Irate Roman Catholics sound off here:
Steve Dunn writes:
You forgot one item in your intended insult to our Pope and Roman Catholics in your June 21 'cartoon in the Spec. An arrow Sign pointing to 'Heaven' in the direction the Pope was driving would be the right message.
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Here's one I happened to come across which was printed in the News-Advertiser in Durham Region Ontario under the headline "No reason to mock driving commandments":
To the editor:
I started reading the Friday, June 22 issue of the News Advertiser, and after the front page, I went, as usual, to the editorial page. I was surprised to see the cartoon entitled, 'THE VATICAN ISSUES SAFE DRIVING COMMANDMENTS- WITH SOME EXCEPTIONS'.
This cartoon equates sexual abuse cases to moral value beliefs of the Catholic Church -- contraception and same sex marriage -- and throws in the issue of women priests.
How can you make this comparison and attack the beliefs of so many of your readers? Why compare the horrors of sexual abuse to a stance against contraception and same sex marriage and the tradition of not allowing women priests?
I am extremely offended by the cartoon and feel that your paper is promoting anti-Catholicism, if not hatred of Catholics and what they believe and hatred of the Catholic Church.
Have you read the Safe Driving Commandments? Which ones are you against? In brief, are you against: 1, do not kill; 2, do no harm; 3, be courteous; 4, be charitable; 5, do not dominate others with a car; 6, drive only when fit; 7, support victims' families; 8, promote forgiveness; 9, protect the vulnerable; or 10, feel responsible for others? Which of these deserve your paper's ridicule and derision?
Maybe you should publish these commandments in detail like other papers have done and support them instead of ridiculing them.
Larry Noonan * * * * *
The Spectator's penchant for anti-Catholic cartoons (July 12), articles (July 11) and letters (July 14) exposes just how ignorant and irresponsible the media has become.
Contrary to letter writer Joseph Leo it is not "arrogance" but "love" that allows the Pope and Catholics to assert their faith as the one true religion. The Catholic Church is the only church today that can be traced directly back to Christ, The Messianic King, whose coming was foretold in Jewish Scripture. All other Christian denominations are thus "defective" in the sense (and to the degree) that they have arbitrarily chosen to sever themselves from Catholic belief. This radical decentralization of truth which has expressed itself over the years in various forms and Christian denominations such as Protestantism and Anglicanism means not a turning toward Christ but a turning toward oneself, that is, the people. The biblical concept "people of God" thus becomes "we are the people", a movement that no longer groups itself around the traditional laws but simply go off on their own. This is how the Soviet Union began, i.e. with a "people's democracy" that was simply a lie. While other Christian bodies can play a role in bringing people to salvation, it is in the Catholic Church that the Church of Christ is concretely found on this earth.
Though there are rays of truth in other religions, the "fullness" of truth resides in the Catholic Church. Hence, it is an act of charity for Catholics to pray for others so that they too may come to a full realization of the truth. To think otherwise would be to embrace the hypocritical doctrine of moral relativism that says all religions are equal even though they all contradict one another. This is the prevalent mentality of modern man. It is the nihilistic rationale behind our culture of death which champions anti-life causes that include homosexuality, embryonic stem cell research, abortion, contraceptives and divorce. Ironically such people who keep their lives for themselves, end up losing it out of fear of giving it away. The Catholic Church in contrast reaches out to all - it breathes the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Sincerely, * * * * *
To the editor:
Re: June 22 editorial cartoon, 'The Vatican issues safe driving commandments'.
As a community newspaper, the News Advertiser should not belittle groups within the community they serve. I take exception to the cartoon and find it demeaning to my religion. Your type of newspaper should respect all groups within the community and a decision should be taken by your editorial staff to avoid publishing this type of material in the future.
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To the editor:
Re: Editorial cartoon, June 22.
Long ago, an evil man began an evil plan. Some of his earlier attempts at maligning a people were to print cartoons in the newspapers. The way he depicted Jews was offensive, yet very persuasive. At the time it seemed harmless. History shows us otherwise.
The expression of hatred against identifiable groups or people distinguished by their colour, race, religion or ethnic origin is always a tragedy. Last Friday's cartoon depiction of the Catholic church was disturbing and was clearly designed to incite and promote hostility against a people. It demonstrated ignorance with respect to Catholic teaching and exposed the illustrator's own intolerance and bigotry.
The Catholic church is not alone in its refusal to yield to the pressures of the day. Many religions do not support same-sex marriage, contraception, abortions or women priests/pastors/rabbis. This cartoon would not have made it to print if it depicted Judaism or Islam.
I am not condemning free speech, but it is the responsibility of everyone to confront prejudice and indifference and ensure that truth prevails.
For those who truly take the time to familiarize themselves with Catholic teaching, they cannot deny that at its very root is the promotion of love, sanctity and dignity for every human being and offers liberation rather than oppression.