Sydney
23 February 2003

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War ‘difficult to justify’

Mentally ill sent to jail

Religious have ‘great role to play in Church’

Don’t let ‘just war’ debate cloud issue

School can help you ‘be real men’

Arcadia - all the fun of the fair

Seminaries overflow, so need for cash is urgent

IMF, Churches meet

Parramatta OLMC tops state in Study of Religion

Bone marrow breakthrough

Twins, sister inspired by ‘boat people’

Editorial: A case to answer

Letters: Outstanding

Conversation: Patrick McClure, head of Mission Australia - ‘My faith and passion come together’ here

Courage in the face of temptations

Faith makes Fr Chris strong - author

Tong - guardian angel on the street

High 5s and Jesus values at Holy Spirit

Grant helps league members learn e-mail, internet

Diocese eyes Oak Flats for $16m school

Art takes Luke on voyage of discovery


 

Letters: Outstanding

It was a pleasure to read your coverage (Churches together under one roof, CW 9/2) of the outstanding exhibition of 90 church and cathedral models in the crypt of St Mary's Cathedral.

Richard Braddish deserves our gratitude for the skill and painstaking labour applied to the assembly of this remarkable display.

My own appreciation was heightened by a career-long association with ecclesiastical architecture, but there is something in this for everyone.

Don't miss it!

A query - not criticism: Richard doubtless has a good reason for his unusual choice of the general scale of 1 in 665; why not a rounder number?

Greg Scahill
Kirribilli, NSW

APPARITIONS

I am disappointed you have given coverage to the Medjugorje "visionary' and the alleged messages from Our Lady (Peace, peace, peace - that's the message from Medjugorje, CW 9/2).

The bishops of Mostar (both present and past) declared there was nothing supernatural in the "apparitions" and the phenomenon has caused terrible divisions and disobedience in the region.

There are many gullible people who love to latch on to apparitions.

It is a pity your publication has publicised this visit.

Maryse Usher,
East St Kilda, Vic

PROPAGANDA

Following US Secretary of State Colin Powell's presentation to the United Nations, the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano quoted senior Vatican officials as saying that the US argument was based on ' propaganda' rather than hard evidence.

Propaganda often pays scant or no attention to truth.

Truth is the first casualty in war. It is also a casualty when governments launch their countries on collision courses with other nations.

A devastating exposure of war propaganda was made by English politician Lord Ponsonby in his book Falsehood in War Time, published in 1928.

In 30 chapters he reproduced the many horror lies disseminated by British, United States, French, Italian and German propaganda prior to and during World War I and followed each with official denials, many of which were not acknowledged until years after the war.

In the introduction to his book Ponsonby wrote: "They [the common people] should realise that a Government which has decided on embarking on the hazardous and terrible enterprise of war must at the outset present a one-sided case in justification of its action, and cannot afford to admit in any particular whatever the smallest degree of right or reason on the part of the people it has made up its mind to fight.

"Facts must be distorted, relevant circumstances concealed, and a picture presented which by its crude colouring will persuade the ignorant people that their Government is blameless, their cause is righteous and that the indisputable wickedness of the enemy has been proved beyond question."

Finally, who is lying? Bush, Blair, Powell, Howard and Downer assert that the Iraqi administration has links to Al Queda. British Intelligence has stated that there is no such connection; as has Catholic Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Aziz.

Dr Joe Morley
Lane Cove, NSW

JACKPOT QUESTION

A few weeks ago some of my friends (non-Christians) asked me why the Lidcombe Catholic Club has so many poker machines.

To tell you the truth I couldn't explain why. Christians and non-Christian, I think, would expect thata Catholic club would provide anenvironment that does not prey onpeople's weaknesses such as gambling.

I know that Catholic clubs donate to charities, groups, local parishes and other worthwhile institutions but that does not justify the means used to get that money.

There has been bad publicity lately on how clubs keep asking for more pokies to fund their growth, especially in low-income suburbs, and among them there are Catholic clubs.

The fact that they use the word 'Catholic' implies that the Catholic Church accepts and endorses pokies, which I know is not true.

Can somebody be kind enough to tell me how can one justify pokies in Catholic clubs?

Julio Chavez
Hinchinbrook, NSW

TIMELY APPRAISAL

The calm assessment by Dr George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, of the situation in Iraq (War not at option yet: Dr Pell, CW 9/2) is greatly appreciated, especially in the present climate of political point scoring and the, shall we say, desperate efforts to find a 'scapegoat' onto which we may pin our fears.

Thank you, Dr Pell, for your timely and honest appraisal.

Thank you to The Catholic Weekly for its front page coverage.

Margaret Jones
Crookwell, NSW

MARITAL PUNCHING BAG

As the wife of an abuser, now separated but sharing the same house for financial and legal reasons, I cannot accept Dr Alex Sharah's opinions (Holy union, Letters CW 19/2) regarding love and abuse in marriage.

I can't believe that God expects any person to continue living in a situation which allows the abused to be a veritable punching bag, either verbally or physically, or both.

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