Mr McCrone's letter of March 22 expects, and calls for, a firm reply, since it calls into question the work of the Justice and Peace Commission and makes, albeit indirectly, aspersions on its members.
The members of the Commission come from many different walks of life; there are engineers, teachers, industrialists and smallholders, as well as administrators and theorists — all hard-pressed people with many commitments. They would soon grow impatient with a Commisskin which did nothing but "talk, form committees, nod wisely at one another, and pass resolutions."
Among the "achievements" of the Commission in the past year, one could list the launching of the nationwide Commitment Campaign; the provision of advice to the hierarchy on World Population Year and the impact of Britain's entry into the EEC on the developing world; the organisation of conferences in schools, colleges of education, seminaries, religious orders, deaneries and parishes; the publication and dissemination of recent documents on the social teaching of the Church, such as Octogesima Adveniens and the Synod document on Justice in the World.
Mr McCrone would have the Commission concentrate primarily on the social and economic problems which we face in our own country. But, that is not the mandate which the bishops have given to the Commission, the full title of which is Commission for International Justice and Peace.
Finally, the experience of the Commission strongly bears out the fact that it is wrong to 'oppose problems of justice at home to problems of international justice. None of us can ignore the poverty and destitution of our immediate geographical neighbours.
But as Pope Paul has said: "It is still true, today, to say that charity begins at home. But home today, is all the world." (Populorum Ptogressio, 49.) Such is the message which the Justice and Peace Commission has been asked to spread.
Erik Pearse General Secretary, Commission for International Justice and Peace. 44 Grays Inn Road.
Doubts on WCC
I must congratulate Joanna Nash for her excellent article on the World Council of Churches (April 5). How satisfying it is to read something which, without Pax being emotional, is a fair and clear appraisal of this organisation which seems to be using Christianity as a cloak for most anti-Christian activities.
It is quite clearly our duty to avoid involvement with such an organisation, to join it in the name of ecumenism would be quite contradictory to the true aims of Christian unity.
Peter Kelly Val du Prince 30, 1950 Kraainem, Belgium.