Page 5, 8th March 1968

8th March 1968
Page 5
Page 5, 8th March 1968 — AIMS OF THE 'NEGATIVE CREED'

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Locations: London


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yr would appear from your correspondence page that there is a crying need for the formation of a new Catholic society whose aims and objects should be the "Negative Creed," as follows: Do not attend lectures of the Newman Association — you will learn something about the Catholic Faith.

Do not attend meetings of the Catholic Evidence Guild qu will learn how to cornunicate the Faith. Do not gather at meetings of the Chrysostom Society— you will meet Catholics of the Eastern and Uniate qhurches: are they truly Catholics, not like those of the Latin Rite, Do iot attend meetings of the "Contact" Group—you will actually meet Anglican nuns, Methodists and others. You Might even like them. This is ecumenism gone mad! Do not be present at meetings of the "Friday Group"— these Catholics actually discuss the problems of the Christian life and world affairs. Terrible beyond measure! Do not attend lectures by Archbishop Roberts — he genuinely loves people and is interested in their problems. Do not attend lectures by Fr. Herbert McCabe—he has a razor-sharp mind and he might cut up cherished notions and long-cherished prejudices. Do not attend David Cohen's lectures to Catholic societies —you will learn something of the Jewish origins of the Catholic Faith, the Jewish antecedents of the Christian Sacraments and the Jewish background of the Christian Liturgy. What impudence! This is Judaising at its worst! Do not heed Si Thomas as he agrees with Archbishop Roberts on the primacy of conscience. This is awful! Do not read Frank Sheed—he will enrich your mind. What a thought! Do not read the CantoLic HERALD—that shocking man Mr. Albrow publishes letters some Catholics do not like. He is either in the pay of the bishops or in the pockets of the progressives. Let us have a Catholic Press with no letters.

Do not read the writings of Cardinal Newman. If it can be said, his "Development of Doctrine" caused all the arguments at Vatican Really not necessary! Do not discuss such problems as world poverty, war and pea c e, racialism, antisemitism. These are minor problems. What is more important is—should parish priests have a car!

Do not get the idea that what happens in a Catholic church has anything to do with the world outside. They are two separate characters of being —quite unrelated. A notion to the contrary is modernism gone wild.

Do not join the Knights of St. Columba—you may have to get a haircut! Do not read Slant—you will receive a slant-eye view of Catholic affairs. Do not hesitate, when meeting Catholics who hold opinions different from your own, to abuse and denigrate them. Call them by such names as progressives, long-haired intellectuals, the lunatic fringe, Leftists, ecumaniacs, etc.

Do not read Monica Lawler, Brian Wicker, Terry Eagleton, Shades of Belloc and Chesterton! What would they say? This is too much! Do not bother the clergy or bishops with questions or problems. They are too busy with ecclesiastical, ecclesiological and pastoral affairs. It is not done.

Surely the time has come when traditionalist Catholics should cease denigrating and abusing those Catholics who are seeking to explore the mysteries of the Faith, to understand and apply in their personal lives the meaning of the sixteen documents of Vatican II and who are attempting to make that personal witness, commitment and involvement to Christ through the Church in the present age.

The greatest gift that God has given to man is the intellect, the ability to reason. And its use and exercise depends upon the freedom of the spirit of man to seek God and love Him through the act of the will.

Cannot Catholics have a freedom of the Spirit within a structure and framework of Catholic orthodoxy? I believe this is possible. The Jewish Prayer Book, speaking of the Messiah, says: "May He come soon, speedily and in our time."

I look forward to the future when Catholic traditionalist and progressive thinking will merge into one appreciation and understanding of the Faith, its mysteries and its mission. And may it happen "soon, speedily and within our time." David Cohen London El.

Francis Thompson

IT is a pity that your reviewer, IElizabeth Jennings, is incapable of appreciating the poetry or prose of Francis Thompson. Is she aware that at the end of a correspondence in the Sunday Times in 1956 on "Desert Island Poems" the editor appended a footnote to the effect that "The Hound of Heaven" appeared in about every fourth list. The late Fr. Vincent McNabb, 0.P., who missed the opportunity of giving the Last Sacraments to Francis Thompson, writes in his essay on Thompson: "That poor man dying almost unknown was one whom I would have walked barefoot a hundred miles to see."

Evelyn C. Roe (Mrs.) London. SE.27.

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