Everyone will wholeheartedly support the call for greater understanding of "the spiritual bonds and historical links" between Judaism and the Church (the recent Vatican text). Permit me to ask, however, whether in your editorial of January 10 the need for compression has at some points distorted the impression which you mean to give. "God's second Chosen People," you say, "seemed simultaneously (ie with the 'holocaust') in some cases to have abandoned God." This is not, presumably, meant to suggest that Christians as such must bear responsibility for the hideous crime of the "holocaust," conceived by monsters who in no sense of the word that matters could be considered Christian at all.
The Christian persecutions of Jews in earlier centuries are, unfortunately, a matter of history, but the "holocaust" is simply not in that class. And was there ever anything worth the name of "theology," even what you call a "pseudotheology," which "tried to see genocide (ie the 'holocaust') as
'Worker in chains'
With reference to my article in your issue of January 24, "Dublin Jesuits remember the worker in chains," the eminent Irish authoress and authority on Matt Talbot, Miss Mary Purcell, informs me that while Matt's house in Upper Rutland Street has been demolished, flats for elderly Dublin citizens have been erected on the site and a plaque has been erected to the memory of the worker in chains, Furthermore, his remains have been removed from Glasnevin to a tomb in the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Sean McDermott Street. Both places are centres of pilgrimage.
Finally, the youngest parish priest in Ireland at the Jesuit Church of St Francis Xavier, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin, is aged 31, not 35.
Mea emir Mea cu/pa Mea Maxima cu/pa.
Terence J. Sheehy 30a Peaks Hill,
Purley, Surrey. a retribution for deicide?" Have responsible Christians, let alone responsible Christian bodies, spoken in this sense?
Then, when you seem to see a , casual relationship between the "holocaust," the establishment of the State of Israel, and the "wonderful reappraisal by Christians of the whole course of salvific history," is there not a danger of suggesting that the need For Christians to see and value their connection with "the root of that good olive tree" (Nostra Aetate, 1965) depends in some way on the preceding political event?
Surely there is an obligation on Christians to understand their deep religious debt to Judaism, irrespective of any political event, however great. '[he existence of Israel as a State may in some ways help to sharpen attention to the obligation, but the obligation itself would have been no less binding if the State of Israel had never come to birth.
A. R. Walmsley Manor Farm,
Duninow Road, Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire.