Page 4, 13th May 1977

13th May 1977
Page 4
Page 4, 13th May 1977 — Dr Cecil Northcott writing in The Daily Telegraph of April

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Dr Cecil Northcott writing in The Daily Telegraph of April

25, says that the Catholic and Anglican Churches are clearer and more cordial in their doctrinal relations than at any time this century — a greatly desired objective, which triumphalism should not be allowed to ohscii re_

Dr Northcutt speaks of two facto, s inch are helping to create a nelS climate of understanding. One, is the Roman Catholic recognition that the texts in the Gospels about St Peter arc no longer regarded as giving "divine right" to the Pope's supremacy.

I am only a simple priest, but even to me this scents a little strange, especially when I recall a letter to The Times of November 8. 1-949 in which Bishop B. C. Butler wrote: "No responsible scholar would question the textual authenticity. if Matthew XVI, 13/20, as it appears in our Bibles."

Futhermore, in the same issue of The Times Fr Crehan, SJ. of Heythrop College. wrote: "When in one Ciospel (Matthew) there is found a promise of special authority to Peter and in another (John) Peter is invested with this authority, while in the Acts he is seen to use it from the very start of the Church, there is no question of clinging rigidly to a single isolated sentence and shutting one's mind to tile rest of the New Testament, but of viewing the evidence as a whole."

In addition. Fr Crehan stressed: "The New Testament gives far more attention to Peter than to any other Apostle." As Fr Crehan says "This fact needs an explanation."

Turning again to Dr Northcott's article in The Daily Telegraph I am wondering it he has not put his own gloss on the sta lenient of the Catholic position and what has really happened is that Catholics are "leaving on the table" the New Testament texts about St Peter.

Instead, we rejoice with due modesty that (again I quote Dr Northeott)! "The seniority and prestige of the Church of Rome are now regarded as the heart of its claims."

(Fr) Robert Goold London. N2.

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