2 MARCH 1991, Page 24

Turbulent priest

Sir: As one who listened, with increasing annoyance, to the pacifist sermon preached by Father Michael Prior on the Gulf war, I was somewhat bemused by his riposte last week to Paul Johnson's article (`Kindly leave the pulpit'). Father Prior makes no reference to Cardinal Hume's statement on the morality of the coalition actions (The Tablet, 15 February).

Perhaps Father Prior will now accept that his personal views are not those of the Church he represents and stop abusing the facilities of that Church to propagate them.

He may also care to reflect that, in advancing these views from the pulpit, he is troubling the consciences of Catholics engaged in the Gulf war. The implication is that their actions are gravely sinful and hence that they should lay down their arms immediately. Has he advised the military chaplains accordingly?

Joseph FitzGibbon

14 Teddington Park, Middlesex