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I was dismayed by your report (News from Britain and Ireland, 15 November) that Cafod proposes to close 19 diocesan offices, make some 50 staff redundant and then expect their vital work to be done
The fundamental reason for the drying up of vocations to the Irish Catholic priesthood is unfortunately too well illustrated by Brendan Hoban’s article (“On the edge of the abyss in Ireland”, 8 November).
Thank you for Denis MacShane’s article on immigration (“Migration: truths and untruths”, 15 November).
Do people call God “it”? In reply to Christopher Howse’s question (8 November), I would suggest that if we don’t then perhaps we should.
Is it not about time society stopped allowing the tail to wag the dog? Legislation has been enacted in recent decades out of sympathy for disparate minorities which has had destructive effects on society as a whole (“Questionable tactics”, 15 November)
Melanie McDonagh (Books, 8 November) refers in her review of Margot at War: love and betrayal in Downing Street 1912-1916 by Anne de Courcy to “the son of the Earl of Battersea”.
Fr Brendan Hoban (“On the edge of the abyss in Ireland” 8 November) accurately describes the pastoral reality in which my family finds itself. Since retiring to this beautiful area seven years ago I have seen significant organisational decline, a reduced number of priests and a 25 per cent reduction in Sunday Masses.
Aid to the Church in Need’s recent report on religious freedom (News, 8 November) makes grim reading.
As a long-term supporter of Cafod, I was saddened to read on your website that it was laying off staff. I welcome the prospect of Cafod focusing on enabling lay Catholics to play a greater role in its work through volunteering, but it would be unwise to make over-optimistic assumptions about the pool of ready volunteers.
Paul Donovan (Letters, 8 November) has misunderstood the nature and purpose of the Blueprint for Better Business movement. But he points to some risks inherent in any project like this that we will actively seek to avoid.
Thank you to Joanna Moorhead (column, 1 November) for reminding us about the daily, lived truths of being family. Over the centuries the Church has claimed to be “home” for all Christians and at times the Church proves to be the most loving of mothers to her children.
Ted Harrison’s article about red poppies (“Between the crosses, row on row”, 8 November) prompts me to mention that in past years our Justice and Peace Group and my parish church have sold white poppies alongside the red poppies provided by the British Legion.
The word “it” may seem odd to Christopher Howse (Presswatch, 8 November) when it refers to God. But is it not so used in the Greek of the prologue to St John’s gospel?
There seems little doubt some communicants are squeamish about receiving the Eucharist from the same vessel (Letters, 8 November), well wiped or not.
We were thrilled to read Mark Vernon’s article (“When Freud met God”, 1 November) and to hear that there had been a conference on Purgatory and contemporary psychotherapy.
I was surprised that Fr Dominic Allain (“Confessional rules should not be altered for abuse”, News from Britain and Ireland, 1 November) should have said that absolution of a penitent for child sexual abuse cannot be “the one sin that requires a person to disclose it to the police”.
In the light of your editorial on Pope Emeritus Benedict’s comments on relativism (“Pope Benedict’s fearful words”, 1 November), and your report in that issue’s “The Church in the World”, is it not pertinent to ask whether the Catholic Church has, in fact, two Popes?
Fr Michael Paul Gallagher SJ gives a timely reminder of the character and achievements of Pope Paul VI (“Sensitive herald of modernity”, 18 October). May I amplify his brief mention of the “Anglican scholar George Prestige”?
I have recently asked a number of people – having been an extraordinary minister of Communion – why they do not avail themselves of the gift offered at the Eucharist of the blood of Christ.
The real danger of the Blueprint for Better Business process (“Adding value to business”, 1 November) is that the Church could be being used as a fig leaf by corporations which in reality carry on with business as usual.
I was encouraged by Sue Oakley’s letter (1 November) describing her experience of marrying a divorced man and how a sympathetic priest was ready to conduct their wedding in spite of its canonical “irregularity”.
I was pleased to read that Sue Oakley’s Anglican husband has been welcomed to join her at Communion in the past few years (Letters, 1 November).
Alastair Llewellyn-Smith, Peter Cuming and Margaret Callinan (Letters, 1 November) make an interesting case for unconditional recognition of a Palestinian state, but their arguments are flawed.
The question of Purgatory (“When Freud met God”, 1 November) came up during a recent Keeping in Touch meeting and was given a new slant.
While Rose Prince’s column is admirable, there are two small errors in her carbonara recipe (“The Ethical Kitchen”, 1 November).
It is disappointing to read (“Commission closure ‘lost opportunity’”, News from Britain and Ireland, 18 October) of the disbanding of the International Commission for the Preparation of an English Language Lectionary.
Those bishops who support international peace in the Holy Land do an excellent job in encouraging pilgrims to visit the area.
According to Dr Tim Gallwey (Letters, 18 October), “We are quite capable of thinking things through for ourselves without the need for clergy to tell us what to think, what to do and how to do it.
Before deciding to proceed along the journey to annulment (“A question of validity”, Parish Practice”, 25 October) couples need to become fully informed of the negative aspects of the process
Terry Philpot seems to believe (Letters, 25 October) that the right of Palestinians to their own statehood depends necessarily on their readiness to comply with Israeli preconditions, before talks to establish such a state can even begin.
Since the inception of Pope Francis’ pontificate, there has been a well-intentioned attempt to restore the attractiveness of the Gospel for those to whom it has lost its sheen.
It was a delight to read Jessie Childs’ review of Joan of Arc: a History by Helen Castor (Books, 25 October), infused with an understanding of the time in which Joan lived.
The Rector of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris seems not to know (“Fury over admission charges plan”, The Church in the World, 25 October) that there are already two queues at the entrance to his cathedral
God’s compassion for us is all the more wonderful because Christ died, not for the righteous or the holy but for the wicked and the sinful, and, though the divine nature could not be touched by the sting of death, he took to himself, through his birth as one of us, something he could offer on our behalf.
The issue in the discussion about Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics (“Till misunderstanding do us part”, 4 October) is not so much about what is marriage as what is the nature and purpose of the Eucharist. We forever get bogged down in the issue of worthiness.
The Synod on the Family (“Battle lines drawn”, 18 October) will remain one of the most versatile post-Vatican II events to have shaken roots and rocked boats, sending us out of our comfortable and quietist zones.
David Jones (Letters, 18 October) asks: “What role is there for the wife of a Catholic parish priest? Every parish and person is different, but I can say something of my own experience.
It is a pity that the bishops of England and Wales supporting the meaningless House of Commons vote to recognise a Palestinian state (News from Britain and Ireland, 18 October)
So in Kenya, “Bishops allege contraception by stealth” (The Church in the World, 18 October). Let us hope that Catholic schoolgirls believe what the Church says less than did those in Cameroon.
I read with interest and chagrin Ian Thomson’s review of Peter Levi: Oxford romantic (Books, 4 October) and winced at his description of “a saturnine presence” at Oxford.
Much has been written about the exclusion of divorced and remarried Catholics from receiving Communion
On October 16, the UN reported that its appeal for a fund of US$1 billion (£620 million) to fight ebola had raised just $100,000 (£62,000) and 0.1 per cent of the target.
The group of unmarried bishops meeting in Rome to discuss marriage, and Peter Cunningham (Letters, 18 October)