The article on Titus Brandsma by Donald J. D'Elia (Dec.) was a pleasant surprise.
It's an excellent article, one of the best I've read on him. There isn't much in English, certainly not of this quality. We're indebted to the NOR for publishing it.
Ben Hogan, O. Carm.
Brandsma National Office
It Takes One to Know One?
Many thanks for the quite perceptive review by James J. Thompson Jr. (Nov.) on nutty Southern Catholic writers.
Mea Culpa Required
The Editor's reply to Rev. Franklyn M. McAfee's criticism of the article by Norman Lear was flippant and unfair (Dec). McAfee has a point. I did read Lear's article (as the Editor suggests McAfee did not) and I reacted in much the same way he did.
Nowhere in his article (Sept.) did Lear indicate any realization that, by the kind of TV programs he initiated and sponsored years ago, he has contributed in large measure to the very atmosphere he now decries in network TV. Programs have gone beyond limits to an extent perhaps never envisioned or intended by Lear, but that does not exonerate him for his part in helping create the climate in which this was not only possible, but eventually inevitable.
However eloquently he may now analyze the decline of America's morality in terms of our "quick-fix mentality" and obsession with "short-term results," the fact remains that he helped further this decline - and made a fortune doing it. Acknowledgment of past errors is essential, and I saw no evidence of that in Lear's article.
I was delighted with the Editor's response to the two irritated and/or outraged Letters in the Dec. issue - viz., Rev. Franklyn M. McAfee's complaint that you published an article by Norman Lear, and Robert Lentz's complaint that you published an ad for The AIDS Cover-Up? I sense that both correspondents are, in opposite ways, victims of ideology - the most popular around the cross, as Flannery O'Connor put it.
Rev. Patrick Dooling
St. Angela's Church
Pacific Grove, California
I was surprised by the emotional tone of the Editor's comment on my letter (Dec.) decrying the presence of Norman Lear in your journal. Contrary to the judgment the Editor so rashly made of me, I did read the Lear article before I wrote the letter protesting it. What Lear wrote he has said before, but his actions indicate that he has not changed.
Rev. Franklyn M. McAfee
President, Notre Dame Pontifical Catechetical Institute