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Celibacy splits the Church Premium

23 March 2017
My eye was drawn to the headline “It is the sort of thing that could happen to any man” above Christopher Howse’s Presswatch (18 March). “Any man” was former Bishop Eamonn Casey who died on 13 March.

It has been interesting over the past couple of weeks, as a deacon, to read the concerns of readers about the role deacons play in a parish, currently as men and maybe in the future as women.

Sex, shame and the abuse of power Premium

16 March 2017
It is said that the Catholic Church moves in centuries. We also frequently hear of people getting no response from Rome, be they theologians under a cloud, victims of sexual abuse, or anyone else daring to say something critical. How does this square with Jesus’ respectful way of operating? He addressed people’s issues right there and then.

Whether or not I am ordained as a deacon doesn’t make any difference to my commitment to serve the people of God. To serve Jesus is always enough.

The goal of Christian unity Premium

09 March 2017
I understand very well the concerns of those who consider the comments of some church leaders as undervaluing the importance of doctrine and of full visible (that is to say, ecclesial, sacramental) communion as the nature and goal of the ecumenical movement.

Given the contentious interpretations of Amoris Laetitia, the obscurity at the centre and the fear of “subjective” interpretations if decisions are left to individual bishops, is there not a case for returning to early Church practice and calling Local Councils?

The research by the Oasis Foundation (News from Britain and Ireland, 18 February) reflects what I found in my own, admittedly limited, research completed in 2015.

First, consult the laity Premium

02 March 2017
Who decides who can and cannot receive Communion (Editorial, 25 February)?

Fearful of female deacons? Premium

23 February 2017
I am mystified by why Archbishop Vincent Nichols has spoken out against the ordination of women as deacons (News from Britain and Ireland, 18 February).

I was disappointed by Tracey Rowland’s account of Australian Catholicism (“Bearing the southern cross”, 18 February). We are facing a terrible crisis in the Australian Church, with the sexual abuse Royal Commission, and all she has to offer is an elitist fantasy of a bevy of bishops with Oxford degrees somehow rescuing us.

English is the new Latin Premium

16 February 2017
The problem the Vatican has with the translation of the Mass from Latin into English is that English, now an important global language, is the new Latin.

Your editorial on the housing crisis (11 February) echoes conventional political wisdom: that only supply shortages are to blame – not regional policy and distortions from UK taxation.

Why bother with Latin? Premium

09 February 2017
I cannot understand why, in the third millennium, Latin should be the arbiter for determining translations into other languages. If the theology of the Mass can be explained catechetically in any language, why not compose authentic liturgy using vernacular language from the outset?

Congratulations to Peter Marshall (Books, 4 February) on an engaging and thought-provoking review of Luther’s Jews: A Journey into Anti-Semitism, by Thomas Kaufmann.

Too many own goals Premium

01 February 2017
I congratulate you on your editorial “Reclaim the laity before it’s too late” (28 January). The parallels between Martin Luther and the modern Church should ring alarm bells. Pope Francis asked the Irish bishops to become goalkeepers in the game of being Church in our time.

Matthew Quinn’s letter (21 January) should set alarm bells going, because unless the issues he raises are addressed, prospects for our Catholic schools look uncertain. Our schools have always been reliant on headteachers and staff with a profound sense of calling to the education of the children.

Renewed Church struggles to be born Premium

25 January 2017
Parishes are hearing a lot about evangelisation and I would like to know how the laity are supposed to move forward and evangelise the young who have lapsed (and, indeed, adults too) when our bishops will not listen to us or take on board ideas and plans for the future of today’s Church.

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