April 25 2005


April 25 2005


‘Catholics are saddened but not disheartened by the death of John Paul II. His indomitable spirit will continue

to live with them.’ —Hilario Pinto, Vanier,Ont.

The death of the Pope

After reading “Remembering John Paul II” (“Tribute,” Cover, April 11), it dawned on me that the Pope taught me a wonderful lesson—how to die with dignity and courage. Though I never met him, I came to love him because his faith in God helped me in my journey of faith. It’s absolutely wonderful how many millions of lives he touched. The world is a better place because of this truly good and decent man.

Michael McCafferty, Regina

Pope John Paul II, a man of deep faith, will one day be proclaimed a saint. The Holy Father was an inspiration and a model witness to the life of Christ; a shepherd of truth immersed in profound humility and immense love for both God and man. His many writings and tireless, worldwide pilgrimages have been a source of strength, encouragement, confidence, optimism and enlightenment not only to Catholics but to all men of good will. In his historic role in the fall of Communism, John Paul II was the world’s most influential and uncompromising defender of the dignity of human life.

Paul Kokoskl, Hamilton

My head is still spinning over that trite, fantasy puff edition that your usually fine magazine put out (“The people’s Pope,” Special Commemorative Issue). The People’s Pope? He certainly was the people’s Pope— unless you’re homosexual. His legacy of compassion? His compassion was felt all around Africa when he told the people beleaguered by AIDS and overpopulation that condom use was a sin. Let’s not also forget providing safe haven to that cardinal responsible for acts of molestation by priests in Massachusetts. No, I don’t think I’ll be reflecting fondly on the “activism” and “compassion” of this, or any other, pope.

Jay Wilman, Oshawa, Ont.

I don’t wish to minimize the positive influence the Pope may have had, but I believe that your short paragraph about the world’s declining ecosystems, including depleted

fish stocks, water supplies and threatened wildlife (“Planet Earth,” Up Front, April 11) is an issue that will eventually have more of an impact than Pope John Paul II ever did. Martha Howatt, Caledonia, Ont.

Your article “The men who would be Pope” quotes Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as saying that the Church is “not democratic” in its deflection of public demands that it change its views about birth control, priestly celibacy and ordaining women. The author then tries to suggest the Church should become more so. I’m not a Catholic, but I think Ratzinger is correct. The Church is bound by the teaching of scripture, not by the whims of public opinion. There may be

democratic votes for persons who fill positions, but not on doctrine. Scripture—not public opinion—rules.

Edward Oke, Olds, Alta.

I want to thank you for publishing a story on Terri Schiavo (“Terri’s cruel death,” Society) in the same issue as your beautiful tribute to the Pope. Both people died at a time and in a manner that made the world sit up and watch. I am grateful that throughout his last few days, Pope John Paul II made it fundamentally clear that it is possible to die with grace and dignity. He gave us a reason to remember that life must be respected until the last breath is drawn.

Nuala Reilly, Cambridge, Ont.

Liberals at the public trough

The Gomery revelations on the Liberal sponsorship scandal certainly give us a good look at how our federal government can waste taxpayer dollars (“Shadowboxing,” Politics, April 11). However, such inappropriate use of public funds is not new. The Liberals just got caught by an auditor general who decided it must stop. Now, what the Liberals and their backroom cohorts need is a long time on the backbenches so that Canadians can experience honest, responsible and accountable government. It will be a real challenge to clean up Ottawa, but it must be done. Our future social and economic prosperity is at stake.

Eric Bysouth, Langley, B.C.

A royal kerfuffle

Where did you find the wonderful Rosalind Miles to write about Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Charles’s wedding (“Queen of Canada,” Nuptials, April 11)? It’s years since I’ve had so many laughs from Maclean’s or enjoyed such lovely, acid-tongued writing. And surely, after such a massacre of royal pretensions, there can’t be much excuse for Canada wanting to remain a monarchy in spite of your cleverly placed article “Royal or Republican?” on the page following the picture of the “crowned” queen herself. Colin Tilney, Victoria

While I appreciated Rosalind Miles’s factual and historical details, the disrespectful tone doesn’t look good on you. Worse, the photo you selected of Camilla with her eyes closed, wearing a short black dress with lots of leg showing was unfortunate. Do we need

this allusion to sleaze? Let’s just give this couple a quiet good-luck wave and get on with our lives.

