10 MARCH 1950, Page 17

Prejudice or Reason ?

Sm,—Your editorial comment on, Cardinal Griffin's Lenten Pastoral mint give thoughtful men cause for melancholy reflections. You may with propriety reject both the restatement of Catholic claims made in the Pastoral and the proposals for Catholic schools put forward by the Catholic hierarchy: but to base your rejection of the latter on the discovery of " totalitarianism " in the former smacks strongly of the discovery of a new Popish Plot and is in fact—like the bad old cry, "Rome on the rates "—nothing more than an appeal to prejudice, which one would not have expected from the successor of J. St. Loe Strachey— a man whom my father 'once described to me as having the fairest mind he had ever made contact with.

An Anglican writer has recentkr estimated Catholics as forming at least a third of the total chureh-going population of the country: I do not think it is in accordance with the traditions' of the Spectator to seek to render so large a propor4an of the professing Christians of our people odious to their fellow-countrymen by fastening charges of this nature on their Church. This is a technique in controversy better left to the broadcasting stations behind the Iron Curtain.—I am, Sir, your obedient [Resthan Catholics may dislike various comments which the Spectator has felt' it proper to make on the Catholic claims in regard -to schools: but it may be observed that about twice as Much space has been allotted to Catholic .replies to our comments as was occupied by the comments themselves. As to "totalitarianism," it was specifically stated that "a Church is perfectly entitled to be totalitarian." Are not Catholic claims in doctrinal matters in fact absolute ?—En., Spectator.]