On 19 March Pius XII delivered his most La Pira-esque speech to the youth of Catholic Action which included the remark  “May we remind you that you have a dark winter behind you but a bright summer before you. May we invite you to live to the full this spring that God is granting to the world and granting to the Church“?

La Pira takes this point up and urges the Pope to begin a dialogue with the aim of making colonialism redundant: … Most blessed Father, they – these “coloured” peoples – await a further benediction from you: they believe that your fatherly love for them can bring about the “miracle” that they await, namely that the Christian nations of Europe give them trust and tear down the last barriers of a regime – colonial – that is finished for ever!

Yes most blessed Father. A Spring has begun in the history of nations. The home of the world and of the family of peoples is being enriched with new gigantic values, countless peoples, countless nations stand at the threshold of history awaiting a two-fold baptism. The baptism of Christ which is both a baptism of grace and one of civilisation.

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