Tele: Maida Vale 1384.
4, Aberdare Gardens,
Hampstead, LONDON, N.W.6.
24th February, 1938.
Mr. F. O'Hanlon,
re CONFLICT IN SPAIN.
Mr. Jeger has passed on to me for perusal and signature a copy of a letter which he tells me you have addressed to the Catholic Hierarchy in Great Britain.
I am very much afraid that I am not able to support you in your appeal as expressed. I think your aim is quite good, but one has to be very careful in making such an appeal to see that the phrases used are not capable of misinterpretation by the Catholic Authorities, who in this matter would be most meticulous as to the phraseology and very touchy if their view has been misinterpreted.
I disagree in particular with the phrase that the Catholic Church has made the cause of the insurgents its own, and prelates of the Church have identified the cause of the insurgents with the cause of Christ. I think the first sentence is untrue. The Church as a Church, has kept itself out of the conflict. It is true that some prelates have in their private capacity, expressing reactionary views, sided with the insurgents, and many have in my mind crossed the borderline and have made use to a certain extent of their official position to push their private views rather than the official view of the Church. But whatever one may say privately to these prelates, a private document of this kind should be phrased in a way that would not give offence to the Church as the Church. In