Diana Ellis, Vancouver

May I say that I have never read anything so insulting as Rosalind Miles’s article. Furthermore, the photo you doctored of Camilla wearing a crown was badly done and in poor taste.

James Hill, St. Agatha, Ont.

Too bad you couldn’t have worked up the same venom, scorn and just plain meanspiritedness over Karla Homolka (“Girl next door,” Cover, March 21) as was evident in the article on the royal wedding.

Liz Brown, Stratford, Ont.

Rosalind Miles’s cheeky article managed to accurately assess and portray the frivolous nature of royalty and give it the dignity that the apex of the faltering English class system warrants.

Beverly Labrecque, Kingston, Ont.

Forever young

Regarding “The relentless Terry Fox” (Cover story, April 4), I remember that, in 1975, the president of my high school student council also died of cancer. He was a personable, articulate youth who made every student feel that he or she was his best friend. Even today, I remember the PA announcement that he had passed away. I also remember the TV news item five years later announcing that Terry Fox was not continuing his run. I immediately phoned relatives on vacation in Europe to let them know, and we cried together. The memories of these two young men are forever intertwined in my thoughts. I thank both of them for what they gave and thank the many individuals along the way who have advanced our knowledge of human disease.

Elyn Dobbs, Vancouver

As a parent, I witnessed the same qualities everyone admired so much about Terry Fox in my now 10-year-old daughter Hannah when she was 18 months old and diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma. One can draw so many parallels between Terry’s run and the battle our children face: chemo treatment after chemo treatment after chemo treatment. So, too, can we draw a parallel between

Terry’s goal and the results far too many kids face—not finishing. The Terry Fox Foundation does great work and has raised a tremendous amount of money for cancer research. Pediatric oncology has about a 75 per cent cure rate, which sounds promising, yet it means that one of every four children will die. Imagine what success rates treating childhood cancer would have with more funding. David Munro, Chair, Ontario Parents Advocating for Children with Cancer, Barrie, Ont.

Man on the move

During the late Sixties, I was the school principal in Rankin Inlet, then N.W.T., a few hundred kilometres north of Churchill, Man. Returning once from a conference in southern Canada, I had to change Transair planes in Churchill. My bags were heavy with copious amounts of potatoes, oranges, tomatoes and other fresh food so rare and costly up in Rankin. A young Transair employee, nattily suited-up in his blue-and-

white uniform, was kind enough to help me shift my luggage (“Going home again,” Mansbridge on the record, April 4). I was struck by his pleasant and courteous manner and later mentioned it to my Churchillbased superior. I clearly remember my boss’s response. “Oh, you must mean Peter Mansbridge. There’s a kid who’s going places.” Denis McNamee, Nanaimo, B.C.

Tall stories

The article on height (“A short history of height,” Science, April 4) gave no consideration to the impact of immigration. In Canada, where as many as 250,000 newcomers from all over the world are added each year, the average height of the next generation may be heavily influenced by the ethnic mix of these new Canadians. A decline in average height may be more about the diversity of our society than a reflection of inequality, poor health or declining economic conditions. Richard Tizzard, Mississauga, Ont.


Featuring the work of rich, prolific and wacky novelists

APART FROM BEING FICTITIOUS, Sherlock Holmes, Duddy Kravitz and Princess Daisy have something in common: their creators’ bylines have all appeared in Maclean’s. The magazine contained a mix of original and previously published material when it reprinted Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The life after death” in 1918. By that time, the author of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries firmly believed he could communicate with the dead. “The departed all agree that passing is usually both easy and painless, followed by an enormous reaction of peace and ease,” he assured his readers who were still among the living.

Few novelists have written more for Maclean’s than Mordecai Richler, who died in 2001. His first article, “How I became an unknown with my first novel,” appeared in 1958; his last, about playoff hockey telecasts, ran in 1993. Over the intervening decades, he

contributed pieces on wrestling, the lighter side of communism, Quebec politics, bigotry as practised by Jews and Gentiles, and a host of other subjects.

If success is measured in financial terms, the most eminent novelist who ever freelanced for Maclean’s may well be Judith Krantz. In the early 1960s, long before she patented a best-selling blend of sex and shopping in her fiction, she wrote several articles for this magazine. You can bet that whatever she made profiling the likes of Norman Jewison and Robert Goulet in these pages was a pittance compared with the US$ 3.2 million she received in 1980 for the paperback rights to Princess Daisy. - Pamela Young

From Our Pages celebrates Maclean’s centenary