Eyes Wide Shut

Week of November 27, 2002

Clipped Wings
A different take: Thank you very much for the article about Bishop Wilton Gregory [Jim Nesbitt, "Tarnished Angel," November 13]. Those of us who have dealt with him during our own scandal in the Belleville [Illinois] Diocese in the early '90s were wondering when the rest of the country would realize he is not the golden boy the media has made him. The sexual-abuse policy [of] our diocese was put into place before he came to Belleville. Since he has been here, the policy has not been enforced. We still have "dismissed" priests dressing in full clerical garb, attending deanery meetings where they have voting privileges, presenting themselves as "Father" and joining the bishop and other priests of the diocese in the yearly convocation. It is very difficult for us to believe Bishop Gregory's insistence that the victims are his first concern when he invites or allows abusers to participate in activities as if no sanctions have been imposed. Thank you for seeing beyond the image.
Lena Woltering
Fellowship of Southern Illinois Laity

They're only human: So what's your problem? Two same ol', same ol' pieces on Catholicism in one issue. As Ann Landers used to say, a church is not a museum of saints but a hospital for sinners. Anyone who has worked in a hospital knows nurses and doctors themselves need healing. It's called the human condition. Stories of their struggles or the struggles of the clergy are newsworthy only when the hospital or church does not spot, stop and correct the problem. No, I am not now nor have I ever been a Catholic. I must know a hundred, but I certainly won't give you any names, Senator McCarthy. You can find them yourself by checking out the Catholic Worker Movement or the Catholic Action Network. But corporal punishment by Sister Mary Mary isn't what is eating your reporters, is it? Maybe if they were taught to pound the pavement, ask questions, listen to missing words, interview plumbers, request records, they could write newsworthy articles. Heaven knows there are enough problems to be researched. You can't raise yourself up by tearing others down.
Connie Lamka
St. Louis

Plays well with words: I'm a drummer for the band Trailer Park Travoltas. I wanted to drop a note to say thank you to Mike Seely and the Riverfront Times for the article "Illinois Idol" [November 13]. I wrote Mike telling him how it amazes me how writers can observe their surroundings, sights and sounds, note a few miscellaneous quotes, then create a story that puts people in that moment. His wordplay and subtle innuendo are priceless. The thing Mike did that blew me away was coming out to our performance at Frederick's Music Lounge on a late Tuesday night a couple days after the Millstadt thing. That was unexpected.... [To] mention the show at the end of his piece was something he didn't have to do, but we greatly appreciate [it].
Kenny Williamson
via the Internet

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