Puzzling Problems for Catholics
SIR,–With reference to "Anglican Ordinand's" plea for a more charitable attitude from R.C.s, I would like to point out that
no R.C. is ever uncharitable in the press or in public utterance, which is more than can be said for some who hold not unimportant positions in the C. of E.
When " Infallable Fallacies " was published, I circulated the reply "Anglicans Anonymous" to some four local Anglican incumbents. Three sent me charming letters but obviously did not want to meet me.
The fourth (now deceased) did invite me to have a chat. We did not make much progress as, when I asked why if the C of E. was the Catholic Church they did not preach the doctrine of the Real Presence from the house tops, he only replied that the people of England had never forgotten the Gunpowder Plot.
To my query: " If the C. of E. is the Catholic Church, what am 11I was told in the politest way possible that I was a member of the Italian mission. As at school I took honours in history. I thought that was distinctly humorous.
The fact is that one cannot get very far with an Anglican. and all I can suggest is that your correspondent reads Evelyn Waugh's excellent biography of the late Mgr. Ronald Knox; when the latter's great friend and disciple Guy Lawrence was received into the Church he wrote R.A.K. and said: "Conic and be happy." I think we all extend the same welcome to your correspondent.
at once proceeds to annex to himself (and his party) our unencumbered name, which, throughout his letter, he carefully denies to ourselves.
If 1 call him merely nail he must account this a second occasion of that charity already shewn by an editor who generously prints his letter for our inspection and comment.
Although I hope I shall never be wanting in charity to those excellent people, who introduced me to my first knowledge of the faith, the passage of long years has not effaced from my memory the period of embarrassment, even of guilt. I felt when an AngloCatholic.
For longer than I care to confess I knew .myself to be a Protestant twice over. firstly as against the Roman claim. secondly as against the teaching of the Church of which I was a continuing member.
This awareness of belonging to a sect within al sect cannot be conveyed to anyone who has not experie.nced it. e.g. to Mr. Clements. It was rather like passing cheques on a bank of which one was not a member.
All the time I was astonished by the charity of my Catholic friends, an attitude 1 can now understand; an attitude I hope that Mr. Clements will one day share. Norman Lissimore