Dear Lambert

Thank you for your invitation to Advent to attend the first General Assembly of the new North Atlantic Federation of Married Catholic Priests (NAFMCP).

I have consulted with a number of those principally involved in Advent's organisation, and we have agreed that we shall not accept the invitation to join NAFMCP or attend the General Assembly. I must also make clear that I did not make any commitment that Advent would join this federation, and must ask that our name be removed from the official letterhead.

The reasons for this decision are these:

We are not satisfied that the formation of a North Atlantic Federation meets the intentions of the Madrid meeting. According to the report we received, Madrid agreed among other things to consult with a view to forming a European federation. We have heard nothing of such a consultation, nor have we been invited to join a European federation.

We are also concerned that NAFMCP's founder members, as we understand it, were not themselves represented at Madrid but have initiated a new movement different from its proposal.

North America is not part of Europe. It certainly has cultural connections, but they include Italians and Hispanics as well as northern Europeans. In any case, it is in itself a regional federation, vastly bigger and more populous than any European country.

We understand that Claude Bertin, the new international secretary and Paul Bourgeois, the treasurer agreed to the idea of a North Atlantic federation. We should like to know the opinion of the President and others who represent southern Europe.

We believe that a European federation would make more sense in the context of the developing European community. We should work for stronger ties within the whole of Europe rather than make separate ones involving a non-European nation, which lies thousands of miles away. The consideration of cost in attending international meetings is reason enough to opt for Europe rather than the North Atlantic.

I am sorry that this is a negative reply, but it genuinely represents the deep dissatisfaction felt by our principal membership.

Yours etc...