SIR'-Since Mr. A. E. James is
so keen on withdrawal from the world, it is fair to ask him why he is not himself in a contemplative Order.
But; since he has chosen to remain in the world, he has not the right to shirk the proper duties of the worldly state: and these include intelligent participation, as a Christian. in public affairs.
The authorities whom he quotes to the contrary were writing for the pre-Reformation world in which they liveda world whose needs were totally different from those of our own time.
I defy him to quote a single post-Reformation authority, writing for Catholics in non-Catholic countries. who writes in the same vein. When all the world was Catholic, of course there was no need for any special rallying of the faithful to defend Christian principles in public life.
But things are very different today, and Mr James would do better to heed the oft-expressed wishes of the Hierarchy (and indeed of the Holy Father himself) in this matter, rather than his own private judgement.
N. T. Purgold 17 Lac'broke Road, Notting Hill Gate. London W.11.