This letter appears in today's Leicester Mercury:
Secular belief masks a steely intolerance
I am sure I am not the only person who found the letter from Michael Gerard, president of Leicester Secular Society, with its anti-Catholic diatribe, particularly offensive ("Speech stirs up hatred of secularists, Mailbox, June 7).
It shows, as we have seen many times before, that beneath a facade of tolerance, there lurks a steely intolerance of any religious belief far exceeding that shown to secularists by people of faith.
I was not fortunate enough to be present when Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor gave his recent speech in Leicester, but if he stated that "secular values" are permeating insidiously every aspect of western life, he was absolutely correct.
The letter quotes him as stating that "no-one should be forced to live according to the new secular religion as if it alone were definitive and obligatory for all mankind".
We see evidence of this around us when we read of intolerance of people wearing crosses to work, or councils stating that there should be no prayers before meetings.
Michael criticises Franco in Spain, no doubt with some justification, but his regime also had merits. Remember that Christians are not perfect, and are in need of salvation.
It is simply not true to say that the Catholic Church connived with the Nazis regarding Jewish slaughter. Pope Pius XII did much behind the scenes to protect Jews, although some of it was not visible at the time for obvious reasons.
The so-called intransigent attitude of the Church to birth control and abortion are not there to annoy people: they are simply stating God's moral law.
The former denies the act of creation its natural outcome, the latter is murder, pure and simple.
Michael, please do not talk about stirring up hatred against secularists, (which nobody sensible wants to see) for that is exactly what you are trying to do against Christians.
Mark W Jacques OP, Quorn