The Editor of The Tablet thetablet@thetablet.co.uk
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Clergy under stress Premium

08 December 2016
I read Megan Cornwell’s article “Burdens of office” (3 December) with interest, having recently become a Roman Catholic, from being a retired Anglican priest, and trained social worker.

Sue Oakley (Letters, 3 December) argues that interchurch couples should take responsibility for their own actions rather than seek formal approval for sharing Communion, as required by the hierarchy of England and Wales.

Separate tables Premium

01 December 2016
Your editorial (“Bread of life is food for unity”, 12 November) asks why, if a Catholic and non-Catholic spouse are given permission to receive Communion together on a special occasion, a “theological iron curtain, lifted just for once, [should] descend on the same couple the next day?”

Michael Walsh’s powerful article about the impending closure of the Jesuit flagship in London, Heythrop College (26 November), is dramatically entitled “The dying of the light”.

Sharing the Bread of Life Premium

24 November 2016
The case for renewing the norms of One Bread One Body – the statement of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales on the admission to Holy Communion of members of other churches, issued in 1998 – is made in your editorial (“Bread of Life is food for unity”, 12 November) and by Ruth Reardon (Letters, 19 November).

Carmody Grey feels that we “do not know what is good for us” and should leave it up to our leaders out of “deference” (“Should ‘the people’ be able to have what they want?”, Student Voice, 12 November).

Unheard voices in the adoption debate Premium

17 November 2016
Throughout the current debate over whether the Church should apologise over the pressure it once put upon unmarried mothers to have their babies adopted (“Era of harsh morality”, 12 November) the voice of the children themselves remains unheard.

As a member of the McLellan Commission into safeguarding procedures in the Catholic Church in Scotland and a signatory to Dr McLellan’s letter critical of progress on the recommendations made by the commission, I wish to respond to the defensive reaction by the Scottish Bishops’ Conference to the issues we raised (“Church accused over failing to adopt safeguarding measures”, News From Britain and Ireland, 12 November).

Bakers, judges and bigots Premium

10 November 2016
In his comment on your editorial “Common sense was missing ingredient” (29 October), James Cormick (Letters, 5 November) mistakenly interprets the Northern Ireland Appeal Court judgment that upheld a finding of unlawful discrimination against Ashers Bakery, which had refused to decorate a cake with the words “Support Gay Marriage”, as a conflict between ideological positions, instead of a dispute over legal rights.

While the old catechism taught it was “a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins” (2 Maccabees 12:46), it is not only in November but throughout the year that a large majority of Masses are said for either named dead or for the Holy Souls.

Ashes to Ashes Premium

03 November 2016
There are times when the Vatican drives me madder than the Kremlin, the European Commission, FIFA or London’s cycle lanes. The new ruling that ashes from cremation cannot be kept at home or scattered over favourite places is borderline bonkers.

Your front cover headline last week speaks, in relation to Pope Francis’ visit to Sweden, of “A healing of wounds”.

Child abuse and the Church Premium

26 October 2016
While taking issue with the ill-conceived national inquiry into child abuse, your leader (“A disaster in theory and in execution”, 22 October) itself betrays a dangerous misperception in asking: “What more can be added to what is already known about sex abuse by Catholic priests; what else can the Church be urged to do that it has not already done?”

In regard to the article by James Roberts (“While factions fight, children die”, 22 October), I would like to point out that Baroness Cox and I, with our small group, went to Syria in September at the invitation of religious leaders, both Christian and Muslim.

Confirmation: a question of age Premium

20 October 2016
The decision of the bishop of Leeds to bring forward the age at which the Sacrament of Confirmation is administered has dismayed Judith Daniels (Letters, 15 October). I have never understood why the Sacrament is delayed so long, contrary to ancient Church practice.

In his article recalling the achievements of Progressio, originally Sword of the Spirit (“Voice for the poor falls silent”, 1 October), Francis McDonagh suggests that between 1940 and 1945 the movement was solely concerned with opposition to fascism in general and Nazism in particular.

Labour under Corbyn Premium

12 October 2016
The mistake Peter Hennessy makes in his response to the rise of Jeremy Corbyn is understandable: he is a prisoner of the London political and media bubble and he interprets the present situation in the Labour Party too doggedly through the lens of the past (“Unlike the 1980s, the hard Left has captured the party apparatus”, Column, 1 October).

I read with some alarm your report (News from Britain and Ireland, 8 October) that the Bishop of Leeds is to bring forward the age at which children receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. Personally, I feel 11 is too young to take this final initiation step into the Catholic Church.

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