THE summer recess of The Keys has delayed this letter, but we ask you, in view of the serious nature of the issue, to place on record our belief that a free Catholic Press, owned, edited and managed by laymen, is essential if the Church is to be strong and true to itself.
While not necessarily in agreement with every aspect of your editorial approach to the encyclical letter Humanae Vitae, we are in complete accord in our belief that it was conscientiously thought • out and honourably presented.
May we suggest to those priests who stopped the sale of the CATHOLIC HERALD at their churches that while we respect their right to disagree, the proper way to express their disagreement is to speak from their pulpits. Each has, what no Catholic (or non-Catholic, for that matter) journalist ever had, or wishes to have—a "captive" congregation.
Potentially the pulpit is the most influential medium for
disseminating truth and for criticism of anyone, editor or publicist, with whom a priest may disagree.
editors they will find themIf priests suppress Catholic selves preaching in a vacuum, for by so doing they are suppressing the voice of the laity. And the consequences of creating a "dumb" laity in this age will be less agreeable to them, we believe, than the honestly expressed views of Catholic
editors. James' Gleeson,
George Heseltine, Vice-Chairman. W. J. Igoe, Hon. Vice-President. London, WA.
T FEEL parish priests are X doing a service to their people in either banning the CATHOLIC HERALD Or limiting the numbers available at their churches. I agree with Mr. Woodruff and Mr. Hennessy (eptember 13) that occasionally there are very good articles which correct the impression given in the national Press. But for the few good articles and letters from readers, the amount of harm done in other articles and correspondence far outweighs any good.
Your paper goes !into the homes of simple and often uninstructed people, causing them the greatest confusion. Apart altogether from any ban priests may have exercised, I know a cross-section Of people in many parishes who used to be regular readers and now no longer take the paper. Naturally the priests reduce the numbers ordered.
F. Paull Smith London, S.W.18.
THE debate on contraception sustained weekly in your columns is being conducted on the assumption that the recent Papal pronouncement is not infallible. Why?
Assuredly in taking the matter unto himself the Pope acted as shepherd and teacher of the whole flock; plainly the matter is one of faith and morals; certainly the Holy Father intends his teaching to be followed by the whole church.
I submit that in its central thesis the encyclical is an infallible pronouncement and that an argument which maintains otherwise can only be narrowly legalistic.
Can you publish some letters to demonstrate the truth or falseness of this point?
A. M. Dyer Banstead, Surrey.