SIR,—As a result of questions put to the writer by non-Catholics, the time has come when either a Catholic editor, or a priest, should publicly define exactly what is meant by this new term " modern " Catholic --a term which is gaining in usage.
Sheila Kay-Smith, the distinguished author, has recently written for the Catholic Truth Society a booklet entitled Dropping the Hyphen, in which she makes out the case for our using the plain title " Catholic" without the erroneous prefix " Roman " (which originated as a government tag to distinguish our Church from that party in the Church of England calling itself " Anglo-Catholic ").
In addition to " Roman " Catholic, " Anglo "Catholic, " Old Apostolic Catholic" —we now have a group which has recently sprung up calling itself " Modern " Catholic. Since the usual interpretation of the word, modern, means " present day " in distinction to former times, the idea seems to be gaining ground that this new group of " modern" Catholics is an indication of a splitting within the ranks of the Church.
Is there then something amiss, that in this the twentieth century of the existence of the See of Peter, this " modern " Catholic group should come into existence—or is it merely some superior and exclu.sive intellectual group above the heads of the usual type of men and women of which the Church is composed? . . . the type which like their forefathers are content with the
simple designation — " Catholic "? In former days exact terminology characterised the Church and Her members, and since your paper is also read by nonCatholics. an answer to this question would be welcomed.
So far the writer has seen no pronouncement by Ecclesiastical Authority as to the merits or de-merits of this new term " modern " Catholics—a distinction misleading, not only to Catholics, but to nonCatholics.
94, Broadhurst Gardens, Hampstead, N.W.6.