SIR,—We appreciate the attention given in your editorial article of October 15 to our article "Have Christians Lost Their Nerve?" We agree entirely with your contention that the lack of "nerve" and "energy" of Christians in England as elsewhere calls for an infusion of Christ-inspired humanism which sees the freedom and wholeness of man on this earth as its goal.
In your editorial you seemed to imply that the Herder Correspondence article suggested an "interdenominational morality defence council" and 'pressure tactic.
Similar terms recurred in the exchange between Sir Arnold Lunn and yourself which arose indirectly out of our article and was published in the CATHOLIC HERALD of October 22,
Since our magazine is available iii Britain by subscription only. I feel I Must point out, lest your readers gain a false impression. that neither these nor similar terms occurred in our article. The suggestion in our article, which probably gave rise to your use of these terms, was worded as follows: "A joint committee of all the Christian communions with the express purpose of defending Christian and general human values and refuting secularism would certainly be one logical outcome of the ecto m enial movement". I fail to see why the phrase "Christian and general human values" should be narrowed down to refer to morality only, a word whuh did not occur in our article.
Elsewhere our article said that, but for "lack of nerve", English
in might well be in the near future to defend "natural human values, freedom, and a humanistic optimism against a New Left pessimism, restrictiveness, and puritanism . . ." Our concern was not with the various good works which Christians might undertake—in the spheres of housing, social welfare, etc.—but with the Christian voice in England.
If there is a distinctive Christian humanist vision of man—and there is—we failed to see shy it should not be asserted and defended opportune et inopportune and as a matter of course, as part of the public debate about the nature of man which should go on in every free society.
Desmond Fennell Assistant Editor,
Sir,-11 is quite distressing the number of people who preach racial integration in the name of Chriseanity. On what grounds are these claims based? Has the problem really been interpreted correctly?
Whether the modern theorists like it or not, it is an indisputable fact that God has created many different races of men. He has also made them in such a way that friction almost inevitably arises when the races are mixed. The riots in America, the apartheid of South Africa, the civil war in Cyprus, the fear of independence of the Fijians, the growing race tension in Britain and numerous other circumstances bear grim testimony to the validity of this statement.
Thus the prospect of continued integration to achieve racial equality is depressing indeed. In fact one can safely predict, not only continued strife in Asia and Africa, but also a growing friction in Europe and America as minority coloured groups grow in numbers to present an everincreasing threat to the sovereign power of white majority groups.
In defence of his theory, the integrationalist often asserts that integration will facilitate the emergence of a world government and that this would be a good thing. But would it? A world government could so easily regress into a dictatorship which could be far from beneficial to humanity.
Why people automatically think that world government would he perpetually humane, whilst all the evidence contradicts this, absolutely confounds me. A world under God omnipotent is man's dream— a world with man omnipotent could so easily become a nightmare!
No. it is clear that Cod, in His almighty wisdom, created a variety of races of roan for the purpose of preventing a world government arising which would be all powerful. The perpetuation of a number of distinct powers on earth is essential to maintain a balance of power and this can only be achieved by the principle of Sc parate development—all peoples ruling themselves.
(Dr.) D. R. M. Brown Torquay, Devon,
Sir,—I observed in a recent issue of the Catatortc Metter°, under "News from Around Britain", a reference to the Sue Ryder Shop in the Manchester area. You might be interested in the following:
In 1964 an appeal reached Birmingham to open a shop to proNode money in support of "Raphael" — a Ryder Cheshire International Centre for the relief of suffering at Dehra Dun, United Provinces, India. This was the first /Mat effort of Group Captain Cheshire and his wife, Site Ryder. The centre caters for mentally handicapped girls and boys, a leper colony and a children's home, The shop at the address below is the first Sue Ryder Shop for the express purpose of raising funds for "Raphael". It was opened on Oct. 12 last year and in 12 months has sent cheques to Sue Ryder totalling £2,500, as well as paying off a loan of £200. Some 60 ladies working voluntarily on a rota system sell all manner of goods provided by friends.
C. E. Jordan Chairman, Sue Ryder Remembrance Shop, 154 Icknield Port Road, Birmingham.
The Newman survey.
Sir,--1 he enquiry on birth control which the Newman Association carried out among its members has received considerable publicity in your columns, although the recent report, privately circulated amiong members, was not, and is not, intended for publication.
We sympathise with Mr. Walters' wish to comment on your report of October 14, but feel that his letter could give rise to serious misunderstanding, it suggests that our report is a generally available publication—this is not the case. Members of the Association, to whom the report is available by reason of their membership, are doing an injustice both to the Association and to the general reader when they, make public statements which arc not open to correction except by counter-innuendo, infringement of copyright or breach of faith.
Since the Council of the Association has decided that the report should not be made generally available, it would be improper of us to comment on any particular points made either by the CATHOLIC HERALD reporter or Mr. Walters. None-the-less we wish to say that, while we understand the general interest which must he aroused by this controversial subject, we feel that an unfortunate use has been made of members of the Association. John A.Bryden, President Monica Lawler, Secretary
Sir,—Some weeks ago a report in the CATHOLIC HERALD raised the possibility of 10 per cent of parish income in the more prosperous parts of the world being given for the development of the less prosperous. This raised no comment in the correspondence columns beyond a short reply from Fr. Paul Crane, S.J.
