A Third Open Letter to Father Lord, SJ

Dear Father:

Dr. C. Roper, Secretary of Commerce,
suggested some time ago
the establishment in Washington
of a “Laboratory for Leadership in
Public Affairs.”
H. McCall, assistant to Secretary Roper,
says that “youth movements
have occupied
dominant and aggressive positions
in the social and governmental changes
that have taken place
throughout the world
since the World War.”
H. McCall proposes
the establishment in Washington
“of a forum
for study and training
in public affairs.”

Colleges and universities
have failed
to give their students
a technique of leadership
based on scholarship.

And because colleges and universities
have failed
to make leaders out of their students,
politicians propose
to make bureaucrats out of them.
College professors
have become so academic
that their students
refuse to be scholarly minded
and consent to be politically minded.
College professors
have failed
to train their students
in a technique of leadership,
so their students wish to be trained
in a technique of dictatorship.
In Cuba, Germany, China, Mexico, Italy,
Russia, dictators have found
their greatest support
among college students
eager for action.
Academic college professors
are interested in thought,
not in action.
So we have on one hand
thought without action
and on the other hand
action without thought.

People go to Washington
asking the Federal Government
to solve their economic problems,
while the Federal Government
was never intended
to solve men’s economic problems.
Catholic Action
based on Catholic thought
is the Catholic solution
of men’s economic problems.
To impart Catholic thought
and train in Catholic Action,
such is the function
of Catholic universities.
Some way ought to be found
to send Catholic workers
to Catholic universities
or to bring Catholic universities
to Catholic workers.
When Catholic scholars
and Catholic workers
become acquainted with each other
Catholic workers
win cease to be politically minded
and begin to be scholarly minded.
When Catholic scholars
are dynamic
and not academic
and Catholic workers
are scholars
and not politicians
we will have dynamic Catholic Action.
Yours for dynamic Catholic Action.