protestants, and Jews together on a program for peace and world reconstruction. Rather, it simply registered the fact that they already stand together on fundamental points of cardinal importance. It was based on ideas that had already been publicized in Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish pronouncements, independently issued. And it simply discovered to a larger audience what had been known to students—that these pronouncements reveal a remarkable agreement in thought and program. The Declaration did not, of course, contain the full Catholic program, nor, for that matter, the full Protestant or Jewish program, nor even a full statement of the points of agreement in the three programs. However, the Declaration did contain a common program, a clear cut pattern for peace impressive in itself, and destined to impress because it was agreed on by an authoritative array of America's religious leaders.
In another respect, too, the document was of deep significance to all who had been following closely the work of the Pope for a just peace. It was an effort to make the agreement of religious men with regard to the conditions of peace and world order a powerful force for influencing both the counsels of the statesmen who will formulate the peace, and the views
of the common people who (it must be hoped) will dictate its terms. Such an effort has been explicitly desired by our Holy Father. He expressed to the late Cardinal Hinsley his lively satisfaction over the famous Joint Letter to the Times of December 21, 1940.3 In its own way, the Declaration shows that Catholics in the United States are following the lead of the Holy Father in seeking allies among all men of good will in their efforts to win the peace by insuring beforehand that it will be a just one. Catholic participation in the act of its issuance, therefore, can be given a legitimate place within the framework of the Pope's total peace program. As a matter of fact, it must be situated within this framework in order that its importance for Catholics may be rightly understood, and neither overestimated nor underestimated. The present report attempts to sketch, in very brief fashion, this larger framework.
The Need of a New Order
With the utmost clarity Pius XII has seen (what many, even among Catholics, are still missing) that, beneath the military conflict now rending the nations, a war of even more colossal proportions has been engaged: "a great spiritual combat in which the stakes are the construction, nay, the very soul of the society of tomorrow."4 And he has made it very clear that "for a Christian who is conscious of his responsibility toward even the least of his brethren there is no such thing as slothful tranquility, no question of flight, but of struggle, of action against every inaction and desertion" (n. 1838). For the issue in this war of spirits is truly cosmic. It is "a war on the darkness that comes of deserting God, and on the coldness that comes from strife between brothers. It is a fight for the human race, which is gravely ill, and must be healed in the name of conscience ennobled by Christianity" (n. 1863). Christ, as Pius XII solemnly stated in Summi
Pontificatus, is once again crucified, and a chill darkness covers the earth. By Christ he means His members, every human person; and the crucifixion is not simply on the cross of total war but on the whole order of human life, dechristianized and dehumanized in its spirit and its institutions, which made total war possible, and even inevitable.
The Pope has assisted intimately at this crucifixion. In the passion of humanity no one in all the world has shown himself more compassionate than he: "The watchword, `I have compassion on the multitude,' is for Us a sacred trust which may not be abused; it remains strong and impelling at all times and in all human situations, as it was the distinguishing mark of Jesus. The Church would be untrue to herself, ceasing to be a mother, if she turned a deaf ear to her children's anguished cries, which reach her from every class of the human family" (n. 1827). Moreover, the Pope knows that these cries are not for sterile sympathy. He hears "cries that rise from the depths and call for justice and a spirit of brotherly collaboration in a world ruled by a just God" (n. 1839). The common voice of humanity is articulate in his ears, and he hears it demanding "a new order."
It is indeed striking to note how often he has spoken of the desire of "the people," "of all peoples," for a new order. And for his part, viewing "the ruins of a social order which has given such tragic proof of its ineptitude as a factor for the good of the people" (n. 1860), the Pope acknowledges the justice of the demand. In 1940 he said: "We have to face today a fact of fundamental importance. Out of the passionate strife of the parties concerning peace and war aims, a common opinion emerges. It is that all Europe, as well as the separate nations, are in such a process of transformation that the beginning of a new period is clearly recognizable. . . . It is true that opinions and aims diverge; yet they agree in their will to establish a new order, and in their conviction that a return to the old order is neither possible nor desirable" (n. 1640). The conviction, he adds, is justified, and it is "especially strong in those strata of society which live by the work of their hands,
and which are doomed to experience the hardships of national or international disturbances more than others. Still less can it be ignored by the Church, which, as the Common Mother of all, is bound to hear and to understand the outcries of suffering mankind" (n. 1641). In a word, therefore, Pius XII has put the full authority of the Church behind the popular will to a new world order.5
The Need of Collaboration Towards a New Order
But the construction of that new order is a task of such immense difficulty as to appear almost impossible to human strength. The ultimate agent of its accomplishment must, therefore, be the Holy Spirit of God, whose power alone is equal to it. This truth bases the Holy Father's incessant pleas for prayer and sacrifice. But he knows, too, that in the order of human instruments, two things are indispensable.
The first is spiritual leadership. Its primary function is to clarify the conscience of the world with reference to the spiritual root of the present disorder in the temporal sphere, and authoritatively to lay down the religious and moral bases of the new order. The Pope has undertaken to provide this leadership, conscious of the fact that it is his Apostolic duty, and conscious, too, of the fact that, as he has said in more than one place, many even outside the Catholic Church are looking to him for leadership. Notably in his four great Christmas Allocutions of 1939–1942, he has been at pains to express "thoughts which are meant as an appeal to the conscience of the world, and a rallying cry to all those who are ready to ponder and weigh the grandeur of their mission and responsibility by the vastness of this universal undertaking" (n. 1859). No Pope in modern history has spoken so openly to all humanity, and in the name of all humanity; nor has any Pope ever made it so clear that behind his assumption of leadership is singly and solely the driving force of "a deep, all-embracing, unchanging affection . . . an immense desire to bring them
(all the peoples of the world) every solace and help which is in any way at Our command" (n. 1827).
