Page 6, 14th January 1977

14th January 1977
Page 6
Page 6, 14th January 1977 — Fraternal correction for Archbishop Lefebvre

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Organisations: Econe


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Fraternal correction for Archbishop Lefebvre

Challenge to the Church: The Case of Archbishop Lefebvre by Yves Congar, OP (Collins £1.50) This is a short paperback, less than 1(X) pages, but a very valuable appraisal of the present situation of the Church. The style is that of a conversation similar to the question-and-answer period after a formal lecture — crisp, racy. at times lacking precision.

Writer's wisdom

A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance by Derek Kidner (Intervarsity Press L1.20) The sub-title of this book is "Ecclesiastes and the way of the world". The first part discusses the question, "what is this book doing Ili he Bible?" The rest is a running commentary on the words of the -Preacher" lite au I har's purpose is to highlight the wisdom of the writer and to provide help for the general reader for the understanding of the hook and its relevance to modern times. Very readable.

Maurice Hassan SJ

Erroneous gulf

We apologise to the Epworth Press for rechristening One of their

Moraon this page last week, Mora Dickson's book about missionary Work on Fiji is culled "The Inseparable Grier -a much less enigmatic title than our "The Inseparable Gulf." But there is no lack of precision in Fr Conger's analysis of the position taken up by Archbishop Lefebvre and the Econe group. With a welcome rigour he demolishes the Archbishop's case. This is no personal attack, but it is as good a piece of fraternal correction as has been offered for a long time.

However, the value of the book, in my opinion, lies rather in Fr Conger's penetrating and sympathetic approach to the deep uneasiness felt by loyal, traditional Catholics at the upheavals and changes which have battered the Church over the last decade. As Archbishop Dwyer writes in the preface: "There is sympathy and real affection in this booklet for all who are suffering the 'post-operation' pains of Vatican II."

The author goes to some trouble to offer an informative summary of the working of the Council within the framework of the vastly changed world situation in which the Church must renew herself in order to proclaim the Gospel. For most English readers the political angle to the Econe movement — a specific French note — will come as something of a revelation, and add force to the conviction that liturgical changes and resistance to them are only one element in the present unhappiness.

ins is clear from the Holy Father's letter to the Archbishop, the group whom the latter leads and champions want nothing of the developments based on the Council and would willingly return to the status quo ante, even to the extent of accusing the Pope of unorthodoxy and heresy.

It is refreshing to read Fr Congar, who has lived through it all, suffering as a pioneer of

new ideas and understandings during the post-war period and accepting the condemnations these provoked. Yet not for one moment did this great theologian imagine he could offer anything worthwhile by withdrawing from the communion of the Church. Not all modern theologians have shown this humility and, though persuasive, his defence of his confreres may not reach the hearts of ordinary readers.

The same might be said of his easy and forgiving treatment of those responsible for some of the aberrations to which the

People of God have been subjected. But his words are effective in reducing them to size both the perpetrators and the practices.

This is a good book — to be read and reflected upon. The translation is uneven. It could not have been easy to render the native style into idiomatic English, and one regrets words like "simplisticism" and "politicisation." But the immediacy of the author's reflections come across nonetheless.

Bishop Alan C. Clark of East Anglia

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