31 MAY 1957, Page 25

SIR,—The Roman Catholic Bishop of Clifton's declaration, quoted by your

correspondent B. C. Marghcritta last week, that they 'will not rest until every man, woman and child in this country becomes a Catholic,' requires further consideration. It is acknowledged by RC theologians that baptism with the right form and matter, by whomsoever ad- ministered, admits the baptised to the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, and cannot he repeated. except conditionally, when a non-Roman is received into the Roman Catholic Church. Therefore every baptised Christian has a right and a duty to call him- self a Catholic, and to protest against the prevailing tendency and policy of the Romans to restrict the use of the title to those who accept the papal claims.

In this still-Christian country. the vast majority of people are validly baptised Christians (the Church of England alone receives two out of every three babies born in this country); therefore the declared inten- tion of the Bishop of Clifttin and his fellow Romans to make every man, woman and child a Catholic is not the formidable task it would appear to ihe ignorant to be.

But of course the.Bishop meant Roman Catholics; and it is important to remember that this is the aim of the hierarchy—namely, to bring England again under the papal obedience. Let no one underestimate the strength of the Roman Church in this country. A vast educatiorial programme costing many millions of pound's, which will give the Romans more secondary Schools than the Church of England has, and all of them aided; the buying up of country houses for residential schools and convents; the building ofnew churches at the rate of two a day last year (as it 'was claimed); and thousands of converts; together with the admirable fervour and devotion of the laity; the Church of England is thus confronted with a tremendous challenge to her vaunted com- prehensivenesi and easy-going reliance upon her endowments and her connection with the State. Vnless she can bring about a revival very soon she will be outwitted, outschoolcd and outbred by the adherents in this country, of what is, whether we like it or not, by far the greatest Christian communion on the face of the earth.

Lest some critic should say that all this is yet another example of rivalry among Christian sects, let me add that the Romans may not join even in, the Lord's Prayer with non-Romans, except by leave of the Bishop, which permission, I have reason to believe, the Bishop of Clifton has been known to refuse.—Yours faithfully,


Huntingfield Rectory, Halesworth, Suffolk