BY A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
'THE Archbishops of Canterbury and York, in a -1" pastoral published on Wednesday, held out some hope for a new Church of England lead to break the deadlock over Anglican-Methodist unity.
The 800-word letter stated that the proposals for unity, formerly rejected by the Anglicans, may be considered at the General Synod of the Church of England, due to meet for the first time in November 1970.
A Methodist spokesman said that the Archbishops' letter would be welcomed among Methodists, and that there would be a "ready response" to the appeal for the extension of the local co-operation which already existed in many places.
FULL TEXT The following is the full text of the Archbishops' message: "We share in the widespread gratitude at the acceptance by the Methodist Conference on July 8 of the proposals for Anglican-Methodist unity. We note that the conference has transmitted its decision to the Methodist Synods for their ratification, and this shows the hope of the conference that before long the Church of England will be able to follow the lead which it has given.
"The next step must, we are convinced, be the fullest possible co-operation between Anglicans and Methodists in every part of the life of the two churches. We believe that there is a widespread desire for this.
"The bishops passed on July 8 a resolution calling for consultation with the Methodist authorities, in every diocese and district, about the ways of immediate closer fellowship. "We now suggest in particular that Methodist representatives be invited to attend meetings of parochial church councils, deanery meetings and conferences, and pastoral committees when plans for new developments are being considered.
"As to intercommunion, there are bound to be frustrations and difficulties of conscience until reconciliation of ministries and full communion have come about between the churches. But meanwhile the bishops will interpret the existing rules about admission to Holy Communion in the most liberal way. "Thus the rule allowing the admission of Holy Communion of baptised communicants of other churches on the occasions of joint conferences or united campaigns may rightly on occasion cover whole congregations which are working together closely for unity.
"As to reciprocity, it is known already that there is no rule preventing Anglicans from receiving Communion in other churches according to their conscience."
`The flock does not choose its Shepherd'
AN article in the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, addressed to advocates of a "democratic" Church. says: "The flock does not choose its Shepherd." The writer, Fr. Divo Barsotti, adds: "The foundations of a house cannot be laid after it is built."
Fr. Barsotti refrained from discussing the crisis of Papal authority, but said the notion of Christians as "the people of God"—a term often used at the Vatican Council—gave an incomplete picture of the Church."
He added: "It is Christ who chooses Peter to pasture the flock in his name."
Pope 'likely to retire at 75'
RRETIREMENT by the Pope in four years' time. at the age of 75, would be a "symbolic action, completing the picture of a man who bears the burden of the past, but who is symbolic of the future," said Fr. Bernard Haring, a lecturer art the Lateran University in Rome, during a recent visit to Monroe, Michigan. Fr. Haring, who was asked if the Pope would eventually retire. said he thought he would. if his, "retire at 75" rule applied to lesser prelates, "he might surely believe it applies for the most important office of the Church."
The Rome theologian was visiting Monroe to conduct a retreat at the mother house of the Order of the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Catechism series for N.Z. schools
NEW ZEALAND is the latest country to announce a new national Catechism. For the last four years some dioceses have been using the Australian Catechism and others the American "On Our Way" series inspired by Fr. J. Hofinger_
The new series will take the form of a series of paperback
pupils' religion texts for Catholic primary and secondary schools, with also a shortened version to be used by Confraternity classes (children from non-Catholic schools). Each will be accompanied by a teacher's manual.
Mgr. O'Rahilly dies at 85
MGR. Alfred O'Rahilly, who was president of University College, Cork, before his ordination, has died at the age of 85.
A widower, Mgr, O'Rahilly was ordained after he had retired. He lived at Blackrock College. He was a well-known author, his most successful work being Gospel Meditations (1956). He had worked on a vast project of the Life of Christ which never materialised.
His funeral on Tuesday was attended by President De Valera.
Hereford Labour candidate
MR. G. D. PURNELL, a parishioner of St. Mary's, Stow Hill, Newport, Mon., has been selected as prospective Parliamentary .Labour candidate for Hereford. at present held by the Conservatives with a majority of 2,747. Mr. Purnell, who was educated at Downside and Plater College, Oxford, is a solicitor employed by Rolls-Royce. He has been assistant secretary of Newport Labour party since last March. He was secretary of Birmingham branch of the Catholic Social Guild from 1964-67 and is a member of the Newman Association and Cardiff Circle of Christians and Jews.
Dvorak's Requiem Mass concert
APERFORMANCE of Dvorak's Requiem Mass on gramophone records is to be given in St. Martin-in-theFields Church, Trafalgar Square, on October 3, in aid of the Malcolm Sargent Cancer Fund for Children and the Church Music Trust.
The concert is presented by London Music without Distraction Presentations and admission is free.
DRIESTS, nuns, laymen and laywomen are all taking part in a 28-day retreat at Corby Hall, the Jesuit retreat house at Sunderland, beginning this weekend.
Deaf centre needs funds
ST. VINCENT'S Centre for the Deaf, Brixton, London, has a bank overdraft of more than £5,000, states the report for 1967.68, and there has been difficulty in raising enough to meet running costs.
Mass is celebrated — whenever possible in sign language —on the first Sunday of every month, and classes for the religious instruction of deaf children, followed by Mass, are held every Sunday.. It is hoped to show religious films from time to time as there are many such available which are well suited to deaf audiences.
The report states: "A debt of gratitude is owed to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul for their substantial contributions. Lambeth Borough Council have marked their sense of the value of the work done at the centre by making annual grants.
"The practical and financial help given by the Knights of St. Columba is worthy of mention. . . However, the financial position continues to give great concern."
Irish Scout camp in Lake District
AGNES Scout Unit,
Crumlin, is to hold its annual summer camp this year at Wray Castle, on the shores of Lake Windermere. About 60 scouts will be taking part and a climb will he organised of the Langdale Peaks.
Companies urged to buy charity cards
ACONSORTIUM of British charities has announced plans for getting an even bigger shaare of the £34 million Christmas card market. One aim was to publicise in good time a scheme to help company managements who decide that their firm might as well spend with a charity the money they are goingto spend on company rd rd of contacting chlailisttieeasdindividually, busy executives can now save time by asking the Charity Christmas Card Council, at Denison House, 296 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, S.W.1, for an album containing numerous designs offered by a variety of good causes.
The C.C.C.C. is a cooperative venture which mounts London exhibitions and sales of the cards of nearly 100 charities, and assists people who set out to arrange similar events in the provinces.
The charities include the Catholic Prisoners' Social Service, Christian Action, Help the Aged, the House of Urchins Fund, the Mother Teresa Committee, Oxfam, the Pestalozzi Children's Village Trust and the Simon Community Trust.
More Czech priests rehabilitated
MORE priests and religious in Czechoslovakia who served prison terms during the Stalinist regime of Antonin Novotny have now been cleared by two Czech courts. A court in Prague wiped out the I 2-year prison term imposed in 1951 on Brother Josef Vrbiks. former Prior of the Brothers of Mercy convent in the town of Waltitz.
Two other members of the order, Brother Vladimir Hanys and the Prior's own brother, Brother Jan Vrbiks, were also cleared.
A court in Brno has rehabilitated Redemptorist Fathers Bretislav Vanek, Josef Groz and Vladislav Hub, who were sentenced in 1962 to prison terms ranging from 14 months to two years on charges of "activities adverse to the Czechoslovak Republic."