THE MAIL

August 5 2002

THE MAIL

August 5 2002

THE MAIL

‘An offender priest who has done some quality therapeutic work knows it is no longer possible for him to work with parishioners as their priest.’ -SHARON wuRMANN,vemon,B.c.

Clerical responsibility

It is incomprehensible that an organization as socially powerful and responsible as the Catholic Church is permitted to conduct its affairs as described in “A Church in denial” (Cover, July 22). Not only have the victims of these crimes endured the sufferings inflicted by the individual perpetrators, they are subsequently abandoned by the very institution from which they sought guidance and comfort in the first place. The Church turns its back on the parishioners and protects its own.

Brennan Ross, Fort St. John, B.C.

As a post-Vatican II Catholic Christian, I found your editorial (“A Catholic catharsis?” The Editor’s Letter, July 22) to be a sober and realistic snapshot of current, and past, realities within the bureaucracy and body of the Catholic Christian religion. Well done. The abuse inflicted by ordained priests is an issue that needed to be explored in detail. But in the accompanying story (“Keeping the faith alive”), the simplistic reporting of pilgrims searching to understand the teachings of Jesus, which their local spiritual leaders obviously could not inspire, was a waste of space and paper.

Michael T. Westwell, Kingston, Ont.

I expected articles on World Youth Day, its positives and potential problems. Instead, I was subjected to an anti-Church editorial, and “Keeping the faith alive” was overwhelmed by “A church in denial,” a rehash of yesterday’s news about pedophile priests. When will the media get a life and stop their anti-Church bias?

T. A. Lauzon, Ottawa

It is clear that neither Father James Kneale nor Bishop Fred Henry of Calgary “get it” in terms of sexual abusers, their motivation, the intensity of their problems and (even more importantly) the need for them to develop understanding and be responsible for their actions. An

offender priest who has done some quality therapeutic work knows it is no longer possible for him to work with parishioners as their priest. He would perhaps ask for work in research or administration. I would earnestly hope that a bishop would have received training in this area and would know that an offend _ priest must be responsible for his deeds for the rest of his life. For Henry to take the view that Kneale has been “treated unjustly” is so counterproductive and so unfair it takes my breath away.

Sharon Wurmann, Vernon, B.C.

Alive and kicking

“Disappearing Saskatchewan” (Cover, July 15) immediately brought to mind a quote attributed to Mark Twain, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

Leacy Freeman, Montreal

Saskatchewan is rich in top-quality farmland as well as men and women who know how to work and make it produce. It is a major producer of wheat, durum, oats, barley, flax, canola, mustard, peas, alfalfa, chickpeas, lentils, wild rice, canary seed and caraway seed, as well as being huge in beef. The problem is that our national governments have allowed the railways and the transnational elevator companies to dictate which (if any) towns should survive. This has been devastating. And while this is all taking place, our neighbour to the south is subsidizing its farmers so they can kick Canadian farmers’ butts. As your article points out, they are being quite successful. Where is our national government through all of this?

Telling us to try to grow some new crops that may or may not work.

Micheál G.W. Halyk, Melville, Sask.

This article was in particularly bad taste both in its inference that our province is “disappearing” and in its visual concept. Even in Saskatchewan we develop our pictures in colour.

Val Thomas, McTaggart, Sask.

While people may be leaving Saskatchewan to find their fortunes elsewhere, there are those of us who are leaving Alberta and Manitoba to find our fortunes in Saskatchewan. It is unfortunate you chose to concentrate on the former and only briefly mention the latter.

Chris Budlong, Kipling, Sask.

I left the farm at age 32 to study computer information systems. Now, 10 years later, I’m a technical analyst at SaskTel, one of the top companies to work for in Canada. My evenings and weekends are mine to do as I wish, whereas on the farm I would work 12 to 16 hours a day, even more during seeding and harvest, for minimal compensation. Do I regret the choice I made 10 years ago? Absolutely not. That was one of the best decisions I ever made. Kevin Krammer, Regina

Blast from the past

Just when I thought your magazine was getting a little too trite for my liking, you hit me with a spofl'ght on Nash the Slash (“Spotlight on the Slasher,” Overture, April 22) a few months ago, and now Garth Hudson (“The wizard,” Music, July 22). You deserve my utmost respect.

Julian A. Belanger, Windsor, Ont.

Talking Turkey )

“At the crossroads” (Turkey, July 22) discusses Turkey’s economic and socio-political future in the European Union as well as the country’s post-9/11 role as a buffer between Europe and the fundamentalist Islamic world, but it fails to mention that Turkey is the only predominantly Muslim member of NATO. Surely this fact is relevant to any discussion of Turkey’s political influence, especially in light of the U.S. assertion that Iraq’s regime must be toppled. Turkey’s economic losses due to the Iraqi embargo and the fragile state of its

TH EMAIL

coalition government/military dictatorship must be duly considered. The U.S. proclivity for ignoring the faults of strategically important allies is a hypocrisy that must soon force a reckoning. One need only look at the plight of the poor in monarchical Saudi Arabia and the growing anti-Western sentiments in that country, fuelled in part by fanatics like Osama bin Laden, to see the folly of blind economic diplomacy. Until U.S. Mideast policy is independent of its oil addiction, good sense is unlikely to prevail.

