From the manager of the Churches' Commission for Racial Justice SIR I noted with both interest and pleasure your feature article on the work of Margaret-Ann Fisken, chairwoman of the Catholic Association for Racial Justice (June 16). The Church is immeasurably strengthened in its mission by the work and influence of such dynamic and inspirational figures as Margaret-Ann, and you are to be applauded for highlighting her contribution to the work of racial justice. The whole Christian community has benefited from the work of CARJ, particularly in developing Racial Justice Sunday (September 10) a day that is recognised in a wide variety of Christian traditions as a significant day of prayer and action.
However, your leading article in the same issue makes far more disturbing reading. To suggest that a passionate engagement in the work for racial justice is "a drain on the Church's evaporating resources" and that the very existence of CARJ reflects "the antiquated presumptions of 1980s-style anti-racism" is little short of irresponsible. Sadly, the passing of a decade of two and diminished financial circumstances do not mean that we live in a just and equitable society, or that the Church is free of racist attitudes and structures. In my experience, neither MargaretAnn Fisken nor anyone else in the movement for racial justice is engaged in "patronising young black men", as you disingenuously put it. Rather, the lamentable lack of black candidates for ordination may well itself be a symptom of corporate unwillingness to take racial justice seriously.
The reality of human sinfulness means that minorities will always be marginalised, "foreigners" always mistrusted and the voices of those who challenge the establishment suppressed. In such a climate the work of CARJ and of charismatic individuals such as Margaret-Ann Fisken deserves our unswerving support.
Yours faithfully, ANDY BRUCE London SE1