Need for Organised Discussion
Ste,—I have read with much interest Dr. Orchard's two articles on the conversion of England because he is looking at the question of England as a whole and not
only at individual Englishmen. It is important, 1 think, that in approaching the work of the "Conversion" of England we should bear in mind the possibility (however
remote) of group reconciliations. Dr. Orchard says "large action depends upon those in authority and to them it must be left," but the moment we approach the question from this point of view much preparation is needed, preparation of a rather different sort than we have hitherto employed.
In this connection I have one suggestion, and that is the arrangement for informal meetings of Catholic and Anglican, or for that matter Nonconformist. clergy, at which meetings papers should be read by members of both sides, e.g., The Church, Papal Infallibility. The Caroline Divines, Scholasticism, followed by a discussion. Such conferences should be kept within the limits of a friendly circle such as fifteen members all told so as to prevent the meeting from becoming formal. I know of two such groups, the result being that both sets of clergy really get to know the minds of the other and friendly and sympathetic relations exist between them. Such informal meetings if established all over the country would do untold good.
The initiative, however, must come from our side_ And I can say from experience that it is by no means only the " Papalist " Anglican clergy who welcome such opportunities of getting to know the real teaching of Rome.
It is perhaps easier for the Religious Orders to see that some of their members engage in this work, but at the same time much could be done, in a quiet way, by the ordinary parish clergy and their local Anglican clerical neighbours.
The recent books on the Mystical Body of Christ are very much to the point in this view of the situation, as is also the doctrine of Our Lady as the source of grace.
Dom BEDE Wreseow. St. Augustine's Abbey, Ramsgate.