Page 2, 5th January 1951

5th January 1951
Page 2
Page 2, 5th January 1951 — CATHOLIC LEADERSHIP
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People: Christ Himself
Locations: Hamlet, York

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CATHOLIC LEADERSHIP

/Ilea Culpa

SIR,-1 cannot wait long into the New Year before asking you to voice my blushes even more explicitly. For far from apologising, I should like to say that if 1 hurt people, last time, it is far safer to be hurt than play at ostriches, in these dangerous days.

Conversion of England. Publicity as a method involves too great a temptation to pray the Pharisee's Prayer. (As witness politienl ipub licit} .1 That parable is an urgent warning. and should be read in its context (i.e., sandwiched between tilt the important things in Luke XVII, and the eleying about children and the Kingdom of Heaven). Leakage. How can we rejoice at having schools unless we worry to an equal degree about four out of five boys lapsing when they leave them ? (These figures were mentioned in THE CATHOLIC HERALD last year.) Mass Attendance. And how much of the leakage is due to the motive

urged for attending Mass ? Children won't believe that; and so, many of them let go of the lot. Crosses and Statues. Far be it from me to belittle the devotion of those who carry the crosses—or, indeed, the idea of the pilgrimages. But does this new symbolism hold, perhaps, a warning ? Here, heavy crosses are lugged by human exertion. It was in the sky that Constantine saw the Cross. And Augustine's monks carried a crucifix in procession, using their breath to chant the Litany of the Saints, that day they convinced the King of Kent about letting them preach, And Our Lady didn't say "Carry my statue around." She said, " Our Lord is already too much offended "; and (like the Precursor) she kept on about repentance. Dare we ignore a message she came so often to repeat ? Papalist Anglicans. How, since we rightly claim that Catholic moral standards are the sole answer to Communism, can we afford to coldshoulder and snub a body of zealous (and often holy) men who are successfully teaching these standards to millions of English people, many of whom would not listen to is. even if we had sufficient preachers. This is where the Pharisee attitude is not only uncharitable but stupid. History. Schismatics ? Agreed. But do let us be historically-minded. The first Protestants were Catholics not e bad Catholics." but unwise, impatient ones, without enough faith in the Divine part of the Church. Their descendants are members of the family, even if they have lost the family name and prerogatives And why all the righteous wrath about the Reformation without a hint that WC brought it about by being " bad

Catholics '' in the Renaissance period—inexcusable sinfulness and unfaithfulness to the spirit of

Christ ? Further, a recent famous book on Catholic leadership in the past, has not one reference to Christ Himself in the text. If this rewriting of Hamlet without the Prince of Der-mimic is also symptomatic of our thinking about the present and the future, then Christendom is in greater danger from within than from without. Final historical thought: Communists persecute. So did Protestants. But (in the fully Christian ages) who started it ? Mea Cu/pa.

Parables about Pharisees. There is another, in which the Pharisee is, not vocal----he errs by his sulky silence. The Church Unity Octave will soon be here. It is a devotion blessed and recommended by Pope Pius X, and extended to the whole Church and inchilgcnced by Benedict XV — but studiously ignored by English Catholics at that time. During it. might we not meditate on the point that when the mistaken younger son, feeling lonely and hungry. came plodding homewards. his father did not wait until he had arrived and knelt down, but ran to meet him and made him welcome.

A BLUSHING CATHOLIC.

SIR,—The statement that Anglican churches are filled several times on Sunday conflicts with frequently expressed figures given by Anglican leaders. If " Blushing Catholic" really thinks that Anglicans hold the same beliefs as ourselves she should re-read the Archbishop of York's speech attacking the Pope for defining the dogma of the Assumption. R. STEVENS. Effingham.




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