An irrelevant argument
StA,-In these discussions about public worship, why will people beg the question by using such words as "ape"? No sincere worshipper, Catholic or Protestant, "apes" any other way of worship. Anybody who wants to express his faith and worship in the fullest and most "actively participating" way, according to the will of God as he tries to discover it. through the teaching of Christ (in our ease via the Church) is willing, glad, to learn bow best it may be done surely? And how best it has been, or is, orwill be done? Can't we at least give each other credit for wanting to get at that?
We Catholics have the full truth in our religion, but as individuals we have not the monopoly of wisdom about all things. For instance, let any die-hard defender of Latin for all public worship attack the use of the mother tongue on theological, historical, liturgical or elementary Christian lines-if he can. But the violent irritability which appears to spring entirely from the fact that Protestants use the vernacular seems most petty and pointless. Protestant men also remove their hats in places of worship. Who is apeing whom?
It was to be expected (by anybody who knows something of the Anglican ritualist slant of mind) that a sprinkling of Latin in worship would appear. Well--whatever the reasons -can't we let them get on with their prayers, in what we can take to be good faith? Oblique sneers in print or anywhere clsc, from Catholics (who are not always well informed in English Catholic history) won't help any of us to get to the best and most complete form of worship for ourselves, and hence as an example to our separated brethren!
Christians aim to be Christocentric. if everybody, Catholic and Anglican, tried to get, for instance, at the real reasons for using this or that language, free of all prejudice and "school" rivalry-stones of stumbling would he swept away, and the light let in. We don't want to win on points. This isn't a matter of sport-but of salvation.
'I wrote this letter before reading the excellent review of "The Work of Our Redemption," by Fr. Clifford Howell, Si., in this week's CATHOLIC HERALD. Incidentally. I should think that many people will find that book awonderful tonic-or shock treat meHow hard to imagine the early Christians fighting "social worship" as some of our most pious antiliturgists seem to do!
Constant* Holt 465 Russell Court, London, W.C.1.