t‘w:„....--eents it egl 9..ase-s should be ju,5,c.NIVercial consideration and e consciences of both parties deeply respected.
On the other hand it is quite stupid for a merely "nominal" member of a church to object to the present or future Roman Catholic discipline. The "nominal" party should be prepared to accept the faith of the other. It is perfectly right that there should be safeguards when the faith of a person may be in danger.
A person who is a "nominal" Christian who is prepared to be married in church has no grounds to in sist on anything. This of course applies to ALL Christians.
Again "mixed marriages" cover a multitude of variations. Each case should be considered separately. Obviously there is a world of difference between the marriage of a Roman Catholic and a Methodist than between a Roman Catholic and a Mormon.
It is therefore little use making general statements condemning marriage discipline without considering all the facts about both parties.
A real start could be made in solving the real problems involved when both parties are practising communicants of the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches.
Rev. P. F. D. Spargo Castletown, Durham Sir,—Now that a mixed commission is to study both the "theological rhatters and practical difficulties" affecting Anglican-Roman relations, and now that the Common Declaration also tells us of "a new atmosphere of Christian fellowship", might it not be 'seemly if such unhelpful works as "Are they Priests? The Nature of Anglican Orders" were to disappear from the CTS tract cases in our churches? Unhappily, they still litter some.
D. H. Williams London, S.E.3, Sir. —The Pope asks us to ."promote responsible contacts" with Anglicans. If we obey we will be accused of "excessive proselytism".
If we ignore the request we will be accused of "dragging our feet", "clinging to outworn traditions", "hidebound conservatism", etc., etc.
To stop us all going round the bend with frustration could our dear Anglican brethren kindly let us know if they want us to love them or not?
Elizabeth Beamish Southampton.
Sir,—It is an excellent thing that Pope Paul and Dr. Ramsey have agreed on setting up a joint commission to examine the doctrinal and practical differences between our two Churches. Your reports indicate that this will not be confined to representatives from Britain but will include members, both Roman Catholic and Anglican, from all parts of the world.
This is excellent. Clearly the "practical difficulties" cannot be solved without a deep study of the theological principles involved and this is more likely to be achieved when the help of the best theologians of both Churches is enlisted.
At the same time, dialogue on the local level is very important in order to establish the rapport basic to an understanding on the human level. Is there any likelihood that a sub-commission representing the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches in Britain might be set up for this purpose?
Michael Grattan London S.W.I 9.
Sir.—The following is a transcript of a letter I have received:
"I am Romulo Cavitefio, a poor victim of the ill-fated Leprosy. I am greaty damage by leprosy that I could no longer earn for a living. I'm married and have a 3-year old daughter. We find it very hard to meet our simple necessities in life. So we need someone of a big and christian heart to extend us a hand, specially for the sake of our little girl. Please for the spirit of Easter which we have been celebrating, extend us your brotherly love for thro' your generosity we'll feel God never abandon us. We'll be very thankful and glad to however and whatever little help you may send us. Thank you very much and we pray for you.
Romulo Cavitefio Culion, Palawan, Philippine Islands."
I can vouch for the authenticity of the letter and of the facts contained therein as I have been in communication with the family for some time. Their dream is to be able to provide for their little girl's future by running some small
lems raised lew of The lic Christiand of the arch 18) de ino.rpretation of I c principle. This vel1.5 70001".,ch Fr. Davis tn.ne°„,,ors to be fundsthr Catholic Christianity, •may be regarded as serving at least a two-fold function; the need to give expression to Christian truths and the need to preserve historical walftintionietYis committed to the Catholic Church as mediating the fullest expression of divine revelation within human history then one is committed to the conditions of its existence as a socially integrated group.
But a pre-condition of any such group, whether religious or any other kind, is the responsible formulation of principles, or dogmata. important for its life at any given time and without which the group would lack cohesion and unity. For the Church these dogmata constitute the responsible interpretation, at a particular time, of its historical tradition for the present situation, and within this situation are final and irrevocable.
