SIR-In the fascinating correspondence which my good friertd Fr. McGoldrick opened, one vital question has nut only been put in the background but was given an answer by Fr. McGoldrick which I feel to be not the prime one.
In answering the question as to why pareats do not give their children sex education, Fr. McGoldrick suggested that a reason was the neglect nf the previous generation to do se.
The prime reason is not this. it is shyness: and I would eo further and say that such shyness has much to commead it. For the more happily morried are the parents, the more they regard their own knowledge and experienc.e as something very sacred and precious to themselves alone and the greater the effort they must make in instructing their children.
I feel that children of about 10 upwards are quite old enough to apreciate an approach where the parent explains quite bluntly his own shyness; where he explains that certain things to be talked about are very precious and always to be shared. among persons, with only mother or father: and where the child's Own ehamess with others is also commended.
If both parents and child dodge this matter of a perfectly naturel shyness then will contact be difficult and problems will not be brought to parents later in the 'teens or before marriage but will rather be bottled up.
J. C. Gibbins, Ph.D. Heswall, Cheshire.
Sin-Surely it is necessary in any discussion on original sin, to make clear the distinc. tion between the sin itse:f and the effects of it. Original sin. as Fr. McGoldrick says. is not some physical or substantial disease. With this all must agree. But all physical and substantial diseases. including death itse:f, are the effects, and so is concupiscence. And these may be very definitely to do with the genes, and are certainly the business of the educator.
I stress this is not iu any Sense disagreeing with Fr. McGoldrick, but because I feel thet any attempt to ignore the physical in religious education leads the way to another sort of heresy, and is doomed to failure.
C. K. O'Reilly.
35, Newstead Road, Lee. S.E.12. Nuclear weapons •
Sir,---Presurnably Genera: de Gaulle is one of those who " . believe fhat in the lest resort the nuclear weapon may be defensively used in defence of right • .. "
French territory would be devastated in the ultimate disaster to all aed it follows logically that General dc Gaulle wants to be resnnnsible for the defence of FranceIf the Genera] As not given the control of his own clefeuees by the twn atomic powers of NATO. one cannot be surprised if France develops her own atomic weapons.
It is probably inescapable that shortly France. then Western Germany and Sweden With other countries will have these weapons, The Moral is obviotta, atomic disarmament by all or the inevitable increase in the number of countries producing or having these weapons. Oise method of limiting the number of countries producing their own atomic arsenal is a rea: military alliance in every sense of the word between the NATO countries.
M. Downes, Son. Ldr (retd.),
151. Heath Road, Bedworth, Nuneaton, Warwickshire.
Sit.-The Lately action of irr. Edward Linden in organising a growl of Catholics to participate in the C.N.D, Aldermnston March should meet with an en. thusiastie response. Ili this connection attention is drawn to the Spode House meeting from Friday. October 16th. to Sunday. October 18th. on "Problems of Peace To-day," A weekend to discuss one of the most urgent problems facing every Christian. It is good to know that Archbishop Roberts has promised to attend.
J. J. O'Connor.
37, Northiam, Woodside Park, London, N.12.
Sir.-The other day I read a useful definition of " inhibition." " Inhibition-the control of impulse-is the first principle of civilisaton." Grace Conway at the cinema defends the latest "Father Bing" film by arguing that the AmericanCatholics have not the same inhibitions as we have here. She adds that she sees nothing shockable. which suggests that she has the same set or lack of inhibitions as the Yankees.
Very well. But if they are entitled to their set or their lack. we are entitled to our set or our lack. Indeed. I would submit that my own country is becoming de-civilised in proportion as it is losing its traditional inhibitions.
Grace Conway makes an unfortunate antitheses between cradle Catholics and intellectual Catholics. I am neither a cradle nor an intellectual Catholic. But I am interested in saving what is left of my nation's sense of decency, even if to save it means my being called " puritan " or " jansenist." I am not by any means the only Catholic in my country who is getting fed up to the teeth with the imported relaxations of the uninhibited.
T2rea iRahwy,s RSht or reiedt,
Sin-With reference to questions re Bible reading which have appeared lately, may state that an excellent Pamphlet concerning this is "Daily Bible Reading with the Church," published by the Liturgical 1:,ress, St, John's Abbey. Min. nesota. The cost is is, 6d. and it can be obtained from Messrs. Duckett, 140, Strand, London. W.C.2.
(Miss) C. G. Bishop.
249, Holly Lodge Mansions. London, N.6.
Sir,-I should like to advise you that the "Imitation" is one of the books which, according to the Constitutions of St. Teresa of Avila (1, para. 7), every prioress was bound to provide for her convent.
VI, T. L. Markiewicz (L.O.M.). 311. Lansdowne Crescent, London, W.11