But leaders can only lead. Consequently, the second thing indispensably necessary for the construction of a new world order is world-wide collaboration. It is obvious that a host of statesmen and experts in all fields will have to collaborate on the technical details of the new structure. But the Pope regards it as no less obvious that the more fundamental religious and moral aspects of the new order will require the collaboration of an even wider circle, that must include all men of good will.6 Hence he has taken the initiative in inviting this collaboration. Three such invitations, contained in the Christmas Allocutions of 1939, 1941, and 1942 are particularly solemn. Impressive in themselves, they are still more impressive because they occur in the midst of the Pope's formal announcement of his peace program; their issuance, and acceptance, seem to be clearly conceived by him as necessary to the successful execution of his program. Hence they are phrased with an urgency whose imperiousness reflects the Pope's insight into the fact that the cause of humanity itself is at stake, and his conviction that worse disaster can only be averted by instant and unified action. Other texts of similar tenor may be found, but it will be sufficient here to quote these three:
If ever there was a purpose worthy of the collaboration of all noble and generous spirits [he is speaking of a just international peace and order], if ever there arose flaming courage for a spiritual crusade, in which with new truth the cry "God wills it" might resound, it is surely this high purpose and this crusading struggle, which should enlist all unselfish and greathearted men in the endeavor to lead the nations back from the muddy cisterns of material and selfish interests to the living fountain of divine law, which alone is powerful to create that enduring moral grandeur of which the nations and humanity, to their own serious loss, have for too long a time felt the absence and the need (n. 1498).
The destruction brought about by the present war is on so vast a scale that it is imperative that there be not added
[p. 8]to it the further ruin of a frustrated and illusory peace. In order to avert so great a calamity, it is fitting that in the formulation of the peace there should be assured the cooperation, with sincerity of will and energy, with the purpose of a generous participation, not only of this or that party, not only of this or that people, but of all people, yes, rather of all humanity. It is a universal undertaking for the common good, which requires the collaboration of all Christendom in the religious and moral aspects of the new edifice that is to be constructed (n. 1755).
It is for the best and most distinguished members of the Christian family, filled with the enthusiasm of crusaders, to unite in the spirit of truth, justice, and love, at the call of "God wills it," ready to serve, to sacrifice themselves . . . With this lofty purpose before us [the freeing of the human spirit in the social order], we turn from the crib of the Prince of Peace, confident that His grace is diffused in all hearts, to you, beloved children, who recognize and adore in Christ your Savior; We turn to all those who are united with Us at least by the bond of faith in God; We turn, finally, to all those who would be free from doubt and error and who desire light and guidance; and We exhort you with suppliant, paternal insistence not only to realize fully the dreadful gravity of this hour, but also to meditate on the vistas of good and supernatural benefit which it opens up, and to unite and collaborate toward the renewal of society in spirit and truth (n. 1843).
The Papal Idea Of Co-operation
The point now is to analyze the papal idea of cooperation. In order to understand it, one must grasp its motive, its objective, its bases, the persons to be engaged in it, and the unity which establishes among them.
The Motive: Compassionate Charity
First of all, the Pope understands this collaboration to have its motive in "that universal love which is the compendium and most general expression of the Christian ideal, and which, therefore, bridges the gap between us and those who
have not the blessing of sharing the same faith with us" (n. 1497). The moral conscience of mankind has been outraged, its sense of justice violated; and above all its belief in human fraternity and solidarity shocked by the present state of affairs; together these three human and Christian sentiments have created a common will to establish a new and better order. The Pope supposes this common will to be already in existence; he appeals to it, and especially to its main inspiration, that compassion on the multitude which every man of conscience and good will must today experience. The Pope, therefore, wants a cooperation "in a spirit of truth, justice, and love" (n. 1842); above all, he wants a cooperation in charity7—an alliance in a common will to a common good.
The Goal: Peace, the Work of Justice
Secondly, this cooperation in charity has a very definite objective. This point is of cardinal importance; for the objective of the cooperation determines its whole character, and vindicates its legitimacy. There is, for instance, a kind of cooperation that is aimed simply at the creation of amity, tolerance, mutual understanding, better human relationships, etc., between men of different creeds. This is not precisely the type of cooperation which the Pope has in mind. He has, indeed, recalled to his children the demands of "the inspired teaching of the Apostle, who, while he inculcates the need of resolution in the fight against error, also knows that we must be full of sympathy for those who err, and open-minded in our understanding of their aspirations, hopes and motives" (n. 1839). But he has not explicitly concerned himself with the problems in social psychology created by religious division. When he speaks of cooperation, he is concerned with getting one particular thing done—an immense thing, but a sufficiently definite thing.
He has many formulas for it: the establishment of "a new and just international and national order giving security" (n. 1641); "a future peace that will assure the loyal and sin-
cere consent of all peoples" (n. 1654); "a new edifice of fraternal solidarity among the nations of the world, an edifice built upon new and stronger foundations, with fixed and stable guarantees, and with a high sense of moral sincerity which would repudiate every double standard of morality and justice for the great and the small, or for the strong and the weak" (n. 1655); "a fraternal and harmonious union of nations bound together in friendship" (n. 1668); "a new international order which will guarantee to all peoples a just and lasting peace, and which will be a bountiful source of well-being and prosperity" (n. 1757); "a new order founded on moral principles" (n. 1758); "an international order of friendly relations and collaboration such as conform to the demands of God's law" (n. 1828); "a society which is pervaded and sanctioned by religious thought" (n. 1833); "justice and a spirit of brotherly collaboration in a world ruled by a just God" (n. 1839); "the renewal of society in spirit and truth" (n. 1843); "a complete rehabilitation of the juridical order . . . resting on the supreme dominion of God and safeguarded from all human whims . . . an order which stretches forth its arm, in protection or punishment, over the unforgettable rights of man, and protects them from attack" (n. 1854); "the bringing back of society to its center of gravity, which is the law of God . . . [and to] the service of the human person and his common good ennobled in God" (n. 1860); or finally, in the most revealing and characteristic formula, "a new order . . . founded on that immovable and unshakable rock, the moral law, which the Creator Himself manifested in a natural order, and which He has engraved with indelible characters on the hearts of men" (n. 1757).
