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A voice for young workers Youth unemployment is rising, with almost 1 million young people aged 16-24 out of work. This affects one in five young people. Denis MacShane MP (“Justice at work”, 15 January), asserted that “to deny workers the right to rep- resentation is to shift power in favour of employers who can now hire and fire at will in the first 12 months”. I believe that without such representation young people will be most affected, especially as they already struggle to find jobs and keep them. Cardinal Joseph Cardijn, founder of the Young Christian Workers (YCW), often spoke about the injus- tices young workers faced. In one speech he said, “There is no Kingdom of God without work, and therefore work must be respected and treated with dignity, honour and justice.” His message is still highly relevant. The YCW’s advocacy is even more necessary now that representation will be withheld from young workers. I urge other organisations, parishes and Christians to speak out on this. Emma Stradling National President, Young Christian Workers


Rights and discretions Fr Edward Butler (Letters, 15 January) makes the useful point that refusing the faithful their rights is an example of clericalism. It should not be assumed, however, that the faithful have a right to whatever is merely permitted by the Church’s law. It was long assumed that the tra- ditional Mass was allowed only as an exception to liturgical law, by an indult. In that situa- tion it could not be argued that the faithful had a right to it. When it was clarified by Pope Benedict in Summorum Pontificum (section 1) that the 1962 Missal was “never abrogated”, it followed that faithful and clergy alike do have a right to it. Monsignor Perl, when secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, drew the next implication by ruling that seminar- ians have the right to be taught it. Do people have a right to exercise the min- istries of extraordinary minister of Holy Communion (EMHC), and do girls have the right to serve the altar? The faithful never, of course, have a right to exercise ministries, any more than they have a right to ordination, and Cardinal Burke, prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, recently made it clear that these ministries are not “rights of the baptised”, which is why their permission does not override the liturgical law of the 1962 Missal, and they remain forbidden (like Communion in the hand) at the traditional Mass. Furthermore, altar girls (like Communion in the hand) are


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contrary to the Church’s law, and only allowed by indult, and EMHCs are allowed only in exceptional circumstances, as Redemptoris Sacramentum(section 155ff) makes clear. To suggest that the faithful have a right to exer- cise a ministry permitted only in exceptional circumstances, or by special indult, would be one absurdity piled upon another. Joseph Shaw


Chairman, The Latin Mass Society


Directions please The new translation of the Mass will doubt- less mean new missals. May I make a plea that they should include the instructions “sit”, “stand” and “kneel” where appropriate? (Some missals may include these useful reminders, but I have never seen one.) Absence of such information reinforces the notion that par- ticipation at Mass requires arcane knowledge transmitted down the generations – or even directly by the Holy Spirit! We aspire to encour- age the lapsed and those new to church attendance. We should seek to reduce the fear of “doing the wrong thing”, allowing the less- than-confident Massgoer to concentrate on worship. This may seem mundane com- pared to the issues surrounding the new translation, but it is an outreach opportunity we should embrace. Kathleen Dawson Etchingham, East Sussex


The case for Furtwängler Rick Jones writes in his review of the biog- raphy of Adolf Busch (Books, 22 January) of the complicity in the Nazi cause of the con- ductor Wilhelm Furtwängler. If one is to believe Yehudi Menuhin, matters are more nuanced. He tells of Hitler threatening Furtwängler with the concentration camp for refusing to allow himself to be used for propaganda purposes to which the latter replied, “In that case, Herr Reichschancellor, I will be in very good com- pany.”


Before the war, Furtwängler had invited


Menuhin and Schnabel to play with the Berlin Philharmonic and resigned his post when Göring cancelled a performance of the “deca- dent” composer Paul Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler. He refused to leave Germany but was apparently responsible for enabling Carl Flesch to escape to Switzerland from occu- pied Holland; this action was not unique. Menuhin cites the judgement of Pablo Casals that Furtwängler had been right to stay in Germany and to do what he could for music and musicians. He was an astonishing con- ductor who also took perhaps a lonelier road. Sometimes, it may be argued, it may be right to stay than to leave, which he undoubtedly could have done. Our consciences may prop- erly lead us in different directions. (Revd Canon) Roger Arguile Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk


Every age and either sex, and the won- derful course of events, all tend to strengthen the ground of our faith. A Virgin conceives, the barren bears, the dumb speaks, Elizabeth prophesies, the Magi adore, the babe unborn leaps for joy, the widow confesses, the just man is waiting … Behold this just man shut up, as it were, within the prison-house of this bodily mass, and wishing to be dis- solved, that he may begin to be with Christ; for to be dissolved, and to be with Christ, is far better.


St Ambrose


Patristic Homilies on the Gospels M.F. Toal


(Mercier, 1955) 29 January 2011 | THE TABLET | 17


The living Spirit


Lord, may this candle be a light for you to enlighten me in my difficulties and deci- sions. May it be a fire for you to burn out of me all pride, selfishness and impurity. May it be a flame for you to bring warmth to my heart towards my family, my neighbours and all those who meet me … I cannot stay long here with you: in leaving this candle, I wish to give you something of myself. Help me to continue my prayer into everything I do this day. Amen.


Prayer when lighting a candle Origin unknown


Christianity is essentially incarnational. God is present throughout the world, and most of all where love and compassion burn in people’s hearts … The love of God is a fire that will not go out, nor consume – like the flames in the bush on Sinai – though it demands everything of those who are willing to carry the flame. Judith Lang


They Looked at God (New City, 2005)


Almighty and ever-living God, clothed in majesty, whose beloved Son was … pre- sented in the Temple, in substance of our flesh: grant that we may be presented to you with pure and clean hearts, by your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. John Pritchard, Jeff Astley, Tom Smail, Paula Gooder Reflections for Daily Prayer (Church House, 2009)


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