Real or spurious
SIR.-With all deference to your correspondents in the recent letters about Martyrs, both Catholic and Protestant, we should like to stress the following points, which do not seem to us to be sufficiently emphasized in the letters printed in your paper: I. The Church has made exactly that distinction so much and so warmly advocated by setting the seal of beatification on those who died for non-political causes, and ignoring those who were concerned in politics, however well-intentioned. For example, Fr. Persons has never been considered a saint at any stage, while his companion is known as Blessed Edmund Campion.
2. Cruet and barbarous as they
seem to us, the punishments for heresy were part of the law of the Church, as we see, apart from England or her Martyrs, in the death of Friar Savonarola, O.P. It is true that Cardinal Pole regretted the carrying out of these laws at a critical time in England, and true that the laws themselves changed as toleration grew and barbarity decreased everywhere in Europe, but the fact remains that Fox's Book of Martyrs was a clever stroke to prop up the new religion, and not all of it is either true or reliable. (We in our Society Library have a book of contemporary refutations.) Moreover, it was encouraged, in print, while Catholic books were suppressed by the Penal Laws.
3. While we must honour the genuine Protestant Martyrs-that is, those who died nobly for a faith they had embraced passionately and sincerely, and while only God can know how near to Him they wereour respect and regard for them cannot make us thulk their religion true, any more than the abuses and scandals in the Church of the 16th (or indeed any) century can make us think our religion false. On the contrary, the more we study the claims of the Catholic Church as supported by those who died to uphold them, the more we see in them the marks of the Church of Christ. It was not for false doctrine that 55 Anglican clergymen of good livings and of ripe scholarship became Catholics and subsequently Martyrs in the very height of the persecutions of the Reformation.
The Student Secretariat, 1952-1953. Endsleigh Training College,
Ste,-1 fully agree with what D. G. Gibson says about the London County Council's excellent attempt at providing the homes for "deprived" children, and I have been greatly impressed by the Council's concern for those Catholics committed to its care.
But how sad it is to hear from those who are most anxious to find suitable foster homes for such children as would most benefit from them. "If only we didn't have to find a Catholic home for him . ." or "We really are in a desperate state for Catholic foster homes."
alas, can do nothing more than be an "aunt" who gives occasional outings, visits and presents to children in whom I have been asked to take an interest, but their joy at haying even an aunt who has no home into which to receive them is very real.
Regular visits from an "aunt" or "uncle" do much for those such as the little girl whom I heard recently crying: "I'm looking for my Mummy, but she isn't there."
And let us be thankful for those enlightened authorities and voluntary organisations, both Catholic and otherwise, who are trying to provide the nearest approach to home atmosphere possible. But as Catholics let us do all we can.
SIR,-In "Points from Letters," on Friday, January 9, I was surprised to see a letter voicing grievance at the fact that Mass was celebrated in a circus; places, according to the letter. that are centres of "appalling cruelty" to animals. I say "surprised" because I did not know that such stupid ignorance still existed; Miss Digging, obviously, has not the slightest idea of what she is talking about.
1 will admit that the tricks are unnatural, but then one would not expect to see the ordinary man in the street doing tricks on a trapeze or tight rope. As to the statement that circus animals are "dominated" by their trainers, I would like to point out that the training of any animal, from teaching a dog "road sense" to the schooling of horses for state ceremonies, could be described as domination of the animal.
I feel very keenly about cruelty to animals and I would say this, that if everybody treated animals as well as the majority of circus folk there would be no need for the many societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals.
J. E. Holden.
7 The Tapestries, Straight Road,
Old Windsor, Berks,
The New Fast
SIR,-Your paper, commenting on the new Constitution, Christus Dominus, says, "It was remarkable how seldom any priest mentioned the relief which the revised fasting laws will almost certainly bring to the clergy themselves. . . ." According to THE CATHOLIC HERALD last Week, Which purported to give the new rules in full, the clergy should have rejoiced. Unfortunately, this translation omitted from section 4 an important paragraph which requires an hour's fast between the liquid refreshment it allows in certain circumstances, and the celebration of Mass. There are very few English parishes where it will be possible for the priest bloating or trinating to have a clear hour between his Masses. So that, in fact, he has no relief. There must be cases where actually the priests are worse off; because induits have been granted in the past to help priests in these conditions; but by the Constitution they have been abrogated.
Certainly I believe the Pope had the intention of helping the clergy, but it seems that the persons who drafted the Constitution have overlooked them.
(Rev.) Frank E. Bird. Corpus Christi Church,
41 Lyons Crescent,
On page 5 in our last issue we printed the omitted point 6.-Eorroa.