From Mr Alfred Smith SIR — I was received into the Church 63 years ago. At the end of a ninemonth period of instruction I was told to go away and read less and pray more. I have never forgotten those words of wisdom. The same words may well be levelled at some of your correspondents.
Vatican II appears to have run up the curtain on a crowded debating chamber that indulges the intellect but starves the soul. The unfortunate result is there for all to see. The Church I entered was vibrant and strong, spoke with authority and was not afraid to take the lead in the promotion of Christian values.
Now we are perceived by our opponents as weak and irresolute, saying many different things at many different times to many different people and readily backing down before secular pressures from the political establishment. (Does anyone need a better example than the recent fiasco of the "Catholic" adoption agencies?) I wrote to the Board of Inland Revenue in June (I am myself a retired chartered accountant). I requested information under the FOl legislation as to the percentage of my personal tax liability which was being used to fund abortion services.
Four months later I am still awaiting a reply. When I get one I shall tell the Board that I shall be donating the sum in question to Cafod instead of continuing to fund abortion services. I shall explain that I find such services personally abhorrent and in direct conflict with my conscience, common sense and faith. I shall also explain that the Church considers abortion as contrary to God's law and the natural law.
Will the Church support me or will your debating chamber be looking forward to another field day?
Yours faithfully, ALFRED SMITH Moulton, Northamptonshire