Secrets of the confessional

Sir, – Colm Fitzpatrick’s rose-tinted view (December 20th) of the benign influences of powerful religious organisations of whatever persuasion cannot go unchallenged.

I am in the middle of reading Lawrence Rees's book The Holocaust – a New History and the revelations therein concerning the actions of some of the Eastern European Christian leaders and the inaction of others in the West during second World War are enough to question this churchgoer's shaky adherence to any type of institutional church.

At Christmas when we all try in our own imperfect ways to remember and imitate the legacy of the Christ-child, I always recall the words of a school chaplain with whom I worked many years ago: “Oh dear – the Almighty can have such poor ambassadors!” – Yours, etc,