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July 6, 1996

Mr. Mike Aquilina, Editor
The Pittsburgh Catholic
135 First Avenue, Suite 200
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-1506

Dear Mike:

Thank you for your editorial "Nothing sacred" ( June 28), calling your readers' attention to recent pieces of so-called journalism that "bat around the most sacred beliefs, practices and symbols of the Catholic faith."

One of them is an "Editor's Notebook" in the June 17-23 issue of the Pittsburgh Business Times.

That column showed none of the restraint you mustered for your editorial. Supposedly a humorous commentary on a Pittsburgh businessman's appointment as an official distributor of Vatican Museum products, it is outrageously insulting to all that is most sacred to Catholics.

The friend who told me about it could barely bring herself to read more than a few sentences to me over the phone. No wonder, since the column is replete with phrases like "A shower of gold communion wafers flies out of the machine," and "your meal at the Last Supper bread-and-champagne brunch buffet is on the house."

Certainly, the appointment of a local businessman to distribute Vatican Museum products calls for editorial notice in a local business newspaper. That the businessman's other ventures include a riverboat fleet and gambling casinos, however, does not justify mocking the sacred symbols of a major world religion.

The editor of the Business Times was kind enough to call me on the phone after receiving a letter from me. Though willing to print letters in response to the column, he now displays editorial restraint and declines to publish an apology for having heaped tawdry derision on the Catholic faith: it was, after all, intended to be humorous.

I say, fight fire with fire. I hope that any Catholic who subscribes to the Pittsburgh Business Times, and any who advertises in its pages, will react appropriately to an "Editorial Notebook" that finds humor in phrases like "Caribbean Crucifixion Poker." I hope they will cancel their subscriptions and decide to spend their advertising dollars elsewhere.

You see, I think that would be a deliciously humorous response.

Yours in Christ and the Church,

Lane Core Jr.

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