chartered accountant, Mr. T. J. C. Dobbin.
With nearly 3,000 covenants signed, total tax rebate expected for 1963 was over £15,800. In five years, the diocese has been able to claim nearly £80,000 from the tax man.
But, Mr. Dobbin told me, " It is estimated that our diocese is losing £100,000 per annum on current income because offerings are not covenanted. (About 43 per cent of Liverpool's covenanting parishes employ fund-raising firms).
Portsmouth and Shrewsbury are operating growing covenant schemes. Cardiff is on the brink of a campaign. while Westminster, where the scheme is in full swing, does not publish any figures. Lancaster, just at the end of its first year, has received over £21.000 from the Exchequer.
In Birmingham, where Archbishop Cirimshaw is patron of a flourishing scheme just entering its fifth " lap," another layman, Mr. H. Waddell, is in charge.
With an "indifferent" reception at the outset in 1960. the atmosphere is now " welcoming," he told me. The diocese, with more than 8,600 covenants signed. expected to get £68,108 hack from the tax man for 1963, bringing the five-year total to over £151,340.
The Midland organisers aim at 35,000 covenants. which they estimate should bring in some £300.000 p.a. in tax rebates. Some 126 parishes out of 208 operate the scheme.
This scheme, run initially by volunteers, now has two full-time office staff. Their literature is bright and to the point, but I wasn't happy at their poster, which reads : "If you pay any tax at all, your parish can raise money at little or NO EXTRA COST to yourself." (Capital letters theirs, not mine).
A question I put to all organisers concerned some people who are particularly mobile and move not only from parish to parish, but from diocese to diocese. and who doubt the wisdom of covenanting. Would you. I asked. advocate the establishment of the scheme on a national basis. with a central office, the money thus col
lected to be redistributed proportionately?
The answers varied from the definite but unqualified "Yes" to the equally definite " No," while one diocese (Southwark) is in process of discussing the idee with Bishop Cowderoy.
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and simply the questions that contribute to the Church's suffering."
Of Christian Unity. Pope Paul said that the Catholic Church would remain faithful to the "deposit of truths and precepts Christ entrusted to His Church," hut was prepared to wait with patience and goodness for the day of reunification.
FOOTNOTE : Speaking in the Catholic University of America, the moral theologian and Council expert, Fr. Bernard Hacring. C.SS.R., has said that a declaration that family planning and limitation may be needed in the modem world is ready for C011sideration by the Vatican Council when it meets again in September. This particular statement does not deal with the means of family limitation, he said, but those who are "overcome by human weakness" despite their desire to follow the Church's teaching on birth control "will feel the great love and understanding of the Church for their situation."
Archbishop at a Pope's home town
Archbishop Heenan of Westminster is going to Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire, on Sunday, to renew links sith the only English Pope. The Archbishop will bless the new church of St. Saviour at Abbots Langley, home of Nicholas Breakspear who became Pope Adrian IV in 1154.
Parishioners attended Mass in the chapel of Breakspear College until recent years when growing numbers made this inipracticable; the parish hall was then converted, but this was soon outgrown. The Salvatorian Fathers, who run the College as a Scholasticate, also have care of the parish with Fr. Philip McCabe as parish priest.
The first Mass was celebrated in the new church last Christmas. The church is built on land given to the parish by the Salvatorian Fathers; it seats 500 and took 18 months to build.
Church ban on art show
Cardinal Urbani, Patriarch of Venice, has barred all priests and nuns from visiting the international Biennale Art Show in Venice because some works are considered objectionable. The cardinal's order specifically stated that the ban applied equally to foreign or non-Venetian clergy visiting the city.
Thirty-three nations and 440 artists arc exhibiting at the Venice Biennale this year.
Cardinal Urbane who succeeded Pope John as Patriarch of Venice, has been generally viewed as friendly to the arts. Addressing film-makers in Venice. he said : "The artist has the full right to develop in his spirit and represent daily reality." He added, however: "Everyone has the right to demand also of the artist that his description does not serve as an admission ticket to vice and crime."
Top post for anaesthetist
An old boy of Ampleforth College has been elected Dean of the Faculty of Anaesthetists. He is Professor T. Cecil Gray, Professor of Anaesthesia at Liverpool University. The election took place at a recent meeting of the board of the Faculty at the Royal College of Surgeons in London. The appointment is usually for a three-year term.