SIR,-In her article " Do Catholics Need a Workers' College?", Jennie Hawthorne asks some very pertinent questions which may be summed up in the one great question " Why are Catholics so apathetic
regarding social and political questions ?"
Of course this apathy is by no means confined to Catholics. Far too many people are content to leave such things to a select few %011ie they themselves only indulge in grumbling criticism.
Some Catholics in England are foreigners or of foreign extraction. Many more behave as though they were and seem to take the attitude that, since England is a Protestant country and has a Protestant government, they will hold themselves aloof and have as little to do as possible with officialdom. It is this sort of isolationist, Ghetto-Catacomb state of mind which prevents Catholics from claiming their rights as citizens. Like a woman I met once who was bemoaning the expense of her children's education. I asked her if she had tried to get a grant from the local Education authority. "No". she said. "1 make sacrifices for ray children ! " Whether she could have got a grant or not, 1 do not know, but I think she might at least have tried. As I pointed out to her, she and her husband paid rates and taxes for education as well as for other things. and therefore in justice should be able to claim something for the education of her children. She probably wouldn't have got it, but there is no harm in asking.
In the case which Jennie Hawthorne cited of the school which was not built, surely the Catholic ratepayers could have kept on hammering about it, whether there was a Catholic on the council or not. Even Catholic councillors can do little unless their fellow Catholics back them up.
Another cause of Catholic apathy is. I think, what might he described as " Over docility." The "Leave it to the clergy" attitude. -Let the Bishops and priests do the fighting. We laity may or may not take advantage of any benefits they may gain for us."
We certainly have plenty of fighting clergy, most of whom are overworked. but they should not have to drag along a body of apathetic laymen, who are really quite capable of doing something for themselves.
Unity Kirke. Heatherlands, Aldringham, Lciston, Suffolk.