I WONDER, what impression will an outsider gain from your headlines, reports and leaders. Take "Teachers angry over Vatican book ban" May 4. Why should they be angry?
If the book in question is in fact seriously misleading on important doctrines of the Catholic Church, should Catholic teachers not be rather grateful for a clear guidance from the teaching authority of the Church?
"Unity 'snub'," declares another title. Who is doing the 'snubbing'? The Pope, apparently, according to an American Lutheran Bishop for "'going back the other way' on the issues where the two churches disagree, such as women priests and clerical celibacy".
The outsider could be forgiven for thinking that at one time both Churches must have accepted women priests and now a disagreement has arisen because the Catholic Church has unilaterally abandoned a previously common position.
Needless to say that the exact opposite is the case. If there has been any 'snub' it has come from that Lutheran bishop and those who think like him.
"Church's youth work slammed in new report" declares a p.3 headline. The outsider might again be forgiven for thinking — on the basis of that report and your leader "Reaping the rewards of 1980's conference" — that the Church's task is to trim and accommodate her doctrines, particularly in sexual morality, to what is currently acceptable to the majority.
He could equally be forgiven for failing to see what the raison d'etre of such a Church is.
Fr L Kovacs Stapleford, Notts