Church Chat

I am a lapsed Catholic, but your article about the church is so unnecessarily inflammatory and ill-informed I’m speechless [“Virgin/Whore: The Catholic Church and Women,” November 4–10].

The church is shackling women’s rights? Was Mother Teresa shackled? Oh yes, the poor woman, being a Catholic and a nun no less. Only able to secure a Nobel Peace Prize for herself in the course of her life. She was so very held down. The church may support the unborn’s claim to the status of “life,” and support the tradition of no women in the priesthood, but other than that, the Catholic Church has evolved right along with the rest of society in terms of women’s rights.

The Catholic church is the fastest-growing Christian denomination on the planet. I go to church with my parents (have you been to a Catholic church lately?) when I am home, and priests and parishioners alike are resolute about the changes that need to happen, but staunch in their faith and optimistic about the future of the church and the necessary housecleaning that has finally begun.

Any human institution will have human failings. It makes the faith or the church itself no less noble, spirituality no less worthy a pursuit.

This Catholic-bashing thing as sport is really getting tired. This is a faith that means a lot to a lot of people.

Kristie Borowski
Beverly Hills

Mr. Burk’s research is rich and his opinions are so clearly articulated, and with wonderful humor. His description of his wife, Debra, as “a mace-wielding atheist” is not only funny, it also speaks to a not-too-popular truth, that all belief systems deserve reverence and respect.

Women, as Mr. Burk illustrated, were at one time worshipped and obeyed, as if they were goddesses made flesh. If the Catholic church truly wants to espouse a powerful message, let it be one of love and how love is truly the only thing in life that has any real meaning. Maybe then one day we’ll see a pregnant priestess giving benediction and the pews will start filling again on Sundays. Great job — please keep Mr. Burk’s work coming.

Jonas Mannon

If you seriously think two millennia of the church’s influence isn’t responsible for the status of women in Western civilization, you can think that. But it means you have to send your daughters to a culture in Africa or Asia where the Catholic Church has had no effect on marriage, divorce and the treatment of women.

Paul Nelson
Newport Beach

Alternative View

As a former “executive sales sleaze” from Jim Larkin and Mike Lacey’s mid-1980s launch team (the beginnings of Denver’s Westword and Miami’s New Times) and more recently a national ad executive from the New York City world of both daily newspapers (New York Post) and magazines (YM, Working Woman), I have watched the growth of New Times and the shifting sophistication of its editorial content with fascination and often envy [“Dissonance,” November 4–10].

I lived in New York City when the Voice went from paid to free because of what appeared to be its decreasing circulation from free-distribution competitors New York Press and others. And, frankly, they had little choice.

You are quite correct when you note that, with diminishing ad revenues from classified advertising (Craigslist et al.) and paid circulation, a central sales force which will efficiently sell national branding campaigns for what will become the new Village Voice Media offers the papers’ talented writers both a stable job and an above-subsistence-level income.

Like musicians, a writer need not starve to experience professional success.

Diana Basso
New York

Classical Concerts

I noticed the past two weeks that L.A. Weekly does not include classical-music reviews/concert listings. As I don’t get your outstanding magazine weekly (I live in that quaint bastion of conservatism known as Bakersfield), I haven’t seen if this was a new editorial policy or just a temporary change. So please let me know if I should further lament the decline of Western civilization, or if this egregious omission is just a temporary blemish on your concert-scene section.

Louis Klonsky

Editor responds: All the listings for classical music events are in the Stage section. You can find them by looking for the Stage section on the Contents page. The listings are near Alan Rich’s classical music column, A Lot of Night Music.


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