In addition to the letters published in this week’s issue of the The Tablet you can find more correspondence here, available free.
In reply to Mgr Andrew Wadsworth's rather pessimistic reaction to the Liturgy of the Dublin IEC in June, I was not present but my 80-year-old first cousin from Goatstown was. In an international phone call she commented in her lovely Irish accent:"Oh Father it was a lovely celebration full of life and faith."
I would like to invite Mgr Wadsworth to visit Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Hainesport, New Jersey, where I assist the single parish priest at Sunday liturgies. I would like Mgr to listen to the well prepared English hymns of our singing parish and observe the deeply respectful and liturgically correct administration of the Holy Eucharist by our well trained women and men Lay Eucharistic Ministers. Our elderly deacon is recovering from a heart attack. Our laity have quietly taken up the challenge of helping our overworked parish priest in these times of priest shortages. I would hope Mgr would then have a kinder appreciation of the laity's essential and positive role in the liturgy of the Church, especially the women!Fr Vincent M Burke, SVD, Bordentown, New Jersey
Having spent a full week at the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin, as far as I am concerned all the celebrations achieved that central purpose of liturgy. Judging by the positive celebratory atmosphere there, I am sure it was so for the vast majority (if not all) of participants at the Congress. The spontaneous comments of many people whom I spoke to during the Congress were about how aesthetically uplifting, how spiritually enriching, how faith enhancing, and how beautifully celebrated, the liturgies were.
And we all loved the music too! The Ag Criost and Siol at the Offertory in the closing Mass at Croke Park will always be a treasured memory for me. It warmed my Celtic heart. I have heard it said that good liturgy is like good politics; it is local. Jesus seemed to follow that principle in what he said and did. Thanks to all who put such care, skill and love into the preparation and celebration of the congress liturgies. "Communion with Christ and with One Another" was the theme of the Congress. For me, and I think for most present at it, that motto became a living reality during that that blessed time there.Fr Geoff O'Grady, Stockport, Cheshire
Cardinal Raymond Burke says Services of the Word stifle vocations (News, 14 July). Cardinal Burke, the highest judicial authority in the Church, would deny the people of God the right to receive Holy Communion during the Liturgy of the Word while he and his colleagues at the Vatican fail to address the shortage of priests brought about the Churches failure to allow for the ordination of married men.
Hopefully the Church will one do away with the requirement of celibacy, and allow for the ordination of women. Our priests are ageing and vocations continue to decline, in the meantime Cardinal Burke would, under these circumstances, deny the distribution of the Eucharist to the people of God to address this problem. The cardinal is reported to have said that priestless Eucharists led to a decline in vocations. I respectfully disagree.J A McGrath, Newfoundland and Labrodor, Canada
Prime Minister David Cameron (News, 14 July) is not alone in being puzzled by Catholic teaching on contraception. In the face of difficult situations most of us are at times faced with some doubt. Yet the lonely voice of our Church is right. The immediate, unique voice of conscience rings clearly within each of us that sexuality is to do with having offspring. Love flows abundantly the more we mentally draw near to this concept; it diminishes the more we turn away from it. Through God-centred perseverance, inherent conflicts fall away; responsible grace-assisted self-control grows.
Contraception weakens human bonding; it trivialises a sacred activity; it encourages promiscuity and infidelity. God's grace is almighty. Like all of us, David Cameron needs to turn away from short-term, cosmetic and superficial solutions to one which increases love, bringing strength and stability to us all.Fr Bryan Storey, Tintagel Catholic Church, Cornwall
At the end of the Sunday Mass, as we stood waiting for the last blessing, the priest invited us to join him in a special prayer published by the USCCB because of the incursion of the US Department of Health and Human Services into the realm of religious liberty. As I listened to the people praying the prayer in a packed Vermont church, I turned to my friend and said - "Are they serious?"
The campaign of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops against women Religious and theologians accused of disobedience to the Magisterium has been discussed at length in Tablet pages and elsewhere. Yet it seems to me that by asking intelligent questions about church teachings that need to be studied by people of faith, these women are exercising true religious freedom. By adapting their lives to make the gospel message of Jesus more accessible, they are also "doing" religious freedom. Is theirs a different kind of freedom than that which the USCCB fears is being threatened by Government policy on health reform?Moira Carley, Montreal, Canada
Linda Ali makes an excellent point in commenting on the change of name of the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (Notebook, 21 July) to "Us". Words do indeed need to resonate with the modern world and all credit to the Anglican mission agency for recognising this and working to achieve it.
What a pity those charged with the responsibility for the third edition of the Novus Ordo did not share this ambition preferring to provide texts and vocabulary that have long since been dropped from common usage and which i think are meaningless to many committed church attendees today.Kenny Campbell, Muirhead, Lanarkshire
To write in to The Tablet, email firstname.lastname@example.org, fax your comments to 020 8748 1550 or post your comments to The Editor, 1 King Street Cloisters, Clifton Walk, London W6 0GY. Include your full postal address and contact telephone number. The Editor reserves the right to shorten letters.
For other recent letters, select from the list here: