Letters

The Editor of The Tablet thetablet@thetablet.co.uk
All correspondence must give a full postal address and contact telephone number. The Editor reserves the right to shorten letters.

The nones’ story

04 February 2016
Further to Professor Linda Woodhead’s comments (Letters, 30 January), I do not recognise our Anglican churches as “sectarian” in any sense. In the last week, we have run a lunch club for the elderly, shared cooking skills between a diversity of women...

There is no need for Eileen Richardson (Letters, 30 January) to feel that the Year of Mercy is an embarrassment. Surely, the point is to start the process of a change in attitude from the clergy as a whole to all the problems she mentions.

Every week we get a sackful of letters on a range of subjects from church matters to global news issues. Unfortunately, it is impossible to publish all of these in the newspaper. But those that don't make it into the newspaper have found a (very popular) home online

The shrinking priesthood

28 January 2016
The predicted collapse in the numbers of priests in the Archdiocese of Dublin (“Dublin priesthood ‘to decline by two-thirds in 15 years’”, News from Britain and Ireland, 23 January) is the story of most dioceses in England and Wales too.

Your leader regarding my survey of the sharp decline in church membership (“Follow the faith, not the polls”, 23 January) suggests that I think church teaching should be shaped by opinion polls. I have never in my life said or thought or implied such a thing.

The meaning of ‘mercy’

21 January 2016
In finding no “real meaning” in the word “mercy”, Steve Wilson is not alone (Letters, 16 January). The problem is essentially one of translation. Christianity rests on Hebrew concepts, particularly the God who commits himself without reservation to his errant people, however badly they behave.

Paul Barber, director of the Catholic Education Service, is quoted as saying that “Catholic schools are the most ethnically diverse in England and contain higher than the national average of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds” (“Campaigners target faith-school admissions”, News from Britain and Ireland, 16 January).

Every week we get a sackful of letters on a range of subjects from church matters to global news issues. Unfortunately, it is impossible to publish all of these in the newspaper. But those that don't make it into the newspaper have found a (very popular) home online

Do we need indulgences?

14 January 2016
I found myself in agreement with most of Rosemary Breen’s comments about indulgences (Letters, 2 January). My 1950s missal contains numerous references to indulgences, both partial and plenary.

The bishops defend their decision not to consider the ordination of married men by saying they want to maintain “the traditional practice of the Church” (“Bishops reject married priesthood and General Absolution”, News from Britain and Ireland, 2 January).

I?cannot overemphasise my distress on discovering that the bishops have decided not to accept Pope Francis’ offer to consider ordaining married men, should it seem to be pastorally helpful

Coky Giedroyc’s comments about her faith and her first marriage in her interview by Peter Stanford (“Problems like Maria’s”, 19/26 December) were deeply moving.

Every week we get a sackful of letters on a range of subjects from church matters to global news issues. Unfortunately, it is impossible to publish all of these in the newspaper. But those that don't make it into the newspaper have found a (very popular) home online. This week: Carmody Grey (again), Syria, the equality act and prison chaplains...

Crisis in Syria

29 December 2015
As someone who has spent 35 years living and working in the Arab world and has for the last ten years owned a house in Damascus, I must challenge the assertion made by Timothy Radcliffe in “On the road from Damascus” (19/26 December) that “around 70% of Syrians support Assad”.

Mike Craven (“Keep the faith in schools”, 12 December) rejects the call by the Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life for a cap on places reserved for Catholic pupils where a school is oversubscribed.

Every week we get a sackful of letters on a range of subjects from church matters to global news issues. It is true that there are a small minority that are unpublishable, but the rest deserve a light shone on them. Unfortunately, it is impossible to publish all these great missives in the newspaper. But those that don't make it into the newspaper have found a (very popular) home online

This week's published letters include a reply to last week's piece on the report of the Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life. Meanwhile, Carmody Grey's column about young Catholics has struck a nerve with all generations and Isis and Fascism is in your thoughts...

The morality of air strikes Free

10 December 2015
DAVID BLAIR (“Is it moral to refuse to defend the defenceless?”, 5 December) implies that by their “refusal to defend the weak” it is “anti- war” marchers who are callous and inhumane. He does opponents of bombing an injustice. Bombing will lead to civilian casualties, as occurred in Iraq.

Church closures Free

10 December 2015
Michael Knowles (Letters, 5 December) criticises Bishop John Arnold for threatening to close half the churches in the Salford Diocese.

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