President's Communion


Sir, - Your editorial "A Generous Gesture" (December 9th) suggested some reflections.

When a Protestant gentleman came up for Communion at Mass in Bethlehem Abbey, he was told afterwards, very politely and with considerable embarrassment for his informant, that we should prefer that he would not do so again. When Mr Tony Blair, Leader of the British Labour Party, went to Mass with his Catholic wife and received Communion, he too was politely asked not to do so again.

It is to be supposed that Mrs McAleese, before going to the Service in the Protestant Cathedral, informed the Protestant authorities of her intention. But it is conceivable that there are Protestants who would be very unhappy at having their main act of Divine Worship trivialised by its being reduced to the level of an occasion for the making of "generous gestures".

It is also conceivable that, if there are such, they would find the expression of such sentiments too embarrassing. And certainly, consent does not always include approval. - Yours, etc., M. Philip Scott, OCSO,

Our Lady of Bethlehem Abbey, Portglenone,

Co Antrim BT44 8BL.