Page 7, 4th February 2000

4th February 2000
Page 7
Page 7, 4th February 2000 — Fr FitzSimmons and the spirit of Vatican II

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Locations: Glasgow


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Fr FitzSimmons and the spirit of Vatican II

From Mr Alan Roebuck

Sir, My wife and I do so enjoy the splenetic letters from Fr John Fitzsimmons which appear every time you venture a criticism of ICEL's dreary and discredited liturgies. Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells has got nothing on Fr Fitzsimmons when it comes to spluttering, claret-faced rage. My wife thinks there is no such person, and that your newspaper has been the victim of a sneaky traditionalist spoof, a bit like the Henry Root letters. I disagree: this is how "liberals" react when you dare to

contradict them. , yours faithfully ALAN ROEBUCK Leominster

From Mr Anthony McGinty

Sir, Father Fitzsimmons is in danger of turning what ought to be the subject of calm debate into something akin to liturgical hysteria.

The continual references to "Rome" as though it were a disease for which a cure was being urgently sought and his dreadful reference to Pope Paul VI as being "great" (he most certainly was great) in order to gain a cheap shot at the present Holy Father reflect poorly on him.

His affected use of their surnames only when referring to those who were or are Princes of the Church reminded me of the Moderator of the Church of Scot

land who, during the 30s when being a Catholic in Glasgow was less than easy, referred to the then archbishop as "Mr McGuire". To glibly refer to the Holy Father whenever he undertakes arduous trips to visit the faithful worldwide as "being busy going here and there" as though he were simply enjoying himself, is nothing short of being nasty.

I spoke with Father Fitzsimmons the day after Pope John Paul El's visit to Glasgow during the British tour of 1982.

Fr Fitzsimmons spoke of Scottish Catholics walking "with a spring in their step" and with "a new found, pride" as a result of the Pope's visit.

Why would Father Fitzsinunons deny those in the many countries the Holy Father has visited since 1982 the same spiritual inspiration?

Taking pot shots at the Holy Father ought to be well down Father Fitzsimmons' list of priorities; what ought to be near the top if not at the very top, is standing four square behind and fully supporting our magnificent Cardinal as he struggles to prevent our children being submerged in the sewer of pornography and obscenities which the politicians of this country are hell bent on unleashing on them.

What was that you were saying, Father Fitzsimmons, about a plot being lost?.

Yours faithfully, ANTHONY McGINTY Bearsden.

From Dr Araminta Warnock

Sir, Mr Ronald J MacDonald (Jan 28) expresses the hope that you will cease to provide a platform for Fr John H FitzSimmons,

I hope you will not take his advice: for, every time Fr FitzSimmons delivers himself of one of his polemical tours de force, he exemplifies exactly why it is that those of his generation who appropriated the Second Vatican Council as their own personal property, and who (latterly with decreasing success) attempted to impose their own interpretation of its documents as being a series of revolutionag manifestoes, now find themselves more and more regarded as quaint historical survivals from an interesting but in many ways intensely destructive period in the council's reception by the Church.

Above all, their characterisation of the present pope as a reactionary bent on undoing the work of the council and retuning the Church to the pre-conciliar status quo ante (the so-called "restorationist" scenario) is now seen clearly as the absurdity it always was.

The present reassessment of the 10EL translations is a necessary stage in this new perception. It is not reactionary (or even controversial) to say that too many of the present texts are drab and theologically reductionist: even The Tablet accepts that they are.

Yours faithfully, AR AMINTA WARNOCK Oxford

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