One can imagine the dismay of faced with heavy a parish priest commitments being asked to do this. The Catholic Fund for Relief and Development benefited by about £65,000 from Family Fast Day last year. Of course, one does not imagine that this is the total Catholic contribution, as many Catholics contribute generously to Oxfam and other organisations affiliated to the Freedom from Hunger Campaign.
However, one does wonder if the time has come when it is our duty to have permanent offertory boxes in our Churches far Catholic Relief and Development. I remember how the box marked St. Anthony's Bread used to puzzle me when I was a child. The need to help the poor in our midst has disappeared to sonic extent due to the Welfare State, but should we not have the same concern for the needy of other countries — they still need St. Anthony's Bread?
Eunice Roberts, Birmingham, 17, Sir,—] fail to see the relevance of Mr. Walter's references (October 29) to sampling procedure. As I understand it the Newman Survey on birth control was carried out in response to the request through an outside consultative organisation to provide information for the members of the hierarchy. s All too often when view of members of an organisation are sought, a handful of people get together and set down what they personally consider to be the opinions held by members of the organisation concerned. I think we would all agree that such guess work is roost unsatisfactory.
The Newman Association quite properly took steps to sound the opinion of all their members, who were thus given the democratic opportunity to make their views known and conveyed to the highest levels of the Church. if one calls this sort of process into question because only just over one third of the people replied, one would also have to question the validity of such things as local government elections. What basis is there for suggesting that those who did not bother to reply uniformly held views differing from the majority of those who did? Common sense and experience would suggest that their views would show a broadly similar pattern to those who did reply but would be likely to be less strongly held.
Mrs. lanthe Pratt, Worcester Park, Surrey.
SOME 'WITH IT' NUNS
SIR,—It is with horror, not to say anger, that I read in my paper that nuns are to get out and move around, indeed brizhtenup.
have been to Brazil where thousands live in poverty on the In Germany, in the capital Bonn, the biggest hospital is run by the Catholic sisters — The Marian Hospital. Their trained nurses go everywhere in Germany, and people strive to get into the hospital. rt
In Bulgaria, an Iron-Curtain state, there is left in Sofia one nuns. They community of Catholic They are the admiration of all. including Communists, for their courage and independence. They work hard and are an example.
My own daughter goes to a convent school. The nuns there are intelligent, witty, alert, sympathetic, watch television, read books, and are far more advanced than much of the Catholic laity.
I feel it would be more to the point if our Catholic laity and many of the clergy could take a lesson from the sisters. It is we who are not with it — indeed, read:ng our Catholic press and watching some of our Catholic offerings on T.V. one can only sink on one's knees and offer the prayer of Luke 18, 9-14. I note the artiste ends with an exhortation for the dress to be changed. The sisters who should be the first to be consulted don't worry too much, I note, about it. They are too busy working for God.
M. R. Champion Bushey, Herts, The Vatican Council view would seem to he that more nuns—and men religious—whose Constitutions permit them to do so—would follow the excellent example of the nuns Mr. Champion admires.—Editor.
Sir,—I am glad to seethat your Political Correspondent has conceded defeat on the issue of Liberals and Religious Schools, impliedly if not explicitly. His latest letter will, I am sure, him have fooled no one. I agree com
pletely with h that a fault in the machinery of the Liberal Party Council has been uncovered.
But the abuse of an administrative rule, designed to clear the Council agenda for important motions can hardly be said to "place the Council under suspicion asa policy-making body", still less to be "Tammany Hall tactics".
It is a pity that your Correspondent has to detract from the validity of his own points by means of such unwarranted overstatement.
Michael B. Dempsey London, W.2. favelas, and where a Government Worker-priests
Sir,—With regard to the former Worker-Priests of France, I was disgusted to read in your editorial (October 29):
"But the chief reason for was
that the experiment as that it did not appeal to a type of mind which sees the Church only in paternalistic and authoritarian terms, with priests remaining aloof from tbe day-to-day life of the people . . and which saw spirituality solely in terms of devotion and obedience".
This is clean contrary to the fact mentioned on page one of the same issue that Pius XII "condemned" the experiment after receiving unfavourable reports from Cardinal Roncalli, the Papal Nuncia in Paris. And indeed, as far as I know, Pius XII did not "condemn" the experiment: he terminated it.
One may have one's point of view about the wisdom of the decision, and doubtless there was strong disapproval of the experiment in some quarters. But the statement in your editorial is, by implication, a libel on two great and saintly men and irresponsible in the extreme.
W. M. Griffin, London, E.15.
Sirs—With reference to Mr. Luke Trainor's letter (October 29) concerning the evidence of the North American scholars which twice mysteriously failed to reach members of the Papal B.rth Control Commission, the explanation might be, as Mr. Trainor appears to suggest, administrative inefficiency, But it ,a-iight equally well be downright dishonesty in an attempt to suppress evidence, One would like to know which it is. its England in such cases M.P.s would be asking questions and the people concerned would be making frantic attempts to explain (or explain away) the facts. Perhaps those responsible for the reform of Church administration might learn something from a study of the English way of life.
Patrick McGrath, Bristol 6,