The gentleman who criticized The Christian Science Monitor...

The Tribune

The gentleman who criticized The Christian Science Monitor in your issue of Augest 14 for its editorial comment on a public statement made by Cardinal Begin, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Quebec, ignored the point and reason of the comment which furnished the occasion for his letter. He accused The Christian Science Monitor in these words: "It is so democratic that it would deny to minortities the right to debate." "It finds fault with Cardinal Begin because he debates the question of conscription ante factum."

It was quite evident, however, from Cardinal Begin's published statement, that he claimed, not the right to debate, but the right to pass superior and final judgment on a bill pending in the Canadian parliament. He spoke of the conscription bill then pending as "a menace which causes the Canadian clergy the worst apprehensions," and as "a serious blow to the rights of the church of Christ, independent in its domain." Cardinal Begin even said more particularly: "If we judge by the very rude knowledge revealed by certain speeches made in the Commons, one may indeed fear that some legislators, so little enlightened, and maybe also somewhat ill-willed, may not make a choice that we would approve; and here is what legitimatizes all the fears." The comment of The Christian Science Monitor on these utterances was that they put the judgment of the cardinal or his church above the decision of the Canadian House of Commons. Surely this was fair comment, and comment which did not touch the right of debate.

Funds of The Mother Church
February 2, 1918

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