Liberal press always offers up critics of popeWhenever the...

LETTERS

January 30, 1998

Liberal press always offers up critics of pope

Whenever the pope makes a major trip, the liberal press goes out of its way to find some disgruntled or malcontent or dissident Catholic to lambaste him.

It is comforting to note that The Sun did not disappoint when it featured a column by Coleman McCarthy in the Jan. 18 Perspective section comparing the Holy Father with the butcher of Havana ("What do John Paul and Fidel Castro have in common? It's their way or no way").

As usual, the complaint is that Pope John Paul II cannot "listen," as "dialogue" has become the province of talk show theologians. "Dialogue" is the stuff of committees, and it doesn't matter what is said, as long as everyone "keeps talking."

Therefore, the Holy Father's call for silence in such areas as women's ordination outrages such people, who would like to wear down the opposition.

To his detractors, the most maddening thing about John Paul is that he doesn't appear to care what The Sun and Mr. McCarthy think of him. This presents the liberal media with a problem. The preferred way to deal with this pope is to treat him as a ridiculous figure tied to an outdated institution.

Despite his retrogressive message, John Paul has demonstrated that he is not at all irrelevant.

There is something about legitimacy that shines through, and it is especially feared by those who know they don't have it.

Jose L. Palacio

Ellicott City

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If you ever consider Coleman McCarthy's hype for publication again, I suggest you apply a two-part test devised by Dr. Rudolf Flesch a half-century ago to each paragraph: "specify" and "so what."

That way, when McCarthy takes the innocuous School of the Americas, which for decades has been imparting such mundane soldierly skills as running motor pools, and says it's "called 'the School of Assassins' by its critics," then specify which critics. From what backgrounds? How many assassins have been trained there? How many and what types of assassination courses are offered?

Further, "Its graduates include Manuel Noriega and Roberto D'Aubuisson": So what? Harvard gave us the Unabomber. Specify: out of how many thousands of graduates?

With sadness, I read that McCarthy's ravings are now being visited upon my alma mater. It was at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School that I first checked out Dr. Flesch's excellent book "The Art of Clear Thinking."

John G. Miller

Annapolis

Support businesses owned by families

Few family-owned grocery stores are left. The corner drugstore is obsolete and the corner hardware store has disappeared.

But what upsets me most is that in the past 10 years, many mom-and-pop restaurants have gone out of business.

Corporations get major discounts because of the quantity they buy. They have advertising behind them and are afforded breaks in laws and regulations that the small restaurants are not.

The next time you go out to dinner, support a family-owned restaurant. You are helping to keep the American dream alive. I, for one, do not want to order value meals for the rest of my life.

Joanne Farinetti

Baltimore

David Levy departure need not be mourned

Good riddance to former Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy.

He has been patronizing President Clinton and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat as they pressure Israel to move ahead with a one-sided, misleading "peace process."

Instead, Levy should be fed up with Arafat's stalling when it comes to rescinding the clauses in the Palestine Liberation Organization's covenant that call for Israel's destruction. It has been more than four years now, and more than 260 Israelis have been murdered since the Oslo accords were signed.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has enough problems without having to deal with Levy's efforts to split the country further with his misplaced appeasements.

Barbara Ann Bloom

Owings Mills The Jan. 18 Sun supplement, "The outlook -- Maryland's 1998 economy," seriously missed the mark by failing to mention Maryland's largest manufacturing industry -- printing and publishing.

The printing industry provides more than 28,000 jobs for Marylanders, for an annual payroll of $600 million. With a high average wage of $14.84 per hour, the printing industry provides some of the best-paying jobs in Maryland.

Printing and publishing jobs have grown by 25 percent since 1982, and an estimated 11,000 jobs will be added in Maryland by 2005.

Printing and publishing make up a dynamic, high-tech industry that affects every aspect of our lives and has a major impact on the economy of our state.

Leaving it out of any economic analysis is like omitting the Beatles from a history of rock 'n' roll.

Arthur R. Stowe

Timonium

The writer is president of Printing Industries of Maryland.

Profession of cantor conveyed incorrectly

The article "An interfaith 'I do' can be hard to gain" (Jan. 5) was disturbing in many respects but particularly because it might create misconceptions about the profession of the cantor.

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