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A Holiness mix-up

Dear Editor:

Roger Marolt ridicules the leader of Tibetan Buddhism for sending autographed pictures of himself to admirers on the grounds “that to play along with such triviality is to promote some derivative of hierarchical hero-worship” (“All the answers are not found in the Dalai Lama’s autograph,” Aug. 22). It looks like he might be getting His Holiness the Dalai Lama mixed up with another “Holiness,” who does have a worldwide “hierarchical” structure in place to back him up ” one that is far more capable of inflicting deep wounds to the soul and, therefore, far more dangerous in its abuse.

If there is any doubt about this, we have only to look at recent scandals which have rocked the Catholic church and which have resulted from the endless repetition of mistakes that the hierarchy, including the present pope in his previous capacity as head of the Holy Office, had originally tried to cover up. But while the pope may claim to have infallible answers to all of life’s imponderables, the Dalai Lama continually questions his own assumptions and never presumes the kind of authoritarian infallibility that popes automatically assume as part of their official role.

Joel Brence

Aspen


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