Letters

Week of September 15, 2004

As far as hated, we've got Vanilla Ice, Backstreet Boys, Marilyn Manson and many others. Plenty of crappy boy bands, freaks and white rappers.
Roger Webb
Ballwin

Art for Clayton's Sake
Here's the poop:Having read Randall Roberts' "Fair Ferment" in the September 1 issue, I charge that the Saint Louis Art Fair's executive director, Cynthia Prost, is filled with sophistry and self-importance, or just plain poop.

St. Louis is not Chicago or New York, and Prost is not curating a show for the Navy Pier, or the Guggenheim or MOMA. In St. Louis we leave the major world-class exhibitions to our art museum. The art fair cannot compete with the major shows, and we cannot pretend otherwise. This in no way demeans our own artists or their art or our local art culture. Prost does not understand that the purpose of any St. Louis-sponsored art show, first and foremost, must be to promote our great city and its culture. Consistent with this is to provide cultural events for the enjoyment and enlightenment of our own citizens. This encourages our own artists and patrons to become involved, rather than putting them on notice that we, as a community, are not "good enough," and that our own art does not count.

If Prost is wondering where she can find quality artists to fill the fair, then she need look no further than the St. Louis Artists' Guild, located in Oak Knoll Park -- in Clayton.
Gary Minkin
Wildwood

"Immaculate" Reception
A bad match for St. Louis:This is just a quickie fan letter to tell you how much I value your courageous investigative journalism. Malcolm Gay's "Immaculate Deception" [August 25] provided a fascinating and damning view of Archbishop Burke's highhandedness. We in St. Louis know of it because of the political bombs he has lobbed against politicians who support reproductive choice, and because of his insensitive treatment of St. Stanislaus parishioners.

While I am not really surprised by what Gay discovered in La Crosse -- a church hierarchy that stonewalled abuse investigations and priests who left the priesthood because they could not in good conscience serve under Raymond Burke -- still his stories affected me viscerally. Burke's leadership style is so at odds with our city's temperament. I had often wondered why in the world St. Louis became afflicted with this man. And a funny thing: Only one day after your story appeared, the Post-Dispatchreported that the archdiocese had just settled eighteen abuse cases. Hmmm, could there be a connection? Maybe Burke's hardball ways made him the "perfect candidate" for St. Louis!

Thanks again for a terrific job.
Anne Bader
Frontenac

An eye opener:Thank you so much for all the time and trouble that you went through to put this amazing article together and for having the courage to print it. It is time that we all opened our eyes and see what is happening in the way the Catholic Church is being operated. There are some very wonderful priests and they certainly deserve credit for the work they do, but it is long past time that we clean up the running of the church and bring it back to what Christ wants.
Mary Ellen Kruger
Webster Groves

Lies and the lying liars who tell them:Apparently the "dirty little secret" that followed Archbishop Raymond Burke to St. Louis is that he is loath to blindly accept the validity of decades-old allegations from accusers who have no evidence to substantiate their claims. The lawyers for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests would of course prefer that they not be challenged to prove any of these charges and that the archdiocese simply open the checkbook.

The American bishops' imprudent methods in the past of attempting to keep a lid on the scandal with hush money have damaged their credibility. Now victims'-support groups are counting on the attitude that when an accusation is made there should be no other alternative than to believe everything the claimant says. The large settlements made in the Boston archdiocese have cemented the tactic of "hitting the jackpot" by threatening litigation.

No one disputes that child abuse is a terrible crime, but no crime is so terrible that someone wouldn't lie about it for a payoff.
George Haberberger
Imperial

Ken Lay has nothing on Raymond Burke:The article about Archbishop Burke should be published in every Catholic Church bulletin. His handling of victims of clergy sexual abuse would put a corrupt corporate executive to shame. He is supposed to be the good shepherd leading his flock to a moral and Christ-like life and instead he is practicing slimy legal tactics.

I hope this article will encourage Catholics to write the archbishop and demand that he reach out to victims and work to protect all the children in this diocese.
Barbara Doris
St. Louis

Raymond Burke -- not to be trusted:Thank you for the article about Archbishop Burke, who I considered from one look into his eyes as someone who couldn't be trusted. Of course, I knew about him prior to his arrival in St. Louis from my relatives in Wisconsin. I am a supporter of the SaveSt.Stans effort and attend prayer services each Sunday. I recently moved to rural De Soto from St. Louis and almost missed this issue of RFTbecause of infrequent visits to my favorite saloon.

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