IoS letters, emails & online postings (11 April 2010)

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Dr Michael Pravica is right to say that the Catholic Church should remove its celibacy requirements, but he did not mention gay marriage (Letters, 4 April). It is highly unlikely we will ever see gay marriage among Catholic priests being permissible, given that homosexuality is regarded as a sin in the eyes of this church. However, one cannot get away from the fact that the overwhelming majority of children who have been molested and raped by priests are boys. It is safe to say that the priests who commit such depraved crimes are not only paedophiles, but are also repressed homosexuals. Marrying women and having "families of their own" would do nothing to prevent them sexually assaulting boys in future.

It is no surprise now that so many priests develop an arrogant sense of invincibility, placed as they are above the laity in an absurd hierarchical system where bishops live in palaces and priests get paid an above-average salary including comfortable accommodation (often with house maids) and daily access to children in schools, social clubs and churches. It's paedophile heaven.

Eugene O'Hare

London N8

Dr Pravica is right to recommend that the Catholic Church detach the commitment to celibacy from its priesthood. The theological error at the root of sacerdotal celibacy is the combining of two vocations: the assumption that a vocation to the priesthood automatically brings with it a vocation to celibacy. Where the two occur together in one man, we shall probably have an excellent pastor; where they do not, we may well have either a deviant or a desperately unhappy priest.

Dr Michael Johnson


I wholeheartedly agree with the shadow Home Secretary, Chris Grayling, that B&B owners "should be allowed to ban homosexuals" from their establishments ( 4 April). Naturally, I'm assuming that homosexual B&B owners will also be permitted to ban Conservatives from their establishments.

Chris Wood

Carshalton Beeches, Surrey

I don't think the sexism in the finance and banking sector is acceptable (Margareta Pagano, 4 April). But there are lots of things about this sector that are unacceptable, starting with fractional reserve banking and the private creation of credit. To fight for women's rights to be treated equitably is ironic in a sector that drives the global market forces responsible for exacerbating inequalities – in wealth – around the world.


posted online

Why has Doncaster been singled out ("Doncaster wants to be called something else", 4 April)? I have not felt unsafe walking around Doncaster, even when there are groups of youths hanging around. I have never been harassed walking in the evening. I have driven home late in the night after a business trip and have not had any unpleasant encounters. People are generally friendly and helpful.

Doncaster is not a hell hole. It has been involved in the production of coal, textiles, ale, engineering and glass over the years. We have a Celtic- Roman-Anglian-Viking heritage, and remain proud to be Doncastrians.

We are not a perfect town, but we're slowly making it a better town for ourselves and those who take the time to visit us.


posted online

As a veterinary surgeon in animal welfare for 30 years, I feel it would be appropriate to rename the well-know annual event at Aintree the "Grand National Disgrace", in view of the number of horses killed ("Show dying horses, BBC told, as Aintree faces legal action", 4 April). It is time for the Government to apply the Animal Welfare Act to an event that can only be described as regulated animal abuse for the purposes of human entertainment.

Andre Menache

Sevenoaks, Kent

My pair of tortoises came out of hibernation 10 days later than usual. I tried to explain to them that global warming was to blame, despite the coldest winter for over 50 years. I then lectured them on their carbon footprint and told them that lettuce and sliced green beans would be sourced locally with no more imported stuff. I also advised them that if their heat lamp went off, then that meant that the wind had dropped and the windturbines were not producing electricity and they would just have to run faster to keep warm. With that, they gave me a look of disdain and returned to their box. Perhaps we should give the same disdainful look to our politicians when they ask for our votes.

Clark Cross

Linlithgow, West Lothian

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