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Abusive letters

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 Contents - Jul 2004AD2000 July 2004 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Separation of Church and State? - Michael Gilchrist
Liturgy: New improved English Mass translation nears completion - Michael Gilchhrist
Feminist 'rituals': no substitute for prayer - Joanna Bogle
News: The Church Around the World
Pastoral Letter: The secular challenges to our faith: how to respond - Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett
Eucharistic Adoration: heart of evangelisation - Fr Sebastian Camilleri OFM
Croagh Patrick, Ireland's Holy Mountain: 'Sure, it's a bit of a hill' - Paul Russell
Letters: Synod (letter) - Lance Eccles
Letters: Courageous lead (letter) - Tom King
Letters: Ineffective system (letter) - John Mulholland
Letters: Catholic schools (letter) - George Simpson
Letters: Dating the Gospels (letter) - Fr G.H. Duggan SM
Letters: Informative talk (letter) - Frank Bourke
Letters: Gay lobby (letter) - Alan A. Hoysted
Letters: Abusive letters - Maureen Federico
Letters: Christian models (letter) - Brett Powell
Letters: Christians the most vilified group (letter) - Arnold Jago
Letters: Disappointment (letter) - Cathy Cleary
Letters: The Passion of the Christ (letter) - June Forester
Letters: Parish concerns (letter) - Peter Gilet
Letters: No kneelers (letter)
Letters: The power of one (letter) - Brian Harris
Letters: Sacred Heart (letter) - V. Mulligan
Letters: CD response (letter) - Melanie and Christopher Duluk
Books: Flee To the Fields - The Founding Papers of the Catholic Land Movement - Peter Chojnowski (reviewer)
Books: An Essay on the Restoration of Property, by Hilaire Belloc - John Ballantyne (reviewer)
Books: Ethics and the National Economy, by Heinrich Pesch - John Williamson (reviewer)
Redemptionis Sacramentum (Sacrament of Redemption) abridged version - Fr M. Durham
Books: More new titles for 2004 from AD Books
Reflection: No time to pray? Try contemplation - Fr Leo J. Trese

Recently on the ABC news, the Catholic Church (in this case its education system) was depicted in an unfavourable light.

In regard to the refugee question, two interstate Catholic schools were shown to have encouraged children to write discourteous and downright abusive letters to Senator Vanstone, to whom an unreserved apology is now warranted.

The school children involved obviously were unable, or could not be expected, to discern the big picture of illegal entry which also may be unclear to the teachers and parents who condoned or promoted this type of behaviour.

This should have been explained carefully before being taken on, particularly using children as a political stunt, as also is the case with the aspiring entrants.

Is any mention made of the already accepted refugees (yes - with children too!) who are languishing in camps overseas because they have been jostled "out of the queue" by others who have enough money, chutzpah and a complete disregard of another country's laws, to put themselves and their children in unsafe, leaky boats heading to either the bottom of the sea, or if they are lucky to make it, to a barbed wire enclosed camp for an assessment that may, or may not, go their way?

After all, are we not, a "soft target" to these people because we are seen as a generous and open-hearted nation open to exploitation of these qualities.

In regard to these little people, is this type of disrespectful behaviour and name-calling tolerated in their classroom/playground? Is it encouraged at home? Is this responsible behaviour on the part of the adults involved? Should other parents be paying for an "education" containing elements such as this, including the elimination of basic good manners and common courtesy?

Finally what was evident in the letters quoted from was a poor standard of writing, presentation and comprehension. Perhaps time devoted to enhancing these basic skills would be better spent in classrooms than the firing off of ill-informed, abusive letters.

Frankston South, Vic

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 17 No 6 (July 2004), p. 14

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