IS it not a strange church which offers protection from criminal proceedings to Archbishop Marcinkus and at the same time does not feel able to accommodate the activities of a priest of the highest integrity and Christian commitment — Bruce Kent?
Islington . George Healy
I would like to congratulate, the Catholic Herald on its tribute to Mgr Bruce Kent (March 6).
Like many thousands of Catholics I am sad that Mgr Kent has chosen to end his priestly role. I have met Bruce Kent on many a CND march. His genuine concern about the nuclear escalation in the world, his deep love, care, and compassion has been a "glowing candle" under the great blackened shadow of nuclear weapons.
Bruce will, outside of the priesthood, continue to be a "charismatic personality" in words and actions as he was inside the clerical garb! Those priests and one apostolic nuncio who criticised him inside the priesthood will no doubt "wring their hands" that he is now safely out of their hair.
Mgr Bruce Kent is a man of peace and his clerical critics have never really measured up to his great standards!
Port Talbot Christopher Lewis South Wales IT was sad to read the response of Sir Patrick Wall MP to your admirable editorial "Bruce Kent — a modern prophet" (March 6).
Sir Patrick chose entirely to ignore the key sentence in your article where you quote the Scottish Bishops that "if it is immoral to use nuclear weapons, then it is also immoral to threaten their use". It follows from this that the government's policy of nuclear deterrence is clearly immoral. By his ready acceptance of this policy, it is Sir Patrick, and not Bruce Kent, who is giving "priority to temporal matters over spiritual ones".
Preston Joseph Smith
that standpoint no less one of morality.
It is a sad day, indeed, when there is no room inside the priesthood for one who speaks the Gospel message as he sees it.
Bedford. Martin Clitheroe
PATRICK Wall (March 13) states that Bruce Kent's political activity has "not helped the reputation of the Catholic Church". The only aspect of the Church's reputation that matters is whether or not it is striving to witness faithfully to the life and mission of its founder, Jesus Christ.
Both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament make it quite clear that the God of Israel and of the Christian Church is one who demands that we act justly; that we love our enemies by resisting evil, not with evil, but with good; and that we work to liberate the poor and oppressed. Our current defence policy of nuclear deterrence allows for a first use of nuclear weapons in response to a conventional attack: its weapons are targetted on cities with their defenceless populations: and it necessitates the continuation of an arm's race which kills indirectly by starving the poor, and directly by the fallout from nuclear testing.
It is hard to see how implicitly or explicitly supporting such a policy is compatible with any of the demands of the Christian life. It is harder still to believe, as Patrick Wall apparently does, that the choices we make in this area have no relevance for our salvation.
Clare Prangley Chairperson Pax Christi