Not guilty

31st May 1996 at 01:00
Sean Coughlan's feature "Safe in the hands of Zacchaeus" (TES, May 10), on the Birmingham centre for young people with behavioural problems in the Roman Catholic secondary sector, was interesting and hopeful, but I wish he could have avoided one particular throwaway reference .

"Although Catholicism might be expected to specialise in guilt and sin, " he wrote. Who expects this? No one familiar with the Catholic education system. Anyone who does expect such bases their understanding on an elderly caricature of the Catholic teacher and an ignorance of catechesis today where the stress is firmly on belief in a loving, compassionate and forgiving God.

Having said that, it ought to be added such belief does not do away with the need for concepts of guilt and sin. Our greater potential is to do good ultimately, the Catholic-Christian believes that goodness will triumph, but it would be foolish - the worst kind of Rikki Lake Show relativism - to try to deny a powerful capacity to do wrong.

FRANCIS McCRICKARD 108 Bolling Road Ilkley, West Yorks

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