Letters to the Editor

PAPAL BULL
To the Editor:
In the midst of all the papal-visit pomp and circumstance, thank you for having the backbone to publish the other side of the story on John Paul II ("Sins of Omission," Jan. 20). As a non-Catholic, I have often wondered why Catholics do not see the glaring injustices that are alive and well within the papal hierarchy. Overpopulation, homophobia, sexism and environmental abuse are issues that can no longer be ignored in our world, much less inadvertently promoted by the church's current policies and belief system.

By having the courage to speak out in the midst of all the papal adoration that is going on in St. Louis, your publication may well have succeeded in opening some eyes and minds today.

Sara Colbert Schoenborn

To the Editor:
Your cover story "Sins of Omission" comprehensively touched on most of the important issues that concern today's Catholics. One significant aspect, however, was not dealt with. That is, how the oppressive fundamentalist attitude of the church is at complete odds with its most progressive, effective and overtly political organizations.

Both the Catholic Workers and the Christic Institute have strong traditions of being at the forefront of every salient social and political movement of this century. This has been most evident in recent decades in the areas of civil rights and anti-nuclear proliferation. And their work continues despite lack of church support.

The stifling and stilted dogmatic atmosphere created by the present church hierarchy led by Pope John Paul II is antithetical to the health, growth and support of progressive church institutions such as these that originated from a once-nurturing church -- institutions that have benefited the Catholic Church and society in general.

Philip Gounis

To the Editor:
The despicable caricature of Pope John Paul II on the cover of The Riverfront Times is an offense to humanity.

No reputable publication can be so insensitive to an aged person suffering infirmities.

Martin Duggan

To the Editor:
This might be sarcasm: I'm really glad that the city of St. Louis has suspended the Constitution's separation of church and state for tourism dollars and fame. For a religion where status is determined by the size of your hat. I am speaking of the school closings for the pope parade. I am a student. I am studying to be a teacher. I am an ex-Catholic who is disturbed at how the Catholic Church has become a business. I still think this is wrong. Referring to a letter in the Post-Dispatch by some lady who really got it right, why does the pope, supposedly Christ's representative, live in a palace, heading Catholicism like a business, and ride into town in a clown-mobile rather than on an ass, wearing "Galilean homespun"?

Twenty points for any old-school Catholic who can remember the name of the pope that some believe the Vatican had offed for saying such radical things like that he believed that God was a woman.

Remember, things that will not change with society, such as the homophobic position of the pope's church, decay from sight. And kudos to Canada's rejection of Monscamto!

Jason Edward Chaffin

To the Editor:
As I read your Jan. 20 article on dissident Roman Catholics, I kept scratching my head, asking myself: What's the big deal?

Some people are angry with the Catholic Church for its doctrines regarding sexuality, the priesthood, authority and whatnot. OK, so if you don't like the way the club is run, why not join a new club? God knows there are enough of them to go around. Baptist, Buddhist, Methodist, Mormon -- all kinds of clubs. Or start your own club. Drop the "Roman" and start an American Catholic Church. It's a free country. What's the problem here?

These angry people sound like divorcees who are still railing against their ex 20 years after the fact, and they still want him/her to "pay," not reconcile. What a waste of time and passion!

Think it over: If you think your club's rules are that skewed, it's probably an illegitimate club. So go find a better club. After all, isn't that what the Protestant Reformation was all about? And then those folks can leave us Roman types alone to worship God in our own perverse little way. And everybody's happy. What's wrong with that?

Kevin McGrane

To the Editor:
Gee, what a silly pope we have. Instead of acquiescing to the whimsical intentions of the past century, the pope has based his decisions on thousands of years of church history and tradition and, worst of all, on the grossly outdated Bible. The silly people who lived a thousand years ago actually believed the world was flat; therefore everything they believed was wrong. With this in mind, let's use the knowledge we've gained since the 1960s and redefine our views on everything: Women should be ambiguously equal in marriage and certainly as crass as we've allowed men to be; intellectuals should continue to influence our affairs with insightful programs such as communism, behaviorism and eugenics; homosexuals should advocate anonymous sex with multiple partners as a right and identity issue, thus aiding a Third World epidemic in a First World country; religion, the final guardian of absolutes, ought to be diluted until elastic enough to allow the worship of jazz with the assistance of St. John Coltrane; divorcees should be able to build vast families that require a flowchart for comprehension. Thank you, 20th century, for giving the light to us through these agendas, and shame on you, silly pope, for bowing your knee to the Numinous and not the wandering fancy of our century's proud additions to the Great Conversation.

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