From these many formulas, the one identical objective of cooperation emerges quite clearly. It has two distinguishing notes: (1) it is a spiritual objective, but (2) it remains within the temporal order. It is a spiritual objective because it involves a return to the principles of justice and charity made mandatory by God's law. It remains within the temporal order because it concerns the establishment of these principles
as the bases of man's political, economic, and social life in this world. Were it not a spiritual objective, our Holy Father could not authoritatively summon the Church to its attainment. Because it remains within the temporal order and does not extend into the realm of religious worship, ecclesiastical faith and order, etc., he can and does invite the cooperation of all men of good will in its attainment. Concretely, therefore, the cooperative effort aims at the establishment of the order of justice, dictated by the natural law, at the heart of a new political and socio-economic order in national and international life. Or in a briefer formula: it is to be a cooperation in charity to do the work of justice which is peace—the ordered tranquility of the earthly city of man.
The Basis: Four Truths of the Natural Order
Thirdly, in the perspective of this goal, the bases of the cooperative effort—the set of religious and moral principles which support it—become clear. There are four such principles: (1) a religious conviction as to the sovereignty of God over nations as well as over individuals; (2) a right conscience as to the essential demands of the moral law in social life; (3) a religious respect for human dignity in oneself and in others—the dignity with which man is invested inasmuch as he is the image of God; and (4) a religious conviction as to the essential unity of the human race.8 In terms of these four truths the natural order of justice between men and nations is set up, made obligatory, and sanctioned. They form the essential bulwarks of that "holy land of the spirit, which is destined to sustain in its foundations the unchangeable norms and laws on which will arise a social construction of solid internal consistency" (n. 1842). And the Christmas Allocutions of 1939 to 1942 have been primarily concerned with drawing out the essential implications and consequences of these four truths in the national and international field. One must accept the conclusion that the Pope has wished to formulate in terms of these four truths (which, he knows, are held within all reli-
gious groups) both a philosophy of human society and a general program of social reform which will command the assent and support of all men of right conscience and good will.
We must not be blind to this fact because of another fact—that the Holy See has surrounded this nuclear platform with a fuller, more intimately Catholic philosophy and program. This latter will always remain the basis of distinctively Catholic social action. But, viewing the world situation with concrete realism, our Holy Father recognizes that Catholic social action alone, for all its intrinsic resources, is simply not up to the enormity of the task that confronts it with frightening urgency. Hence he has characterized the task as "a universal undertaking for the common good," requiring the "collaboration of all Christendom in the religious and moral aspects of the new edifice." And the problem is to provide a sound basis for this necessary collaboration.
This problem was met consciously and squarely in the Christmas Allocutions of 1939 to 1942. They provide the needed basis—a social theory and a social program based on the four truths mentioned. All these are, indeed, truths of what we call the natural order. But we may not doubt their power to found a just social order; no such doubts appear in the papal documents. Moreover, we must remember that the Gospel and the natural law are not, as it were, two alternative foundations for social reconstruction. The natural law exists within the Gospel; and a social order which would conform to the demands of the natural law would already be fundamentally Christian. Therefore a Catholic program of cooperation on the basis of the natural law would be in perfect harmony with the program of Catholic operation on the basis of the integral Gospel.
An Invitation to All Men of Good Will
Fourthly, in view of the bases of cooperation it is clear to whom the invitation to cooperate was issued, namely, to all men who believe in God; for belief in God necessarily entails
acceptance of the moral law and of human dignity and equality. It may be well to emphasize that the invitation was issued to all men who believe in God. Its purpose was not to bring together religious groups in their corporate entities as religious groups, or to effect a "reunion of the churches." There can be no thought of setting up a sort of "superorganization," that would somehow consider itself an interdenominational "church." On the contrary, the idea is to bring together persons of right conscience and good will on the basis of those religious and moral principles which are the spiritual source of social order, and which the Pope recognizes to be held by persons within all religious groups. Consequently, in the idea of cooperation in charity for the work of justice which is peace there is no suggestion of "equating churches," or of countenancing the idea that a man may freely choose from among a variety of ecclesiastical allegiances, as if all were equally valid for eternal salvation.9 In fact, the questions, what is necessary for eternal salvation, and what are the "fundamentals of religion as such," did not come into view at all. The only problem with which this type of cooperation deals is that of the rescue of mankind from damnation to injustice on this earth; and it aims simply at reenforcing "the genuine fundamentals of all social life" (n. 1829).
All men have an equal right to justice in the temporal order, and all men who acknowledge this right and its essential religious foundations have a common obligation and responsibility to see that it is respected. On this basis the Pope appeals to all these men. However divided they are religiously, they are all on the side of God—and hence at one another's sides—in one clearly drawn respect, namely, in the marshalling of hosts for the "great spiritual combat wherein the stakes are the construction, nay, the very soul, of the society of tomorrow." For, he says, "vile unbelief, which arrays itself against God, is the most dangerous enemy of a new order which would be just; on the other hand, every man who believes in God is numbered among His champions and knights" (n. 1763).
There is, moreover, a hierarchy in the ranks of God's host;
for, he adds, "those who have faith in Christ, in His divinity, in His law, in His work of love and brotherhood among men will make a particularly valuable contribution to the reconstruction of the social order." And to his own children the Pope (tacitly in the place cited, where he was speaking to all the world, but explicitly in other places) reserves the place of special privilege—the privilege of bearing the highest responsibility.10 They have the responsibility for a more unified effort, a more courageous spirit of enterprise, more persevering, patient, and intelligent labor, more profound prayer and sacrifice, for the common good of mankind.
The Bond of Unity: Spiritual and Civic
Fifthly and finally, the papal concept of cooperation has one last distinguishing mark, consequent upon all the rest, namely, the unique type of unity which it asserts among the men who cooperate. Their bond of unity is certainly not simply a community of political ideals or economic interests. At the other extreme, it is not a bond of ecclesiastical unity, such as binds together the members of the same church. Nor again is it simply a bond of civic unity, like the civic virtue of patriotism, which binds together Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish Boy Scouts, or soldiers in the armed forces. On the contrary, this bond of unity is unique, because of the uniqueness of the objective set before the cooperative effort—the establishment of spiritual order, based on belief in God and the moral law, in the sphere of earthly civilization. To accomplish this task men come together into a unity constituted on the basis of certain religious and moral principles (and therefore into a spiritual unity), but constituted for the purpose of a common effort in the temporal order (and therefore into a civic unity). Because the unity is civic, it leaves intact the uniqueness of the Church as the Body of Christ and the sole ark of eternal salvation; cooperation does not create any interdenominational unity among "religions." And because the unity is not only civic but spiritual, it forms an effective principle for "a new ordering of private and public life, rooted in the divine law" (n. 1736).
On this latter point the Pope insists. The basic principles for the remedy of the world's present social miseries can, he says, "be followed in their entirety and bear their fullest fruits only when statesmen and people, employers and employees are animated by faith in a personal God, the Legislator and Judge to whom they must one day give an account of their actions" (n. 1763). Sheerly humanitarian sentiment is not enough. The Pope has directed an "appeal to all" for a "fuller religious consciousness" (n. 1767), in the conviction that the "impulse and the pattern for a renewal of society must come from a general movement back to the altars from which innumerable generations of our faithful ancestors received the moral power to master their life's task; back to faith in God, in the light of which each individual and each community find their proper measure of right and duty, back to the wise and unshakable norms of a social order which, in affairs of national as well as international import, erect an efficacious barrier against the abuse of liberty and the misuse of power" (n. 1752).
An immediate fruit of this movement toward "a fuller religious consciousness" will be the rediscovery by all men of their own essential spiritual unity as human persons, moral and responsible agents, all under the sovereignty of God. Only on such a widely operative sense of human unity can the peace of the world be securely built.
The Form For The Pattern Of Peace
In spite of its brevity, the foregoing analysis of the papal idea of cooperation in charity among all men of good will to do the work of justice which is peace should illustrate the fact that the Catholic participation in the issuance of the Pattern for Peace may legitimately claim a place in the total Catholic program. At this point, however, a comment is needed on the precise form of the cooperation implied in its issuance.
The Pattern for Peace was not issued as a joint statement in the strict sense of the term. Rather, it was conceived as an identical statement issued simultaneously by Protestant, Cath-
olic, and Jewish leaders, with three distinct preambles, which introduced it respectively to the three audiences, and which expressed for each its motive and meaning. At the same time, the document was released to the whole nation and to all the world, with the full power of an impressive agreement. The Pattern for Peace was, as it were, a perfectly synchronized three-front-attack against all secularist thinking on the problems of peace.
This formula for the issuance of the Pattern proved satisfactory to all the signatories. And here an important point must be made. By its supreme authority, the Holy See has established for Catholics the legitimacy and necessity of cooperation in charity with all men of good will towards a just peace. It has not, however, determined the precise form that this cooperation should take in particular regions. In a sense, this is a distinct, because more concrete, problem.11 And on the Catholic side its solution is left to the judgement of the bishops. In all this matter one must have in mind St. Paul's distinction (I Cor. 10:23) between the "lawful" and the "expedient" (or, as he explains, that which "edifies"). The lawfulness of the cooperation with which we are concerned has been established, as we have seen, by the authority of the Holy See; and it is explained by a simple analysis of the papal recommendations—their principles and purposes, the whole idea and concern behind them. But the expediency of this cooperation—or better, its edifying value, its constructive usefulness for the life of the Church and all humanity—depends also on other factors, notably on a prudent judgment as to the workability and the probable effects of cooperation as initiated in some concrete form in some particular set of circumstances. Questions of pastoral prudence therefore enter; and on such questions Catholic must look to the judgment of the bishops, who are invested with pastoral authority.
On their part, the bishops are guided by a twofold concern. First, there is a necessary concern for the unity of the Church and the integrity of her faith. Whenever the problem of cooperation with men of other religious beliefs comes up, con-
sideration must be given to possible danger of thereby fostering an indifferentist view of religion. Perhaps significantly, Pius XII has not called attention to this danger when urging the united action of religious men towards "a new order founded on moral principles." Nevertheless, our American scene has its own religious peculiarities. And the general principle of St. Paul is valid—that what is done with a clear conscience by the strong and well instructed may be "a stumbling block to the weak" (I Cor. 8:9). It is, therefore, unfortunately necessary at times to be weak for the sake of the weak (ibid., 9:22), and to hold back from bold and decisive action up to the full limits of the law. In our case, the real problem is whether the bishops can stimulate their priest to explain the Catholic idea of cooperation so fully that all reasonable fear of scandal or misunderstanding will be eliminated. We say, all reasonable fear; for there will always be people of limited intelligence who misunderstand, and of unbalanced enthusiasm who exaggerate.
The second guiding principle for decisions in this matter will be equally necessary Catholic concern for the common good of humanity, even in its temporal life. This concern is imposed upon us by our love of Christ, who came to save, not only individual souls, but the whole order of human society.12 This concern for civilization is itself an obligatory act of the virtue of charity. And at the present moment it is tremendously active in the heart of the Church; innumerable utterances of the Holy See have endeavored to wake it in the hearts of all the faithful.
