Letters may be edited for clarity and length. E-mail to letters@ocweekly.com, or send to Letters to the Editor, c/o OC Weekly, 1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701. Or fax to (714) 550-5908.


Thank you for writing this incredible article [Gustavo Arellano's "Army of God," Aug. 13]. I honestly believe that you are a huge part of the healing process for the individuals in the article, as well as all victims of church abuse. What a shame the church has let it come to this.

As someone who grew up watching "Father Hollywood" captivating the laity at Mass and the kids swarming him at Mater Dei High School football games and someone who knows personally of [the] reasons for [Michael Harris'] removal from Santa Margarita Catholic High School, I am thoroughly disgusted. Let's not shame the protesters; let's shame the church. They are at fault here, not the victims. If the church goes bankrupt in the process, SO BE IT! AMEN, AMEN!

Jamie Dugan Aliso Viejo

I have been following the Catholic Church's sex-abuse scandal since it erupted, and I have to say that Arellano's piece was one of the finest articles I've read regarding this sensitive issue. He presented those men with balance and considered observation, making them come alive to the reader for their purposeful drive to see justice done for those hurt kids (still) residing within adult bodies.

And when we finally write the comprehensive story of this horrific time in the American Catholic Church, I want the American press to be credited with bringing our awareness of these crimes through this kind of reportage. As far as I'm concerned, reporters like Gustavo are the best things that ever happened to these abused kids.

Rita Mignacca Albany, New York

Excellent writing and reporting. I'm not a Catholic and not a sex-abuse victim, but I pray the victims will recover and the Catholic Church will heal itself instead of attempting to impose its will upon the world. Articles such as yours can only be helpful to all.

Roslyn Manley Irvine

Congratulations. Your article will toughen the hearts and lives of many struggling Catholics. God bless you.

Debby Bodkin Aliso Viejo

Re: Bishop Brown's humble hut [Gustavo Arellano's "Movin' On Up," Aug. 13]: this is one narcissistic pig.

Anonymous via e-mail

I sit here thinking, how to begin? Gustavo, you have the audacity to paint Christianity and Christians with an outrageously broad brush, characterizing us as abortion-clinic bombers and KKK members [Letters, Aug. 20]? What kind of bigoted crap is that? Should all Mexicans be seen as gangbangers running drugs, killing cops and scurrying back to Mexico to hide? Should all Islamic folks be characterized as plane-hijacking, murderous thugs, intent on killing all American infidels? Of course not. This kind of blatant hate and lashing out illustrates your bloated Leftist ignorance. Christians do all kinds of charity, but you choose to look at Christianity through prejudiced eyes.

B. Dirk Yarborough Costa Mesa

Gustavo Arellano's article "Nuestra Seora de Censorship" [Aug. 20] is based on inaccurate information obtained from the website La Voz de Aztln. Gustavo never contacted me, our guest curator or any museum representative regarding the "Virgin of Guadalupe" exhibit. I was contacted briefly by Ray Beltrn [the story researcher], and I sent him information indicating the La Voz stories were inaccurate. Had Gustavo researched this issue, he would have discovered there is no story nor any "controversy" surrounding the work of Alma Lpez and her participation in our upcoming exhibit.

To clarify a few of the statements made in the article:

We have never "censored" the selections of our guest curator, Lynn LaBate, nor have we censored the work of Alma Lpez. The piece Mara de Los Angeles was selected months ago by LaBate for inclusion in the exhibit. During the time she was researching possible artwork for the exhibit, she considered several of Ms. Lpez's works, as well as works by numerous other artists. She eventually selected Mara de Los Angeles as the piece that best fit the curatorial themes in the exhibit. Again, based on the theme of the exhibit, Our Ladywas not one of the works considered for the upcoming exhibit.

Regarding Gustavo's statement that "there would be no naked Virgins" in our exhibit, we have never had any discussion, agreement or any other communications with the Diocese of Orange or anyone else regarding this matter. I am not aware that any naked Virgin of Guadalupe images were proposed for our exhibit.

The Catholic Church never "went nuts" over any aspect of the exhibit. The representatives of the Catholic Church have never attempted to influence the works selected for the exhibit.

Mr. Arellano states that "it's no stretch then to figure that Soto's opposition to Our Lady played a role in its exclusion." Obviously, since Our Lady was never considered for the exhibit, there was no "opposition" by Bishop Soto, no "exclusion" by the museum, etc. Bishop Soto is among a group of community advisers who have assisted us in producing the exhibit.

Joe Felz Director, Fullerton Museum Center www.ci.fullerton.ca.us/museum Gustavo Arellano responds:The "Virgin of Guadalupe: Interpreting Devotion" is likely to be one of the most important exhibits in the local arts scene. Bravo to Joe and his colleagues for putting it together. That said, Joe's letter is laden with inaccuracies, but one of them stands out: his claim that Our Lady was never considered for the exhibit is something only the most credulous could accept. It raises (yet again) the question of censorship and, maybe (let me say this gently), curatorial judgment: I mean, really, why not even consider showing what is arguably the most famous reinterpretation of the Virgin of Guadalupe? The claim is belied by Joe's own Aug. 2 e-mail to Fullerton city officials, a communication in which he declaredOur Lady "controversial," compared it unfavorably to the "in no way derogatory"Maria de Los Angeles, and assured the officials that his advisory board includes Catholics. With or withoutOur Lady, when the exhibit opens, I'll be among the first in line. Hope I get in.


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