Demetreus Blakemore, Burnaby, B.C.

Big and bigger

I, too, thought these oversized roadside monuments were a little over the top until we had one built in our town (“Size matters,” Will Ferguson’s Canada, July 22). A giant bee was constructed in the downtown core of Falher, Alta., at one time the honey capital of Canada. Falher is a nice place filled with genuinely nice people who are proud of their town and their culture (which includes the bee), but it would have been nice to have the name spelled correctly—it’s Falher, not Fahler.

Tonya Galigan, Spruce Grove, Alta.

Born and raised a proud Sudburian, I was disappointed not to read about the Big Nickel, Sudbury’s reminder to travellers on Highway 17 that they are visiting the nickel capital of the world. A little farther west there is a big loonie in Echo Bay, although it pales in comparison to the size of our coin.

Brad King, Brampton, Ont.

As always, I chuckled my way through Will’s story, partly because I have stopped at so many of the same larger-than-life Canadian icons. I was disappointed he didn’t mention the cow in my hometown of Woodstock, Ont., the “Dairy Capital of Canada” (though there is no dairy there). One more roadside stop next time he’s in Ontario.

Lynne Cotten, Petawawa, Ont.

Sex and the single golfer

I sincerely regret that Donna Carter did not have a better time on Oahu for her $100 (“Tee-off time,” Over to You, July 22). But she makes an assumption when she says eight or 10 men eyed her “suspi-

ciously” when she showed up to play golf alone; perhaps they were admiring the lone lady golfer. I have had over 20 years of golfing on Oahu, six months a year, three days a week. All the golfers are helpful and courteous and I definitely cannot hit my drive over 200 yards: I am 79 and have a spinal fusion.

Alex Kowbel, Foymount, Ont.

I confess I don’t like it when a single joins up with me and my golfing buddies, but that single could be male or female or Tiger Woods, because golfing with, like meeting, strangers can be awkward. Donna Carter offers no proof she was excluded from playing with male golfers just because she is female.

Jason Brough, Vancouver

I played with a man in Spain who was a complete twit. Playing behind a ladies’ foursome, he would say in a loud voice: “Why do women play golf?” A week later, the starter put me with a lady and the same man. I was most satisfied and gratified when the young lady outdrove, outplayed and beat him by 10 strokes.

Roger Fox, Prince George, B.C.

Waste not, want not

The photograph accompanying “A municipal workers’ strike may mean a long, smelly summer for Toronto” (The Week, July 15) took me aback. The content of the garbage pile really is disheartening—a mix of recyclables, vegetable matter, plastic wrap, wood, etc. Perhaps some of the people who suffered the inconvenience of no garbage pickup will begin to separate, compost and reuse as much of the needless waste as possible.

Rick Clare, Whistler, B.C.

Peace, man

I think it’s a bit disingenuous to imply that those boomers who experimented with

alternative-living situations came back to the mainstream culture to become rabid consumers, as if the initial impulses for a more balanced, sane and less consumption-based life were merely a fad like tiedyed shirts (“Back to the future,” History, July 22). The culture, as I remember it, was extremely hostile to those of us who deviated from the bourgeois expectations of the time (and nothing has really changed in this regard). Societal pressure coupled with our own lack of maturity and the unwillingness of the mainstream to nurture these tentative movements also played a large role in our re-entering middle-class society. It was probably true that only a small percentage of the boomer generation aspired to any countercultural or political activity—the overwhelming majority of this generation were as conservative as their parents. However, there are still many pockets of people who took the higher values of the ’60s to heart—giving back to society, money can’t buy you love, a proper relationship with the natural world, and peace—and they deserve their due.

Bruce Gilchrist, Oakville, Ont.

Winning ain’t everything

I was struck by the statement, “But the Chrétien camp is stressing loyalty and the PM’s proven track record as a winner” (“The PM turns to Mr. Fix-It,” Politics, July 15). What a lousy excuse for running for office at any level of government. Loyalty is good but only when the object of that loyalty is worthy. Chrétien may have, for some reason I have yet to fathom, a good track record in winning elections but not in performing the work he was elected to do.

Gilbert Epp, Abbotsford, B.C.

Liberal “loyalty to the leader,” adviser John Rae’s strategy for the Jean Chrétien popularity machine demonstrates the imageover-substance approach that has always been Chrétien’s watchword. It also demonstrates the lack of personal integrity among his “loyal” supporters. There is nothing more sickening than to watch a bunch of Liberal sycophants standing around in the House applauding Chrétien when we have ample reason to believe he is not a man who deserves loyalty and respect.

James Cass, Stirling, Ont.