19 MAY 1984, Page 22

Casement's baptism

Sir: The Jesuit who conditionally baptised Roger Casement on 5 August 1868 wou'

the have done so for one reason alone: validity of a suspected first baptism was I!. doubt. To suggest that either the Church °'d Casement was offering 'a sort of clualicie4 acceptance', reveals a certain theologtc", obfuscation in the otherwise trenchan; mind of your reviewer, Aidan Cara Mathews (Books, 12 May). Baptism is a once and for all sacrament (`once Catholic . . .' as they do say): Casement ds as mother wanted him baptised. All that w n in doubt was whether anything had be previously effected.

John Skinner

36 St Margaret's Road, Oxford