Could 1, the "girl" depicted in your issue of April7 receiving Holy Communion in that much-discussed sweater, write to say that disrespect to the Sacrament was definitely not my intention. .
My intention was to convey a message to a hierarchy hitherto resistant to messages conveyed in the normal fashion from lay people on a particular issue the position of women in the Church, Ordination of women is only the tip of the iceberg. it is a symptom of the Church's inability to consider us as persons in its attitudes liturgy or teachings.
If my action really will impede consideration of this serious pastoral problem which continues to cause the migration of vast numbers of thinking women from the "official" Church, why the hyterical reaction from Patrick O'Donovan?
Incidentally, had he been present on the occasion in question he would have seen that (a) I was not the only person present attired in such a garment (h) my "home-made tabard' was a neatly lettered standard mass-produced black polo neck sweater.
He could not, in addition, have failed to notice the people, particularly women, who approached the various women involved (with or without the contentious garments) to thank and congratulate us at the end of the Mass for our action.
We were not motivated by hatred or a desire to give offence, but by our true love for God. That particular occasion seemed appropriate because the vast number of clergy (male) con
celebrating was per u a visible demonstration of the attitudes we exist to fight. At the end of that three-day meeting the bishops came out with a statement condemning pornography as outraging "contemporary standards of humanity". The official Church is as guilty of perceiving us in a purely physical and functional light as any promoter of pornography.
Who can blame booksellers in Soho for their inability to respect the image of God in humanity when thc representatives of Christ's Church cannot see that their own attitudes contribute to the success of pornography? Alison Could Earlsfield, London, SW18.
Might I say that you were quite correct to publish (April 7) the photograph of Miss Alison Gould receiving communion attired in an advertising communication. I cannot think of anything more likely to generate a solid reaction against the course she seeks to advance. Patrick O'Donovan's remarks (April 21) on the whole affair are most apt. I have not been seduced by the immense publicity into reading Fr Adrian Hastings' essay on celibacy in New Blackfriars. One of the functions of the controversy seems to have been to bring about a miracle on the magazine's circulation.
Kieran Flanagan The University, Bristol.