SIR,-Can anyone he described publically repudiated (e.g. by joining some other body) the Catholic Church ?
as "lapsed" unless he has
Most of those recently mentioned in the CATHOLIC HERALD would be most indignant at being called " lapsed " and would say that they are merely nonpractising, as in the old joke of the Frenchman who said that there are four degrees of Catholics: " Le catholique, le bon catholique, le trOs bon catholique-et le pratiquant!"
Many non-practising Catholics simply do not believe that anybody (except a few religious cranks) really obeys all the rules of the Church about Mass going and so forth: they accept the views of their Protestant neighbours on matters of religious observance, and unfortunately the
catacotpb spirit " which still obtains in many circles does nothing to dispel that illusion.
Recently I saw a Saturday edition of a local paper. More than half a page was devoted to notices of religious services of the following Sunday. Several Anglican churches, Methodists, Congrega
tionalists, Baptists, " Plyms," Society of Friends, Christian Scientists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Salvation Army, Seventh Day Adventists-all were there-but not one of the three or four Catholic churches troubled to inform the non-Catholic or the slack Catholic of the times of the services. Is it altogether surprising that in that town only just over 50 per cent. of the nominal Catholics made their Easter duties?
Unfortunately, too, there are still far too many quite good Catholics who adopt the attitude that it is not quite nice to be interested in one's religion, and while practising Catholics show so little enthusiasm for their Faith Is it surprising that the next step is to cease practising at all?
Unity Kirke Heatherlands, Aldringham. Leiston, Suffolk.