Parliamentary Privilege

From Mr Thomas E Rookes

In regard to the unwillingness of government ministers to listen to our arguments about women bishops [Letters, August 2011] this may be because they see religion as an irrelevance and especially minorities such as ours. However it seems to me much more likely that our governments are becoming increasingly autocratic and intolerant of anyone who disagrees with them as exemplified by their attitude towards other groups. What we need in parliament are some independent voices willing to stand up and take our cause. There must be some in either the Commons or the Lords.

Thomas E Rookes

77 Ruskin Avenue, St Giles, Lincoln

Birettas and Berettas

From Major Patrick King

Being an ex soldier with 37 years of tabbing (marching) for the Queen, I found the article on birettas quite a hoot. I especially enjoyed the camouflaged biretta. Any Anglo Catholic in the Royal Army Chaplain’s Department (a very rare bird indeed) would know that such an article of head gear would be strictly forbidden, as are vestments other than a stole. I always dreamt of meeting a chaplain who wore a camouflaged chasuble or Alb but it was not to be!! Anglo Catholics get by subtly. One delightful RAF Catholic Chaplain I met in Gulf War who gave people like myself Eucharistic Hospitality, would only wear a tartan stole, no matter what the Solemnity or Feast. He was known as the ‘Mad Monk’. I did fire Berettas in my time as a soldier. They produce good weapons. To finish a mention of Fr Alfred Hope Patten’s Augustinian biretta, which towered over the rest. As a young boy I thought that they were the norm!

Patrick King

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