Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 15, No. 2. March 13, 1952
At Raumati Responsibility Discussion The Key
At Raumati Responsibility Discussion The Key
With the 70 students present agreed on fundamentals, the University Catholic Society of New Zealand Congress at Raumati discussed aspects of student responsibility with a minimum of distraction by side issues. Responsibilities were discussed under four heads: Spiritual, Social and Political, Professional and
Every speaker stressed the necessity for being a complete student whose main, activities were mainly centred on the University. University clubs and societies were given first place as the proper loyalties of every student.
To Fray is to be in Touch With Reality
Fr. Havenman, a Dutch priest, who was imprisoned by the Japanese for several years during the war lectured on Spiritual Responsibility.
His lecture postulated the three ways of knowing God: natural, dogmatic and mystical theology. Natural theology, the study of God as He manifests Himself in His creation, and dogmatic theology, the study of God in Revelation and in the doctrine of the Church are natural complements to mystical theology, the experiences of prayer and contemplation.
For the development of the mature man, the man that is, who is constantly in touch with reality; whose knowledge of the reality God gives point to merely useful knowledge, these three ways of knowing God are necessary. As students we have a responsibility to be spiritually mature because from such spiritual maturity will grow the desire to increase further in the love of God and the desire to inform others of His truths.
Symposia: Social and Political
The two symposia on Social and Political Responsibilities had two spheres of reference: The Social Statements of the Popes and Professional Responsibility.
Mr. K. B. O'Brien, M.Com.
Mr. D. G. Nolan.
In the political and social sphere which is only incidental to spiritual sphere and the saving of souls the Church only takes a secondary and general interest so that men may not be so oppressed and suffering as to be unable to love and think about God and their neighbours.
Here the counsels of the Church are general guides but the discussion was vigorous. Worker-ownership, distributism and cooperation received more compliments than present day capitalism. The major controversy was: Christianise capitalism or find a better system to replace it?
Collectivisation either by monopoly or by state was rejected at once in favour of a recognition of the responsible nature which Christians regard as the essence of a free man. The exact nature of a Christian system would require intense study, gradual development and hard work, but in the end men must be free to know and serve God and man.
Doctor, Lawer, Indianchief?
Mr K. O'Connor,
Mr W. F. McIntyre, LL.B.
Professional Responsibility is a difficult concept. Although the first responsibility is to be as good as it is possible to be, a Christian must go further than that, and the basic disunity of belief in each profession complicates any solution.
The two speakers first agreed that the Professional classes have to be extended beyond traditional limits. Original thought, freedom from purely material necessity and the fact that they give social direction [unclear: teoclety] meant the inclusion of such man and women as trade unionists, bureaucrats, industrialists, professional politicians and the like.
The search for truth it was agreed is an essential task of the profession [unclear: but] amanded enunciation and support. After discussion which included a plea for personal action and realisation that God was the first end of man and not money, Mr. O'Connor's point that religion integrated with life necessarily meant a high standard of responsibility to members of the profession and community led to more specific discussion. The legal profession and divorce, profits in land transactions, contributions to professional journals and the necessity for Christian professional study groups were among the matters discussed.
Mr. McIntyre was advocatus diaboll.
Forums Provoke Action
Two matters of particular interest were raised during the forums. During the Forums on University Affairs N.Z.U.S.A. representation on the Senate was agreed to be desirable and support for any move to ask for such representation. The tendency to criticise Maoris and immigrants was deplored and students agreed that racial discrimination was almost unknown in our Universities. It was resolved to try to bring before the Catholic people of New Zealand their responsibilities toward Maoris and new settlers.
Asia is Our Neighbour
The Pacific area is bounded by the Americas, Asia and Australia and New Zealand, the latter being underpopulated and blessed with a high standard of living must realise that they have no right to restrict Asian immigration while they are not using the land themselves.
To this thought in the minds of those who read the Australian Bishops Social Justice Statement for 1951 Mr. Harker M.P. added much factual information and suggested other lines of discussion, our responsibility to grow and export food to Asia, to assist in education and insist on religious rights for all, to increase our immigration while working for the intensive development of Asia's potential.
Faced with these suggestions discussion was practical and the thesis that New Zealand and Australia had twenty years in which to act or be absorbed in Asia made the problem appear more immediate.
And Uncle Tom Cobley...
Representatives were present from the university colleges, except Lincoln, and the conference which ran concurrently took action on, among other things: The Hungarian Student Fund, which is the practical action being taken by the U.C.S.N.Z. to assist the D.P. problem.
One of the two Hungarian students being assisted in New Zealand, Tommy Paulay, was present at the Congress.
The weather was fine and the food good, with the sea two minutes' walk away by day and more often by night.
Pax Romana, the paper of the Catholic Students' International, was available. The wall newspaper, "The Parapram Papist and Opthomist Times," published the gem in the box on page 2.
Mention was made and prayers said for the late King and our new Queen.
Apologies were received from Federations in Malaya, Indonesia, India and Japan, Hong Kong and the Philippines, and from Pax Romana. Fribourg, Europe.
U.C.S.N.Z.'s fourth Congress organised belatedly by Victoria was clearly successful but it became more and more obvious that Christians have a responsibility to think, pray and act or watch most of Christianity perish.