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).
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.
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.”
Dom Hugh Somerville-Knapman OSB (Letters, 6 August) reminds readers that, at the Last Supper, Jesus and his disciples sat on the same side of the table. But that in no way means that Jesus persistently looked away from the disciples.
Pope Francis’ insistence that we should not equate Islam with terrorism is in the interest of justice and fairness. The Islamic world is a complex reality, with many different approaches to faith, interwoven with various historical, social and cultural contexts.
As a parish priest serving in the Midlands, I have had contact over the years with young Polish Catholics. The impression they give of their experience of the Church in Poland is one of clerical and hierarchical harshness, with unsympathetic and legalistic clergy. Jonathan Luxmoore’s article “Poland plays a waiting game” (30 July) strengthens this impression.
As your leader points out (“Laïcité is not a helpful framework” 23 July), a “society of law-abiding homogeneity” is what the French state seems to be striving for but it is the last thing that France needs.
Heythrop: the last chance saloon
We write as lay alumni of Heythrop College, now working in a number of different fields across church and society in England and Ireland, to express our concern at reports that talks aiming to negotiate a future partnership between Heythrop College and the University of Roehampton have stalled.
Your editorial (“Sense and nonsense in the nuclear debate”, 23 July) ends, “Would the world really be a safer place without nuclear weapons? We will probably never know because it will probably never happen.”