Catalyst September Issue 1998
Over the summer, we noticed that young writers won prizes for their attacks on the Catholic Church.
The most serious case we uncovered concerns The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Every year this organization, under the tutelage of its Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, Inc., conducts an essay contest. This year’s Silver Award Winner, Raymond Lutzky, Grade 12, wrote a piece about a child-molesting Catholic priest. We asked the executive director, Susan Ebersole, “whether there were any submissions that addressed a) heroic Catholic priests or b) child-molesting clergy of another religion?” You can write to her at Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, 555 Broadway, NY, NY 10012.
Rochester High School in Rochester, Vermont, published an anti-Catholic essay by sophomore Jess Matthews in the Summer edition of Rocketimes. Jess was struck by how her father’s faith was rekindled on a recent trip to Ireland. The article reeked with snide comments made about her dim-whited father, reciting all those Hail Marys, etc.
Jess bragged how she “committed my biggest sacrilege of the day: I relieved myself on Croagh Patrick, Ireland’s holiest site aside from the shrine of Knock.” She concluded by saying, “Atheism is “a wonderful thing.” For this she received Honorable Mention of the Kingdom Awards and had her work of art reprinted in Rocketimes. The editor-in-chief is Ms. Marty Gephart, Rochester High School, Rochester, VT 05767.
The July 29 edition of the Reno News & Review published the work of Laura Vlasek Boren, a local ad executive. Her contribution, entitled, “Catholic Girl,” was First Runner-Up in this year’s RN&R fiction contest. She opens her statement saying, “I like the taste of Communion. It does not taste like the body of Christ, which I imagine to be salted by the sweat and the spray of Galilee.”
You can write to RN&R editor Larry Henry at 708 North Center Street, Reno, NV 89501.
Then there is the effort by Katie O’Neill, the 11 year-old daughter of Peter O’Neill, editor-in-chief of Trumpet Sounds, the newsletter of New Ministries, Inc. (P.O. Box 7328, Prospect, CT 06712). She recently wrote that Catholics have incorrectly complained that her father’s newsletter is anti-Catholic. This is crazy, Katie says, “All we try to do is help you break free of the Catholic Church.” How thoughtful.
“Let me ask you why you go to the Catholic Church and pray to Mary who has to tell Jesus what you asked her for,” writes Katie. She adds that “There probably is more Catholics [sic] than any religion, but it’s not because the Catholic church teaches the right things.” She concludes her article by saying that she knows her father is right and that “I’ve learned from him,” which, of course, cannot be doubted. Like father, like daughter.