Letters - Views from the pews

Your cover story ("Blood of innocents on his hands", 11 April) and cover illustration, published on the day of the late Pope's funeral, showed bad taste and insensitivity at such a sad time for millions who saw John Paul II as a holy man whose love of mankind was paramount. Michela Wrong is entitled to her opinions, but should have reserved her vitriol for a more appropriate time.

Carmel O'Connor
London N20

Thank you, Michela Wrong! The diet of pure adulation, unrelieved by even the tiniest pinch of critical sense, that we have been fed these past few days has turned my stomach. So have the political uses to which that adulation has been put.

Henri Day
Stockholm, Sweden

Though I was fascinated to read Michela Wrong on the late Pope, I feel she may be ill-informed on one point. She criticises the Pope for his "clumsy" pronunciation of the "unfamiliar" acronym Aids ("Ay-Eye-Dee-Ess"). But "Ay-Eye-Dee-Ess" is precisely how the acronym Aids is pronounced in Italian, a language more familiar to the Pope than English.

Amanda Fitzgerald
Sydney, Australia

Is there any reason to think that the death of the Pope "grips the country's attention and imagination", as you say in your Leader (11 April)? The story is all over the newspapers and television, but the public does not choose what gets published or broadcast. Why assume we are interested in what is dished up for us?

Ken Bishop

This article first appeared in the 18 April 2005 issue of the New Statesman, Faith invaders