Page 5, 26th June 1964

26th June 1964
Page 5
Page 5, 26th June 1964 — Lapsing among the Irish immigrants

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Lapsing among the Irish immigrants

Sir,—The enquiry conducted by Fr. Owen Sweeny into the high social and spiritual lapse rate of Irish emigrants reveals that the Irish people are not adequately instructed in the faith. This is tantamount to an indictment of the system of education which in the hands of the Irish clergy.

If, as stressed in your editorial comment, every Irish emigrant must be a missioner, it is clear some provision must be made for adequate religious instruction in this country. The Catholic Evidence Guild and Our Lady's Cathechists are restricted in scope by reason of lack of support. What is needed is the establishment in every parish of the Guild of Christian Doctrine, demanded by Canon Law.

Knowledge of the faith is the key to solving the problem of Irish lapsing and until Catholic Action Societies such as the K.S.C. and the L.O.M. face the situation realistically many Irish emigrants will fall by the wayside,

.1. J. O'Connor. London, N.12.

Sir,—One reason why so many Irish immigrants become social problems is lack of decent accommodation. Building workers, for instance, often live in overcrowded conditions in poor areas with limited washing and santitary facilities and having no shower or bath, After their day's work, they may find it very difficult to get "washed and dressed up". Many arc tempted to the public-house and street-corner and in time they develop feelings of inferiority and rejection. Too often, the bottle becomes the means of escape.

We need Irish labour, so it is our duty to help the immigrants, particularly those newly-arrived, to fit into our social pattern. Surely the large building 'contractors, who use so much Irish labour, should provide hostels .(with trees and lawns, please) in key areas. The accommodation can he simply — dormitory or single room — with a chapel, canteen, bar, showers, community rooms, launderette and club for tombola, talks, film shows, dances, etc. The staff should preferably be Irish to give the feeling of homeliness and security — not a ghetto but a half-way house.

(Mrs.) Sheila Porde.

London, N.W.3.

Brazil SIR'Mr. Ronald Flaxman (June '12) would have saved himself correspondence with the ecclesiastical authorities in Brazil when seeking information about Dom Salomao Ferraz, titular Bishop of Elioterna, had he consulted pp. 534-5 of Bishops at Large (Faber & Faber, 1964). There would have been no need for him to seek authentication from Rome and Brazil for the interesting information he has received from the persons involved. The account given (see below) of the so-called 'Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church flgreja Catdlica A postolica Brasileira' contains sufficient data on this prelate and other clerics who have tried to set up 'National Churches' to show that they are not in communion with the Holy See.

Peter F. Anson.

Angus (vi) Brazilian Catholk Apostolic Church (Igreja Caidlica Apostolica Brasileira)

Brazil, a Portuguese colony from 1532, became a kingdom in 1815, a republic in 1889 The first serious attempt to set up a national church appears to have been made after June 1945, when Mgr. Carlo:t Duarte Costa (1888-1961), formerly Bishop of Botucant, was excommunicated by the Holy See because of 111S attacks against the papacy. This led to the formation at Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais State) of a schismatic body known L5 the Igreja Catt)lica Apostolica Brasileira.

There was another but less suecessjul effort in the same direction In 1936, when a priest named Salomao Ferraz organized his followers as the Igreja Catolica Livre no Brasil. He was elected bishop. and arranged with Mgr. Faron, formerly of the Polish National Catholic Church, to consecrate him, but Peron found it impossible to go to Brad!. Finally on August 15, 1945, Ferraz was raised to the episcopate by Duarte Costa.

Brazil is still a predominantly Catholic nation, although Church and state have been separated since IRO!, and Duarte Costa and Ferret did not succeed in making many Catholics join their schismatic bodies.


Sir,—I wonder if you would care to publish this extract from a letter recently received by me? It might make some of our more enthusiastic reformers think a little.

"It would appear that the Holy Ghost has been asleep for some 400 years or so. Now, at last, prodded and pushed by our mods and rockers, clerical and lay, He is waking up. With a bit of luck He may soon get with it."

(Rev.) W. Gordon Twickenham.


Sir,—T quote from the Sunday Telegraph of June 21: "Communists, Anarchists, Jesuits, Humanists and members of C.N.D. are among the minorities to be given a chance of expressing themselves on B. B.C.-2".

Well, well. I wonder what they think of that at Farm Street! The Jesuits have always lived dangerously, but never can they have had four such strange bedfellows as these!

R. Robinson Market Harborough.


Sir,—Fr. McGoldrick (June 19) makes some useful points. Of course there must he progress ,in the Church and the movement towards progress must have its leaders; but the question at issue is surely one of degree and balance.

Fr. McGoldrick asks what one should do if, under certain circumstances, he is pretty unceremoniously awakened from sleep and informed that his house is in danger. But suppose the awakeners damaged his property unnecessarily and appeared to be attacking even its foundations. Where is the line to be drawn between excess in liberalism or conservatism?

Fr. McGoldrick writes: "One would give much to know just who are, in the estimation of Fr. Ripley's correspondents, these dangerous characters?" Perhaps it is not entirely coincidence that the names which crop up most frequently in letters to me from people whose faith has been disturbed arc those named by the Holy See, in an instruction published earlier this year, naming some who ought not to be invited to lecture to seminarists.

(Rev.) Franck J. Ripley. Liverpool 3.

'Father Joe'

Sir,—I trust that our Anglican brethren will not think it an act of discourtesy if I question the wisdom of your referring to Anglican clergymen as, e.g., "Father X.Y.Z., that well-known Anglican priest".

We should, of course, avoid as far as possible speaking in a way that would offend other Christians. However. it would be equally wrong to use language which could mislead both Catholic and nonCatholic alike.

Nothing has happened to alter the Church's traditional view on the invalidity of Anglican orders. As far as we are concerned, no matter how good or sincere an Anglican minister may be. he is not a priest, and should not be referred to as such.

It would surely only be cruel to give our Anglican friends the impression that we accept their claim to possess a valid priesthood. True charity does not require us to appear to believe what we do not.

James Dawson Bradford.

The AnFlican clergyman referred SO is Fr. 'Joe" Williamson, who is universally known as "Father" and as a "priest". The usage need not have any doctrinal implications and Is widely used for Buddhists. Hindus, and even for pagans. It seems odd to deny it to the Anglicans.—EDITOR.

Divine Praises Sir,---lt is with regret that I see the new invocation ei the Divine Praises is in the form 'Blessed be the Holy Ghost, the Paraelete. How much longer must our so called vernacular be a pseudosixteenth century English instead of a sensible modern language.

Is there any reason why we cannot say 'Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Advocate'. It may sound more legal than religious, but it is at least understandable. Is the aim merely to increase our devotion or to instruct and increase devotion?

It leaves one wondering what sort of translations we are going to be blessed with when the longawaited liturgical reforms are promulgated.

Robin M. Pannell Plymouth.


Sir,—Can any of your readers let me know if such a thing exists as an English edition of the text of the Consecration of a Church? Or do they know of any church which has been consecrated where some at least of the congregation were supplied with English versions?

Canon A. Hulme, DD. 2 Brereton Road,

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