THERL is, 1 feel sure, no subject written about in the Catholic press with more sentimental twaddle and slush than the subject of crying babies in Church. On January 6 we had yet another typical letter from "Catholic Mother" who considers that her baby has the right to bawl its head off and disturb other people.
For good measure we are told it is the feast of Christmas which is, of course, the one that all children love. The only thing this writer forgot was to quote to text "Suffer little children . . ."
In my opinion there are four reasons why babies cry. One is they are hungry, two they want their nappies changed, three they have got the wind, and four bored stiff or plain bad temper. The first three any decent mother would do something about as quickly as possible, and a Church is not the best place lot the various remedies. To the last reason. I fear, nobody has yet found the perfect solution — every baby is different.
Let me ask "Catholic Mother" and others who think like her this simple question. Let us assume that one of their older children has a big part in the school Nativity play and proud mothergoes along to hear "little Mary say her party piece". All very right and proper.
Unfortunately, just as little Mary starts, some babies in the audience start to bawl their heads off and nobody can hear a word what little Mary is saying. Now the mothers of these bawling babies have a perfect right to stay because they have paid for their seats but I wonder if "Catholic Mother" would be of the same opinion, or if she would say: "For goodness sake take that child out its spoiling the play." C. K, Marsh
Southend on Sea
WHILE I deeply sympathise with "Catholic Mother" for her public humiliation at the hands of her parish priest, some excuse may be found for a priest trying to
preach to a church full of people. The same cannot be said for those members of the congregation who • delight to turn and glare at the hapless mother of a baby or toddler who cannot sit silent and motionless for a complete hour.
To such adults I would say that nobody takes small children to church for fun. Therefore if small children are in the church, it is because there is nobody at home to care for them while their mother fulfils her duty of attending Sunday Mass.
Anyone who adds to the dilliculty of carrying out this obligation is taking on a grave responsibility.
The mutterings about "uncontrolled brats", etc., which no doubt, fill your postbag on this subject, are a far cry from the Church's theoretical teaching on the family and from Our Lord's words: "He who welcomes this child in my name welcomes Me: and he that welcomes Me welcomes Him that sent Me." (Luke IX, 48.)
C. C. McDonough
"ElTHER you do not come to church on holy days of obligation in the same numbers as you do on Sundays, or you do not like the nig nags.'
*This is a verbatim statement made by my parish priest at Mass last Sunday when announcing the amount of the collection taken for the African Peoples. Can there be any hope for the end of racialism when the pulpit is used for such disgusting and insulting epithets so as to get a giggle?
Please publish this letter. just to remind my parish priest that we have a "Nignog" Car dinal, "Nignog" bishops, priests. nuns, and laity, to say nothing of "Nignog" saints, and also to inform him that at least one of his congregation blushed with shame.