Rome from Canterbury
AS a convert of over forty years standing I am interested in the letter from Mrs Cowell (Aug. 21) 1 think that I probably forsook Canterbury for Rome for very much the same reason. I believed that in the Roman Church I would find that changelessness which is in fact an illusion.
It has taken me many years to find out that I was wrong. I imagined that 1 would have that certitude which would make it unnecessary for me to think out the implications of the Faith. That the Church must be 'identified with the Deposit of Faith is clear enough but Her understanding and Her manner of presenting the Faith has changed.
If this had not been the case. the Church would have been in a state of "rigor mortis" centuries ago. The fact of change is implicit in all forms of life. The Church is still perhaps in a stage of adolescence and clearly Mrs. Cowell finds this transitional stage rather difficult to live with.
She goes on to say "that the so-called progressives have wrought havoc with the Catholic Liturgy, especially the glorious Mass and other devotions". These liturgical changes have been authorised by none other than Paul VI himself! Although I personally find these liturgical developments enormously helpful I fully realise that there are many who do not. I believe that where there is an obvious need the Tridentine Mass should be allowed.
May 1 quo:e. from "the Eleventh Hour" by Canon Francis Houtart, p.24: "We have had in the past, a vision of the Church as juridicial and monarchical, a pyramid with the Pope at the top, the bishops below him, the priests still lower. and the laity at the base. The Constitution on the Church has effaced this image by redefining the Church in scriptural terms. God called together all who believe in Jesus Christ into one people; this is the main reality and this is the Church, the People of God."
We Roman Catholics are not the "exclusive brethren"!
RodLrick Bell Henfield, Sussex.
Voice of Rome THE criticism in L'Osserrawre Romano of "Oh ! Calcutta!", "Hair", and the permissive society (August 21) reflects the Vatican's failure to reach an adequate understanding of the contemporary issues involved.
Apart from the ballet at the start of part two, "Oh! Calcutta!" seems to me a hollowsounding satire on the established capitalising of the body and sex — hollow-sounding because itself an instance of the commercial exploitation of central human values.
On the other hand, "Hair" and the Naturist Congress belong to the alternative society; they are a protest against the technological depersonalisation of man.
The Decree on the media of social communication was the least successful of the Council Documents. The voice of Rome will win a more sympathetic hearing when a more sensitive discrimination of issues takes the place of the rather hysterical rhetoric that accuses the young and innocent of "corruption on a universal scale".
Perhaps this generation has a lot to learn. This is not the way to set about teaching it.
(Dr.) Colin Hamer London, S.W.1.