MAY I air a subject that is of increasing concern to me during the past few years? I refer to the disinterested attitude of the clergy towards new parishioners—or perhaps I have been unfortunate in the four counties I have lived in since 1960!
In each of these areas I have, on arrival, immediately introduced myself to both parish priest and curate— giving details of my address and occupation and asking if my home could be blessed when convenient. I have added that I am at work daily but would welcome a visit any evening. Is it possible that my "particulars' have been mislaid or are these details too minute or unnecessary to merit consideration? Or is it that I am observed attending Mass and therefore do not require a visit? I would agree that there are more important visits to be made but surely over the past seven years I could have had an occasional visit from the clergy? Before departing from each parish I have always bade farewell to the clergy (mainly in order to spare them an unsuccessful visit at my address!) Over this period of time I have lived in parochial isolation, as I have not known or been introduced to any of the parishioners. I could hardly pour out my desire to socialise on the steps of the church each week and there has certainly been no offer on the part of the clergy to make me fell "one of the family." • In each parish I have vainly searched for a Catholic social club which would offer a little recreation for my particular age group-40 plus. I ventured in one parish to ask the well-fed, over-weight curate if there was any possibility of forming a Catholic rambling club as the parish was situated in splendid "rambling country". Somewhat patronisingly came the answer: "Do what you like—but for heavens sake don't ask me to do anything about it!" It would indeed be a splendid recreation for me to become a member of an active social Catholic club. No doubt shall be told that if I require these amenities I must reside in a city—that rural areas have a scattered Catholic population therefore it would be useless to attempt such a project! I am wondering if many other professional people have experienced this particular isolation or am I "a voice crying in the wilderness"?
'Concerned Cradle Catholic'
Cruelty to babies
WITH reference to your correspondence on corporal punishment in schools, I would draw your attention to another group of so-called Catholics who practise similar perversions on even younger children than you mention.
When babies are born they often do not start to breathe at once. They are then suspended by the ankles and a sadistic blow of the hand struck at the helpless buttocks, the shock causing respiration to commence.
In the name of all that is human and progressive J demand that this evil be stopped forthwith, that the babies be allowed to die as nature intended. Progressive thinking wives should make sure that they are not attended by such doctors who are imbued with such out-of-date thinking.
C. K. O'Reilly London, S.E.12.