DOES GERARD Noel in his Charterhouse Chronicle entitled "On the brink of a virtual revolution" (Catholic Herald, 24 November) not understand that in 1939 many of the German "enemy" were good practising Catholics? Surely Pius XII, not being an Englishman, was very aware of this fact and so could not respond in a naïve way to the Archbishop of Canterbury's request. Where does Gerard get his knowledge from that informs him that the Pope in 1939 could have prevented World War H? I also hope he has read in the same paper he has written in the article on page 2 which states that the Church's teaching on a male-only priesthood "requires definitive assent". Finally, Bernard Kershaw, in his excellent letter of the same issue, about calling a spade a spade, clearly puts Noel's thinking in its proper place!
Denis Jackson Bradford
PIUS COULD NO more have prevented Hitler's war, with or without assistance of other religious communities, than John Paul II, in a more ecumenical age, could have prsvented the war in the former Yugoslavia. Not since Leo turned Attila back from the gates of Rome has a Pope been able to avert a major war.
James Travers Surrey
AUTHORISED TO DO SO by Pope John Paul H, Cardinal Ratzinger has declared that the Pope's statement that the Church has no authority to ordain women to the priesthood is infallible. Yet in the same issue that you report this, Gerard Noel writes that the papal decision "is wrong". It might well be, of course, that Gerard's article was written before the Cardinal's statement was made. Nevertheless, I feel that, if he is to write for the most prestigious of British Catholic newspapers, the Hon Mr Noel owes it to your readers to confirm that, Peter having spoken, he now accepts that he was mistaken.
Mrs KC McDonald Faversham, Kent