From Dorn Alberic Stacpoole, OSB Sir, I first met the ever approachable Frank Pakenham at Cologne on Assumption Day 1948, at the start of the week-long 7th Centenary celebrations of laying the foundation stone. It marked a moment of ecclesial recovery; and numerous foreign prelates and cardinals were present, including Pius Xll's nephew legate. In vast procession the relics were returned to their shrines, their place within the Kochi Dom after repair of war damage to Germany's central church.
Attlee had appointed him Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in 1947. He had been given special responsibility for Austria and the British Zone of Germany (the north, with its Rhineland and Hansa towns bombed to near obliteration). Thus he was sent to represent Britain's Cabinet. When we motored in from Lemgo (HQ,PW & DP Div), the last mile was done on foot picking our way through broken bricks to the Domplatz.
Ceremonies were led by the nearblind Cardinal Frings; and by Cardinal Griffin of Westminster, who proclaimed; "We in England are anxious that you should recover and that these devastated areas are rebuilt". When a year later Konrad Adenauer of Koln became Chancellor (1949-63), he was quick to credit Frank with putting heart back into the people of the British Zone, making possible the newly formed West German Federal Republic. Frank fought Foreign Secretary Bevin over industrial dismantling in the name of "reparations", demanding forgiveness, declaring that enough destruction had been done by air and that was characteristic of him.
Thomas Pakenham succeeds as 8th Earl: he and his three brothers were at Ampleforth.
Yours faithfully, A.J. STACPOOLE, Ampleforth Abbey, York.
A defence of high taxation
From Mr Charles Vass Sir, Mary Kenny's endorsement of the Thatcher-Reagan philosophy of low taxation (August 10) is not only grossly unjust, it is inunoral.
Despite being among the top five richest countries in the world, the gap between the rich and poor in America and in Britain, is greater than in any other country in the developed world.
Miss Kenny should remember that Bush seized power — with the help of the Supreme Court and with the simple greed appeal of a $1.3 trillion tax cut.
After eighteen years of the Tory philosophy of low taxes (for the better off), fantasy economic politics, and the benefit of £200 billion in oil revenue and privatisation receipts, our public services are the worst in western Europe. One third of our children are born into poverty, and around one in three of our pensioners have to apply for some form of income support.
I find it incredible that Mary Kenny suggests that "poverty can be increased by higher taxation, which is often unjust". Is she not aware that had Gordon Brown not cut the basic rate of income tax by I p, we could have taken 600,000 children out of poverty because the tax cut has already cost of libn in two years. The UK is taxed less than any other country in western Europe apart form Switzerland and Portugal. We should therefore increase the top tax to 50% for those earning over £100,000 bringing in over £3bn. For those earning £50,000 it would add another £1.3bn.
It is also unworthy of Miss Kenny to try and justify her bias towards the haves by suggesting that the Gospel "accepts inequality with equanimity". It does nothing of the sort, just consider the Letter of James, 5:1-6. Mary Kenny's implication that the rich should get richer at the expense of the poor (and that is the reality of her philosophy), almost leaves me in despair.
Yours faithfully, CHARLES VASS Aberdeen.
Early Mass in London
From Lady Frances Berendt Sir, Since Westminster Cathedral has suspended the lam Sunday Mass "for the summer", is there a Mass anywhere in London on a Sunday morning before 8am? There is always the evening Mass on Saturday, but that can hardly satisfy a daily communicant.
I realise that we are very lucky, in these days of shortage of priests, to have such a choice but it would it not be possible for some of the larger churches to take it in turns to celebrate a 7am Sunday Mass for the sake of those of us who work or wish to spend a day in the country or seaside. "In the "good old days" the first Mass was 6.30am — could it be that the younger priests do not care for early rising?
Yours faithfully FRANCES BERENDT London NW8
The Catholic Directory
From Ms Sylvia Matthews
Sir, The time is fast approaching when the committee headed by Bishop Vincent Malone will be deciding which groups are going into the Catholic Directory with ecclesiastical approval. Your paper previously revealed that the controversial dissenting Catholic Women's Network (CWN) group had made an application to be listed in the Directory. So have the CWN given up promoting dissent?
Not a bit of it. In the latest June 2001 issue of the CWN magazine Network, under the "NewsResources-Requests" section, the journal of the pro-abortion Catholics for a free Choice (CFFC) gioup, Conscience, has again been promoted.
If the CWN have learn anything since their activities were exposed in your newspaper, it's apparently to avoid actually using the name of CFFC in the article promoting their journal. Did they think nobody would notice? The usual disclaimer stating "publications mentioned in this section are not thereby endorsed by CWN" just doesn't wash any more. I'm sure that even with disclaimer, CWN wouldn't promote the journal of a group that advocates paedophilia — so why do they continue to promote the work of a group that advocates the ultimate in child abuse — a choice in the matter of the child's right to live? Bishop Malone, please take note.
Yours faithfully, SYLVIA MATTHEWS Donca.ster.
From Mrs R Powell Sir, All across the world, wild animals are being driven to the point of extinction by humans. There's always an excuse for the slaughter but the real motivation is invariably greed.
Unwittingly, people in this are playing a part in the biggest massacre of land animals the world has ever seen. This year 5.5 million kangaroos will be barbarically killed for export from Australia — their meat cooked and sold in trendy bistros, their skins turned into football boots and sports shoes.
The trade is being encouraged by the Australian High Commission, who are aggressively selling the kangaroo kill as necessary, humane and controlled. Nothing could be further from the truth. The killing is carried out in the vast outback at night with no witnesses. These gentle and unique creatures are dazzled with spotlights and shot — often in the throat. The first thing the shooter does if the kangaroo is female is search her pouch for her baby, called a "joey". The official method of killing these babies is to repeatedly beat them over the head with a piece of iron piping.
Anyone who orders kangaroo steak or buys boots made from kangaroo leather encourages this cruelty. Fortunately, a public education campaign by the animal group Viva! persuaded all major supermarkets to stop selling kangaroo meat. Sadly, smaller shops and restaurants continue the trade. .
Please don't support this massacre, carried out by a country with the worst wildlife record in the world. Already 10 species of kangaroo are extinct on the Australian mainland and 17 more are vulnerable.
To add your voice to mine. contact Viva! At 12 Queen Square, Brighton 13N13FD or phone 01273 777 688 or visit the website www.savethekangaroo.com which includes a scientific report and video footage of the slaughter.
I am a Catholic and pray that this cruelty stops. Please include this in your prayers too.
Yours faithfully, R. POWELL Address withheld