What a shame! Arizona State University hides its sun-devil mascot "from papal view"! I share The Times hesitancy (Editorial, Aug. 27) to believe that Pope John Paul II might be offended by the playful imp. The truth of the matter is, Sparky would have made His Holiness feel right at home!
Impish, roguish, grotesque little devils--some of them eating the heads of little children--adorn most of the cathedrals of Europe--including the Pope's own St. Peter's. The devils are called gargoyles and they form the spouts of the cathedral's roof gutters, ready to spew out rain water over the land. Medieval designers put them there to fool the real devils, who were always on the lookout for people and churches to possess.
As a churchman steeped in tradition, as well as a well-educated European with a good sense of humor, Pope John Paul II may have welcomed the presence of Sparky guarding the stadium while he celebrated Mass.
Silly as the issue is, it is a glaring indication of the myopic provincialism of much of our "American-way" thinking: As we interpret a symbol or a situation, so must the rest of the world.