The Editor of The Tablet thetablet@thetablet.co.uk
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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.

School standards Premium

06 October 2016
Am I alone in feeling uneasy about the tone of Judith Russi’s article (“Placing faith in learning”, Schools Practice, 24 September)? We should perhaps be more hesitant about standing in the educational temple, proclaiming how grateful we are that our schools are better than other schools, and reciting the virtues that other schools lack.

I note from your report (“Scholars call for end to church ban on artificial contraception”, News from Britain and Ireland, 24 September) that there are signs of a change of heart in the Vatican on this topic, which was much on our minds when I got married in 1966.

A change of mind Premium

29 September 2016
Peter Stanford’s interview with Michael Coren (“A mind changed”, 24 September) was moving and disturbing – but it ignored certain questions. We can acknowledge the deep and searching issues surrounding gay orientation and relationships and yet leave open the debate about celibacy and sexual intimacy.

Contrary to what Dr Alfred Layton asserts (Letters, 24 September), the arguments against selective education systems are not ideological but are based upon evidence, of which there is a great deal.

Catholic schools shake-up Premium

22 September 2016
Your editorial on the Government proposal for more grammar schools (17 September) ends with the disparaging comment that it will disadvantage four children out of five.

It is sad and disheartening to read Brendan Walsh’s article on the sharpened tensions between the academy and the hierarchy due to the demise of Heythrop College (“Heythrop’s fate: a struggle of ideas as old as the Church”, 17 September).

Equal and different Premium

15 September 2016
I found Mary Anne case’s critiques of Francis’ concern at the “gender agenda” (10 September) strained and unpersuasive.

The proposed re-introduction of grammar schools and changes to faith school admissions is a timely opportunity for Catholic schools to review their admissions criteria.

Support for retired clergy Premium

08 September 2016
I wonder how many readers were struck by the contrasting ideas expressed in your two reports on the same page of difficulties faced by the Brentwood and Southwark dioceses (News From Britain and Ireland, 3 September)?

Your news story about the closure of churches in northeast Essex (“Parishioners ask for their money back”, 3 September) raises difficult issues and I have great sympathy for those who have to make these tough decisions and for the families impacted by them.

Gender and the Church Premium

01 September 2016
The Tablet has a great tradition of opposing discrimination in any form. That your editorial (“Men, women and the image of God”, 13 August) intends to shield transgender people against prejudice and intolerance deserves praise.

It is sad and unbalanced that the Council of Trent should be castigated so severely in your leader (20/27 August): “Rather than listening to the Protestant point of view, Trent favoured a confrontational response …[it] refuted what it thought Protestantism was, rather than what it actually was.”

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