The papers containing Canon Denning's letter about my Press Conference here in Rome have only just reached me.
As the many correspondents present have reported my answers in twelve languages. it is not surprising that a few mistakes — very few indeed — were made.
The Times reporter was mistaken in ascribing to me the statement that "it normally takes ten years to obtain from Rome the dissolution of an unconsummated marriage".
He may have drawn that conclusion from my account of a test case brought by me personally to Pope Pius XII in 1945 after I had been dealing with many such cases as Archbishop of Bombay and also as Bishop for the Forces in the India and S.E. Asia Commands.
Inevitably. those war years caused exceptional delays. It was not possible for me to give my press audience the exact picture of the situation as conveyed in July, 1945 to Pope Pius X11; also in summary to my brethren in the Council. It can be read in my "Black Popes" (1954) written chiefly to prepare for such an "inquisition into our inquisitions" (every court of justice can be so described) as Vatican Council II invites or demands.
1 am grateful to the Press for publicising my appeal to the Council for such an 'inquisition'. Alsg to Canon Denning for contributing the first (ever?) information about the Southwark court.
Any Christian (or even rational) inquisition seeks not only to enquire and reform but also to disclose our sources of inspiration and imitation. Let us hope that other English curies 1 we are concerned at the Council with all the world's curies) will produce — as the Canon thinks they could — similar figures.
But only a very frank enquiry will disclose (I) what degree of confidence in our courts does in fact exist. (2) what measures must be taken to secure the improvement admitted by Canon Denning as desirable.
0 T. D. Roberts, Si. T am a Catholic. and an assistant lecturer in a non-Catholic training college. With the recent spate of applications for places here, it has been brought to my notice that some headmistresses of Catholic girls' schools have been refusing their pupils the references necessary for them to be considered for interview, on the grounds that they are morally obliged to withhold these when the girls apply for a place in a non-Catholic leachers' training college.
The only inferences I can draw from this are, first, that Catholic 18-year-olds are considered incapable of taking the responsibilities for their own spiritual life into their own hands (surely an unsatisfactory reflection on the effects of Catholic education), secondly, that non-Catholic training colleges constitute a grave danger to faith.
In my experience there is certainly no more lapsing than in any other kind of society (it might be interesting to have statistical evidence concerning this).
Lastly. the inference is that we in non-Catholic training colleges are less capable of training young people in their vocations for teaching than our colleagues in Catholic training colleges.
I should like to register a strong protest at this state of affairs, which reflects very badly on Catholic attitudes in education. gives an entirely erroneous impression to nonCatholic colleagues. and provides an embarrassment to those of us working with them.
We have many Catholic students at my college. We could with great ease fill their places with other candidates of eatially good academic standard. The question which arises is. thank goodness. purely academic, but shoeld we in future refuse to consider Catholic applicants?