SUPPORTED BY ENCYCLICAL
B, some extraordinary process of double-think, it has become fashionable among the avant-garde to quote Pius XI Fs encyclical Mediator Del as upholding the liturgical esperiments which are bedevilling the Church today.
1.r. Barry in his letter of July 20. shows that he is under the same misapprehension, and I would venture to wonder how long it is since he read the encyclical. If he would like to read it again. I think he would find that almost all the innovations introduced today into the Mass have been condemned by Pius XII.
I would refer him particuFarb/ to page 29 par. 64 on the use of Latin. paste 30, par. 66 in which he condemns the Table altar, and other recent innovations. and page 35 par. 87 on the priesthood of the people. Page 46 par. 115 advocates freedom for individual devotions during Mass, pointing out that "spiritual needs and depositions are not the same in all-.
I would urge more people to read Mediator Del and discover for themselves what Pius XII really said rather than what the liturgical innovators .say he said, and to discover how far we have strayed from his advice.
Fr. Barry rightly calls it a "great encyclical". let us then pay heed to its warnings.
Caroline Laurie Edinburgh, 9.
THERE has been so much correspondence recently on the post-conciliar changes in the liturgy. particularly that of the Mass. that one hesitates to add further comments, but a letter from one of your readers "all was not well in the Tridentine Era" (August 13) deserves further examination and thought.
It could be argued that the "accelerated murmur from a priest with his back to us" together with the silent rosaries and missal reading of the congregation led to a more meaningful participation in the Sacrifice of the Mass than the irritating shuffling and almost comical outbursts of disjointed texts which characterise the "reformed" liturgy.
Far from achieving simplification, the changes which have been instituted in disregard for the feelings of so many Catholics, seem to have rendered-the Mass trirrheavy, the lengthy and obscure preamble being followed by' the Consecration almost as an afterthought.
One might quote from E. I. Watkins' excellent essay in The Future of Catholic Christianity" "... It may be replied that the present changes are sestoring the worship of the primitive Church. Surely the flower should not be surrendered for the budding plant. the full grown tree replaced by the sapling . It is a painful reflection that throughout the debates of the recent Vatican Council little if anything. has been said of ceremonial beauty. of the liturgy's historical growth or of contemplative prayer, matters integral and indispensable to a satisfying religion."
In conclusion. is it not the case that many converts to the True Faith. have been primarily moved by the depth and beauty ot the liturgy which
they and %shich conveyed to them more convincingly than any persuasive arguments. the wonder of the truths which have been revealed through C'hrist's Church?
I well remember the comment of a former non-Catholic now my wife, who hearing sung vespers for the first time at Westminster Cathedral declared that the experience made her want to become a Catholic on the spot. Such a reaction would doubtless be frowned on by many of our contemporary intellectuals. but one feels that it must have been a rather similar inspiration which sustained so many of our martyrs in their sacrifice for the True Religion. Frank Leach Didsbury, Manchester 20.
REI•ERRING to Fr. Paul (rane's splendid article of August 13, "Needs of forgotten priests," may I bring to the attention of your readers Our Lady's Missionary League. Each week they send out to the poorest priests working in Africa and India an average of 16 parcels (22lb. each) and ten parcels of books requested.
Some contain vestments, altar furnishings, sick call sets, etc.. hut most contain, besides clothes for their poor, those articles accepted here as ordinary necessities but which to these priests seem luxuries—
toothpaste, razor blades, packets of soap and foot powder for their tired feet.
During the past months, they have sent (on request) a typewriter, a saddle for the priest's horse. an alarm clock. and books on pig rearing!
The league's newsletter (obtainable free from 28 Beaufort Street, Chelsea, I.ondon, S.W.3), containing letters from these priests. some amusing and some heartrending. shows how vital it is that the missionaries in the field should never eel they are the "forgotten priests."
THE article by Norman St. John-Stevas in your issue of August 13 shows aromarkal;le lack of understanding Of the real ea Utieti of the present conflict in the North of Ireland. Purple passages
to "the d bolls. referring
forces of darkness which are stirring up men arain.1 each other for their destruction
. ." are a poor substitute for faclual political analysis.
The men in revolt against English and Stormont rule in the North are not in revolt intent in undoing British in
in Irish a fla irs and. in particular, the British sponsorship of the cruel and arrogant Unionist ascendancy clique who have had half a century of discrimination and repressive rule vouched to (hem only by virtue of British arms. money and the legislative support of
successive British rovernments.
