In reply to Gerard Patrick Loughlin s letter of February 25 on the subject of "Misfits", I would like to point out that Dorothy Johnson's aim, as I understand it, was to point out the apparent difference in the treatment of the two priests— a viewpoint I share. Naturally, therefore, in comparing what she considers to be the harsh treatment of Archbishop Lefebvre with the seemingly lenient attitude of the Church towards Hans Kiing, she would obviously appear to further the case of the former against the case of the latter. The Holy See charged Hans Ming with "heresy" three years before Dorothy Johnson's letter was written, and the reason Hans Kung remains within the Church is solely due to the fact that for perhaps the first time in history a priest has publicly, in the name of the Church, gone beyond the framework of its officially held beliefs without incurring the former penalty of excommunication.
One could hardly accuse Archbishop Lefebvre of stepping outside previously held doctrine, and one could reasonably suggest that his arguments stand not as Mr Loughlin would have us believe, "on the sands", but rather on the Petrine Rock of tradition.
(Mrs) N. G. P. Hall Bovingdon,
Nominations and capers
Each year we ask for the names of Catholic women from whom to elect the "Catholic Women of the Year". They will be the guests of honour at the ninth luncheon at Quaglino's, St James's, London SW I , on May 3.
In the past, nominees have come from all areas of life — perhaps founders of new movements, or backbones of old ones, homemakers and mothers with time for their neighbours, women outstanding in their job or profession, or known only to their immediate circle.
The one essential thing they had in common was the witness they bore to Christ and his Church, unashamedly acknowledging the source of their love, integrity and strength.
May we invite nominations now from your readers for our "Catholic Women of 1977"?
Mrs Rudi Welswellier Chairman, Luncheon Committee I Hillsleigh Road, London, W8.
Though not wildly interested in howNorman St John-Stevas answered the questions in the Catholic Herald survey, I am somewhat surprised that he should advocate stomping in the aisles and bestowing "smacking" kisses upon one's neighbour in church.
God knows, there are distractions in plenty to be endured at Mass these days. Would Mr St JohnStevas have us use the few quiet minutes that are left to us deciding whether to clasp the Adonis on our right in a passionate embrace or execute a jolly jive with the not so comely creature on our left.
Surely a disco is the place for such capers. I doubt whether even Mr St John-Stevas's "with it Jesuits" would countenance them at Mass. Or would they? Fr Ming states in his letter of
February 25 that "we must really consider afresh ... what is meant by the statement „ . 'Jesus is the Son of God'." He adds that he obviously accepts this statement fully, and has offered his own explanation. "Obviously" and "fully" are good in the light both of his book and of' his evasion in the television programme Anna Domini.
I am reminded that Chesterton,
with the earlier Modernists in mind, wrote in "The Thing" that there was need of a (qualified) restates mcnt of religion, adding; "Those who say it often mean the very opposite of what they say ... they very often intend not to restate anything, but to state something else, introducing as many of the old words as possible . . . It seems to strike them as being merely a fine shade of distinction; but it strikes me as a
' rather grotesque and staggering reversal. Fr Kiing's dereliction of the Son
of God, after his (Kung's) continual sniping at Rome, tie up with St Thomas More's reflection: "I am moved to obedience to that See (Rome). not only by what learned and holy men have written, but by this fact especially, that we see so often that, on the one hand, every enemy of the Christian Faith makes war on that See, and that, on the other hand, no one has ever declared himself an enemy of that Sec who has not also shortly after shown most evidently that he was the enemy of Christ and of the Christian Th There irseal in "evidently" g env.'id'