letters to the editor

A good purple woman

From Fr Ian Wetmore

With regard to the editorial comment on Canada [May], I would caution everyone not to typecast Victoria Matthews. It was said that 'A female primate on both sides of the 49th parallel would go a long way to establish the solidarity of the New Religion in the New World.' When Victoria was elected suffragan in Toronto, all the feminists were overjoyed that Canada had finally got a woman into a mitre. However, when she rolled up her purple sleeves and went to work, they were greatly disappointed that the only agenda she was pushing was the Gospel. It's safe to say she's no Katharine Schori. Sad to say, though, that the other three primatial candidates in Canada are far to her left; so we clergy of a traditional integrity are generally agreed that Victoria appears to be 'the best man for the job.' Ian Wetmore

Fredericton, NB, Canada <ianwetmore@rogers.com>

 

The value of courses

From Mr Peter Morrell

I write as a practising lawyer and an ordinand in non-residential training.

On p. 18 of the June issue, Ernest Skublics (Forming priests) writes that residential training for the priesthood seems to him to be 'indispensable', whilst acknowledging that this can present 'a difficult challenge, especially when candidates for Orders are married'.

On the opposite page, John Turner (Compel them to come in) argues that 'the right source of any vocation is an invitation coming from the Church, most likely the local church... Bishops of our constituency, priests and representative members of our parishes should not hesitate to approach those who appear to have the right potential, and definitely and distinctly invite and challenge them'. This was my route.

The local church where I have worshipped for the past seventeen years is in interregnum, looked after by a team of retired priests. It was they who invited me to consider ordination, which is how I now find myself in training. Turner adds, 'Tet me point out that many of those approached and invited to be ordained to the priesthood could serve as non-stipendiaries'. To do so and to arrive there via residential training requires either substantial private means or the abandonment of the secular occupation which provides financial support for the priest and his family.

There is a dilemma here. I acknowledge and am experiencing the collegial deficiencies identified by Skublics that are inherent in non-residential training; and for which the institution training me strives to compensate. On the other hand, the abandonment of non-residential training would effectively exclude those who, like me, can only offer themselves for non-stipendiary, or as Archbishop Rowan prefers to call it, self-supporting ministry.

Peter Morrell <pmorrell@btinternet.com>

If only it were so

From Mrs Mary Hopson

I write in hearty support of Stephen Cope' s suggestion [May] that traditional Christians make a point of celebrating Ascension Day. What a wonderful witness it would be, if for instance Christian business people were to close their premises for the day - with a notice explaining why they were not open.

As we all know, Ascension Day was once made a great deal of. Tet us put the clock back. I wouldn't have thought it would be too difficult.

Mary Hopson

Tregate Castle, Monmouth NP25 5QT

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