Conducted by Fr. JOHN SYMON
Question: Are the questions you publish really genuine enquiries, or do you simply compose them yourself?
Answer: This "Question and Answer" feature has now appeared for more than four years and I can truthfully say that every question published during that period has come, not from my own imagination. but from a letter sent to me by a reader.
Because we Catholics in this country are happily agreed on the central truths of the faith, very few letters touch on these matters. However many people ask about Church law, about relations with other Christians, about puzzling texts in the Bible, and about changes in the familiar pattern of Catholic worship.
I have tried to deal with a proportion of all these topics but there are other points which do not lend themselves to public discussion. Some correspondents ask about intimate matters concerning their marriage and others may ask about a question which has been publicly discussed in this column the previous week. Again, there are always readers who raise obscure and difficult points which it is simply impossible to answer.
If a letter cannot be answered in public, I try to send a private reply. If I cannot answer the question at all, at least I send a postcard of acknowledgement. Blessed are the thoughtful people who, when they write to me, enclose a stamped addressed envelope!
Here are some questions to which a public reply is scarcely possible : why was our. parish priest not made a canon?, explain fully why God permits evil in the world?, why are more papal decorations conferred in England than in Scotland?
On receipt of questions like these, the most I can do is to thank the writers, to excuse myself from a full reply, and to ask them to pray for me. Today I would like to ask for the continued prayers of all our faithful readers.