ISEE that two of your readers (October 24) have been having a go at your television critic, H. R. F. Keating. May I, sir, "criticise" him (in the primary sense of the word)?
He believes in keeping you in suspense. One might almost say he is deceptive. This is all to the good. You have to read his articles to the end, to see if the introductory paragraphs were false "leads" or not. In fact they invariably turn out not to have been. but you are blessed if you can see where they are going to get you to begin with! There are other by-products of having a successful detective story writer for a TV critic, namely attention to detail (e.g., whisky decanter stopper, (Oct. 24)). The net result is that Mr. Keating really "criticises" television with a well thought out appraisal and does not just (as could almost anyone) string together a lot of clever sounding but meaningless impressions. I have an uneasy feeling, however, that some of his ironies are not always immediately observable, though they would, of course, lose all their point if they were made too obvious. Congratulations to Mr. Keating, by the way, for having one of his Inspector Ghote books made into a television play, and congratulations to you, Sir. for having a creator as a critic, who can make even nonviewers interested in "who-dunit" (and whether properly or not) on the mini-screen.
E. J. Royle Hove.
MAY I seek the courtesy of your columns to invite your readers to participate in a petition to the Queen requesting that she continues to speak to the country and Commonwealth on Christmas Day. While it is appreciated that the recent showing of the film "The Royal Family" makes rather an exception of Christmas 1969. it would be sad indeed if it created a precedent by which the Queen's Christmas broadcast is lost altogether. The Queen has dedicated her life to her family. the nation and the Commonwealth, and her broadcasts brought a sense of belonging to a great family of nations. while she herself, by her graciousness and sincerity, drew devotion from the loyal and penetrated the indifference of the cynical. Now is the time to express appreciation of what she is, and has done, for never has the country been more in need of the qualities which the Queen and her family exemplify. Petition forms for signatures may be obtained from me at the address below. If readers would care to send a stamped addressed foolscap envelope we would be grateful.
Hon. gen. sec., National Viewers' and Listeners' Association Kidderminster, Worcs.
READERS may like to mail their used Catholic pamphlets and magazines direct to the foreign missions. Ifthose who wish to do so will please send me selfaddressed envelopes. I will give them the addresses of missionary priests and nuns who need Catholic literature.
14 Castle Street, Cork, Ireland.
LIMBO AND WILL OF GOD
FR. SYMON :S answer on Limbo (October 10) contained the explanation for the teaching requested by Mrs. Hargest in her letter of Octo ber 24. Far from being a source of anguish, it was meant to be a consolation; a way of getting around the clear statement in the Gospels on the necessity of baptism for salvation. The postulate of Limbo was made to save unbaptised infants from hell! Controversies on the existence of Limbo have existed throughout almost the whole history of the Church, but whereas until recently the ques tion was clearly seen as involv ing a Limbo-Hell. choice, in which the protagonists of Limbo were the "progressives", recent theories have tried to establish the eternal salvation of the souls of infants who die unbaptised. Naturally, one would like to be a supporter of such theories, but objective examination, shows them to be devoid of a sound theological basis. If anyone really needs to be consoled, he (or she) should consider the words of St. Bon aventure to the effect that these children are where they are because God wills them to be there. No child is in heaven because our arguments have put him there. nor is he on the same count excluded.
T. J. Harrington Bradford
Y0 IJ R correspondent, "Parishioner,of Glamorgan may he interested to know that in the parish of St. Augustine's, Tunbridge Wells, spontaneous petitions are a regular feature of the Ridding Prayers.
Recent petitions have included Biafra, Northern Ireland. the work of Shelter and the Samaritans, to mention just a few. We are fortunate here in having clergy who are actively concerned with the needs of all people, both within and beyond the parish. Hence the Bidding Prayers arc always relevant.
K. M. Lewis (Mrs.) Tunbridge Wells.