Page 6, 15th January 1937

15th January 1937
Page 6
Page 6, 15th January 1937 — " THE CHURCH UNITY OCTAVE"

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People: BERT WATTS, d'Andria
Locations: Newcastle


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SIR.—May 1, as a layman. he given a little space in your valuable paper to support the recent letter to the Catholic Press from Rev. Father d'Andria, S.J., urging the more general observance among Catholics of the forthcoming eight days of prayer for the return of all Christians to the visible unity of the Catholic Church, now known as the "Church Unity Octave " or as the "Chair of Unity Octave."

Octave begins on the Feast of St. Peter's Chair (January 18) and ends on the Conversion of St. Paul (January 25); and its observance was approved by Pope Pius X as far back as 1909, and in 1916 Pope Benedict XV gave it his blessing and extended its observance to the Universal Church.

The idea originated in 1908 among a small group of Anglican clergy in America, and has since spread in observance among Catholics and among their " separated brethren almost throughout the whole Christian world. Unfortunately, however. its observance in England has until recently been largely confined to a section of Anglo-Catholics within the Church of England.

Many Catholics do not as yet realise the genuine desire of a growing number of Christians without the Fold for return to full communion with the Holy See—a sincere desire, which however illogical in view of the means of reconciliation apparent to us, must surely in charity command our respect and admiration.

May I particularly draw attention to the existence of a body of Anglican clergy and laity known as the Society for Catholic Reunion, who on account of their bold and outspoken stand for the full Papal claims have been very much abused and misrepresented by the so-called representative Anglo-Catholic newspaper the Church Times. The S.C.R. have adopted a realist attitude and have a definite programme of action. They are convinced, in the words of their recent Bulletin. of the need of emphasising Unity, " not as something ultimately but remotely desirable, but rather as a matter of supreme and urgent necessity."

This wonderful body of men have sacrificed much within their own communion by their uncompromising attitude and their unswerving loyalty to the Holy See, and 1 have, therefore, no hesitation in commending them especially during this forthcoming Octave to the sympathy and to the prayers of your readers.

BERT WATTS 247, Wingrove Road, Newcastle-uponTyne.

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