The Editor of The Tablet thetablet@thetablet.co.uk
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Lessons from the Referendum Premium

23 June 2016
What a pleasure it was to read the articles in last week’s Tablet, especially that of Gisela Stuart MP (“Decision for family and future”, 18 June). I wasn’t persuaded by Ms Stuart but had the other Vote Leave campaigners argued in a similarly cogent and respectful way, it would have been a privilege to engage in the democratic process, instead of which, I feel contaminated by it.

The Pope has raised the possibility of women deacons. This has encouraged many to write about the great service given to the Church by male deacons. A priest in a neighbouring parish has written to say how much his permanent deacon (a married man) is appreciated (Letters, 11 June).

Cafod rebuilds for the future Premium

16 June 2016
The letter to CAFOD’S trustees referred to by Megan Cornwell (“The developing agency,” 11 June), which Brian Davies and I organised, was not only signed by over 200 Cafod supporters and Justice and Peace activists, but expressed concerns felt by many more.

The advice from the new chairman of The Catholic Union, David O'Mahony (Letters, 4 June), for Catholic voters in the forthcoming referendum is helpful.

Thank you for your leader (4 June) suggesting that priests – in consultation with the laity, of course – should be allowed freedom of choice on which Mass text to use.

As a participant in the papal audience at which the issue of women deacons was raised (News Briefing, The Church in the World, 21 May), what has remained with me is the atmosphere and manner in which the audience was conducted.

EU poll: weighing the arguments Premium

02 June 2016
Archbishop Peter Smith, not previously known for his expertise in economics, informs us that he finds “ludicrous” an opinion held by the G20, the IMF, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the London School of Economics, the Governor of the Bank of England and most economists (News Briefing, 28 May).

That several key passages of Amoris Laetitia, the Pope’s recent exhortation on marriage and the family, may have come from articles written by an Argentinian theologian appears to agitate some commentators and even lead them to challenge the authority of the exhortation.

I sympathise with Michael Walsh’s view that the ordination of women deacons would “simply add one more set of people to the clerical caste” (Letters, 21 May). I suspect we could get on quite well without the offices of priest and deacon in their present forms.

From the moment I saw the headline “When saying sorry is not enough” (7 May) to the last full stop, I was struck by parallels between the responses of the authorities to the terrible events at Hillsborough and those of popes and bishops to sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis’ proposal to set up a commission to discuss whether women may be raised to the diaconate has aroused much excitement. The excitement is misplaced.

In response to Clifford Longley’s column, “How robust is the Catholic case against abortion and embryo experimentation?” (14 May), surely after fertilisation the resultant embryo, though entirely dependent on her, is not a part of the woman’s body but a separate and unique human being.

Anti-Semitism and the Left Premium

12 May 2016
Anti-semitism is a dangerous and contagious virus and any institution infected by it must act firmly and swiftly to suppress it. The difficulty is when the Israel-Palestinian conflict is used as a cover.

As my surname suggests, my family does not have the sort of straightforward identity of which Frank Field would approve (“Don’t trust the Europhiles”, 30 April). My father came to Britain as a Polish refugee in 1943 speaking no English. My mother is English. My husband is from Wales and his mother’s first language was Welsh.

Welsh bishops under fire Premium

05 May 2016
I write from a community affected by Bishop Peter Brignall’s decision to restructure the Wrexham Diocese, as reported by The Tablet last week (“Third of churches to close”, News from Britain and Ireland, 30 April).

At the start of Mass in a north London church last Sunday, the priest told us that Fr Dan Berrigan had died the previous day. He added that when he was a university chaplain, he had invited Dan Berrigan to address the students.

Prayers for the Queen Premium

28 April 2016
I was amused by Fr David Clemens’ description (Letters, 23 April) of the “Prayer for the Queen” mandated by the Bishops’ Conference for Masses taking place on 11-12 June as “a quasi-Protestant prayer for the Queen that would not be unfamiliar to Edward or Elizabeth Tudor”.

One of the great themes of modern history is the clash between Anglo-Saxon Protestant nations and Latin Roman Catholic ones.

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