Letter: Catholics seek to be teachers and pastors

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The Independent Online
Catholics seek to be teachers and pastorsSir: Fr Dominic Kirkham (Letters, 14 May) seems not to have read of Cardinal Hume's statement to the recent "Faith of Our Father's" Conference that no Catholic has a right to criticise and condemn the beliefs of other Christians who are searching for the truth. That would apply, I think, both to our contemporaries and to those who, as we say, passed-on the faith to us.

Fr Kirkham is, I am sure, sincere and well-meaning, but it seems to me that he is ill-informed, and betrays his youth, when he lambastes those of us who were schooled before Vatican II as being semi-superstitious, anti-semite, bellicose, exclusive, and authoritarian. In fact, we were and are both better educated and more tolerant than, by and large, those brought up in the "spirit" (but not the letter) of Vatican II.

Both Fr Kirkham and Andrew Brown, whether intentionally or otherwise, fail to mention that the Catholic Church has definitive and unchangeable teachings that a bishop's first duty is to confirm his priests and people in those teachings by "teaching as the Pope teaches."

That being so, the Pope has every right to delay the appointment of a bishop until such time as he identifies a candidate whose record shows his ability and willingness to do just that.

K P Platt

Sanderstead, Surrey

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