Did somebody stumble into the wrong church?

October 3 1977

Did somebody stumble into the wrong church?

October 3 1977

Did somebody stumble into the wrong church?


Hubert de Santana, the author of A Loss Of Faith (September 5), is one of the many who has never involved himself enough really to understand the Catholic Church’s

teachings on the following: 1) Birth control: contrary to de Santana’s idea, the Church has always been for family planning, but it is asking us not to consider lightly artificial methods that might be detrimental to our physical, psychological and moral health. 2) Abortion: the Church’s attitude is not to be anti-abortion but to be pro-life under all its forms. 3) Divorce: the Church has always had a pastoral concern for people in a difficult or deficient marital situation. 4) Charismatics: the movement is not a “holyroller” innovation into the Church, but an in-depth spiritual prayer renewal inspired by the Holy Spirit of God.


As an elderly Catholic who has been able to ride with the punches for 15 years of controversy within the Church, I was keenly interested in A Loss Of Faith. De Santana certainly has his facts straight: one has only to go to Mass on a Sunday to observe that there are not as many people there as there used to be. However, just about everybody now receives Communion. It used to be that only 5% or so would “receive.” So that, I would say, is a plus for the post-Vatican II Church.


The Roman Catholic Church must be a great institution or it could not have come through these 2,000 years. In spite of failures in the hierarchy, it has survived setbacks through time because of its authority from Christ: “Thou art Peter...” It moves forward with more than 400 million faithful followers, Hubert de Santana’s opinions notwithstanding.


I consider myself neither “liberal” nor “conservative”—just a rank and file Catholic. I think you gave too much attention to liberal and conservative views and denouncements in A Loss Of Faith. I also think that Maclean ’s theory that Pope John XXIII and Vatican II helped to “knock out the underpinnings” and stability of the Church is false. Look about you and observe the vast changes in the morals of society and you will see that the loss of numbers from the Church would have been as heavy or even heavier had it not been for Vatican II. Note the simultaneous losses from all the major churches in North

America and the growth of the Church in other lands. The problem is not a church; it’s people. Any institution is only as good as its people.


Quieter—and thriving—alternatives

Where FI ave All The Outraged Gone? (August 22) was informative in that it illustrated the near-demise of the so-called alternate press in the Maritimes. However, what the author, Silver Donald Cameron, and former editor Brenda Large failed (or neglected) to mention was that The 4th Estate’s circulation dropped dramatically in the last years of its publication. In fact, editorial space was sometimes devoted to the promotion of subscription drives to keep the paper alive. Surely that says something about how well The 4th Estate catered to the needs of its audience. Also, the assumption that gutsy eastern newspapering was the sole preserve of papers such as The 4th Estate is another misconception. The Atlantic provinces do have other weekly newspapers that take strong editorial stands. Judging by their rising circulations, they must be doing something right.



Just one more ‘unknown’ Canadian hero

In her review of the CBC drama Horse Latitudes (September 5) Sandra Martin states that the first man to sail solo around the globe was an Englishman—Sir Francis Chichester in 1968. Not so. Any long distance sailor will tell you that the first man to accomplish this feat was a Canadian, Captain Joshua Slocum in 1898.


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Physician, stifle thyself

I certainly had a few good laughs out of your interview with “maverick” physician Dr. Jerry Green (August 22). He referred to drug salesmen as well dressed, well spoken, well trained and yet still doesn’t see us. Maybe we should stop shaving, put on our hiking boots, blue jeans and show up at his door with alfalfa capsules and soya beans. Please stay in the east. Dr. Green, as we usually keep our mavericks out on the range where we can brand them and eventually barbecue them medium rare. You might be a little tough to digest.


I am a practising family physician and I must register my personal reaction to your interview with Dr. Jerry Green. I found many of his sweeping statements to be inaccurate and offensive. How does such a self-admitted maverick rate national coverage? I can think of dozens of responsible, caring and concerned physicians in my own community who might serve as more representative spokesmen for the profession. I can respect Dr. Green’s espousing the benefits of good nutrition, proper exercise and moderation in eating and drinking but when he castigates the profession in sweeping generalizations, I am left feeling misrepresented, angry and offended.


Many family physicians and health planners will agree with Dr. Jerry Green that poor nutrition, excessive prescriptions and unwise use of hospitals represent serious current problems. Fewer would endorse his approval of the use of unphysiological doses of vitamins and of the concept that sugar is “the cause of most of our modernday diseases.” The family physician’s job is to listen, diagnose, prognose and advise. Occasionally, and with the patient’s informed consent, the doctor may legitimately interfere with a disease process through drugs or procedures. But, more often the patient must accept responsibility for his or her health through improved exercise, nutritional, drug, drinking or smoking habits.



I thought that Anybody Who Believes In Astrology. . . (August 22) was biased and that Terence Dickinson did not do his homework. He did not mention that the Belgium Committee Para, which is composed of leading scientists, including astronomers, demographers and statisticians, checked over Michel and Françoise Gauquelin’s statistics and rejected their results on the basis of faulty assumptions underlying their statistical methods. The committee’s manuscript, Nouvelles Breves, published in late 1976, states the reasons they are still critical of the Gauquelin work. Also, a test by the Gauquelins and the American astronomers G. O. and A. A.

Abell, reported last September, failed to support the Gauquelins’ findings. Then if one checks the other studies that Hans J. Eysenck mentions, it is found that most are done on subsets of a population where one would expect by chance some significant results.



When justice only appears to be done

Mean Streets (September 5) was a fine piece of writing. On reviewing the situation in Toronto, I cannot help but feel that personal bias has distorted the whole affair concerning the death of Emanuel Jaques. It was not the sex shops that killed the boy. If the murder had taken place along the waterfront, would angry mobs have protested its closing? Our society is becoming so complacent that it is taking the easy way out. Isn’t it rather easy to close a sex shop? If we close our eyes, the problems of the world will be there when we open them. Thousands of people die each year from smoking, guns, drunk drivers, terrorist bombings and other horrendous acts but the public hasn’t demanded the government to stop these more serious atrocities. When scholars of the future look back upon the 20th century, they will certainly marvel at how such a supposedly intelligent race was so paranoid about sex, but allowed bigotry, mass murders, alcoholism, the threat of nuclear war and other vices to flourish.


The day when the good boat went down

I was very interested in The Lady In The Lake—And The Man Who Must Have Her (August 22) since my great-uncle, Captain Alexander Corkum, was master of the Gunilda at the time she was wrecked. My father and two of my uncles were also members of her crew. Father always claimed the ship was wrecked because her charts were inaccurate; they showed the rock she struck to be four miles from its ac-

tuai position. The tug that came to tow the Gunilda free was not small, but was the large, new and powerful ice-breaking tug James Whelan of Port Arthur. No one questioned that the tug could tow the yacht free, hence portholes, etc., were left open, as mentioned in the article. All hands left the yacht before the attempt to free her was made.

The first tow was made back along the course the yacht had been steering when she ran aground. She didn’t budge so the tug altered course from the rock. The yacht had listed onto the rock when she struck, and this new action caused her to list the other way. Instead of merely listing, she

continued to roll down on her beam-ends and she sank in less than two minutes. Had she listed away from the rock when she struck she would ver)' likely have gone down at once with all hands.


Allen Maki’s article on the Gunilda best outlines man’s eternal quest for solving the riddles that surround him in his environment. After reading the article I felt like joining Fred Broennle in his search for the boat. The mystery of the oceans is indeed an alluring subject, one nicely handled by Maki. Bravo on a nice piece ofjoumalism.


But what about the little people?

As a citizen of Belize I have a few comments to make on The Mutts Of War (August 22). William Lowther, like many journalists writing to produce sensationalism and to earn their pay, has exaggerated many things out of focus. In trying to create a facetious style, he has made the Belizean people appear retarded and wretched. Once again the calculated coldness and aloofness of a newsman, who seeks only to impress his readers of his “vast” knowledge of diplomacy, oozes out of the article. Lowther, in his enthusiasm to expose himself as an adept writer and diplomatic analyst, has made the mistake of writing only about the Guatemalan and British diplomatic chessboard, while stepping with heavy boots on the people of Belize, their true ways, their openness and their integrity.



I have just finished reading Born-ToRaise-Hell Inc. (August 22). I’d like to tell the story of a motorcycle “club,” not a gang, called The Blue Knights Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club, Inc. In existence since 1974 with more than 5,000 members throughout Canada and the United States and chapters in Germany and Switzerland, our club is comprised of police officers, prison guards, security guards, or anyone involved in law enforcement. Our main common interest is motorcycling and our objective is to change the public image of motorcyclists.

