THERE are always letters 2in the CATIIOLIC HERALD about the changes in the Lit urgy, changes in aspects of the Church's teaching, etc. One thing has not been mentioned at all and yet really worries me a lot.
I can remember that not long ago it was quite an accepted thing after Mass for prayers to he said for the con version of Communist countries. or for the alleviation of the sufferings of the Church there.
This no longer happens at all. Communism is never men tioned—the sufferings of thousands of people to whom Christ is denied are almost entirely ignored.
Surely we are not blinding ourselves and thinking that Russia and China are no longer pursuing a deliberate policy of religious persecution, with the ultimate idea of the suppression of Christianity?
I do realise of course that to have big public protests about suppression of religion in Communist countries would be foolish. We would find our selves too much involved with politics and in any case it would be senseless to start antagonism between nations deliberately.
But people really are suffering in Communist countries.
It is still the official policy of rulers of such countries to deny God's existence and to prevent, as far as possible, His people in their territories from receiving His sacraments or hearing His word.
Could we not have just one day of prayer every year—
preferably a Sunday—when we could pray for God's Church in Communist coun
tries? Perhaps it should not receive too much publicity—
it should certainly not be made into a political rather than a religious event. But it would be one small thing we could do, and if we suggested to other churches that they join with us to discuss the idea, it would also prove to be a valuable ecumenical exercise.
W0 L D Canon J. B. O'Connell he so kind as to tell us exactly what changes in the Mass were introduced by Clement VIII, Urban VIII and St. Pius X?
always understood that these new editions of the missal had become necessary in order to remove certain accretions and to restore the text to that of St. Pius V.
The only change John XXIII made was to insert the name of St. Joseph into the "Cornrnunicantes" and I believe that this was the first time there had been any change in the canon since the time of St. Gregory.
Poor St. Joseph. to have his name used to break into something so sacred as the canon. By this small breach a woodworm must have entered and the rot has spread rapidly.
Margaret Vaughan Edinburgh.
IN view of the callous imposition of the New Liturgy which has divided families and Church in these days of Unity; of the fact that this Liturgy is accepted by Protestants who do not regard it as "Catholic"; that 20,000 priests have been laicised in the past six years; that a Catholic priest has been "excommunicated" for orthodoxy whilst Cardinals and others give "communion" to non-believers, unchecked; that the Catholic Faith is no longer taught in the majority of "Catholic" schools, and that "Indifferentism" is advocated by Church officials; plus the fact that Catholic priests have broken their ordination oath to uphold the teaching of the Council of Trent, Canon O'Connell has no need to remind us that we are not living in the pontificate of Saint Pope Pius V.
He knows very well that, unlike the changes of the New Liturgy, the "changes" he cites as a precedent .did not depart from the intentions and teachings of Saint Pope Pius V and the Council of Trent and no doubt, some of your erudite readers will correct him again (for the umpteenth time).
I. for my part, will content myself by pointing out that his implied assertion that the teaching and practices of the Church can change at the whim of every reigning Pontiff is in total conflict with the Doctrine of the Unchangeable Church; with Church teaching on the existence of the Church Triumphant, whereby t h e Saints, including St. Pope Pius V are always with us; and with Church Doctrine which says that the Church speaking through those same Saints, cannot contradict herself. It
also contradicts Church teaching that all revelation ceased with the death of St. John
Canon O'Connell implies that we should accept, as reasonable, the position that it is a mortal sin for us to attend Mass on one Sunday and a mortal sin if we did not attend the previous Sunday; purely because the Mass has been said in a valid form which the Church has used for centuries.
We Catholics willingly believe in things which are not humanly possible. Never before have we been told to accept the patently absurd.
(Major) Leonard Hurst Sanderstead
IHOPE your readers will have noticed an obviously unplanned piece of irony in your last issue. On page 5 Frank O'Hara does his best to answer a correspondent who asks: Arc Anglicans now prepared to adore the Son of God present in the Consecrated Host both during and after the Mass? On the opposite page (4) Fr. Woodard explains that at the shared Roman-Anglican church at Cippenham "as yet we have no reservation of the Blessed Sacrament because, though requested and pressed for by the Anglicans (my italcis), it is not permitted yet by the Catholic bishop."
I am not, of course, writing to criticise the Catholic bishop for needing time to consider the question of joint RomanAnglican reservation.
John Coventry, S.J. London. W.I