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weekly basis. The volunteers just roll up their sleeves and get on with it. Pat Drewett Newport, Gwent

Faithless Jane Francine Stock is right that Cary Joji Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre is a remarkable film with a luminous performance by Mia Wasikowska as Jane (Cinema, “Secrets and ties”, 10 September). However, it should be noted that Christianity has been airbrushed out of the film. This is no longer a Jane, in the midst of temptation, who is determined to hold to the “laws and principles … given by God; sanc- tioned by man” (p. 356, Penguin Classics). Nor would this Edward Rochester express his appreciation of Jane’s return with a heart- felt prayer: “I thank my Maker, that in the midst of judgement he has remembered mercy. I humbly entreat my Redeemer to give me strength to lead henceforth a purer life than I have done hitherto!” (p. 497). So this is not, as Francine Stock con- cludes, “a fine adaptation of an extraordinary novel”. The question posed by Frank Field (“We have lost the confidence to teach a set of beliefs about society’s objectives”, 27 August) illu- minates the problem; is

it “possible to

construct and maintain allegiance to a set of moral principles without it being undergirded by a faith”? The answer is “no”, which makes this film misleading despite beautiful photog- raphy and outstanding acting and direction. Bob and Sylvia Kahn Great Sankey, Warrington

Forgiveness and divorce It is appropriate to reflect on forgiveness for divorce and remarriage the light of the remarks by Archbishop Robert Zollitsch (The Church in the World, 10 September). The Orthodox Church recognises divorce and remarriage with a penitential service. This problem is not new, or unquestioned. It is a reported part of the unfinished agenda at the Council of Florence (1431–35). Many individuals and groups have openly dis- cussed the subject, and even some German bishops have suggested theological interpre- tations which would allow


individuals to receive the Eucharist. In Marriage in Canon Law (1986), Fr Ladislas Orsy SJ gives a selection of such published views. These contrast unhappily with the “Letter to Bishops Concerning Reception of Holy Communion by Divorced and Remarried”, signed by Cardinal Ratzinger on

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14 September 1994, and the “Declaration by the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts” signed by Julian Herranz on 24 June 2000. Is it too much to hope that we might hear a positive message of forgiveness to those whose marriages have failed, coming from Germany next month from one of Orsy’s cited authors, Joseph Ratzinger? Brian Murray Glasgow

House of the rising sun Is your parish church orientated towards the east and the rising sun? If so, it probably has a south-facing slope to the roof. Photovoltaic panels on a south-facing roof produce elec- tricity which, currently, is sold to the grid at a premium. Over a year, the electricity gen- erated can equal that needed by the users of the building and may even produce a return on the capital outlay. That has been our experi - ence of 10 panels on the roof of our cottage. If parishes could devise ways to finance the

admittedly large capital costs, our churches would become visible signs that we want to act to take care of our world. Any income gen- erated could support people in places where the sun provides the only source of power. Maureen Bennett Nettlebridge, Somerset

Witness in Madrid As an 18-year-old participant at World Youth Day, I fail to understand how Robert Mickens came to the conclusion that the Eucharistic Vigil conveyed a “medieval and theologically questionable understanding” of the Eucharist (“Sowing the seeds of faith”, 27 August). Primarily, we believe the same as our

medieval forebears about transubstantiation and the real presence of Christ in the conse- crated host. The fact that it is truly God present before us leads us to worship with our entire body and soul. Perhaps the sight of two mil- lion young people on their knees in the mud, or the intensity of their silence, or the heart- and soul-felt participation in the event, is symp- tomatic of theological error in Mr Mickens’ eyes. Was it not an expression of and witness to the majesty of God, and the “still, small wind” with which he speaks, in the midst of an admittedly rather noisy and chaotic week? Michael Brendan Brett Oxford

Lace challenge Now we are reasserting our identity with meat- less Fridays (Letters, 3 September), will our bishops turn their attention to that other Catholic practice which, by adorning many a demure devotee’s head, inflamed my young man’s zeal for the faith? I refer, of course, to the wearing of the mantilla. John McLaughlin Birkenhead

The living Spirit

The Church cannot withdraw from the task of proclaiming Christ and his Gospel as saving truth, the source of our ultimate happiness as individuals and as the foun- dation of a just and humane society … Newman teaches us that

if we have

accepted the truth of Christ and committed our lives to him, there can be no separa- tion between what we believe and the way we live our lives. Our every thought, word and action must be directed to the glory of God and the spread of his Kingdom. Newman understood this, and was the great champion of the prophetic office of the Christian laity. He saw clearly that we do not so much accept the truth in a purely intellectual act as embrace it in a spirit - ual dynamic that penetrates to the core of our being. Truth is passed on not merely by formal teaching, important as that is, but also by the witness of lives lived in integrity, fidelity and holiness; those who live in and by the truth instinctively recog- nise what is false and, precisely as false, inimical

to the beauty and goodness

which accompany the splendour of truth, veritatis splendor.

Pope Benedict XVI Address at Prayer Vigil, Hyde Park, London, 18 September 2010

Though we are in such pain, trouble and distress, that it seems to us that we are unable to think of anything except how we are and what we feel, yet as soon as we may, we are to pass lightly over it and count it as nothing. And why? Because God wills that we should understand that if we know him and love him and rever- ently fear him, we shall have rest and be at peace. And we shall rejoice in all that he does.

Julian of Norwich Enfolded in Love,

(Darton, Longman & Todd, 1980)

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.

Matthew 9:9

21 September is the Feast of St Matthew

17 September 2011 | THE TABLET | 19

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