We have Canadian chapters in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and we have one starting in Alberta. We here in Moncton are working in conjunction with the New Brunswick Safety Council instructing safety courses. In time we hope that every motorcyclist will take these courses as the Blue Knights feel they are very essential. The “Blue” in our name represents the common color of the uniform of today’s policemen; the “Knights” goes back to the days of King Arthur and the policemen of the days of old. These knights were always ready to assist people in need and they knew no fear. In keeping with the tradition of Knighthood, we will assist anyone, anywhere. Our motto: Ride with Pride.



A typical case of rape

Being the senior criminologist in Canada (since 1918), I followed the Vancouver Crime Of The Year (September 5) story with interest. Despite all the fanfare, it was fairly routine. The accused got three months in Oakalla, which he is appealing. In the bad old days, the sentence would have been “to be hanged by the neck until dead.” That sentence, too, was always appealed. (I studied every hanging that took place during this “tough” period and there

wasn’t a rapist in the lot.) Many claim that murder is the safest crime to commit in Canada; my money would go on rape. The safest rape of all is where two or more men overpower one woman. (The Court will almost always take the word of two liars against one truth teller.) The most juicy case I know concerned six men and one woman. The woman, as usual, went on trial—not her assailants. The defense counsel smacked his lips over each juicy morsel before he spat it at the jury. Even the judge went bug-eyed. In the eyes of the Court the woman was a common whore and naturally her victimized assailants got off.


Is good news really no news?

The old adage “Two heads are better than one,” certainly does not hold in the case of the writers of What’s-His-Name’s Travels (June 13). It is hard to believe that two people would take the trouble to dig up all the mean things that happened to Joe Clark during his western tour. Not a word about the happier incidents, no mention of the Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Victoria where Clark spoke and received a standing ovation from the largest attended luncheon the chamber had ever held. On one of his first visits to BC, long before he got into the limelight, I heard Clark speak and I have never forgotten how humorous, intelligent and forceful he was. He is “stuffy and undefined” only to those who wish to see him that way. I suppose that behaving like a trained monkey behind the back of our Queen in Washington and dancing like a half-witted court jester at No. 10 Downing Street, are displays of magic and charisma.


Indecent exposure

Is your August 22 cover an attempt to compete with the porno magazines on the newsstands? This is blatant sexism and repulsive for a magazine of your calibre. Could you not find something else to measure besides a scantily clad female’s breasts? It is no use to defend this cover by referring to the inside article showing the woman measuring the chest of the male person. He is fully clothed; she is not.



A woman’s beauty, or lack of it, is not determined by a tape measure, but by a system that contains an analysis of personality, character and spiritual qualities as well as physical assets. Had the article contained something about this lady’s outstanding traits, and had she been involved in a sport where this type of attire is required or normal, and had her pose been related to that sport instead of getting

measured, one could understand her place on a magazine cover. Since this is not the case, I find the photo immoral.


Why present a Miss Chesty Cheesecake and a Mr. Dirty L. Oldman as typical Canadians coping with metric conversion? Most of us find more humor in fitting litre milk bags into quart containers and attempting to pour milk over our morning cereal . . . and place mat, and table, and floor...


In a big pile of mail I flashed right away on that Metric cover. O wow, totally upfront. Demonstrably the most creative publication, Western-Hemisphere-wise.


Metric Madness reads like a piece of propaganda from the Metric Commission. The whole process may not be as inevitable and irreversible as you suggest. It may not be essential for the greater good of mankind that individual Canadians be forced, in their everyday lives, to buy gasoline in litres, measure carpets in square metres, weigh babies in grams and think in kilopascals. Scientists have been using metric for a long time, quietly and unobtrusively. The cost, the bother and the total disruption of our vision of the measurable world brought on by the proposed wholesale, grass-roots conversion, are incalculable. Compensating savings are negligible.


What I find particularly distasteful about this cover illustration is that the man is fully clothed, while the woman is typically semi-dressed. Was it not possible,or even permissible, to obtain a semi-nude male model to pose for the photo?


God save the Fotheringham

I want to give a few facts on the monarchy question. First a recent quote from The Victoria Daily Times in which the Queen says: “I cannot forget that I was crowned Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.” The Commonwealth is not even mentioned. Another quote entitled Discrimination Legalized Bv Britain: “A foreigner is anyone, even British born, who has resided more than three years outside the country.” Allan Fotheringham, I salute you for your columns on the monarchy (June 27, August 22).


I have a morbid fear that I’ll open Maclean ’s to its final page and find Allan Fotheringham is missing— may that never happen!