From Mr Tony Bond SIR – Gerard Noel (Features, October 10) proposes that, in the interest of improving “ecumenical relations between Britain and the Holy See”, the Holy Father should “announce that the papal bull of Leo XIII condemning Anglican orders as null and void has been overtaken by events”.
Said bull has, indeed, been overtaken by events, but they have all been charging in the wrong direction, namely the 1930 Lambeth Conference which allowed artificial contraception, the 1992 CofE vote to ordain women priests (something that had been creeping into various provinces of Anglicanism since 1942), the 2002 Synod vote allowing remarriage in church after divorce in certain circumstances and the ongoing moves in various provinces of Anglicanism allowing the ordination of women bishops and homosexuals. All of this strains rather than improves ecumenical relations and illustrates the truth and prophetic nature of Pope Leo’s 1896 bull, Apostolicae Curae.
Yours faithfully, TONY BOND Kesgrave, Suffolk From Mr Robert Ian Williams SIR – Kevin Grant (Letters, October 8) accuses my critique of Rowan Williams and his theology of being unloving. The fact is that Christian love is not another word for sentimentality. St Paul beautifully sums it up when he states: “Do I become your enemy because I tell you the truth?” Furthermore, Mr Grant’s assertion that the Catholic Church has been irreparably damaged by the child abuse scandals is utterly ridiculous. As bad as that tragic episode has been, (and I would argue that the scandal has also been blown out of all proportion, in that the Catholic Church in proportion to numbers has no more a propensity to child abuse than any other institution) the fact remains that the world as a whole will never receive the doctrines of the Catholic Church, but due to the wonderful plan of Our Blessed Lord, the message of the Catholic Church and the Church its very self are protected from going under by the promises to St Peter, that the gates of hell will never prevail.
Christ’s Church is a lighthouse set upon a rock in a stormy sea. The waves lash and crash against the rock, but the light is never extinguished or the rock swamped.
Yours faithfully, ROBERT IAN WILLIAMS By email