Edited by rwr•il
Lord Privy Seal, last week challenged Catenians to involve themselves in "the great issues which are convulsing the Church."
Speaking at the Reading Circle's clergy night Lord Longford said the Cateniart Association could no longer be thought of in the role of a counter-tnovement to freemasonry and discrimination.
"The Catholics are now becoming important," he said. "There is a danger of our actually becoming fashionable!
"I don't think that at the moment people are actually joining the Catholic Church to get on-but now, although clearly a minority, our position is very much easier. No one could really talk of persecution."
This was why Catenians should now broaden their outlook, said Lord Longford. "We have to ask whether it is really enough to look after our own community-whether we have a wider responsibility than was recognised in the past."
He acknowledged the social value of the Association and added: "1 am not disparaging the value of fraternity, but at the present time we Catholics in this country are being encouraged to play our part in contributing to Catholic thought.
"We have been told we must not just take things from on high and we must gather our own ideas. My question is whether Catenian gatherings here and elsewhere ought not to contain elements of a discussion group.
"Should it be purely social and charitable, or should there be some attempt made in Catenian bodies up and down the country to discuss the great issues which are convulsing the church, I think, for the good."
Lord Longford, describing
himself as "a convert of 27 years standing," declared: "There is no doubt that we laity are being flattered and being told all about the mission and apostoIate of the laity, but we must never forget our debt to the clergy. We would not exist-and I would not exist as a Catholic without the clergy."
Bro. J. A. Waller? president of the Reading Circle, told Lord Longford that the challenge had been anticipated and that such a discussion had already been arranged for the Circle's next meeting.
Last month, the Circle attended a full-day retreat at which members discussed the place of the layman in the modern church.
The president also urged members to give their support to the mayor-elect of Reading, Mr. Francis Taylor-the first Catholic mayor of Berkshire's county town for three centuries.