In his letter of August 10 Fr. Adrian Hastings referred to my remarks that the Wiriyamu (Mozambique) massacre report read like a "carboncopy" or earlier reports of black African atrocities, and asked me to produce the "original" or else withdraw my "very serious charge".
Fr. Hastings must know he is playing with words; that when I say "carbon-copy" I am employing the expression in its commonly used non-literal sense to denote a very close similiarity. In any case. I did not say that the Wiriyamu report in tow was a "carbon copy" literally, but that its details of the nature of the
killings and mutilations were strikingly similar to the type of behaviour marking previous blac,k African massacres.
In fact it is the Wiriyamu report which makes the "very serious charge" that a largescale and horrific massacre in particular, and "systematic genocide" in general, have been carried out by the army of a Nato ally; a charge that uncommitted Western opinion regards as not yet proven.
Fr. Hastings dismisses the opinion of the Anglican Bishop of Mozambique — who had expressed doubts about the authenticity of the massacre reports — because he had been
in that eountry only for a short while. Presumably the bishop drew on the experience of his longer-serving clergy in Mozambique before making his statement.
However. I find it astonishing that Fr. Hastings. who goes noticeably out of his way to heed the views of Anelicans in other fields of Church affairs. should to so readily denigrate the opinion of an Anglican hishon when it snits him.
D. G. Galvin
Meadow Bank, The Common, Guildford, Surrey.