Sig.—Would it be an intrusion for me—as one who formerly felt very much as he does on the .subject— to offer a few comments' on the letter (C.H., May 14) of Mr. R. H. S. Crossman, M.P. 7 He IS apparently opposed to what the great Victorian statesman, W. E. Gladstone, called " Vaticanism "— i.e., the intervention of the Holy See in some political controversies.
I would suggest that this subject
is one which requires very careful thought. It is easy enough to select, from Papal Encyclicals or from Papal actions, aspects which seem opposed to existing popular theories of " democracy," "freedom," etc. I myself did so In the past, but on more careful study I realised that the problem is eminently one in which it is needful "to Sec things whole "—not " to miss the wood for the trees."
Papal Encyclicals, and the activi
ties connected with them, embody a whole philosophy, of which no part should be separated from the others. That philosophy envisages a Catholic community in which the State upholds the Church and discourages heresy. Of course. in our modern world, where religion is split into fragments and frank secularism is so powerful, that ideal cannot be enforced to any extent, and seems "obscurantist " to the non-Catholic mind. It must be remembered. however, that the Papal Encyclicals fully allow for existing conditions, and acquiesce in tolerance even of manifest error if needful to avoid greater evils. In short, the Papal philosophy upholds an ideal but allows for practical difficulties. Last year I made a careful study of the Papal Encyclicals relating to social problems, and wrote a book summarizing them. It is to be published this summer by Watts and Co. As the book was finished and the contract for it concluded before I had resolved to seek readmission to the Church, May I explain that' some. few passages in It may be such as I would not now use, but that the whole matter was explained to the Catholic authorities and I was advised that it would suffice if I explained the matter in the Press—especially as the book is essentially accurate and indeed its compilation helped me to my final decision to seek reconciliation to the Church ? J. W. Povsrram Stanleys, Now Milton, Hampshire.