IF EVERY Christian really believed that what the Pope has said in Ireland was actually true, and committed himself Or herself absolutely to that belief. as every participant in the New Covenant ought to do. then violence would be snuffed out not only in Ireland but throughout the world as a candle flame dies when it is deprived of air.
Rev Gordon Wilson Chairman Anglican Pacifist Fellowship Dane Flank Avenue Crewe Cheshire THE MOST hopeful sight during the visit of His Holiness the Pope to Ireland was the singing, dancing young people in Galway. Young Protestant Evangelicals would have been happy to link arms with them and sing — as they often sing in their own (my own) community, the very self-same Christian songs.
I hope the Irish hierarchy will recognise the rights of conscience of Protestant members of mixed religion families— as happened in Ireland prior to Easter 1908. and recognise this as a result of the relevant decree in Vatican II and the Pope's Call in Ireland and elsewhere for human rights of conscience to every A. Edwin D. Fleming Mossley Hill Liverpool L18 4P1 1 OULD have liked to have gone to Ireland for the Holy Fathers visit, hut thanks to television I was able to see and hear more of the Pope than if I had made the trip. For this. I would like to thank the BBC most sincerely for their coverage of the event.
Preaching in Dublin on Saturday, he touched on the sad situation in the North and appealed to the men of violence for a change of heart and to achieve their aims through peaceful means.
Ile also mentioned the politicians and their responsibilities (and here we should not forget that there are a group of men of violence. the Patriotic Front, invited to sit down at the conference table in London at the present time).
But what of us the ordinary people? Have we no responsibility? Are we not responsible for the politicians who represent us? The people, not only of Ireland. hut also of all parts of Britain are sick of the bloodshed and violence that has gone on in the North-east of Ulster for the past ten years and more and yet our politicians do nothing about it. Is it not time that we spoke out and demanded that something be done?
Prayer is a good thing and we should continue to pray for peace, but we cannot leave everything to the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit which ever title we like to give him: God has given us our reason and our voices and is it not time we began to use them?
And what of abortion? Do our elected representatives express our views on this? At a recent silent demonstration against abortion 7,000 people came from the Liverpool area and yet Newham could only muster about 70. Some Newham parishes were not represented at all: others sent only one. Here in England, and in Ireland also. we are lucky. We have free speoch. We can, if we wish, belong to any political party that suits us. If we do not wish to belong we are still free to express our views in letters to our MPs and, very importantly in letters to whatever national or local papers that we read. Is it not time we began to use these channels open to us instead of remaining part of the silent majorio.
We must continue to pray for peace, hut it must he peace with juvrice,
Justice will not come at the end of a gun. although that may speed it up. Peace and justice will only come by talking and. if we have learnt anything from the Pope's visit to Ireland, we the ordinary people should start talking now.
God bless John Paul IL May we have him here in England one day.
Silvertown London El6
Out-of-date view of women
MAY I suggest that a clue to understanding the passage in Ephesians about wifely submission might be found in the first letter of St Peter, where similar views are set forth? An indication that the apostles are talking about social structures which simply do not exist today is found in Peter's unquestioning assumption that employers are entitled to beat their employees up; is anyone arguing that this unpleasant practice has divine approval and should be revived?
To some extent a changed relationship is expressed in a change of language: we no longer speak of "slaves" or "servants" but of "workers", "employees" or "staff'.
However, the fact that relations between the sexes have also changed, is not similarly expressed. We use the word "wife" both for the woman handed over from father to husband to son, educated only in domeaticity. owning nothing a man hasn't given her. theologically regarded as a divine afterthought and for the woman who chooses her own man (or chooses to live without), earns as much as he does. has the same educational qualifications and is becoming biologically regarded as the basic form of the human race.
This tends to obscure the fact that the former animal is extinct and that instructions to her and about her are of chiefly archaeological interest.
J. E. Howard Norwich