Consequently, there must be a judgement on the necessity of certain types of cooperation among all men of good will, if society is to be so "pervaded and sanctioned by religious thought" that the common good of the earthly city may be effectively insured. Serious attention must be given to the question whether grave damage may not accrue to the life of humanity, if we stand aside from the efforts of other religious men in the direction of world peace, even under pretext of pursuing our own more complete program. Finally, it must
be honestly considered whether religious forces will be actually effective in shaping the world of tomorrow, if they are not somehow united in their action.
We may suppose that, in consequence of a balanced consideration of all these values, and others, the peculiar formula for issuing the Pattern for Peace received episcopal approval. It was likewise acceptable to Protestant and Jewish leaders; in all this matter, we shall do well to remember that difficulties over cooperation are not felt just on one side; and it is important, too, to realize that the exigencies of the Catholic conscience, to which we must be strictly obedient, can at times impose no small demands on the charitable patience of those who do not share our faith. For the sake of giving tribute where tribute is due, it should be said that in the discussions over the Pattern the necessary concerns of the Catholic conscience met with generous respect.
While on the subject, we may recall the breadth of episcopal approval given to the Pattern. In the statement released to the press on November 13, 1943, by the Administrative Board of the National Catholic Welfare Conference at the direction of the Archbishops and Bishops who attended the annual meeting of the hierarchy, this was said: "It is heartening to note the wide agreement on the moral postulates of the just peace among religious leaders otherwise divided by the deep cleavage of fundamental doctrinal differences. This significant and hopeful agreement has recently been evidenced in the three parallel statements on world peace issued by American religious groups. This pattern for peace fashioned on the moral law has attracted nationwide attention, and will, we hope, be carefully studied by all men of good will." Here, too, we may recall the clear-cut statement made in the Detroit Cathedral on March 13, 1944, by Archbishop Mooney13, Chairman of the Administrative Board of the N.C.W.C.: "Last October, men of authority in widely differing American religious groups with impressive accord gave wide publicity to a pattern for peace which in its every line is in fundamental agreement with the ideas and ideals of the Pope. I commend
this statement for study and discussion in our schools and colleges, in meeting of our Catholic societies, and in every forum through which public opinion may be enlightened."
The Pattern And The Public Conscience
In the last phrase, Archbishop Mooney signalized the peculiar value of the Pattern for Peace—it is an instrument for the enlightenment and formation of public opinion on the peace. In this connection, an insistent theme in the thought of Pius XII must be recalled. The Pope has repeatedly emphasized—what other religious leaders have likewise emphasized—that the primary source of modern social disorder has been the decay of moral conscience on the part of those who govern, and a similar decay on the part of those who are governed. Significantly, his fatherly indictment has been almost universal; he has not succumbed to the easy fallacy of many of our Catholic publicists, who seem to concentrate exclusively on the faults of "those without"; "A great part of mankind, and—let us not shrink from saying it—not a few of those who call themselves Christians, have to some extent their share in the collective responsibility for the growth of error and for the evil and lack of moral fibre in the society of today" (n. 1859). In his latest Christmas Allocution, on December 24, 1943, he reverted to, and pointedly developed, the same theme. His conclusion has always been the same: the first step towards a new order must be penance, a change of heart, expiation, and prayer: "supplications must be raised to heaven that a new spirit may take root and develop in all peoples, and especially in those whose greater power gives them wider influence and imposes on them additional responsibility" (n. 1655).
It is important to note the Pope's preoccupation with this latter class. More than once he has dwelt upon the fact that in the organization of peace, "there will be required broad intellects and wills strong in their purposes, men of courage and enterprise; but above all there must be men of conscience,
who in their plans, deliberations, and actions are animated by a lively sense of responsibility, and who do not shrink from submission to the holy laws of God" (n. 1753). To the interior action of prayer and penance there must be added a persuasively educative action on the leaders of nations; their ideas of human society must be formed, and their moral purposes shaped and strengthened, in order that their leadership of others may indeed be towards "a new edifice of fraternal solidarity among the nations of the world."
The Pope has seen too much of the world not to realize the decisive social influence still wielded by the ideas of the relative minority which is "on top"; "security, reorganization, progressive improvement cannot be expected and cannot be brought about save by the return of large and influential groups to correct notions about society. . . . From these influential circles, which are more capable of penetrating and appreciating the beauty of just social norms, there will pass on and infiltrate into the masses the clear knowledge of the true, divine, spiritual origin of social life" (n. 1829).
Nevertheless, the Pope has an equally exact appreciation of an important feature of the democratic idea—the power of public opinion. Consequently, to an educative action upon men with power and responsibility—one thinks of men not only in government, but in the universities, in industry, in trade unions, in the newspaper, radio, and publishing business, etc.—there must be added an even more important effort to reach and reform public opinion throughout its strata. More than once the Pope has indicated his conviction that the peace will be stable and lasting to the extent that it is a people's peace. It is consequently necessary that the people should have impressed upon them the fact that peace, "in its ultimate and deepest significance, is a moral and juridical act" (Christmas Allocution, 1943). The moral and juridical sense of the people—their reverence for the law of God and for the rights of men and nations—must be developed, and made articulate. It must become literally a structural element of public opinion. The people's concept of justice, and their cry for it, must exert
a pressure from below upon the leaders upon whom they depend for the creation of the machinery for justice. And this pressure must be exerted from every possible direction, from the university seminar down to the last cracker-barrel forum in the smallest village. On this point the thought of Pius XII is explicit: "Such a new order, which all peoples desire to see brought into being after the trials and ruins of this war, must be founded on that immovable rock, the moral law . . . that moral law whose observance must be inculcated and fostered by the public opinion of all nations and all States with such a unanimity of voice and energy that no one may dare to doubt it" (n. 1757).