It is lamentable to see your contributor advocating as a first priority the restoration of -order." The Black and Tan military tyranny in Ireland in 1920 (which was fully exposed by one of the Bs;t;sh military leaders who carried it out -Brigadier General Crosier in his hook "Ireland For lever") was preceded by "the Restoration of Order in Ireland Act. 1920.
The phrase "restoration of order" is a euphemism for the type of military terror against which Cardinal Conway has protested. The proper priorities here are justice at both national and social and political levels and then there may he some hope of peace in Ireland.
It will not be restored by convoys of British troops. internment or official Govern ment-sponsored terrorism. Similar methods by the same forces failed to restore order in Aden, Cyprus—or for that matter in the territory now known as the Republic of Ireland.
Internment is a, polite word for the taking of political hostages. The barbarous manner in which the British troops acted in arresting and in the interrogation of the internees shows that it was merely an exercise in terror politics.
Mr. St. John-Stevas is incorrect in implying that internment was necessary in order to enable the authorities to ban all marches in Northern Ireland for six months. Marches have been banned before for such a period during the present crisis—without internment.
He is also in ignorance in referring to the Council of Ireland as being created "under the 1922 settlement" and like Mr. Callaghan shows little knowledge of events if he supports Mr. Callaghan's call for the summoning of the Council of Ireland."
"Hie Council of Ireland Nvii% set up under the Government of Ireland Act. 1920, when Ireland was partitioned and it was only intended to operate if the 26 counties described as "Southern Ireland" (although
containing losland's most northerly county) agreed to remain part of the United Kingdom like the six counties of "Northern Ireland" and accept the same type of subordinate Parliament in Dublin as now exists in Belfast.
When the 26-county area achieved Domin'on Status under the I921 Treaty, the Council of Ireland was abolished insofar as it related to the South. It was finally abolished in relation to Me North on April I, 1926 by virtue of the Ireland ((onlir ma lion of Agreement) Act. l92. Sec. 1 (2).
Yet Mr. Callaghan and Norman St. John-Stevas call for the summoning of a Council that has been abolished far 45 years!
Your contributor likewise completely misunderstands the true nature of the present slruogle in the North when he describes it as "sectarian strife." There is truly a Seda ria n element in this conflict, hut it is entirely in that section Of
inionism known as the Orange Order and in the Paisleyite faction, who are dedicated to the centuries-old principle of the Protestant ascendancy in Church and State.
It is this seetarianicm that England has promoted . and fostered over the past 5'1 years --and of course whieh she likewise fosters in Entland by retaining the Winiamite Acts of Settlement. a sectarian. inon archy and an Established Church which has allotted to its bishops 26 seats in the House or Lords and whose clergymen take an oath of allegiance to the Crown.
By way of contrast. the first Head of State under the 1937 Irish Constitution was a Protestant (Dr. Douglas Hyde) and the President of the State is installed in a purely legal and lay ceremony in which the oath Of office is administered by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Compare this with the religious ceremony by which the British Monarch is enthroned. He or she receives the crown only after swearing an oath ladministered by the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury) promising to uphold the "Protestant reformed religion established by law" and to preserve unto the bishops and clergy of England and their churches all their rights and privileges.
In a newspaper correspondence I had with the Rev. Ian Paisley some years ago he admitted that his loyalty to the British Throne and Constitution was conditional on it remaining Protestant. Thc sectarian bigots who have kept Ireland divided with British help over the past half-century derive their inspiration and moral encouragement from the Protestant Ascendancy enshrined in the British Acts of Settlement.
If Mr. St. John-Stevas wishes to contribute in any way to an ultimate Irish settlement, he might start by advocating the repeal of the Acts of Settle ment and the cudIng Of the anachronistic State Church and sectarian monarchy of Britain. The one single political reform in England that would have the greatest consequence on t Ilster Unionist thinking would be the advent of a Catholic to the throne. 'their spurious devotion to the Crown would vanish overnight.
I should warn your contributor. nonetheless. that if a Catholic king of Britain—albeit with an all-Catholic Army — should ever seek to maintain British rule in Ireland, he would meet precisely the same resistance as the British Army are now confronted with. After all, Ca tholic Ireland resisted in arms the invasion and aggression of Catholic England for more than three centuries before Martin Luther nailed his theses on the church door at Wittenberg.
