From the Revd Anthony Symondson SJ
Sir, Mrs Johnson (Sept 8) is perfectly right when she writes of the strength of Catholic life in these islands and elsewhere in the fillies. But if she had lived in parts of Central and Eastern Europe at the same time she would have had an entirely different experience. The effects of atheism and dialectical materialism applied by Communism had a devastating effect on the life of the Church, destroyed the faith of millions and this continued wherever it was applied. Blessed Pope John XXIII had to address the situation and its likely consquences for the whole Church. I imagine that it was to this that the leader on the recent beatifications referred when the post-war decline in Church life was decribed. Local situations do not represent the whole.
Yours faithfully, ANTHONY SYMONDSON Corpus Christi, Bournemouth