From Mr William Morgan Sir, Alan Webber's lengthy letter (Aug 31) sets out the Priestly Society of St Pius X's account for the nature of the its preliminary negotiations with the Conciliar Vatican, as it is to be found in many of the SSPX publications and on its Internet sites. However, as a "lay supporter of the SSPX", Mr Webber fails to ask himself the key question of how any Catholic can both recognise John Paul II as a valid Pope, and also accuse him of teaching heresy to the whole Church and of endorsing a rite of Mass (the Novus Ordo Missae) lacking doctrinal rectitude.
Mr Webber also fails to notice that he is implicitly advancing an entirely untraditional doctrine of "justified schism", both in regard to John Paul II and his local bishops.
This untraditional and unCatholic position was bequeathed to the SSPX by its founder, the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. As the Society's "official public position" – regarded by its friendly critics as a party line rather than a defensible theological stance – it causes enormous problems for its priestly members and ambivalence for not a few of its lay supporters, of whom I am one.
Priest members are in fact told, privately but officially, that they can believe what they like about John Paul II not being a valid Pope, providing they "keep quiet". Of course, their colleagues who really believe the party line can speak out as much as they wish; but the sedevacantists in their ranks have to keep their convictions to themselves under pain or expulsion and consequent destitution.
As for their lay supporters, it is public knowledge that not a few – and some not least active in their (qualified) support — in England as in other countries, in fact hold that the See of Peter is in theological reality vacant; and, therefore, that no rapprochement with the current Vatican is in principle possible.
Yours faithfully, WILLIAM MORGAN Monks Kirby, Warwickshire.
Faith in the Real Presence
From Mr John Lloyd-Williams Sir, Thank you for the article by Pastor luventus this week, it should have covered the whole page and in heavy print for all to see and read. It is so sad to see the lack of respect for the Blessed Sacrament in our churches today.
However, we cannot say we were not warned. Our Lady told us at Garabandal that; "less and less importance is being given to the Eucharist". Sadly these words have come true. Does it tell us that those Catholics who still attend church no longer believe in the Real Presence?
Yours faithfully, JOHN LLOYD-WILLIAMS Oswestry.
Book wanted From Mr Peter Nichols Sir, I am trying to obtain copy of a book entitled The Book of The Lord be With You — from the selected writings on the spiritual life by St Peter Damien. This book was published by Faber and Faber in 1959. Perhaps one of your readers may be able to tell me where I might obtain a copy?
Yours faithfully, PETER G NICHOLS Bideford.
Are masons demonic?
From Miss Margaret Turner Sir, I was astonished that you should publish a letter from someone who appears to have gained his facts from tittle-tattle from friends — over a few beers at the local? — or even from having overheard something on a bus? ... Such seems to have been the research done by your correspondent, Mr John McClennan (August 10) I took myself off to my local library where I looked up some books on the subject of freemasonry – and what a diabolical organisation it has turned out to be! But first of all I learned that the freemasons are told that theirs is not a religion. They have no services. They have no clergy.
Their ritual revolves around the building of the Temple at Jerusalem and its dedication to the service of God. Tut, tut!
And what is that they admonish every newly-made freemason? They "seriously recommend to his most serious contemplation, the Volume of the Sacred Law."