FR Graystone (March 20) is correct in stating that my "support" for him was modified. I am not really in sympathy with official gestures, 400 years on. Let us leave it to the new breed of mainly impartial historians to apportion praise and blame.
Religious indifferentism ultimately both loses the respect of those it is supposed to attract and alienates the faithful. Your leader "Quarrelling Sisters unite" (March 20) fell into that category. The 85 Catholic Martyrs were about resistance to genuine, and often virulently promoted, alternatives that would lose for millions the unity of the Catholic Faith. The sad effects of which are still with us.
Taking a far more extreme case, and inexact parallel, to illustate the point, many Nazis died sincerely and bravely in the furtherance of their ambitions of Eastern European, and maybe world, conquest.
However I very much doubt if the descendants of their victims will find it necessary formally to honour them in the 23rd century, and beat their breasts over the Treaty of Versailles.
Clifton, Bristol A M Whaits
• FAR from the English Reformation being a foreign import as Mr Bongard maintains, (March 20) it was rooted in perennial English anticlericalism which went back at least to Wycliffe. This anticlericalism was fuelled by the Richard Hunne case (1511-1515), and cleverly used by Henry VIII in the 1529 Reformation Parliament when invoking the Statute of Praemunire (1353) to sever the English clergy from Rome. The English Reformation was as political as theological, and if the bluff Duke of Norfolk opted for the plain man's Catholicism, the equally bluff Duke of Suffolk said: "Times were never merry in England whilst Cardinals were here." Both were equally political statements.
We will better understand this complex period when Catholics abandon simplistic explanations of its problems. Miss Dora Turbin New Malden, Surrey