THEIR PRIESTS help to put the
MAY I congratulate you on
your leading article of June 5, "Role of the Priest"? It expresses exactly what the laity desire from their. priests. I know it is only too easy to criticise, but as the representatives of Christ on earth, we expect them to be the "good shepherds" leading a wayward "flock" at all times.
The confessional provides the priest with great opportunity to show us his friendship. I do not mean the participants should be kept waiting during a lengthy discussion, but surely after Absolution, the priest could say "Call at the presbytery later and we will discuss your problem together". Simple words, but how much they would mean.
I HAVE just read your leader
of June 5, "Role of the Priest," and I wholeheartedly agree with every word. If only half the wisdom contained in this fine article were taken to heart by the priests, and particularly the parish priests, of this country, then I am convinced that their work would yield the golden harvest that Christ intended. Their example would yield an abundance of new and young vocations which our beloved Church needs so much.
We should all pray for new vocations, This is essential. But what is also most essential is our prayers for the renewal, rearming and peaceful strengthening of existing vocations. May your paper prosper!
T. Curley Stockport, Cheshire.
CARDINAL CONWAY, Archbishop of Armagh, has announced that a crusade of prayer for the canonisation of Blessed Oliver Plunkett is to be launched this summer. I am a Welsh Catholic, but have long taken an interest in the life and martyrdom of Blessed Oliver.
The news of the canonisation of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales has brought great joy to many hearts. Now is the time to pray for the canonisation of Blessed Oliver, the martyred Archbishop of Armagh.
would like to conclude with a suggestion for all Catholics in Britain and Ireland—that they pray to the Forty Martyrs for an end to bitterness and strife in Northern Ireland. The Martyrs died for the Faith without hatred in their hearts, and are a wonderful example for us all to follow. Let us have a novena to the Forty Martyrs in all churches throughout Britain and Ireland for this intention.
B. C. Wilson Chingford, London, E,4.
ALL present and former mem
bers of the Young Christian Workers will be interested to know that a former member of the Camberwell Section, (S.E. London), Chris Dooley, is now a Franciscan Missionary in Natal, South Africa, In common with all missionaries, Chris is fighting an uphill battle against deplorable conditions of health, accommodation and education.
A fund has been started among some of Chris' friends to lend him a financial hand. Anyone wishing to contribute or to learn further details, please write to: "Friends of Chris Dooley," c/o Kitty and Tom Lydon, 117, Elvaston Way, Reading, Berks.
T. 3. Lydon
HAVING read the letter from Mr. Dennis Brutus which you published on June 5, I feel bound to question whether the motivation of men such as Mr. Brutus (June 5) or Mr. Hain is really the defence of human dignity, as they claim, or rather a determination to hit back at a country that rejected them.
Both these men should have enough experience to know that unbridled attack and violent demonstration can only serve to set the clock back in South Africa.
My experience has been that things are at last changing in South Africa. that even hardcore Nationalists are modifying their views, The results of the recent General Election illustrate the same trend, which has strengthened Mr. Vorster's "good neighbour" policy.
Within the next few months the South African Government will face the choice of a major erosion of the jobs reserved for whites or a slowing down in South Africa's expanding economy; it is already clear what the answer will he.
All the evidence shows that the pressures and demonstrations in which Messrs. Brutus and Hain delight only serve to check this progress. Only two weeks ago Dr. All Baker-who, unlike these two angry young men. devotes his life to practical work for Africans in one of their largest hospitals, told me that the cancellation of the South African cricket tour would set back non-European sport in South Africa by a generation.
Things were beginning to move. As far back as the Mexico Olympics, South Africa had agreed to field a multiracial team. True, selection would be by the stop-watch rather than direct competition. But surely this would be the next step? South Africa was not allowed to go to Mexico; she is now out of the Olympics will there now be a next step?
Christian charity and understanding are surely not only the right but the best way to foster this tender plant of
A Protestant Catholic
FR. MICHAEL RICHARDS' thesis in his article on May 22—Christ, not the Church-could just as well have been written by some Protestant Bible Christian whose typical attitude is "Away with Church and dogma, salvation through Christ alone!"
According to Fr. Richards the structure and ecclesiology, even reform in the Church are an obstacle to fulfilling ourselves in Christ. "We must not identify ourselves," he writes, "with 'Roman Catholicism' in any of its partial manifesttions, with Trent and its aftermath, with Vatican I, with the intellectual revival of the Church in the first half of the twentieth century, nor even with Pope John and Vatican II." Only in Christ alone.
Having thrown out most of the Church with the bathwater, Fr. Richards holds on to the "baby" in the person of Christ. But how on earth could have the countless generations of Catholics discovered a n d known Christ without the abid racial understanding. Threats (the cricket tour), blackmail (the Commonwealth Games) a n d violent demonstrations may not only kill this plant in South Africa but create an equally violent backlash in England. Sometimes one wonders whether this is the real objective?
Patrick Wall London, S.W.10.
MAJORITY IN FAVOUR OF TOUR
IT'S absolutely untrue that there were massive protests at all levels againSt the visit of the South African cricket team. The majority of people were in favour of it.
The cancellation of the visit hasn't of course, in the least improved the lot of the black South African. It wasn't intended to. Its purpose was to pave the way for the severance of relations with South Africa and thus seriously damage this country's economy and, equally important, weaken the defence system of the West.
I will ask again why people like Mr. Dennis Brutus (June 5) don't protest against racialism elsewhere in Africa. The Government of Kenya's Indian policy is far crueller than apartheid. The policy of the Sudan towards the black population is, quite simply, genocide. By all means condemn apartheid —but why only apartheid?
The answer to my question will be, I fear, the usual deafening silence.
John Braine Woking, Surrey.
ing presence and teaching of the Church Has not Fr. Richards heard of the doctrine of the Mystical Body of, Christ where the Church is depicted as the Bride of Christ -wherein all the faithful worship and draw graces from the Son of God through the liturgy and sacraments?
As an earnest advocate of t h e revised liturgy, Fr. Richards is also inconsistent. The new rite emanates from the very organisational and reforming structure of the Church which he appears to scorn.
If we must not "identify" ourselves with Pope John and Vatican II, why should we identify ourselves with the new liturgy which is their product? Such confused thinking can only add to the despair of Catholics already bewildered by the present state of the Church.
D.G.G. Wonersh, Surrey.