SIR,-It fs not unusual for a devout Catholic to believe that the greatest agony of soul a Parish Priest can endure is to have one and sevenpence ha'penny stolen from the money box on the votive
stand. But there are other things.
In my limited experience as a priest 1 have seen: a) filth on the High Altar; b) The defiling or smashing of the Baptismal Font; c) The desecration of statues; d) The systematic overthrow of expensive pews; e) The writing of obscene notices; fi Attempted arson.
It is the duty of a priest not merely to protect the money box but to forestall sacrilege whether material or formal. The advice of
Mediator Del is not followed for the simple reason that it has become impossible. Things are
happening to churches in England today that would not happen in the jungle.
On my church doors I have a well printed notice: "It is deeply regretted that this church is closed between Services as churches are no longer respected". But I am under no illusions. I am pretty certain that the devout think I am only worried about the one and sevenpence ha'penny in the box on the votive stand.
Rev. Dermot Moore, P.P. Grays, Essex.