At this point, we may reflect upon ourselves. It would be idle to maintain that public opinion is unanimous, organized, and energetically articulate on the relevance of the moral law to world peace. We ourselves surely come under the indictment levelled by the paternal authority of the Pope against countries afflicted with "religious anaemia," which are in too great a part living in a "moral vacuum, which no artificial substitute for religion [shall we interject, for example, `Democracy'?], no national myth [for us, `the American Century'?], and no international myth [`The Century of the Common Man'?] is able to fill" (n. 1747). It is unfortunately too true that large sections of our people are among those "whose ideas of social life have been impregnated with a purely mechanico-materialistic character" (n. 1748).14
There is, therefore, an immense work to be done toward the education of the public conscience in the United States. Moreover, it is an eleventh-hour task. And in the practical order, an extremely pertinent question faces us: Are we Catholics actually in a position by ourselves to sensitize the public conscience to the views of our Holy Father—which are fundamentally the views of all right-thinking men of good will—with regard to the postulates of a just world order? Shall we singlehandedly be able to reeducate the public conscience, and make it utter genuinely moral demands with such a unanimity
of voice and energy that no one will dare to stand against these demands?
It is rather obvious that such a feat is quite beyond our present powers. In fact, it would seem that we have not yet been able to draw considerable sections of our Catholic citizens away from several conceptions fundamentally opposed to our own high Catholic thought—away, for instance, from adherence to outworn concepts of unlimited sovereignty, national isolationism, economic individualism, interracial prejudice. It was dismaying to note that as late as the fall of 1943 the Denver National Opinion Research Center found that more Protestants than Catholics believed that peace action is a legitimate function of the Church. This, in spite of the fact that it was in a broadcast to the United States that Pius XII stated unequivocally that "the peace of the world is also a missionary aim of the Church" (n. 1604).
Here the great practical value of the Pattern for Peace emerges into view. We have to recognize, as sheer matter of fact, that large sections of public opinion were not reached by the Christmas Allocutions of Pius XII. But they can be reached by the Pattern. As Archbishop Mooney said in the sermon already referred to, "its every line is in fundamental agreement with the ideas and ideals of the Pope." And through it they will come in contact with at least the fundamental lines of Catholic thought on the new order. This thought was framed for all men of good will. Consequently, by lending their authority to the Pattern, the Bishops of the National Catholic Welfare Conference took a significant step towards the achievement of one of the major objectives of the papal peace program—the reawakening of the public conscience to the demands in the social order of the sovereignty of God, the moral law, the dignity of man, and the unity of the human family.
The Impact Of The Pattern
To date, what has been the impact of the Pattern? On the date of its issuance, October 7, 1943, it got a full measure of
publicity from the press and the radio. Many of the major dailies editorialized on it in a way that reflected a realization of its importance. Three aspects of it were generally, singled out for comment: the forthright internationalism it advocated, the wide areas of agreement it revealed among men of different faiths with respect to the problems of the post-war world, and the political significance that was latent in this agreement and in the determination of religious leaders to bring its influence to bear on the task of world organization. The Christian Century, for example, made a representative comment when it said that the Pattern was "a tremendous fact which statesmanship cannot from now on ignore."
On October 16, 1943, Senator James M. Mead of New York presented the Pattern to the Senate in an effective address, .which emphasized the fact that "this statement of seven principles of peace confirms the deepest and best aims of our country in this war." Their acceptance, he added, is imperative if future wars are to be averted. And his conclusion was that religious leaders had made their voices heard "at a most propitious time."
The truth of this observation was very shortly confirmed, when the Connally resolution on international collaboration reached the floor of the Senate. In the ensuing debate, clear indication was given of the power inherent in the Pattern. The fact was seen that the Connally resolution fell short of the clarity and strength of Point Five of the Pattern with regard to international organization. Senator Pepper first capitalized on the fact, and read the Pattern into the Congressional Record. (Before the debate ended, the Pattern was three times read into the Record.) Senator Hatch made use of fifteen editorials that emphasized the political significance of the Pattern, because of the weight of sentiment that stood behind it. Letters or telegrams were read from Msgr. John A. Ryan, Rabbi Israel Goldstein, Mr. John Foster Dulles, and Bishop G. Ashton Oldham, to the general effect that the Senate must conform its resolution on American postwar policy to the moral requirements of Article Five of the Pattern for Peace.
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We cannot here follow the details of the debate, which was brought to an end by the publication of the Moscow agreement for the setting up at the earliest practicable moment of a general international organization to maintain peace. Nor would it serve our purpose to try to measure the exact amount of influence which the Pattern exerted during the debate. This much might be said in passing. It was one of the factors which delayed the vote until the publication of the Moscow agreement provided a simple method of strengthening the original resolution, i. e., by incorporating the agreement into the resolution. Of prime significance is the fact, itself a new development in our political history, that the voice of religion was raised resoundingly in a senatorial debate. It is doubtful if that voice would have been listened to if that voice had not been raised in concert by the three religious groups. The fact that it was listened to should point the moral of the whole episode: that the Pattern can truly be made an instrument for enforcing the relevance of moral principles to political decisions, and thus for insuring that those decisions are actually conducive to the common good of men.
It is sobering to recall, however, the observations on the discussions made by Father E. A. Conway, S.J., in an address before the Catholic Association for International Peace. One doubt, he said, shadowed the Pattern throughout the Senate debate. It was, indeed, interpreted as representing a large segment of public opinion. But just how large, how solidary, how consciously enlightened, how willing to be articulate was that opinion? That was the crucial question. And it will come up again. There is reason to think that our State Department, as well as our politicians, would be interested in knowing the answer, especially given the striking similarity between-the Points of the Pattern and the statement on "Bases of American Foreign Policy," issued on March 21, 1944. At
all events, until the question is answered in resounding fashion, we roust expect that secularist thinking will largely preside over the work, even now going on, of rebuilding the world. This sober fact defines the responsibilities of all men of good
will. It would seem absolutely necessary that, to vigorous action along the lines of their own full programs, the religious groups should add some supporting parallel action along the lines of that minimal common program which is the Pattern for Peace. Otherwise, it is difficult to sec how the dismayingly strong secularist front can be effectively breached.
