From Sir Patrick Wall is a harmony in the biosphere, and that some element of truth is to be found in Darwin, man can be seen as different from animals only in degree and not in kind.
True, we are an emergence, with sophisticated reason and selfconciousness; true. we have dominion over the earth; true. we can respond to God in a unique and responsible manner, possessed, as we are, of a moral conscience, but cannot animals also respond to the divine, feel, show loyalty and affection and show some form of intelligence and self-consciousness? As the owner of two cats. I certainly think they can! May I point the readers, also, to a helpful chapter in Russell Stannard's "Science and the Renewal of Belief" (SCM Press 1982)? The chapter is entitled "The Emergence of the Human Spirit", and one marvellous line from this is; "It would not surprise me to learn that St Peter's gates are kept ajar for the odd dog or dolphin to squeeze in!" This may be objected to as a trifle unorthodox, but, in that case, was not our St Francis of Assisi unorthodox for preaching to the birds? The issues of eating meat, or of animal experiments, are secondary to this more fundamental and theological question. Even if some of us would justify some animal experiments, on the basis of 'rather animals than humans', must there be the amount and frequency of experiments that there are? How many are really necessary? Why do not different companies share results rather than keep on repeating the same experiment in different situations? Are good old capitalist ethics making more animals suffer than necessary? What would Our Lord have had to say about that?
Finally, some words from Aquinas, where he warns us, "lest through being cruel to animals one becomes cruel to human beings . . ." Kevin O'Donnell Altrincham Cheshire AS A direct result of the letter I have today sent in an application to join the Animal Liberation Front. I am 61 years of age. am coming up to retirement, and as a soldier who fought for many years in North Africa and throughout the Italian Campaign, I am further prepared to give them the benefit of my military knowledge and to take part in whatever attacks are deemed necessary to rescue laboratory animals.
Name and address supplied IN A NATIONAL paper this week an editorial tells of "Tripper", a collie who has saved the life of Jim Rigg. his master, twice in the past four months. "We cannot express in svurds our gratitude to the Trippers, Tiggers and Rovers hut maybe they can sense the special relationship. We humans do". So runs the Editorial. Would to God ,in Heaven we all had a special relationship for incarcerated laboratory animals.
Margaret Payne Stanmore, Middlesex. YOUR snide and questionable remarks about the Pro Nuncio in your editorial. May 20, do nut reflect much credit on a paper calling itself "Catholic". Surely anyone in the centre of a controversy such as that engendered by Bruce Kent should, if he has any respect for his Church, resign from his present job or apply to be laicised.
Once again you claim to speak for British Catholics when you say the Pro Nuncio has isolated himself from them. My guess is that Archbishop Heim's views are shared by the majority of British Catholics, certainly by those who study the iet's ambitions and wish to preserve the Faith in this country. Patrick Wall Beverley ONE NOTES with grave concern the editorial on Archbishop Bruno Heim. Apart front a lack of charity in your reference to the Pro Nuncio's tenure, you misdirect yourself as to the functions of a Papal Ambassador.
As laid down in the Council of Trent and not abrogated by the recent division of Canon Law, the precise powers of a Papal Legate are described, and among the forefront of the things with which he must concern himself are public matters relating to morals and the common good.
Historically and consistently, Legates have spoken out against recalcitrant priests, more particularly when they may have been supported by political bishops.
Many of us may feel that the action of Cardinal Hume in supporting Mgr Bruce Kent had less to do with charity, as you suggest, than with political manoeuvring.
The hysteria of the Lord Bishop of East London, Mgr Victor Guazzelli, manifests not only a lack of charity, but a lack of discernment.
Simon McSweeney QC ON THE coach I was on, after a day outside Upper Heyford with the Christian CND march, the conversation turned to abortion and the necessity to campaign against all situations which threaten the dignity of human life. This was in a group OF Christians of many different denominations. Please don't try to push a wedge between the anti-nuclear campaigners and the antiabortion campaigners, many are able to be both.
Phil Knights Oxford YOU STATED, April 29, that since Mgr Kent ,took up his post with CND the membership had increased from .3,000 to at least 250,000. What a supreme testimony to his priestly vocation it would be if, in that time, his unique gifts had been used to achieve the same number of converts to the Catholic Church in Britain..
Miss Eileen Carson Cornwall MGR KENT said on the radio that the CND would be sending out to voters asking them to vote for the candidate who supports unilaterial disarmanient. This I think is wrong. What if the candidate supports unilateral disarmament but believes in abortion, euthanasia. free contracrptives for the youth etc.?
Am I to take it that Mgr Kent is so intent on unilateral disarmament that it doesn't matter if God's law is broken to achieve his ends?
MT Barry Hillingdon. Middlesex.
IF A GUN, grenade or bomb carries such possibility of peril for the bearer. what of the immensity of peril we would risk by having nuclear weapons.
It is good to know we have two courageous Church leaders in this matter Mgr Kent and Cardinal Hume. More such supporters of life are needed in the leadership of the Church and in public life. Without such respect and caring for life, how can we ever have abundant life?
Sr Angelus Hewitt Hove, Sussex.
TI 112 VATICAN has declared Bruno Heim's statement about Bruce Kent is his own personal opinion and does not reflect views of the Pope or the official teaching of the Church, but I think that a reflection concerning this matter is still relevant.
Archbishop Heim who, I suspect, is not alone among the hierarchy in holding these views, has referred to those who, in conscience and often after much heartsearching, believe that their commitment to the Gospel of Christ forces them to condemn the warmongering of many world leaders and join movements advocating peace and reconciliation, as "idiots".
One thousand nine hundred and fifty years ago, the religious authorities in Palestine subjected Jesus to humiliation — in fact, in their fear they caused the Son of God to be treated as an "idiot" because in all things He obeyed "God rather than men". Is it not a fundamental teaching of the Christian faith that "God's foolishness is wiser than human
• wisdom. and God's weakness is stronger than human strength"?
Let us abandon the "religion of the sacristy" and cease to drive a wedge between religious practice and "secular" life. There was no such dichotomy in the whole life of Jesus. Let us be prepared to be fools for Christ's sake.
Ruth Bleakiey Lanes