In his letter on the revised rite of the Mass (April 19) A. J. Brooker says: "Bishop Lindsay makes it perfectly clear that the Pope has not defined and decreed ex cathedra that Pope St Pius V's instruction ... on the . Mass are abrogated ... The present Pope has merely expressed a wish, Bishop Lindsay says that the change should take place. This is not enough."
May I make two comments?
1. Anyone who reads the text of my letter (March 29) will see that I said nothing about a mere wish of Pope Paul VI, but I spoke of a law: "The Holy Father has stated quite clearly in an official document, the Apostolic Constitution "Missals Ronianum", that we are bound to use the revised rite of the Mass, and that the former rite may not be used. ."
2. Nor did I mention the phrase ex cathedra. The Penny Catechism version of Vatican l's definition of ex cathedra is "that the Pope cannot err when, as Shepherd and Teacher of all Christians, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals. to be held by the whole Church." So, Easter eggs, Glasgow Celtic and the rites and ceremonies of the Mass in the Western Church, to use A. J. Brooker's three examples, are really not flatters for ex cathedra statements.
• Hugh Lindsay Auxiliary Bishop of lIexham and Newcastle St Vincent's Home, The Roman Way, West Denton, Newcastle-upon-Tyne