To the editors:

Robert McClory’s “A Silenced Woman,” in your January 3 edition, leaves one with the impression that the battle is between liberals and an old-fashioned, pre-Vatican II conservative. Father Braxton is, in my opinion, not at all traditional nor does he uphold rigorously the continuing authority of preconciliar Church teaching. He will allow all views to be expressed and therefore is hardly authoritarian.

The fight, such as it is, is strictly between a modern Church liberal and a group of radicals who thought they had effectively taken operative control of the parish. It is questionable whether any of the remaining members are staunchly “orthodox,” as the word was understood before 1965. The “traditionalists” left long ago, rather than be a disruptive and scorned, or silent, minority.

Father Braxton, in my opinion, represents the trend towards change in doctrine and practice effected subtly and gradually, so as not to incite the Vatican into forceful reaction. Sister Teresita’s offense lay in going too far too fast and too publicly, thereby endangering the program. I suspect that preaching of the homily by the nonordained, as well as many other violations of official Church norms, both liturgical and doctrinal, continue to be widespread in this area, and the local hierarchy winks at the blatant disobedience, even when it is incorporated into the liturgy itself. Provided “no scandal is caused.”

Will Rome be deceived into once more promoting a liberal pretending to be a hard-line loyalist?

John C. Prendiville

N. Humphrey