YOUR columnist, Kevin Mayhew, did not quite finish his homework about the Catholic Press in Britain. I write, not in protest, but only to plug the gap.
He stated, as if it were something new, that Bishop Wall of Brentwood was "encouraging a group of priests and laymen to look into the possibility of producing a lively diocesan paper."
In fact, the idea is at least 13 years old. The late Bishop McCormack of Hexham and Newcastle founded just such a paper in January, 1956, and Northern Cross, an eight-page monthly, has never missed an issue since.
It is published by Newcastle branch of the Catholic Writers' Guild of St. Francis de Sales and sells at the church doors every first Sunday of the month—only a penny dearer than its original cost of 3d.
Non-profit making, it is a purely voluntary apostolic effort in which newspapermen, clergy and laymen share the load—a combination of effort which, come to think of it, is what the current mass media movement is seeking now.
Even Pope Paul knows about Northern Cross so there's not much excuse for London. His Holiness telegraphed a Papal Blessing to the paper on December 11, 1965 — a fact proudly proclaimed orr the masthead ever since.
Two more points which should not have. escaped Mr. Mayhew's notice in such a comprehensive survey: first, he should surely have known that Northern Cross had its own stall when the Vocations Exhibition was staged in London a year or two back „ and that the paper's first editor was Terence Wynn, now national chairman of the Writers' Guild. with regular London contacts.
Fleet Street really does need that communications booster! If we provincials can be of any help, it will be a pleasure. James Dollan Newcastle upon Tyne, 3.
MANY readers, like myself, will have read with something of a start your report (May 24) of the annual meeting of the Latin Mass Society, especially the remarks of Fr. Hayes about the East Enders' love of the elegance of the Sunday Latin Mass. One sees the point, however.
But to love the Mass for its ceremony is to love it for the wrong reason. The avant garde are surely right to help open our eyes to what the Mass really is, stripped of its inessentials.
The Liturgy is certainly a
raw and wounded thing as a result of the changes of recent years and we all feel that something has been lost. I am certain, all the same, that there are even more changes to
come, perhaps in ways that most of us have scarcely dreamed of.
We do not yet fully realise what is meant by that phrase that has come out from Vatican II, "the priesthood of the laity," and all that it implies. When that ideal has been made real, elegance will surely follow in its wake.
Robert Iaversuch Hitchin, Herts.