Temperance and Prohibition in New Zealand
(4) The Catholic Church
(4) The Catholic Church
Though the Catholic Church in New Zealand does not support that phase of the Prohibition movement which aims at the total abolition of the legalized sale of intoxicating liquors, the principles of total abstinence have been impressed upon its adherents; especially have temperance truths been taught the young people. Pledge-signing missions have been held during which the evils of intemperance have been condemned.
The visits of ardent Catholic prohibitionists from other lands have helped the Prohibition movement. Father Hays, who is one of the stalwarts in the ranks of the temperance workers in England, and Father Zurcher, of America, who, by his saintly character and able advocacy won the hearts of his hearers, helped the cause considerably by their visits.
W. D. Hunt
Leadina business man; Member National Efficiency Board; Chairman Finance Committee N.Z. Alliance
Rt. Rev. Bishop Cleary. D.D., O.B.E.,
Bishop of Auckland and editor of the Catholic journal, ‘The Month
ex-Presidens N.Z. Alliance; prominent for his efforts to win supoort for the prohibition cause amongst members of the Catholic Church
Dr. O'Brien, who has studied the effects of alcohol upon the human system, has repeatedly appeared upon the Prohibition platform as an able and ardent advocate.
The Rev. Dr. Cleary, Bishop of Auckland, has, by voice and pen, helped the cause of Prohibition. He was not a Local Optionist, having doubts whether electoral No-License would be a success owing to the facilities for securing liquor from adjoining districts. Though holding the views that the use of light wines and ales of a very moderate alcoholic strength might reduce the liability to abuse, he has advocated Prohibition, believing that ‘National Prohibition offers the hope of a remedy for the intolerable evils of the traffic in alcoholic drink.’ Replying to the insinuation of vested interests that the Catholic Church was in some way tied to the liquor trade, he said, ‘The Church of the Living God is built on a Rock, and not on a Vat,’ and that she was no more tied to the liquor traffic than she was to the sale of Fuji silk or bone-dust fertilizers. His advice to persons of every age has been to ‘mount the water wagon and stay there.’ He has been emphatic in impressing upon the members of the Catholic page 162 Church that they were absolutely free to vote according to the guidance of their conscience. He possesses gifts of the highest order as a journalist, and has repeatedly sent out statements which have been reprinted by the Alliance and doubtless have been of considerable help in past campaigns.