From the Revd David McCready, Sir, I have just been reading Dwight Longenecker's recent article, "Doom, Gloom and Latin". Since I am the priest to whom he refers I hope you will give me a chance to reply.
First, might I say that when it comes to the invective states he seems to have beaten me hands down. The only nice things he says about me is that I'm young, which is kind. The rest of what he has to say about me personally is if amusing nonetheless so venomous that I feel it transgresses the bounds of Christian charity .Certainly it is not very gentlemanly.
Secondly, I have to say that I fully agree about reading the epistle and Gospel in English. The trouble is that when I have done this before at Cricklade it has upset the traditionalists which just goes to show you can't please everyone.
Thirdly, my sermon. Well, yes there was a lot of doom and gloom in it, because precisely so many people today seem not to think about God or their eternal salvation and thus "live and die like the beasts of the field" (the exact quotation). I think that is something to be sad about. I also think that preaching "against sin and decadence" is part of the priest's duties. I feel that this is what really distinguishes me from Mr Longenecker, who seems to want his religion to be cosy and comfortable rather than "strait and narrow". If that is how he prefer to see things then that is fine by me. The post-conciliar Church on which he is seemingly so keen is a broad Church which can support diversity — although that means he should allow other people their own space. As I know from what a number of folk said to me after the Mass at Cricklade — and from what others have said elsewhere — there are some who love the Tridentine Mass, and who enjoy a bit of robust preaching. (Preaching which I should note is not all doom and gloom, by any means. The Gospel is after all, good news: which is why its neglect is so sad.) 1 might end by saying that Mr Longenecker has actually assisted me at at least one new " Mass where I have been celebrant. Indeed he was appealing on behalf of the St Barnabas Society, for which he works. He did not on that occasion accuse me of primness, pomposity', and all the fest. Perhaps I should have worn my biretta! Anyway I can tell him if he comes again he won't be getting any lunch this time Yours faithfully, DAVID McCREADY Swindon SN1 2LU