MY friend Mr. Douglas Brown has made an unfortunate choice of words (Nov. 12). Whether the work of the Laity Commission, which the Bishops brought into being, has been of any value or not only historians will tell, but to dismiss it as a "hobby" is to misunderstand the purpose of the Commissions as a move to fulfil the recommendations of Vatican II for the direct association of the laity in the mission of the Church.
Membership of the Commission is a gruelling chore added to the busy working lives of its members. To regard it as a pursuit of "holy hobbyists" to be picked up or discarded at whim is precisely to relegate it to the category of superfluous activities which the Church would do well to suppress.
If it's a hobby I want I could think of more entertaining ways to pass my time.
Philip L. Daniel London, S.E.1.
By a happy coincidence, "Not The Whole Truth," so generously reviewed in your columns by Lord Soper (November 5), was preceded a few weeks earlier by the publication of Douglas Thompson's biography "Donald Soper," a most interesting book, especially to those who have seen the latter in action in the open air.
It is a pity that omitted from the biography is the standard reply which Lord Soper gives to those who, quite legitimately, pose the question why does an all powerful and all merciful God allow such pain and suffering such as we continually witnes. The answer is "I do not know"-which is at once factual and refreshingly honest, and, one feels, an "agnosticism" which could be emulated more often.
Although a Catholic could find much on which to disagree about with Lord Soper, nobody can question his staunch Christian faith, the practice of which puts many of us to shame.
M. Mahoney London, E.C.3.
AGROUP of parishioners in )Larne is endeavouring to get the parish as a whole to take up some project in connection with under-developed countries, e.g. the adoption of a village, or something like that.
We have often seen reports in the Catholic press of people doing this sort of thing, and we are wondering how contact is established in the first place. James Shield 31 Tharndale Ave., Larne, Co. Antrim, N. Ireland.