MR. GEORGE P. BARNES
(Sept. 25) presumes or implies that which has not been proved when he criticises the Renewal Movement. He implies we are 'false prophets', 'attempting to lead men from God's teaching' that we talk of 'nebulous conscience'. Nor are we splitting hairs over infallibility; we are in fact attempting to understand better what this infallibility is and what it means for the Church. Certainly we differ from your correspondent if what he understands by Papal guidance is the handing over of one's conscience, intelligence and responsibility to the Pope. In this we are happy to be in the company of excellent theologians, competent and experienced bishops and large numbers of thoughtful lay people who are not necessarily formal members of Renewal. Questions about how the Holy Spirit works within the Christian community. what the role of the Papacy is, how far the local church embodies the experience of the whole Church, etc., etc.. all have yet to be worked out. I submit that the Renewal Movement is playing its part in this development of the Christian community, and that those who seek to replace reflection and dialogue with censorship and condemnation are hindering. not helping. the growth of the Mystical Body.
A. F. Brookes I FEEL I must reply to Mr.
George Barnes. who deplores the existence of the Catholic Renewal Movement and its "presumptuous" pamphlet on birth control. He says that what is required in marriage is self-control not birth control.
For Mr. Barnes, self-control may well prove a happy and satisfactory method of birth control. There are some who need not worry about self-control or birth control, as their mental and physical strength and financial position enables them to rear large families happily and satisfactorily. These people may have no need of the Catholic Renewal Movement. but that doesn't give them the right to condemn it. There must he many, who, if it had not been for the sympathy and understanding of the Movement. would have left the Church. So keep up the good work, C. R. M.!
Frances C. Eade (Mrs.) Scarborough, Yorks.