29 NOVEMBER 1940, Page 5

The writer of a letter in last week's Spectator, justly

castigat- ing one or other of the many offences of Janus, brings matters to a head by asking regarding that individual, " He is not by any chance a member of the Roman Church? " Why the question? Because, of course, of this sentimental sug- gestion that Rome should not be bombed. It is quite true that it was to the bombing of the Forum and other antiquities— much antiquer antiquities than the Vatican—that I took ex- ception. But that, it will no doubt be said, was a typically jesuitical line of appeal to stern Protestants, who would see St. Peter's suffer much worse than St. Paul's without the semblance of a pang—indeed, with some thrill of holy exultation. As it happens, I am not by any chance, not by any possible or conceivable chance, a member of the Roman Church; I never have been, and I can safely say I never shall be. As to bombs on Rome, I doubt their efficacy. If they could fall on one Roman, and be guaranteed to do no damage to various monu- ments that are a great deal more valuable to mankind than he is, I should be all in favour. But who could guarantee that?

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