Ciariin Mae an Aili Stillorgan, Co. Dublin.
HAT evidence is there for Mr. St. John-Stevas' statement of a "bright future opening up to Ireland within the Common Market?" Ireland's trouble has been her economic union with Britain. involving free movement of capital. Ireland has been on the periphery, and so Irish capital has moved to the economic centre of the British Is,es, England's South-East, and Irish labour has had to follow.
In the Common Market. British and Irish capital would flow to Germany and millidns of Britons and Irish will have to follow it. What Britain has done to Ireland. the C'ommon Market would do to Britain. And Ireland would be doubly hit. as being on the edge of a depressed off-shore zone.
G. J. A. Stern London, N.6.
IT is extraordinary that British soldiers shooting Irishmen in the streets of Ireland should be regarded as the "forces of law and order" while the Irishmen who dare to shoot back are called terrorists.
Who is fighting the just war'? Those who seek to liberate their country from the forces of an occupying power or those who seek to hold on to the last bastion of a corrupt imperialism by propping up a puppet government of their own creation?
One knows what to expect from the Tory Press. hut please spare us the references to "terrorists". Mr. Lynch is right when he says that Stormont must go. And with it must go every British soldier from the soil of Ireland. The 700 years of occupation have been more than enough for the Irish.
Dermot Doyle Liverpool, 12.
SC) the Cardinal Primate of all Ireland wants an inquiry into the behaviour of our soldiers.
1 would like to remind him that our soldiers were sent to Ireland only to try to keep the peace between warring factions of so-eelled Christians. Catholic and Protestant.
They are only young men with an unpleasant job to do. not savages who engage in brutal ity.
As a Catholic: horn and bred I suggest that the Cardinal would do better to preach Christ's gospel of peace to his Catholic people and remind them that Christ said: -Thou shalt not kill, and whoever is angry with his brother is in danger of the judgment'', and furthermore "They that take the sword shall perish by the sword".
A coloured friend of mine said: -They send their missionaries to us to teach us Christianity. then we come here mid find that far from loving each other these Christians fight and kill each other, and that in Ireland, which has always been held up to us as the Mecca of the Faith".
Margaret M. Thornton London, S.W.7.
Sir Arnold and belief in hell
GOD became man for our salvation from hell. says Sir Arnold Lunn (August 13). This seems a rather odd way of stating the Christian hope.
If I go to catch a train. I hope to catch it rather than not to lose it. There are not alternative destinies for man hut (through ('hrist's redeem ing work) a single one, which we can indeed miss through our own fault.
And is it quite true to say that Christ did trot become man to save LIS from pain and sickness—or are these part of the thralldom of Satan (see Luke 13. 16: Acts 10. 38: Apoc. 21. 4)?
Has Sir Arnold (with the Church in the rite for the anointing of the sick) never prayed for the restoration of a sick person to health?
(Fr.) F. C. Fenn, Si. London, S.W.I.
NO doubt Sir Arnold Lunn's belief in the reality of Hell is based on hierarchical pronouncements and not on the New Testatment. But it might be worth making the point that you cannot deduce a fact from a warning.
As a parent, Sir Arnold must know that a threat retains its force even when those who are threatened do not know for certain that it will he implemented!
Frank O'Hara Surbiton, Surrey.
Pro Fide queried IN reference to your report of August 13, "Pro Fide steps LIP the war on modern catechetics". I ask the following questions: 1—Could one of the Pro Fide
group define what they mean by the "nets modernism and heresy of the post-Conciliar trends in the Catholic Church"'?
2—What do they mean by the term "grave shortcomings-a terns used to describe .cerlain aspects of modern catechetical textbooks'?
3—When they talk about the pre-eminence of the rights of parents in the education of their children do they imply that parents should take it upon themselves to vet the textbooks in use in Catholic schools and to inquire about the qualifications of the teachers in catecheties'?
4—By what authority do a
. group of traditionalist (my emphasis) Catholic 'laity set themselves up to inquire into the theology of modern catechetics?
5—What qualifications do the
members of the Pro Fide group have to make inquiries into modern catechetical textbooks?
(Fr.) G. Greaves Knotty Ash, Liverpool.
Lena Br ' g