Fr Edwin Quinn, in his letter of October 4, asks: "Does anybody now think that Christ floated into the skies, two thousand years in advance of the astronauts?" Whatever have the astronauts and their blasting into space to do with it? Reference to them is hardly apposite; but I suppose it was written in jest. Let it pass.
Let me state that this "anybody," viz myself, is not a theologian (need it be said?), not even an amateur: in fact I am nobody, like most of my fellow-Catholics.
do believe that the Apostles indeed "saw" (according to the intention and will of Almighty God) Jesus raised up into the sky until a cloud received him out of their sight.
How better could he have signified to his Apostles (simple men, not a theologian among them) that he was leaving this world of sense and space to be with his Father, and according to his promise to prepare a place for us, a simple sign, not only for the Apostles but also for the generations that would follow them — Popes and peasants, simple souls and learned theologians?
The significance of what they had experienced would surely he grasped by the Apostles, more so after Pentecost, and by those who have received the Apostolic teaching, according to the varying gifts of the Holy Spirit.
If anybody can suggest a more appropriate manner in which Our Lord might have "ascended into Heaven," I should be -interested to hear of it.
Bernard Rorke 23 Woodlands Road, Little Bookham, Leatherhead, Surrey.