of exorcism (Editorial, 20 February), but the fact that the Catholic Church "continues to take such practices seriously", albeit with caution and secrecy, should not, as you suggest, come as a surprise to Catholics.
A cursory examination of the Gospels reveals Christ himself referring to Satan by name or by direct personal reference on numerous occasions. Saints Peter and Paul in their letters remind us of the need for a sober awareness of the spiritual forces ranged against mankind.
Some of the unspeakable crimes perpetrated in this century alone are enough to incline many to the view that mankind is at times susceptible to a malign influence which feeds on, and amplifies, our own capacity for evil.
Their important thing, surely, is to be aware (see The Serewtape Letters, by C S Lewis), but not unhealthily preoccupied.
A last thought in the light of the current debate in the Church of England about possible revisions to The Lord's Prayer. One option which does not yet appear to have been canvassed is a return to the closing words which Christ himself used (according to the very recent New Jerusalem Bible translation at any rate): "...and do not put us to the test, but save us from the Evil One."
Paul O'Sullivan Brighton.
EVEN THE CHURCH gave up burning witches some time ago. Is it not time that the Church send the purveyors of voodoo, tree spirit worship and other primitive practices the message that there is only one spirit — the Holy Spirit of God.
Hugh Kelly Preston, Lanes
THE GROWING need for exorcists is a sad proof of our immaturity. Exorcists are like doctors: if we led healthy physical and spiritual lives we would not need them.
S. Crawley Stockport, Cheshire