What I find disturbing in the Catholic Church today is not radical or conservative theology and liturgy, but the desire of many Catholics violently to attack — with a complete lack of charity. good manners and scholarly caution — opinions held by other Catholics and Christians. Recently. this practice seems to be strongly manifested in almost every issue of the Catholic Herald.
Some short time ago, Canon F. H. Drinkwater opened an article on the historicity of the -Resurrection with this statement: "One of the bits of verbal jugglery which secondrate scholars employ to discredit the Resurrection is to say that it is 'not historical'."
I happen to share with him the view that the tomb of Jesus was found empty on Easter morning, but it is surely extremely rash to imply that men like Rudolph Bultmann. Schubert Ogden. Fritz Bun i and many other scholars of the highest international repute are "secondrate" because they do not concur in this view: one suspects, however. that the canon's strictures were more specifically aimed at a certain contemporary English Catholic scripture scholar.
In an article. "The Trojan Horse". in your issue of December 28, Mr. Robert Speaight (by quoting a remark which he attrihutes to .Fr. Lagrange) seems to imply that he thinks that those who attack the historicity of the Gospels are simply deficient in their knowledge of Greek grammar. In the same article, with equal confidence, he declares that certain priests who did not
The Catholic clergy throughout the country have received a notification and order form concerning the New Breviary in English. This note says that C. Goodliffe Neal are the sole distributors. We would urgently point out that ALL Catholic bookshops will have the Breviary on sale.
We mention this in the interest of preserving the existing hookshops, Newman Bookshop (Oxford), the shops of the Catholic Truth Society and of the Daughters of St. Paul, Westminster Cathedral Bookshop, Fowler Wright Books and others not mentioned.
Graham Jenkins Westminster Cathedral Bookshop, 42 Francis Street, London, S.W.1. genuflect before the ciborium or elevate the Host were engaged in a "liturgical charade" (did Jesus perform these actions at the Last Supper?) and were thereby expressing their disbelief in the Real Presence.
Once again. I am shocked at the recklessness of penning so serious an accusation based on nothing more than the omission (regrettable in my view) of certain traditional liturgical practices.
I note the same deplorable tendency in another article of the same issue by "Historicus", who says: "It is not true. as the comparative religionists and anthropologists tell us, that all religions and civilisations are alike." I do not know of any scholar of comparative religion who has made this ridiculous assertion.
We in England profess to be shocked at the sectarian bitterness which divides the Northern Irish. but are we not, within the Catholic Church in this country, thoughtlessly creating bitterness between radicals and conservatives?
By all means let us have theological discussion, but let us remember that theology is, after all. a human attempt to systematise and explain a great mystery.
Within the Church there is room for a variety of theological and liturgical approaches. The Catholic Herald has a serious duty to combat this increasing divisiveness by -exercising some editorial control of its contributors — not of their ideas but of the manner in which they are expressed. Theological and liturgical orthodoxy is surely of far less value in a Church than the manifestation of Christian charity and sobriety of utterance.
P. B. Norris 73 Dillotford Avenue, Coventry, Warwickshire.
Amidst all the happenings of the recent festive season, our eyes have been hidden from the spiritual aspect of Christmas not only by materialistic aspects but also by our national upheavals. Yet there is in St, Luke's Gospel a piece of advice from John the Baptist which the miners and train drivers could do worse than listen to: "No intimidation, no extortion. Be content with your pay." .1. J. Hamilton-Dalrymple Leuchie, North Bcrwick, East Lothian.