SIR,-With reference to the serious question of lapsed Catholics, it seems to me that a considerable proportion of the blame must be placed on the schools.
I am a convert, and I started with an open mind on the subject of Catholic education. As a schoolmaster I was naturally interested in the methods used in teaching my sons in what, as far as fees and status were concerned, ought to have been extremely efficient schools. In the first, a boarding school, my sun was being constantly caned. on the hands. To my mind, this at once indicates a shockingly old-fashioned, as well as cruel attitude towards small boys. One does not hit a dog on its paws, and if a child is to be punished physically, there is only one possible place to choose. At the same time, a violently Puritanical outlook on sex was inculcated, and the boy came home full of queer notions about not showing his naked chest.
In other schools the educational standard has been low, the cane is the most usual weapon of instruction and punishment, archaic text-books are used and the spiritual life of my children, far from flourishing, has died a natural death. They are good at massserving and parrot doctrine, but things like cheating or 'lying at school are taken for granted, and no umnder.
'A Puzzling Decision'
SIR,-1 presume that your correspondent "Mirator" is referring to the case of the Mayor of Walsall, who attended the enthronement of the Anglican Bishop of Lichfield in the Cathedral, but did not attend a public reception for His Lordship in Walsall.
The clue to his being puzzled lies in the word he himself uses-"reported." Certainly the Mayor attended the enthronement, as the civic head of a community within the Anglican diocese of Lichfield; there is no fault there. 1 think. But he did not attend the public reception in his own town because it was not, as reported, a civic reception. but one organised by local non-Catholic clergymen under, I believe, the Anglican Vicar of Walsall. It was therefore primarily a relieious function.
A further note the Bishop was entertained hy the Mayor. at the private, civic reception held later on.
Alex. McDonald 210 Somerville Road,