Santa Clara University



Ten Tips for Thinking Catholics
Fall 2006 issue cover
Fall 2006 issue

My quarrel with the Catholic Church is not doctrinal but structural. While some dioceses have a strong and oppositional priestly body (e.g., Chicago), this is hardly the norm. Even though most activities do not call for the involvement of the bishop or Pope, structurally all power ultimately rests in very few people. This is fundamentally undemocratic.

Any adult Catholic (regardless of sex, marital status, or sexual orientation) should be permitted to enter training to become a member of the clergy, including the opportunity to become a priest, bishop or pope. Moreover, power should be shared among the clergy and laity at all levels in a democratic fashion.

Greg Diamond
Denver, Colo.

Another reader responds:

What's popular is not always what's right. The CC has never changed doctrines on a whim, nor should it. What makes the CC a unique entity are the very things that many (if not most) nominal Catholics disagree with. And most disagreements over current Church doctrine result from ignorance and mistrust. Furthermore, the CC is not a political entity in the traditional sense—dissecting its "mode of government" demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the CC's role in the world. Those in positions of authority in the CC are protectors of the Church and all that She stands for as opposed to legislators or politicians.

Ryan O'Connnell ’05
Marietta, Ga.

Submitted as part of an online discussion at

Undocumented vs. Illegal

"Speaking Out for Social Justice" (Mission Matters, Fall 2006 SCM) makes reference to "denouncing the criminalization of undocumented immigrants." You deceivingly use the word "undocumented" rather than the correct word, "illegal."

SCU has a law school to promote a civil society based on legal, not illegal. What is SCU teaching students about illegal? Most governments have immigration laws far more stringent than the United States for a just reason— protecting their civil society!

William C. Miller Jr. ’60
Almira, Wash.

Ethics in the Film Business

The Fall 2006 issue of Santa Clara Magazine was a conglomerate of articles about the entertainment industry. While it featured articles about working as a writer from Ron Hansen and as an independent producer from Michael Whalen, it neglected to point out the problems with ethics in the film business. China was in the ethics newsletter [from the Markkula Center], but how about an article navigating ethics in the film business?

I have been a first assistant director in film and television since 1978, and would be very interested in hearing about/contributing to an article about the practical day-to-day issues of dealing with deal-making and film production. It is a very challenging environment, and not one where you are offered the chance to even choose if something is right or wrong. Michael Whalen might want to put this topic into the classes he teaches. The film and television business challenges us every day to do what is expedient, not necessarily what is ethical.

Steve Tramz ’72
Sherman Oaks, Calif.

Michael Whalen responds:

Every SCU film and television production course includes ethical components and assignments. Students are encouraged to engage in the critical analysis of the media; and, in fact, the entire film and television curriculum is guided by the idea of media literacy—that we educate our students to become active leaders who challenge the regular practices of the film and television industry that seem unjust and unethical. We welcome guest speakers, especially alumni, from the industry who are willing to speak to our students.


Page 11 of the Fall 2006 issue contained an error in the photo caption. The characters and actors pictured are Jesse James (Brad Pitt) flanked by Wood Hite (Jeremy Renner) and Charley Ford (Sam Rockwell).

Page 21 misstated the name of Louis B. Mayer’s grandson. His correct name is Daniel Mayer Selznick.


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