Publicity for the Pattern
Hitherto, the Pattern has been promoted to a considerable, though not to an adequate, extent. Details can be found in the bulletin called Pattern's Progress, issued by Father E. A. Conway, S.J., and Mr. Richard M. Fagley. What follows is based on its reports.
Seven hundred and fifty thousand copies have been distributed, chiefly by the Social Action Department of the National Catholic Welfare Conference, by the National Conference of Christians and Jews, by the Church Peace Union, and by the Synagogue Council of America. Secular agencies have co-operated, for instance, Freedom House, the Commission to Study the Organization of Peace, Citizens for Victory, different United Nations Committees, the U. S. 0. and the Army and Navy Departments of the V. M. C. A. (to servicemen). Religious groups, notably the Congregationalists and the Methodists, and religious agencies, for instance, The Queen's Work (to Catholic chaplains) and the International Council on Religious Education (to Protestant organizations), have also been active.
An impressive action in support of the Pattern was taken by Catholic, Jewish and Protestant leaders in Great Britain when the Executive Committee of the British Council of Christians and Jews adopted a statement "warmly welcoming" the American pronouncement, and declaring itself in general agreement with the principles therein laid down. The Council is headed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of Westminster, the Moderator of the Free Church Federal Council, the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, and the Chief Rabbi of Great Britain. In a letter to the American signers
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which accompanied the statement, it was announced that a "research group had been set up to work carefully over the three faith declaration and to produce a detailed report which might serve as a basis for study and discussion by groups of Christians and Jews throughout the country."
In accordance with numerous demands that the Platform Committees of the two major political parties adopt the principles of the Pattern in their foreign relations planks, the Pattern for Peace was brought to the attention of the resolutions committees at the two conventions.
The contents of the Pattern have been exploited in many ways. World Affairs, for March, 1944, carried a symposium of fifteen articles by men of different faiths; reprints are available from the American Peace Society, Washington, D. C. Point Two figured importantly in the latest Shotwell Commission report, on the safeguard of human rights. And particularly effective publicity was given in "Win-the-Peace Institutes" conducted by the Church Peace Union and co-operating national and local organizations in Toledo, Detroit, Boston, Chicago, Miami and St. Louis. Moreover, formal and informal approach to the public mind has been achieved through other channels. At the recent Princeton meeting of the American Council on Education the suggestion was made that the Pattern be laid at the basis of a possible course on the religious and moral bases of citizenship in the public schools.
However, the most successful use of the Pattern was in the now famous "Syracuse experiment" of February 15, 1943. This was a "Civic Gathering," called to discuss the foundations of a just peace and better social order, under the sponsorship of the Roman Catholic diocese, the Syracuse Jewish Welfare Federation, and the Syracuse Council of Churches. The whole program centered on the Pattern. The organization was excellent; strong support was given by the municipal authorities, business people, and the press. And the success surpassed expectations. Moreover, the solidity of the success was evidenced by the fact that the county-city postwar planning council formed in consequence a committee on religion, which
has since issued a remarkable report, applying the principles of the Pattern to many local problems, notably the development of family life.
A similar civic gathering was held in San Antonio on March 21st, in the shape of an open Forum. Archbishop Lucey, Rev. Clyde V. Hickerson, and Rabbi David Jacobson spoke on the seven points. Again, organization was excellent, extensive community support was forthcoming, and the results were notable. Finally, in Toledo the week of April 30th to May 7th was devoted to an intensive campaign by Protestants, Catholics, and Jews to popularize the Pattern.
All these experiments have shown the possibility of organized effort at arousing the sentiment of whole communities in support of a peace founded on moral ideals. In each case, the organizational formula was acceptable to Catholics, since it was kept entirely clear that the focus of the gatherings was on goals in the temporal order for whose achievement all men of good will have a common responsibility. The end in view was cooperation in charity to do the work of justice which is peace, national and international. Obviously, any organization formula for such common or parallel effort will have to be made to suit the particular exigencies of a local situation. The point is that we now have evidence to show that such formulas can be worked out, and that the results are of no small value.
Catholics And The Pattern
Of late, Catholics have become increasingly aware that they have the duty of affording leadership—an active support of the Pope's own leadership—towards the solution of religio-social issues in the present world crisis. Moreover, they are beginning to see that this leadership has a twofold aspect. First, there is the effort intelligently to explain the integral Catholic program, and vigorously to work for its realization. Secondly, there is the will to take the initiative in cooperative efforts, or at least take part wholeheartedly in joint initiatives, according to formulas approved by their bishops, towards
making religious and moral principles operative in the social order. The fact is beginning to emerge that both forms of leadership have their sanction in the words and deeds of the Holy See. And it is being seen that complete loyalty to the full content of our own program does not entail, as its counterpart and consequence, a standing aside from the immense work for peace and justice that is being inspired by fundamentally Christian principles in other religious groups.
The presence of the Pattern for Peace on the American scene puts to us the serious question: Under whose leadership will these seven principles be transformed into vital, dynamic forces that will inspire all American thinking on the problems of world order—the thinking of our statesmen and of our common people? In the concrete world of affairs, leadership belongs to those who exercise it. In the practical order, it is of little avail to assert leadership as a matter of right, if one is not prepared to assume it as a matter of fact. No one, of course, will doubt the necessity of impressing on the Catholic conscience its duty and responsibility to give leadership. But it would be unfortunate to see develop, as a consequence of this necessary educative effort, a situation in which we would fall between two stools—on the one hand, a reluctance to co-operate with sound initiatives from without, and, on the other hand, an unwillingness or inability to offer any initiatives of our own. Such a result would be sterile. The dilemma might be avoided by one means—a large-hearted, as well as prudent, appreciation of the full demands of Christian charity in the present crisis, which concretely would mean a willingness to co-operate in joint initiatives in behalf of the Pattern.
