While not especially attracted to the motor car, I'm not sure the Catholic Herald should devote soace (Paul Rogers, November 24) for a dissertation on it, particularly when it contains much which, in my view, is only partly true, or at least misleading.
The "love affair" aspect is exaggerated. Most people really do have a car simply to get around easily, and owners with exotic L9,,000, 120 mph vehicles are not typical, but a miniscule minority. Then Paul Rogers writes: "Nearly half the people in the country do not have regular access to a car."
I don't believe this. Even if it were true, some 40 per cent of the population is under 20 or over 70, and I suggest the overwhelming majority of families and of earning youngsters too, in fact do have regular access to a car, or a motor vehicle of some sort. What about the million-plus motor-cycles?
What was written about road deaths and injuries is unquestionably lamentable. Yet, to be realistic, and honest, shouldn't it be added that the proportion of deaths on the road. related to all other causes, constitutes only a little over 1 per cent?
I'm not surprised the Rover Company did not respond to Paul Rogers' suggestion that they might produce a simpler car. There are plenty of cheap vans available, readily convertible to his 3 to 6 seat idea. Anyway, Rover cannot meet the demand for the simple, long-lived Land Rover.
Yes, cars do wear out too quickly — but longevity is expensive.
Indeed, practically all Paul Rogers' points are governed by simple economics (but he doesnk t say so) together with plain envy, and ignoring those factors is what leads to so many of today's confusions.
But I suppose he must be forgiven: accurate writing is not usually entertaining!
Franck Bonneres Warwickshire.
Paul Rogers (November 24) is totally right in condemning the car — as a status symbol. This attitude of mind symbolises a superficial, materialist society.
It's also hypocritical. Transportation is a science. It is quite possible in Britain to provide good, cheap, clean, efficient, public transport. For those prepared to pay extra for them, private cars should be quiet, nonpolluting, and preferably electricpowered. Taxation should be related to size, weight, power, etc.
Present levels of lead -contaminating urban areas -is no joke, not to mention needless deaths, injuries, and incessant noise. The use of the car -as a brash status symbol -is no private matter. In God's name, we should bridle the beast — and put Mammon in its place — if civilised environment is to survive. Derek Abbott Sittingbourne, Kent.
May I be permitted to join in this discussion in your columns on the question of girls serving at the altar, and replay to Fr Hewer's letter of November 24.
I ani a little puzzled by his statement that "such a notion (an elite) does not exist ... in the Early Church".
I write subject to correction, because what the Early Church did, I understand, is not very clear. They were very difficult times for the Early Christians; and communication from one part of the Church to another was by no means easy. Moreover, many records have disappeared.
But if I may quote from the record of the Fourth Council of Carthage held in AD 398, there was established at that early date a quite distinct "Ordination of Acolytes" and it is apparent that the bishop was speaking to male candidates when he said: "Take the cruet to present wine and water for the thank offering of the Blood of Christ in the Name of the Lord".
could quote other instances, but perhaps that will suffice.
(Fr) Robert Goold (retired) London, N2: