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November 6, 2006VOL. 44, NO. 19Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers

Myth about Democrats
In the Oct. 23 Reader’s Forum, former Vice President Al Gore was criticized for his recent film on global warming. It appears some believe he may be using this as a scare tactic to launch a campaign for president. Although I do agree that Gore is attempting to enlighten the country about our environment, I find the insinuation that it is a scare tactic rather hypocritical.
took the letter as a way to scare Catholics when considering a pro-choice candidate. There is no doubt the subject of life is extremely important in one’s decision to cast a vote. Let us remember there are several matters that must be reviewed – the environment, affordable health care, homelessness, hunger, the war in Iraq…. Abortion is one important matter, but not the only pro-life issue.

Lastly, it appears there is a myth that Republicans are pro-life and Democrats are anti-life. The White House, the Congress, the U.S. Senate and the majority of the Supreme Court are either Republican or appointed by Republicans. With all this control and power why have they not attempted, truly attempted beyond words, to overturn Roe vs. Wade? Possibly because they know this is a subject that divides people and they use it as a scare tactic to make a Christian feel as though if they choose a Democrat, they really are not a Christian.
t is a disgrace to our children, what this majority controlled Republican Party has done to the overall respect for all life throughout our country and the world.
The Democrat Party has historically endorsed the right to choose abortion. I may not agree with this, but considering they historically promote and fight for all other aspects of life, including the environment, you could raise a strong argument that they are the overall party of life.

Joseph Maraccini

To the point
As far as I am concerned, Alex Smith’s letter, “Potential for Abuse”, hit it right on the nail or better said on the head. Without mentioning any names he drove home the truth of what he said: “They (our forefathers) wisely insisted on the separation of church and state knowing of the potential for abuse and the inevitable negative consequences.”

Sandra Mortimore
Walnut Creek

A seminarian reflects
As a seminarian, I am at the stage when people want to call me “Father” every time I am wearing my clerical collar. I feel uneasy, knowing that I am almost there, but not yet. It gives me chills, not because I don’t want to have the title, but because of the realization that indeed I am almost there.

During my seminary “pastoral year,” I am living in a rectory, which gives me the opportunity to talk and work with different people of different backgrounds and varied paradigms of thought regarding the Church. You may ask, “What’s the benefit?
People who are afraid to express their sentiments to a priest go directly to me. People talk in my presence, not minding that somehow I am a part, but not yet of the group they are talking about.

What do I get from this situation? I have to say a whole lot of perspective on how to work and relate with people. In front of me are different leadership skills vis-a-vis various reactions from people in the parish. Being “almost there, but not yet” gives me a platform to see vividly how people react and how priests deal.

I encourage my fellow seminarians to make use of this time to develop a wider
perspective of priesthood not just in theories, but most importantly in practice. As seminarians, we must realize that being “almost there, but not yet” is not a period of waiting for ordination but rather knowing the flock that we will lead in the future.

To our beloved lay people who are devotedly dedicating their time, talent and treasure, in one way or another you are forming us—your seminarians—to become the priests you always long for. A priest who knows how to look back to being “almost there.” A priest who when he was a seminarian knew how to smile, to listen, and talk, if necessary. A priest not for the few but for all. A priest who mirrors the seminarian you always trusted to air your concerns.

Now, every time you talk to a seminarian, remember you are doing something that will make you proud that you talk to that person who is almost there, but not yet.

Paul Mendoza
Holy Spirit Parish

Christ or Caesar?
Have Mr. Filteau’s “experts” succumbed to the propaganda that we invaded Iraq to promote democracy and human rights and to fight terrorism? His article (Voice, Oct. 9) predates President Bush’s announcement that current troop levels will remain until 2010 and his ominous assertion that the occupation will be “just a comma” in history.
Cheney, Rumsfeld, and other PNAC members controlling our government favor a worldwide Pax Americana through military omnipotence, including nuclear weapons in orbit (www.newamericancentury.org).

These megalomaniacs have neither concern about “jus ad bello” (consider the lies that led to war) nor “jus in bello” (torture, radioactive weapons, mass murder of civilians). Why expect concern for surviving Iraqis and Afghans should the war ever end?
Over three years since Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” stunt, Iraq still lacks tap water and electricity. Iraqi and U.S. casualties rise continually. In Baghdad 65 percent want us out now. Nationwide 71 percent want us out within a year. Democracy? Jus post bellum?

Can there be a “just war” when 27,000-plus nuclear weapons threaten us--enough to kill everyone 32 times over?

No nation tolerates domination by another. Pax Americana will eventually lead to nuclear war.

Jesus taught us to pray: “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

As one could not serve both Christ and Caesar, today we must choose between pursuit of God’s kingdom on earth or worldwide U.S. empire.
Bush says, “You are either with us or against us.”

Whoever loves Jesus cannot follow Bush in his pursuit of world domination.

Bill Ferretti
Castro Valley

Illogical argument
My take on the recent commentary by Edith Black (Voice, Oct. 9) is that by eliminating choice regarding abortion to the minor girl, who will then probably have her baby, we will have a better chance to punish the adult male who is “responsible” for the pregnancy. If that is good Catholic logic, count me out. And count me out in voting for Prop. 85 on the November ballot.

I can’t believe that most readers would seriously believe that bringing “such crimes to light” would be a primary reason to vote in favor of Prop. 85. I hope that most Catholics can see the lack of compassion and the elimination of choice that lie behind the pro-85 arguments.

George Fulmore.

Disturbing and sobering
I saw “Deliver Us from Evil” recently at the Lumiere theatre in San Francisco.
Writer-producer-director Amy Berg, winner of the Target Documentary Award and unrestricted cash prize of $50,000 at the 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival, is already mentioned for a probable Best Documentary Oscar this year.

I found the film disturbing and sobering. I hope every bishop I know will have a chance to see it.

Remarkably, Amy Berg was able to track down Father Oliver O’Grady “living the life of Riley” in Ireland after serving just half of his jail sentence in the United States, and she persuaded him to participate in the making of her documentary.
Riveting is the never-before-seen footage of the deposition of Cardinal Roger Mahony in Los Angeles.

Do not waste your time talking about this documentary with persons who have not seen it. They have a right to their opinion, not to their facts.

One thing I did find personally disappointing was the effort, towards the end of the documentary, by a couple of well-intentioned persons, who tried to deliver a letter to the pope.

After four years at the Vatican as director of the documentation, information and press office of Caritas Internationalis, I can assure Amy Berg that what they attempted to do was the worst way of trying to get a letter to the pope. No self-respecting Swiss Guard or Italian policeman would let those people enter the Vatican.

There are several easier ways of getting something into the hands of the pontiff. Hence, I found rather unfair the closing complaint that blamed the Vatican for failing to respond.

Nevertheless, go and see “Deliver Us from Evil’. You will consider it time well spent.

Father Larry N. Lorenzoni, S.D.B.
Salesian Provincial Office
San Francisco








The opinions expressed in letters to Reader's Forum are the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Catholic Voice or the Oakland Diocese.

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