RUSSIA AND RELIGION
SIR,-Having read your paper of yesterday, 1 wish to record the feelings of indignation with which Moscow's " big religious hoax " fills The Soviets -though a Russian, have 'levet been and never will he a Soviet Russian-ate avowed atheists. I consider, though no atheist myself, that it is their right. But if atheists, they ought obviously to keep as far as they can from religious questions. And the affairs of the " Ukiainian " (?) Uniate Church (I would rather say: the Vitiate Church of Subcarpathian Russia) is no concern of theirs.
As for the Russian Church, surely there is something distinctly shocking in ehe fact of that church taking part in the anti-Uniate campaign hand-inhand with the Soviet atheistic Government.
Under the Tsarist regime attempt% on a large scale were made at least three times to abolish the " Uniate " Church, the last time in Galicia during the First World War (how intelligent!). I have always much disliked these attempts, but at least they were made by a political regime believing in "Orthodoxy," just as the revolting-it must ha admitted-destoictioe of many Orthodox churches in 'Poland just before the last war took place under a regime sincerelY Catholic. In the present instance we find the Church headed in Moscow by Patriarch Metric's, allied in the work of destiucdon of another Christian Church to a perfectly " godless '' government. Against this I feel bound to protest emphatically.
77, Flood Street, S.W.3.
ENGLISH SAINTS SIR,-May I be allowed to say how wholeheartedly I endorse your correspondent, Mr. Mariser, in his plea for " a movement back to pre-reformation English Catholicism." Those of us who are converts (I myself being an Anglican convert clergyman of 35 years) knew only too well of the charge which is being constantly levelled against us, viz., that ours is a foreign religion.
(1) Only the other day when I and a non-Catholic friend were listening to a broadcast Catholic service, the remark made to me was, " Oh, but it all sounds so foreign." Whereas if such essentially English devotions as Tee Litany of the Holy Name or The Psalter of Je.sus had been used, my non-Catholic friend would have been completely at ease and such an idea of anything foreign would never have been suggested. (2) The dedication of some of our churches. Some time ago, I was visiting a country town and had just come out of the glorious old pre-reformation church which stilt stands bearing its silent witness to the faith of the ages with its old Catholic title of St. Peter, to enter the Catholic church bearing as its title " The Immaculate Virgin of the Miraculous Medal." What must the average English non-Catholic make of that? Can you altogether blame him for saying we are a foreign religion? And one could mention other instances. Surely out of all that countless body of " holy men and women who made this land an attend of saints, illustrious for their glorious merits and virtues," there must be many more than there are to whom our churches could be dedicated.
(3) Our old English shrines.
Why. alas, have so many of them been allowed to fall into disuse? True, Walsingham is an exception. But why have the glories of Holywell departed? What memories are awakened of the many pilgrimages which our forefathers made to that sacred spot. Now, our attention seems to be directed to Fatima !
A. R. BLtRaes Item% 21, Seymour Street, Liverpool, 3.