Irreverent, and Irrelevant
I found Tina Brown's April 21 column ["Reverence Gone Up in Smoke," Style] to be vulgar and reflective of her deep ignorance about the Catholic Church. I have often wondered why it is completely acceptable in our society to ridicule the Catholic Church and its leader, criticism that is rarely if ever heaped upon other faiths or their leaders. I doubt that either Brown would write -- or The Post would publish -- a column ridiculing the Dalai Lama or Mata Amritanandamayi or Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin. Oh, I forgot: Those leaders are exotic and cool; our leader is medieval and oppressive.
Religious faith in other cultures is to be admired; religious faith in the Western world is an object of scorn.
Brown's closing statements: "So the prayer, so to speak, was that the new pope might miraculously turn out to be a shot in the arm not just for anti-materialism but also for anti-religious humbug, anti-medievalism and anti-repressive orthodoxy. Instead of which it looks as if we are in for more dogma closing the windows of our world -- unless he enjoys an epiphany."
Wow, Tina Brown thinks the pope needs an epiphany. That girl needs an epiphany of her own.
-- Mary Beth Hayes
Oh, Tina. Imagine, if you can, that you are a practicing Catholic, that you actually believe the tenets of the Catholic faith, including that the church, founded by Saint Peter, is guided by God. Imagine how you might regard a cynical column expressing disappointment that the new pope does not share the columnist's irreligious (or anti-religious), postmodern sensibilities. Might it seem ridiculous? Might you wonder how, if that columnist does not recognize any higher moral authority than the individual conscience, she can be so sure that she is right and the new pope is wrong?
You and your ilk have been largely successful in imposing your views on the public. Please, let Catholics have the Catholic Church.
-- Tom S. McClenahan
St. Louis Park, Minn.