The growth of a historical tradition is a continuous process conditioned by every earlier one. This means that the particular expression of the Church's understanding of revelation at a given time by means of her dogmata is always conditioned by all previous expressions of this kind.
In this sense too the expression of dogma is final and irrevocable: it must be preserved in its original form as witness to the particular phase in the growing consciousness Sir,—You published two letters in your issue of March 11 on Family Fast. In particular I hoped that the idea of a weekly Family Fast Day would bring a flood of correspondence in support of the suggestion.
There has been a lot of discussion recently about Friday abstinence. Now I would have thought that to relate a weekly Family Fast Day with Friday abstinence would have a profound effect on the spiritual life of the Church. It would also give Christ the opportunity to show Himself working in a very special way through His Church.
The idea could also be to relate a weekly Family Fast Day with the Offertory collection by adding whatever is saved by the Fast to this collection. I am sure that this would give a far deeper meaning to the Offertory collection.
It would help to bring home that what we give at this collection is not something we give to the clergy but that we are giving back to God a small proportion of what He has given to us.
The laity do need a lead from the clergy, and I am sure Sir,—In much of the present discussion about the place of choirs there seems to be a basic misunderstanding of the nature of the congregationchoir relationship in the liturgy.
The choir undoubtedly has an important part to play, but it is only a part; at present it is not only making claim to its own share of the spoils, but to the congregation's as well. Over the years the choir has taken as its own what rightfully belongs to the congregation—something forbidden by the Council—and these parts must now be restored to their rightful claimants.
Broadly, to the congregation belongs the Common, the responses and suitable refrains during the Proper; to the choir, the more intricate task of singing the changing parts of the Proper, and any suitable motets, etc., to enhance the service.
Surely this is enough for any choir to prepare each week? Instead of complaining about the curtailment of their business — poultry, pigs, or even photography, of which the wife has some knowledge —but the initial resources are completely lacking to them.
I do not know whether it would be possible for you to print this letter. I am willing to give further information but cannot undertake to transmit gifts.
Mother M. Bede Convent of the Assumption, 23 Kensington Square, London, W.
Sir,—The generosity of your readers is well-known. Would any of them be willing to send some Catholic books, new or second hand, for the use of the Catholic prisoners in Pentonville and Holloway prisons?
There are several hundred Catholic prisoners there with plenty of time in which to read and no Catholic literature available to them. Fiction, biography books of general interest, prayer books and spiritual reading would all be welcome.
Books which are not too intellectual would usually be preferred, though the occasional prisoner would be cap
of the Church. The dogmatic principle serves to preserve the continuity of the Church's historical tradition which is indeed a condition of true progress.
New situations must arise, and with them new questions. But these questions can never be entirely divorced from those of earlier periods. It is from within our historical tradition that we pose our questions, and although the earlier expressions of the Church's understanding, i.e. her dogmata. may no longer satisfy her present stage of fuller growth these must nevertheless be preserved and taken up into a synthesis more adequate to the new situation. It is only by preserving the tension between the need for continuity and the need for new understanding in the face of contemporary problems that any truly valid theological development can take place. Failure to achieve this leads on the one hand to unbridled relativism, and on the other to historical absolutism.
Michael Simpson, Si. Gerard I. Capaldi, Si. Campion Hill.
Sir,—Am I alone in being surprised and amused at the extreme sensitivity to criticism of contributors to The Future of Catholic Christianity? People who choose to air— sometimes savagely, their own criticisms of the Church really should not break down and that when they see the clergy prepared to donate part of the Offertory collection to the world's poor it will inspire them to be more generous. It might also help the clergy to have a better understanding as to why the average parent feels some reluctance about contributing to various charities when he has a family to support. And that it is only when the love of God reigns in our souls that the reluctance vanishes.
