that the sight of a Catholic bishop receivingcommunion publicly from the hands of an Anglican prelate is an "important milestone" (21 June).
I agree completely, though perhaps in a different manner to that of Mr Noel.
That such a thing has happened is not evidence that Christian unity — that vague ecumenical desire that all too often dares to speak its name — has evolved to a new level, but rather that the crisis in the Church has reached those entrusted with guardianship of the truth.
Such actions do great disservice to all parties, and suggest that similarly minded clerics possess insights into fundamental theological questions that the Successor of Peter does not.
This trend partly explains why some Catholics wonder where to go next,and implicitly undermines orthodox belief, hardly the role of a pastor, particularly in a country where martyrs have died rather than kneel down and submit to a Protestant negation of transubstantiation.
It sends out the message that there is no need for members of Christian denominations to convert to the fullness of faith and come home to the body of Christ.
Elden F. Curtiss, the Archbishop of Omaha, has summed up perfectly the present relativist climate within sections of the Church: "The vocations 'crisis' is precipitated by people who want to change the Church's agenda, by people who do not support orthodox candidates loyal to the magisterial teaching of the Pope and bishops" (Our Sunday Visitor, 8 October 1995).
We have a duty, in charity and out of justice, not to misrepresent the faith to those outside the Church. Enough is enough: the terrible stories of episcopal mismanagement of abuse cases is a wake-up call that bishops are accountable. Not only to the flock they lead, but also to the Lord they serve.
Yours faithfully, PAUL A. SCOTT, Ramsgate CT11 9Q