May 2000

Bishop Mike Has Arrived

Regarding your piece titled “Bishop Fred?” (New Oxford Notes, Jan.): In case you’re keeping track of Roman Catholic bishops who want to be called by their first name, we would like to inform you that when Michael Driscoll was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Boise, Idaho, in 1999, he asked to be called “Bishop Mike.” And most priests in this diocese wish to be called by their first name (preceded, if you insist, by “Father”). We don’t know where this disease started, but it has definitely reached epidemic proportions here. We believe there is a cause-and-effect relationship between the lack of respect for the priesthood (and lack of leadership) signaled by this first-name chumminess and the problems in the diocese.

Mr. & Mrs. R.W. Thomas
Idaho Falls, Idaho

Lack of Gumption? Compared to Whom?

In his review of the book about the Salvation Army (Jan.), Patrick Rooney says “today’s Army reminds me of the Republican Party — great platform, but a glaring lack of desire to publicly stand up in the midst of a red-hot culture war.” But I remember that the Salvation Army said NO (PERIOD!) to San Francisco’s attempt to get the Army to recognize homosexual partnerships whereas Catholic Charities of San Francisco, at the behest of the Archbishop of San Francisco, caved in to city pressure.

Frank Grabarits
San Diego, California

An Open Mind Is Not a Wind Tunnel

I guess it’s only fair that we have to read one of those “orthodoxy is judgmental” letters that you must have to read every day. I’m referring to Patricia A. Gunn’s letter scolding you for not being perpetually open to the opinions of others (March).

Well, consider yourselves the recipients of profound sympathy. And I thank the Good Lord for your response to Ms. Gunn. When I was still a Protestant, I heard a sermon in which the pastor said, “The purpose of an open mind is not to be a wind tunnel for every opinion. It is to be open to truth, on which it must promptly close.”

Marsha Livingston
Mesa, Arizona

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