From Mrs Daphne MacLeod Sir, Like anyone else who was at the Faith of Our Fathers Conference on June 12th, I read Noel ICavanagh's account of it last week with amazement and disbelief.
He claimed it was "Faith of Dissent", but the conference, held in honour of God the Father, defended the authority of his Church, and the speakers, far from attacking the Church, addressed this theme with loyalty and love.
The first speaker, a young parish priest, explained infallibility and showed, by quoting its documents, how Vatican II confirmed the definition made at the first Vatican Council. Then Philip Gough, another young speaker, described how he is now learning the truths he should have been taught and passing them on to others in Hyde Park with the Catholic Evidence Guild.
I spoke next about the failure of the religious instruction given in Catholic schools to inspire our youngsters to live Catholic lives and discussed the alarming statistics which bear this out.
In the afternoon Michael Davies gave a stirring talk about the reign of Christ the King in state and Church, and Donna Steichen from California exposed the threat radical feminism is to the Church. Fortunately this is on record as the sound engineer at Central Hall recorded the entire day on audio tape for us. If people want to judge for themselves if the day was about loyalty or dissent all they have to do is send £20 to receive a "sound picture" of the whole day — prayers (including the dedication to the Immaculate Heart of Mary), hymns (including God Bless Our Pope), talks and even applause.
The day ends with a blessing from all the priests present, using a relic of Padre Pio. It was a holy and a happy day for the thousand or so who took part and strengthened our love and enthusiasm for our beloved Church. I am so sorry Mr Kavanagh missed all this.
Yours faithfully, DAPHNE MACLEOD, Chairman, Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, Great Bookham, Surrey From Mr Michael Akennan Sir, I wonder if Mr Kavanagh (Letters, June 25th) was at the same conference of which I was chairman at Westminster Central Hall on Saturday 12th June.
In my opening remarks to the Faith of our Fathers Conference on that day I reminded the people present that, as in our previous three conferences, we had come together to affirm our belief in the Real Presence, our devotion to Our Lady, our loyalty to the Pope and our willing acceptance of the teaching authority of the Church. How could this be construed as dissent?
Our five speakers made frequent reference to the catechism of the Catholic Church, to the documents of the Second Vatican Council and to Papal encyclicals — stressing the need to abide by the authoritative teaching which they contain. How could this be construed as an attack on the Church?
When 1,000 loyal Catholics and more than 50 Catholic apostolates come together under one roof at one time to celebrate their faith, and to hear talks which address what the Pope has called "the genuine crisis facing the Church today", can that event be construed as sowing "the seeds of dissent and disloyalty"? I think not. Perhaps Mr Kavanagh has his own agenda — or perhaps, as I suggested earlier, he was at a different conference.
I trust, Sir, that you will give this letter the same prominence that you gave Mr Kavanagh's vitriolic attack.
Yours faithfully, MICHAEL AICERMAN, Enfield, Middlesex