To Silence Priest

Manila (A.I.F.). A dispute that has been going on for some time here, and which came to a high point in the last weeks of May when a Government Official and a newspaper columnist discussed the role of the Catholic priest in Industrial Relations, has led to the publication of a memorandum by the Ateneo de Manila. The discussions came about; because of the activity of Father Walter Hogan S. J., Director of the – Institute of Social Order and a member of the Faculty of the Ateneo de Manila.

The discussions, in general, have been condemnatory of Father Hogan; so much so that the Ateneo de Manila felt obliged to issue its special memorandum in which it said “The Ateneo administration is honoured to have Father Hogan on its faculty, applauds his zeal and approves his teaching, not because it is his, but because it is the doctrine of the Catholic Church.”

The question at issue in the dispute is: “Have men the right freely to choose their representatives, and, if so, is it morally just or unjust for management to take means to crush free unionism?” The Ateneo memorandum points out that the condemnation of Father Hogan is buttressed by one and only one argument: the argument that the arena for the activity of a Catholic priest is his church or his school, and no more. His presence, much less his influence, in the courts of law, the streets of business, or the factories of industry is neither desirable, nor necessary, nor even legitimate.

Recent Popes have been unanimous in encouraging the priests of the world, to dedicate themselves to the work of educating and guiding the labouring man. In the present dispute several persons contacted His Excellency the Apostolic Delegate, His Excellency the Archbishop of Manila and the Very Rev. Leo A. Cullum S. J., Fr. Hogan’s religious superior. One of these told the Apostolic Delegate that the Church was in no way involved. His Excellency answered, “If there is a moral issue involved, then the Church is certainly concerned in the matter.” (Fides) July 8th, 1950.

The Malayan Catholic Newsletter, July 30, 2