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The animus of Stars and Stripes, which it shares with The Washington Post, was evident in its March 27 edition. One article ("Pope pressed to take firm action in abuse scandal") had the dubious honor of being highlighted on the front page, in the Quote of the Day, and in the weekly sampling of cartoons.

How naive (or incompetent?) of Stars and Stripes to swallow The Washington Post article whole, without doing its own homework, like reading the pope’s letter to the Irish people, which was already a week old. [Commentary in] The Post and Stars and Stripes self-righteously called for firm action in the abuse scandal, as if the week-old, strong-worded, comprehensive letter had not yet been published.

How can the pope win with this kind of media bias? How can I seriously recommend Stars and Stripes to my congregation as an even-handed news source? Ignorance of how the papacy works within the Church may be a partial source of such bias; after all, the Church is more like a confederacy of dioceses, with the papacy acting as a supreme court, than a top-down corporation with its chief executive officer or the federal government with its chief executive.

Socialistic thinking demands that all problems be handled from the top down, with one-size-fits-all solutions and in a grand media fashion. Vatican II Council insisted that the Church do business differently — bottom-up solutions based upon the nonsocialist principle of subsidiarity.

Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, while handing down strong, clear, supreme court decisions, fostered local/nationwide solutions, which, admittedly, takes time. Try to understand and respect our nonsocialist modus operandi.

Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Robert L. HumenayLandstuhl Regional Medical Center, German

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