YEP Letters: December 10

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Mother Teresa is now a saint, known as Blessed Mother Teresa of Kolkata.

For a person to become a saint, a local bishop investigates the candidate’s life and writings for evidence of heroic virtue. The information uncovered by the bishop is sent to the Vatican.

A panel of theologians and the cardinals of the Congregation for Cause of Saints evaluate the candidate’s life.

If the panel approves, the Pope proclaims that the candidate is venerable, which means that the person is a role model of Catholic virtues.

The next step toward sainthood is beatification, which allows a person to be honoured by a particular group or region. In order to beatify a candidate, it must be shown that the person is responsible for a posthumous miracle. Martyrs – those who died for their religious cause – can be beatified without evidence of a miracle. On October 20, 2003, Mother Teresa was beatified.

Nelson Mandela was the only person I know of other than Jesus to demonstrate how to turn the other cheek. Even Saint Peter didn’t do that!

The miracle is it worked. He turned South Africa into the Rainbow Nation and captured the hearts of the people who persecuted him. He did this by living the example taught to us by Jesus and that was a miracle.

Even amongst saints he was very special and Archbishop Desmond Tutu has paid tribute to former South African President Nelson Mandela by thanking God for sending this special man to be with us.

His next miracle will be to bring human rights to everyone in South Africa and for South Africa to be a living example of how all peoples can live in peace and harmony regardless of colour, and that will be millions of miracles that will happen after his death. Has any man created more miracles than Nelson Mandela?

Peter Baxter, Springate Road, Southwick, Brighton

Tory attitudes to Mandela

I note MPs are gathering to sing the praises of Nelson Mandela.

I wonder how many Tories there will be who were part of the ethos (before he was released and they saw how popular he was and how, therefore, they could bask in his reflected glory) that had both him and the ANC as terrorists?

That’s what Cameron’s rushing about, signing books of remembrance, is all about.

Well done to the BBC journalist who left Boris Johnson lost for a good explanation by reminding him of this.

“I wasn’t around then” he spluttered, unconvincingly. Maybe not in the forefront but certainly in the background.

T Maunder

Very different political legacies

How galling it must be to Bill Clinton and Tony Blair to have to sing the praises of Mandela when they know that, on their deaths, they will chiefly be remembered for extra-marital affairs, sordid references to cigars and an illegal war that left thousands of women and children maimed.

Can someone also point out to Cameron, busy rushing to be the first to say this or sign that, that until his release, Thatcher et al considered Mandela to be a terrorist? When they saw how popular he was on release, they quickly changed their minds. Hypocrites.

R Kimble

Influx into UK is foolish

Can anyone explain to me how in January when many thousands of Romanians and Bulgarian families will be coming into Britain with in all probability no means of support, no job prospects and nowhere to live, how it makes sense?

Surely our government can see the foolishness in allowing this to happen. Where will all these people live, eat, work and integrate in our society? David Cameron has said they would receive no benefits for the first three months.

Bully for him, I paid my dues and demands while working over 50 years to qualify for my pension.

I don’t blame these people for wanting a better life, it’s just the system is wrong, too many in too short a time.

How are they going to manage on the streets for three months?

Malcolm Shedlow, by email

Tolls aren’t the right way to go

The European Commission has been pressing to see road pricing imposed on all vehicles on all roads.

It would be politically unacceptable if the government just did this, but one way around it would be to effectively privatise our major routes by leasing them to toll operators for profit. As traffic was displaced onto local roads, there would duly be pressure to toll them too.

The government risks moving in that direction by seeking to make the Highways Agency into a state-owned company with commercial freedom. It has already accepted a report recommending squeezing ‘maximum economic value’ from our roads and looking at tolling routes that are currently free.

Our roads have been paid for several times over by the long-suffering public and must not be leased off; privatisation in all but name. Readers can have their say in an important consultation, but please note that the closing date is December 20.

DfT Roads Reform Consultation,33 Horseferry Road, London SW1P 4DR,

Great night at the arena

Ten days ago I had the great pleasure of attending the Classic Concert held at the Leeds Arena. What a fantastic evening’s entertainment it was. The only few seats in that vast auditorium not filled were so near the two cannons that people’s ears would have been assaulted when the cannons were fired!

The repertoire was a beautiful balance of choral, orchestra and audience participation, whilst the conductor valiantly conducted while hanging on to his rostrum and making a fair attempt at performing the Can-Can! The soloists were fantastic and as expected, very patriotic.

With the splendid fireworks, cannon fire, brilliant lighting displays, singing and flag waving it was indeed a night to remember. I lost track of the encores and the standing ovation was utterly deserved.

How the City of Leeds needed that arena and how proud we should be of it. We spoke to people around us during the interval and all without exception expressed their delight in being able to come to Leeds instead of going to the alternatives. That included people from the far side of Huddersfield.

No, we didn’t have any great difficulty getting away afterwards. Ten minutes waiting to get out of the Merrion car park was no problem – we were busy singing!

Everyone I have told about the evening is sorry to have missed it, and eagerly await next year’s concert. They won’t miss it again!

All Leeds needs now is a good park-and-ride system as York have, and a good road and rail link into the airport and Leeds really would be getting somewhere.

Barbara Royle, byemail

No choice over wheelchairs

Oh my, Nick Keer must have a sad life in that he feels that it is not enough attacking older people, he’s now got to attack the disabled!

People are in wheelchairs because they have no choice!

When my children were small you automatically folded the pushchair up out of courtesy! More mums and children on the bus and those disabled comfortable!

Liz Goodwill, by email

YEP Letters: February 19