What about our churches? What about our schools? Will they suffer? I do not believe so. But even if they did suffer I think that the amount gained spiritually would far outweigh any material loss. I think that it could open many hearts to Christ here at home and countless hearts among the poor, the sick and the aged overseas.
Can anyone doubt the effect it would have had if when Pope Paul had declared on his visit to India that in future the Church would donate 10 per cent of her income to the "have nots" of the world.
N. O'Hanrahan Pyrforcl, Nr. Woking, Surrey.
duties choirs should welcome this as a chance to learn their music really well and rid our churches of the poor efforts we so often hear now.
The trouble is that in this country we have extremes: the liberals who are too liberal and want the congregation to sing everything (surely a Herculean task even for those with more than their fair share of wind!) and the conservatives who are too conservative, wishing to retain a purely choral tradition, a combination of vested interests and those who do not understand the nature of the liturgy.
Are there any "middle of the road" people left? Surely it is not too much to ask that everyone should accept the Mass as a communal act of worship; that everyone should take part both by internal and external participation; that singing belongs excusively to no one group, but that everybody should be urged to join in those parts proper to them.
Kevin Mayhew London, S.W.I9.
able of tackling even philosophy.
Any of your kind readers who could spare some books should send them to: The R.C. Priest, H.M. Prison, Pentonville. Caledonian Road, N.7, who will pray for the prisoners' benefactors with real gratitude.
Rev. William Kahle Sir,—Could you allow me to make an appeal through your columns on my own behalf?
In 1958, a Sunday newspaper launched a competition under the title "Child of our Time" in which readers were invited to compose a Christmas carol in a modem idiom. Several hundred entries were submitted; the winning poem I have been able to unearth. The entries were of a high literary standard — particularly those of A. V. Clarke and Elizabeth Camegy.
Should there have been any Catholic competitors I would be most grateful to see their efforts for possible inclusion in the final chapter of a MS on this subject.
Rev. Douglas Brice, C.S.S.R. Bishop Eton, Liverpool 16. cry when administered with a salutary dose of their own medicine.
Surely they do not honestly see themselves as more than a fringe group? In my opinion they are pretty nearly a lunatic fringe doing a disservice to the
aggiornatnento by their foolish intemperance.
They are described as "distinguished" Catholics. May I dare inquire "distinguished for what"? They may all be simply splendid at whatever jobs they do, but many of the names convey nothing whatsoever. If their essays are on the same level as Objections to Roman Catholicism they are distinguished for nothing but the chasm between them and the rest of thinking Catholics.
By the way, someone should explain to Yvonne Lubbock (March 25) the distinction between dogma and doctrine and dry her tears for her.
M. A. Campion Edinburgh 12.
Sir,—Parents and teachers must welcome the news that Archbishop Beck is going to consider setting up a national body to examine all aspects of education, as the Union of Catholic Students has suggested.
As much as secular educationists, the Church has now to ask again, What exactly is education for?
Do we send children to school so that they will be fitted out for a particular kind of work? Or so that they will be able to "fulfil" themselves as human beings?
The answer will be some sort of combination of both these approaches. And though it is the general problem of education today, it surely applies also to modern Catholic education. Just what is Catholic education?
It is no use saying that the function of Catholic schools is to turn out good Catholics, unless it is agreed that one cannot be a properly educated Catholic without also being a properly educated person. An experience shows that Catholic schools have not for the most part been particularly good at giving this total formation.
Does Catholic education, then, mean the same as Catholic schools?
In practice, the Church has stood out against the state for parents' rights to send their children to Catholic schools—on the apparent assumption that most parents would want to make use of this right.
But within the Church the issue has done a somersault. The accent has gone from parents' rights and onto their duties—the duty to back up Catholic schools regardless of the quality of the goods they produce.
Perhaps, with the growing realism of the Church's attitude to education, a more definite place will be given to the right of parents to decide what kind of schools they consider best for their children: whether it is run by the Church or the state, whether grammar or comprehensive, whether one. sex-only or co-educational.
Gerard Stuart Ipswich.