IHAVE talked to many people who have left the Church and read with interest the letters in your paper as to why people leave the Church. This has prompted me to comment that I feel the two main causes arc lack of possibilities to attend regular weekday Mass and ignorance of the faith.
If clergy throughout the country encouraged more people to come to Mass on a weekday by saying Mass at a time when the laity could attend, rather than what seems the case when it is most convenient for -the priest or the local religious community, this would be a good start. This could be backed up by facilities offered in the way of study groups attended regularly by the priest and encouragement given for the attendance of the groups of experts in the faith.
As a social worker 1 have had experience of the possibilities of rehabilitation; but it does mean working late hours to fit in with the demands of married men and women. So also I am sure the priest can only give the laity a chance to be rehabilitated in their faith if he is prepared to bring communion to them and knowledge of their faith.
From a hopeful but frustrated participant.
43 St. John's Estate,
South Broomhill, Northumberland
PERHAPS because the Social Democratic and Labour Party and other parties with similar views on the Constitution of Northern Ireland are supported effectively only by Catholics, it is commonly assumed in Great Britain that Catholics support effectively only such parties. This is not the case. Catholics also strongly support the Alliance Party and the Northern Ireland Labour Party.
A public opinion poll was carried out here around the beginning of July on behalf of the independent journal Fortnight. One
of the questions related to voting in an election held under proportional representation.
Ignoring the "Don't knows," the following shows how the Catholic respondents distributed their first preference and (where used) second preference votes, these being expressed as percentages and placed in order after the parties concerned (which I have divided into three groups); S.D.L.P., etc., 50, 24; Alliance and N.I.L.P., 48, 51; Unionist etc., 2, 0.
(Professor) David R. Bates 6 Deramore Park, Belfast,
IN advocating the Holy Father's abdication, Gerard Noel (Sept. 22) claims that Vatican II taught that "revelation is a continuing process." In fact,section 4 of the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation states that "we now await no further new public revelation before the glorious manifestation of Our Lord Jesus Christ."
No less strange is Mr. Noel's suggestion that what the Holy Father wrote before becoming Pope and what he might write after abdicating would be of more use to the Church than what he teaches now. Surely we are not to suppose that the Holy Ghost guides a man more before and after being Pope than when actually reigning? I wonder if a clue to the reason for Mr. Noel's special pleading is to be found in his suggestion that Humanae Vitae had better be forgotten?
G. J. A. Stern
6 Eton Court,
Shepherds Hill, N.6.
Va regular reader of the CATHOLIC HERALD for the past 40 years, I take great exception to your flippant remarks in this week's issue under the heading, "Should the Pope resign?"
My own parents, and the parents of thousands of mature Catholics took pleasure in the words and music of the Latin Mass, but they also found time to give their children the grounding in the Faith according to the grace of God in their day, much better, I believe, than will many "liberal" Catholics derive in the future.
This continual sniping does a
great disservice to the CATHOLIC HERALD. and cannot but cause immense pain to the English Catholic community.
James Goldsbury 75 Bingham Rd., Radcliffe-on-Trent.
ST. CHARLES Hospital for the Mentally Handicapped in Carstairs, I.anarkshire, Scotland, is looking for Green Shield stamps to help buy the children a new mini-bus.
May I appeal to the motorists and shoppers among your readers to collect any stamps they are offered and send them to the hospital.
Any donations of stamps will be gratefully received.
R. G. Parr 222 Muiryhall St., Coatbridge, I.anarkshire, Scotland.