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Catholic Voice
April 7, 2008   •   VOL. 46, NO. 7   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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Catholic Lobby Day in Sacramento will take place on Tuesday, April 22, not April 18 as previously reported. The event includes information sessions, a rally, visits with legislators and Mass at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. For more information, go to: www.oakdiocese.org/pastoral/Events/080422CatholicLobbyDay.htm

Glad Tidings Religious Goods Store is located at 6700 Santa Rita Road, Suite K in Pleasanton, not Pleasant Hill. The store offers children’s items, sacramental gifts and church supplies.

The Voice apologizes for the errors.

Accents are a hindrance
The Catholic Church in the United States is indeed fortunate and blessed to have the assistance and service of priests and seminarians from other countries at a time when the ranks of the clergy are so severely depleted for a variety of reasons. They partly personify the admonition in Matthew 16:18 to the enemies of the Catholic Church that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Unfortunately, there is the drawback that many of these fine priests have difficulty in effectively communicating in the English language due to their native accents. Proclaiming the Word of God suffers consequently. That is regrettable especially in these days when secularism, relativism, paganism and such are rife in this world. Speaking out from the pulpit against these elements is vitally important to counter the inroads they are making into our faith.

I would imagine that a top priority of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops would make it a mandatory requirement that these priests attend classes in elocution. Does it?

Horatio F. Ozorio

(The Oakland Diocese currently offers clear speech therapy to its foreign-born priests. It has also provided an accent reduction class.)

Shine light on women

Concerning the letter from John-Paul Deol (Forum, March 24), the acknowledgement of discrimination against women in the Catholic Church is necessary in order for it to be corrected. The particular cases he noted are a result of the Church realizing and attempting to correct this mind set within the hierarchy.

The only reason these women are capable and able to assume such positions is because of the availability of education and the recognition that women are able to reach the intellectual and spiritual heights of men.
I think Mr. Deol would agree that this is the result of letting light shine on the depth and breadth of the minds of our daughters.

Holy Mother Church should be the first to look equally at her children when seeking leaders.

Patricia Sahadi
Via email

Embrace our gender

I am writing this letter out of concern for our wayward society.

Kate Doughtery (Forum, March 24) seems to have no pride in her gender and no respect for the Virgin Mary who brought the Son of God into this world. To desire everything the opposite sex has is unhealthy. We need to embrace our gender and thank God for the gifts he has given us.

Kathy Ramirez

Undermining theology

Paula Dodd Aiello wrote (Forum, March 24), criticizing the Vatican, which she condescendingly referred to as the Holy Roman Empire, for its denunciation of inclusive language in the Rite of Baptism.
The problem with such language (i.e.: baptizing in the name of Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier”) is that the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity are not just “concomitant” actors, as Ms. Aiello has it.

The Father eternally begets the Son as a reflection of His perfect Wisdom. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the mutual and perfect love between all three, and moves in the world creating sanctification and grace. To separate the Three Persons into “concomitant” actors is incorrect because it ignores the Divine Love that unites them. Indeed, the Trinity without Divine Love does not make sense, and is reduced from its true place as the Living God.

Aside from undermining Trinitarian theology, Ms. Aiello’s insistence on inclusive language in Baptism is also a presumption that she knows, or indeed that anyone can know, better than Christ (in his institution of the Sacrament in Matt. 28:19). Seeing as the Church’s use of language is taken directly from these words of Christ, and Ms. Aiello’s preference is completely unprecedented, there really is no argument here.

Also, Ms.Aiello’s snide jabs at the Vatican were totally inappropriate. We are members of the Roman Catholic Church, instituted by Christ himself. Insightful criticism is one thing, but outright mockery of the Holy See, especially by Catholics, is unthinkable and completely disrespectful.

John King

Keep global perspective
Many thanks to Patricia Moix for her insightful letter (Forum, March 24). I too was “appalled and astonished” [and embarrassed] that my Church is haggling over possible wrong words used during a baptism when there are enormous global humanitarian issues on which we should be focusing our energies and resources.

Jeanne Nixon
Via email

Fidelity to truth

It is obvious to me that the Catholic Church has come full circle since Martin Luther came up with his own interpretation of the Bible and the teachings of the Catholic Church. It is obvious we now have a new breed of Martin Luther types.

I have watched the Blessed Sacrament placed on side altars or in an adjoining room in our Catholic churches. I have witnessed a priest offer Holy Communion to all those present at a funeral service, Catholic or not.

I have witnessed priests, catechists and others ignore the teachings of the Church when training RCIA students or children in catechism classes. For whatever reasons, the presence of hell and purgatory should not be taught.

And now . . . women priests? Or each of us will give our own words for Baptism or other sacraments of the Church?

I see so many Catholics who are too lazy, or unwilling, to properly learn our faith.

Please, please read and relearn the Catholic Church teaching on Apostolic Tradition, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Take the time to read the General Instructions of the Roman Missal of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which will clarify many of these errors, including my very own strong disappointment that the Blessed Sacrament can now be placed on side altars.

If each of us is allowed to believe in what we choose should be Catholic Church teachings, we would approve of abortion and gay marriage as well as other current irreligious pagan fads.

Rich Peterson

Grief, not blame
The grief of the Chaldean Catholics in Iraq is something we are sharing, at least in part. I myself had been praying daily for kidnapped Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho of Mosul.

His tragic death deserves respect and a place in The Voice. To use it to air someone’s political opinion front and center on the first page of the March 24 issue is inappropriate. It is an insult to those who grieve. Jesus would not be casting blame; I suspect he would be honoring the person and his virtue.

It is very interesting to read that the focused remarks in beginning the article belong to someone living in the U.S. and not someone living in Iraq. Until I read other resources, it leaves me with many questions about the history and real story of sharing of life by Christians and Moslems side by side in Iraq.

I am very disappointed in The Voice for making itself into a political forum. To choose an article that presents blame as its beginning is destructive and not at all focusing on what really matters, honoring the life of the Chaldean archbishop.

I would like to see the blame game and the political forum approach in articles stopped. There is no place for a Catholic paper to participate in “pointing the finger” at anyone, even in this globalized way. I would like to see The Voice honor virtue and continue to honor the lives of those who serve.

Mary Anne Anderson
Via email

Hillside crosses
When I saw the crosses on the front page of the March 24 issue of The Catholic Voice, they reminded me of the white crosses on a hillside in Lafayette, honoring the military men and women who have died in Iraq. They are all young American men and women, fighting and dying for their principles. They are determined. Their philosophies have been formed in the freest country in the world. Their actions were voluntary. They were strong and healthy. Where were they different?

Lillian Silver
Walnut Creek

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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