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The television version of Hilary Mantel’s novel Wolf Hall is the latest account to challenge St Thomas More’s reputation as a courageous defender of the rights of conscience. Was he, in truth, a liberal icon, a religious fanatic or something in between?
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James MacMillan’s promise to use ‘robust tactics’, in his quest for a seat on the National Music Advisory Board (Notebook, 29 March) suggests he is neither pastor nor liturgist. No point, then, mentioning theology, ecclesiology or aesthetics as he seems content in the narrow world of ecclesiastical committee-politicking! Sadly this discredits any valid argument but worse, reduces the Sacred Liturgy. What is the “source and summit of our unity and peace” is become the battleground, not for meaning, but opinion and personality.
After the dreadful 12 months we have had in Scotland, and on the cusp of the closure and amalgamation of parishes in this archdiocese, it is ill-judged of MacMillan to be lobbing ideological hand grenades at already beleaguered and anxious communities. He wants to teach us about “prayer through song”; what does he judge we are trying to do every single day in our churches?
Fr Jim Lawlor, Glasgow