The Demands of Charity
In all this matter, it is ultimately to the demands of charity that we must continually return. The Pattern for Peace was itself an act of charity—an expression of vital and operative concern for the needs of suffering mankind. It must not, therefore, be allowed to fail of the proper finality of all charity—
the kindling of a still warmer flame. Surely we Catholics should be smitten by a more profoundly compassionate concern for mankind, into whose very soul a sea of sorrow has come, when we see in the common phrases of the Pattern how deep this compassion is in the hearts of our Protestant and Jewish brethren. As our Holy Father has pointed out, only this compassionate charity, mutually felt, can avail to bridge the gap—otherwise so distressingly real, and, at the moment, impassable—between ourselves and those who do not share the same faith with us. Moreover, only this compassionate charity can supply the dynamic for action as well on distinctively Catholic lines as on the co-operative lines suggested by the Pattern.
We must, in a word, ruthlessly subject ourselves to the experience the piercing effects of which speak out in almost every line of Pius XII's utterances—an experience, wholly Christlike, of intimate self-identification with all the woe that war has brought upon the race of men, members of Christ and our brothers. Only out of such an experience will be born the spiritual energy for the immense peace-making effort—thought, love, and action—that is demanded of us. Initially, such an experience would compel us to reject, as intolerably self-complacent, any notion that our efforts have been at all adequate either to the desperateness of the situation or to the urgency of the Pope's pleas for action. "The call of the moment," he said in his 1942 Christmas Allocution, "is for action—not for lamentation over what has been, but for reconstruction of what is to arise, and what must arise, for the good of society" (n. 1842). Our lamentations have been probably satisfactory, in volume and pitch. Not so our action. And what our Holy Father wants is action. In his cry for it he voices both the anguish of humanity and his own profound sense of the moment's critical urgency. Again in his 1943 Christmas Allocution this favorite thought appeared: "There has perhaps never in history of mankind been a time so capable as the present of great and beneficial progress no less than of fatal defects and errors." And his conclusion is always
the same: action—united courageous action: "To action, then! To work, beloved children! Close your ranks! Let not your courage fail you. Do not remain inactive in the midst of ruins, but come into the open to build a new world for Christ" (ibid.).
This is not a rhetorical flight, but a considered command. And the lines of action have been made entirely clear: first, there is the cooperation of Catholics with one another, in the full unity of faith and love, towards the peace of Christ in the reign of Christ; and, supporting it, there is the cooperation of Catholics with all men of good will, in the unity of a common love of God and man, towards the reign of justice in a world at peace.
(1)Editor Note: Originally published as "The Pattern for Peace and the Papal Peace Program," a pamphlet of the Catholic Association for International Peace (Washington, D.C.: Paulist Press. (1944)). Another version, with some alterations, can be found as "Co-operation Among All Men of Good Will, Murray Archives, file 12–764. This latter was in turn published as "La Cooperacion Interconfessional Para la Pax," Verbum [Guatemala] (January 9, 1945), and in Vida: Revista e Orientacion 7 (1944): 757-71.
(4)Principles of Peace, edited for the Bishop's Committee on the Pope's Peace Points by Rev. Harry C Koenig (Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing Co., 1943), n. 1838. The ensuing parenthetical numerals in the text are references to paragraphs in this book.
(5)Editor Note: The notion of an international will for a new world order first appeared in Murray's 1940 address (see 1940a, p. 96). This rising will toward order will eventually be transformed, under the inspiration of Pope John XXIII, into a rising recognition of, and respect for, human dignity.
(7)Editor Note: Murray's use of the term "charity" is somewhat ambiguous. Charity is of course a theological virtue, grounded in revelation and having a theological content. He had previously ruled out the possibility of charity (understood as a theological virtue) as serving as common motivational source for Catholics, Protestants, and Jews, insisting that civil friendship (understood as a natural virtue) can sufficiently motivate cooperation (see 1942b: "Current Theology," and 1943a: "Current Theology: Co-operation: Some Further Views." Further on in this text Murray will make clear that he believes intercredal cooperation can be based only on natural law, and therefore natural virtue.
(9)Editor Note: Here Murray is perhaps ingenuously trying to deflect the charge of indiffentism. At issue was indifferentism understood as the belief that Catholic doctrine did not offer the best possible or solely feasible grounds for social reconstruction. Murray deflects the problem toward questions of eternal salvation and the church's role in advancing that salvation, avoiding the question of indifferentism toward Catholic social doctrine. For a listing of possible meanings to the term "indifferentism," see Hooper, 1983, p. 13.
(10)Editor Note: This note of the Catholic faith placing more stringent demands on Catholic social witness will reemerge in Murray's thought after the council, in a demand also placed on the church as a whole to respect human dignity even within the church.
(11)Editor Note: For Murray's spirited debate with Catholic University's Paul Furfey over the form that cooperation should take, see: 1943b: "Current Theology: Intercredal Co-operation: Its Theory and Its Organization"; 1943e: "To the Editor"; and 1945f: "On the Problem of Co-operation: Some Clarifications: Reply to Father P. H. Furfey."
(12)Editor Note: Lest one get the impression that Murray nurtured some mitigated form of millenialism, it would be helpful to check 1948g: "The Roman Catholic Church" where Murray claimed Roman Catholic interest in the social arena primarily in terms of its effects on the salvation of souls.
(13)Editor Note: Archbishop Mooney, at about this time, encouraged Murray to address the question of religious freedom, since the Catholic position on the First Amendment was a stumbling block to cooperation in social reconstruction. Murray's response to Mooney's request was a long memo that dealt with the problem in three parts (1945e). Only the first part of his argument reached final form and publication (1945b). Murray then abandoned this line of delineating and defending the Catholic position of religious liberty.