THANK YOU for publishing Fr Jim Kennedy's outspoken article `Time to Stand Up and be Counted'.
How refreshing for the bewildered laity to hear priestly voices saying so clearly that it is the Church which must now provide a credible opposition to the unacceptable policies being pursued by our own and other governments.
These policies, whether relating to trade, social justice or so-called defence, appear to be based on the idea of "every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost," and can hardly be reconciled with Our Lord's commands about loving one another.
Fr Kennedy rightly points out that the powerful are able to manipulate the media in support of their own case — silencing, distorting or discrediting the voice of opposition. The poor and oppressed need spokesmen to state their case for them. In some parts of Central and Latin America, brave churchmen and women are already acting as the voices of the dispossessed.
The teachings of the Church on social justice and related issues are clearly given in a number of encyclicals, unfortunately, very few ordinary Catholics ever study these documents, being deterred by the difficulties of the language in which they are couched.
Fr Kennedy's straightforward words are therefore all the more welcome, since they should help us to see some of the connections between the demands of our faith and our behaviour as political beings. Marie Freeborough Morecambe, Lancashire