There really isn't anything original in the anti-Catholic sentiments of John Gray (Write Back, October 17).
Consider this (from the pen of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, a former Anglican priest who was received into the Catholic Church in 1845): "Does not the world scoff at all that is glorious, all that is majestic, in our holy religion? Does it not speak against the special creations of God's grace? Does it not disbelieve the possibility of purity and chastity? Does it not slander the profession of celibacy?
"Does it not deny the virginity of Mary? Does it not cast out her very name as evil? Does it not scorn her as 'a dead woman', whom you know to be the Mother of all the living, and the great Intercessor of the faithful? Does it not ridicule the Saints? Does it not make light of their relics?
"Does it not despise the Sacraments? Does it not blaspheme the awful Presence which dwells upon our altars, and mock bitterly and fiercely at our believing that what it calls bread and wine is that very same Body and Blood of the Lamb, which lay in Mary's womb and hung on the Cross?
"What are we, that we should be better treated than our Lord, and His Mother, and His servants, and His works? Nay, what are we, if we be better treated, but friends of those who thus treat us well and who ill-treat Him?" (Discourses to Mixed Congregations No 8).
Sadly, there are many who call themselves Catholic, yet struggle with fundamental tenets of the faith. I would suggest non-Catholics would be better steering clear of the Holy Mass if they are of the mindset so roundly condemned by the Blessed Newman.
Funny how the likes of Mr Gray have no word of reproach for whatever tripe the other 'Heinz' churches (57 varieties) might believe; it is only the Catholic faith that irks them. Very telling.