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Pontification

September 27, 1987

Pope John Paul II does not "claim to work" in the name of the "rabbi from Nazareth," as Barbara and Ralph Goldstein wrote in their carping letter (Calendar Letters, Sept. 20). He does the work of Jesus Christ.

Their sentence: "The Pope and his guests might feel as uncomfortable (eating the meals prepared for them) as the money changers in the ancient temple and the plates might be sent to the hungry on the streets outside St. Vibiana's."

According to "Dining Out With Il Papa " (by Ruth Reichl, Sept. 13), the Pope's meals were donated by the Hilton Corp. Why didn't the Goldsteins mention this fact?

During the 10 days of glorious Papal Masses, I never heard a single word regarding the collection of money. That cannot be said of the Jim and Tammy Bakkers, the Oral Robertses and other televangelists of this world.

And, too, the Pope did not stay in the Plaza Suite at the Century Plaza Hotel, where President and Mrs. Reagan and other wealthy persons have stayed, at a cost of $3,000 a night plus tax. The Pope slept at St. Vibiana's, not too far from the "hungry" for whom the Goldsteins have such enormous compassion.

JESSIE G. DE MASSA

Huntington Beach

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