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
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.
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.
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
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,”
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.
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
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.