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Long Trail

Your editorial in the Jan. 19 issue, like your other editorials, is biased and not balanced. The Kyoto Protocols did not require multinational controls on pollution. Only the United States was required to submit to tighter environmental guidelines. China, one of the worst environmental offenders, was let off the hook.

The Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty was not signed by China, North Korea or Pakistan. Would you have those countries in control of nuclear weapons while the United States, France and England are forced to relinquish theirs?

I always heard that journalism should be fair and balanced. Obviously you never went to journalism school. If I practiced medicine the way you practice journalism, I’d have a trail of dead bodies a mile long.

William J. Somers. M.D.
Columbus, Ohio

Lose Their Way

The neo-triumphalism and romanticism that Richard R. Gaillardetz, Do We Need A New(er) Apologetics? (2/2), sees as weaknesses in the new apologetics are for me refreshing confidence and love for the Catholic faith, sadly lacking in my baby-boomer lifetime of catechesis and spiritual formation. Cradle Catholics who have fled to the evangelical megachurches aren’t looking for dialogue, disciplined or otherwise. They are looking for substance. Humble pilgrims in the trenches of everyday life, not the halls of theological academe, need solid ground and a deciferable map, lest they lose their way.

Barbara Sirovatka
Brookfield, Ill.

Still Waiting

I believe the article by Richard R. Gaillardetz (2/2) uncritically groups together a misleadingly static snapshot of the so-called new apologists represented in a short list by the author as including Scott Hahn, Gerry Matatics, Karl Keating and Mitch Pacwa, S.J.

Anyone who has read or heard any of these authors is aware of the diversity of approaches and substance evidenced in their respective efforts. If there is any commonality to be seen among them, it is, in my view, their desire to communicate effectively the substance of the faith to many of us in the pewthe non-expert who, perhaps despite having a bachelor’s or master’s degree, often too late realizes he or she is trying to function with the equivalent of an eighth grade C.C.D. education.

As Mr. Gaillardetz states, and I agree, the sad truth is that much of what I consider more mainstream theology can get stuck in a critical mode that seems more intent on debunking traditional expressions of the faith than on offering credible alternatives. This accounts for the contrasting accessibility and consequent popularity of the aforementioned authors.

In the section entitled Weaknesses, Mr. Gaillardetz tries to make the case against what he calls the neo-triumphalist[s], warning that the popularity of the new apologists ought to be a matter of grave concern for those who care about the future of our church. But he inacurrately observes for one example, A third weakness lies in the ahistorical presentation of the Catholic faith. Karl Keating’s Catholicism and Fundamentalism is far too reluctant to acknowledge the historical difficulties with some traditional Catholic claims regarding the origins of the papacy (e.g., that Peter functioned as a residential bishop of Rome).

Well, I got out my copy and looked it up. Just the chapter alone on Peter and the Papacy which he alludes to in Catholicism and Fundamentalism (pgs. 198-214), is longer than Mr. Gaillardetz’s entire article and, to my mind, puts into question much of the research he did on these authors for the article, considering the brevity of this particular objection.

While Catholicism and Fundamentalism may not be a tome, it surely provides some good basic help for, say, a mother whose son has recently joined a Bible-only denomination and is now trying to convert her and the family.

Where are the books from Mr. Gaillardetz’s people? We’re still waiting.

Marc Giaquinto
Ellington, Conn.

Sideshow

Nathan Mitchell’s fine, positive article (1/19) on the 40th anniversary of Sacrosanctum Concilium nonetheless provokes a mighty Alas! He comments ever so briefly on the rules for translating liturgical texts (Liturgiam Authenticam). Anticipating the product of the literal translation demanded by this document can only make one very sadand wish that our worn sacramentaries from the 1970’s could be laminated for continued use. Or will we, after all, be driven to plead for a return to Latin altogether? If only the sideshow Mitchell foresees would delay the product indefinitely!

Virgil Kummer, O.P.
Sinsinawa, Wisc.

Free Trade

Contrary to Terry Golway’s assertion in Free Trade’s Losers (2/2) that American workers must learn to compete with dollar-a-day workers in the third world, it is the impoverished people of third world countries that have to compete with the highly productive American worker (2/2). I find the notion that we need to discourage expansion of jobs in these desperate countries morally repugnant and profoundly un-Christian.

Joe Kash
Chicago, Ill.

Devastating Effect

It is not often that I agree with Terry Golway’s commentary, but in the case of Free Trade’s Losers (2/2) I believe he is right on, if not in all the details, then certainly in the sentiment he expresses. The exodus of blue collar jobs, and now white collar jobs, is having a devastating effect on the average mid-range worker, or what we used to know as the middle class. And it is my unsubstantiated opinion that the common denominator here is corporate America’s insatiable quest for bigger and bigger profits. After all, how else can corporations pay those exorbitant salaries and bonuses to top management?

Pierre Godefroy
Del Mar, Calif.

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