The present dangerous crisis in Portugal can best be understood in the light of Fatima. In a letter to the Cardinal Patriarch in January, 1940, Lucia, the last surviving seer who spoke to Our Lady in 1917 said:
"When Our Lord promised a protection for this country (from World War II), he said that we, too, are guilty, and would suffer a punishment. This would come about as a result of out involvement in overseas wars and would be more or less serious according to our correspondence with divine grace."
The nature of this punishment was foretold as early as 1920 by Jacinta Marto, another Thank you for publishing my letter headed "Misconceptions on Portugal" in your issue of July I 1.
There is one major correction which I must rectify and which was due to a typing error arid an oversight on my part. In paragraph 11, the second sentence should have been: "In Portugal atone, Over 60 per cent of the population is illiterate" — not 30 per cent.
Since you have chosen to accuse me of not having read your article of June 27 with any attention, I must emphasise that the whole point of my letter was to protest at the way you, Sir, and Mr Douglas Brown set about to give quite the wrong impression of Portugal before April 25, 1974, and during the first days of the revolution of the same date.
Had you yourself read my letter with any attention, you would have seen that in no way did I imply that you were defending the Salazar/Caetano regime, but rather that your article gives a completely wrong impression of the revolution.
And the fact that in both articles the word "Fascism" is put in inverted commas is surely an indication that your good selves believe that Fascism was nonexistent in Portugal. Moreover, your assertion that "Truly, there are political systems worse than 'Fascism' " is quite sinister.
Further, you would also have seen that in no way did I imply that you had suggested that Messrs Hitler and Mussolini were likeable chaps and I cannot understand why you should
of the children who saw Our Lady: "Our Lord is profoundly outraged by the sins of Portugal and as a result, a terrible social cataclysm threatens our country and principally the city of Lisbon. A civil war, instigated by Communists, will break out there, accompanied by sackings, fires, massacres and devastations of all kinds. The capital will be converted into an image of hell. All who can should flee the city when this terrible punishment begins."
Francis W. Johnston 8 Chapelmere Close, Sandbach, Cheshire.
be counter-offensive at a nonoffence.
Finally, and bearing in mind the article on the independence of Mazambique in the July 4 issue and the front page report on Portugal on July Ii, as well as more recent developments there, could you not have explained why you chose not to give your readers factual information and also have Mr Douglas Brown correct his remarkably untruthful statements about the Portuguese Catholic Church before April 25, 1974, rather than attack a humble reader's assumed lack of attention — something which is hardly going to affect your readers' understanding of the predicament into which the Portuguese Catholic Church led itself.
F. X. T. Fernandes 202B Crystal Palace Road, London, SE22.
With reference to your picture of birettas (July 18), if you never now see a Catholic priest wearing a biretta, I suggest you visit St Mary's Cathedral, Newcastle upon Tyne, where the Administrator, Canon Thomas P. Murray, continues to keep alive the custom of wearing a biretta.
Although many customs are slowly and quietly disappearing, I hope we shall soon be 'heading' for the return of the biretta.
(Mrs) Gladys Sheehan 4 Sandringham Road, South Gosforth,