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An apology required
It is with the deepest sadness that we find ourselves writing this letter.
The weak responses of the Vatican in regards to the words of [British-born
Bishop] Richard Williamson of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X
that the Jews in concentration camps during the Holocaust did not die
in gas chambers is devastating.
As the head of the Church it is imperative that the pope demand that this
cleric publicly apologize to the Jews. Pope Benedict recently lifted Williamson
from a ban of excommunication. He must demand an apology and/or rebuke
Williamson in a public statement.
Did St. Edith Stein and St. Maximilian Kolbe not die in the concentration
camps? Was that a lie, too? The need for this pope to defend the truth
and not run from the face of evil is a necessity.
Christopher and Pamela Frick
Aftermath of abortion
Some writers to The Voice’s Reader’s Forum have justified
voting for pro-abortion candidates as a way to balance out other issues.
Abortion balances out nothing; it destroys the unborn and devastates the
women in the aftermath.
This is extremely hard for me to admit, but I want you to know just how
evil and horrendous abortion is. I had one when I was 19 years old. I
bought into the lie that it wasn’t a person yet, just a clump of
cells. That lie nearly destroyed my life and I became suicidal.
It’s been 26 years now and that pain and those scars still remain
with me. I have to live with what I did for the rest of my life, as do
many other women affected by abortion. There is no balance for me and
no balance for the unborn.
I now have three children. God blessed my husband and me with one child,
but only one. We wanted more kids so we adopted two babies out of the
foster care system. They are full siblings, and they were both born severely
I thank God every day that their birth mother made the right decision
by giving them life despite the fact she was a drug addict. She could
have easily aborted them, and had she done that, our family wouldn’t
But the wounds are still there, even though I have received the sacrament
of reconciliation. That’s the price of the sin of abortion, and
it’s just way too high.
I pray we all come together to stop abortion. And please pray for me and
those who are still suffering from the choice we made.
Name withheld upon request
For Palestinians, not Hamas
The article in the Jan. 19 Voice finds support for Hamas in Gaza, but
not from me. The Palestinian people elected Hamas to represent them when
they knew it meant war. Israel is ready to accommodate them and if I were
50 years younger, I would go over and support them.
If those who want to see a Palestinian state, as I do, draw up a map of
its borders, maybe we can work something out.
Many thanks to The Catholic Voice for its accurate coverage of the tragedy
of Gaza. So many of us have given up on the mainstream media which so
often repeats the talking points of the Israeli government rather than
seeking out any primary sources.
After searching the Internet and independent media for reliable information
on an assault which clearly regards children as “collateral damage,”
I was grateful to find honest reporting in my own local diocesan newspaper.
On Friday, Jan. 23, I witnessed a group of outraged American Jewish and
Israeli students in silent protest on the steps of Sproul Hall on the
UC Berkeley campus. They were protesting seven widely accepted myths used
to justify the killing in Gaza, starting with the belief that it is anti-Semitic
to oppose the policies of the Israeli government, and followed by the
myth that Hamas was the party that broke the ceasefire.
What saddens me most about this tragedy is that when Gazan children examine
the spent shell casings and bomb fragments in the rubble of what was once
their homes, they will find inscribed such things as “made in Pennsylvania,”
“made in Delaware.” Can’t we find better ways to spend
our tax money?
Mary Vivian Zelaya
A front page article in the Jan.19 Voice stated that recent Israeli attacks
in the Gaza Strip, while aimed at destroying Hamas, has had the opposite
effect, actually strengthening Hamas. The article obviously was intended
to garner sympathy for Hamas and it has had the opposite effect.
I have never read a more hate-filled article in The Catholic Voice with
one lie piled on top of another. “Even Christians say they are considering
joining Hamas,” the article states. Apparently the writer, Barbara
Erickson, and the editor of The Voice have already joined. Good. Now we
know which side of the battle they are on.
I will apologize to my Jewish friends, but I think an apology is also
due from the Oakland Diocese. And The Voice could use a new editor who
might know the difference between news and propaganda.
Gerald E. Kosel
The Gaza nightmare
Thank you for the excellent article (Jan. 19) concerning Gaza and the
tragic situation there. Ms. Erickson’s interview with Professor
Hisham Ahmed from St. Mary’s College was most informative. Professor
Ahmed, as a Palestinian, gave a shocking account of what is going on there.
As the Gaza nightmare unfolded I couldn’t believe that the world
was standing by and allowing unarmed civilians (many of whom were women,
children and the elderly) to be bombed with no possibility of escape because
of sealed borders.
There were condemnations, of course, from the Vatican, the UN and others
but unfortunately this was a case of “might makes right.”
This was an appalling action by Israel and I have no doubt that this barbarous
behavior only strengthened the extremists throughout the Middle East.
I know many Palestinians and they feel that the world is not listening
to their plight. They feel like a forgotten people and that no one cares.
They have been occupied for so long and much of the land promised to them
has been taken and settled by the Israelis.
Unfortunately the mainstream press in this country has been biased for
so long and has not given the Palestinian people fair treatment. As people
of faith we must stand up and demand fairness in reporting. There is a
glimmer of hope with President Obama who has already appointed George
Mitchell as a special envoy to this area.
Let us pray that there will be justice for both the Israelis and the Palestinians,
for without a just solution there can be no lasting peace.
A vital responsibility
I’ve been reading your excellent coverage, e.g. the truth, about
what is really happening in Gaza. There is a saying, “If you want
peace, work for justice.” I think The Catholic Voice has a vital
responsibility to continue to provide us with the kind of coverage you’ve
had to this point.
Only when the public is informed, can they act on that information and
work for justice. The true facts about what the Palestinians have endured
has for too long gone unexamined. Thank you for your courage in continuing
to publish the truth.
Maureen K. Connor
My question to Professor Ahmed of St. Mary’s College is that if
rockets were fired from the Bay Area and hit St Mary’s, what would
he do? His answer would be interesting, but I do not think he would sit
back and do nothing.
All these years the poor Palestinian people have had nothing but corrupt
leaders and false promises. Contrary to his opinion even the Arab world
is getting tired of these terror organizations whose leaders live (in
luxury) in other countries and are very good in placing the blame on others,
knowing full well what the real problem is.
Until these groups are removed (one way or the other) there will be no
peace in the Holy Land. Hamas is not as popular as Professor Ahmed seems
to think and his view seems to be very one-sided. Even the Church should
start taking more responsibility as to where the blame is.
J. Eric Salmon
Biased or naïve?
The people of Palestine cry out to their leaders. Hamas doesn’t
care for them. Hamas continues the aggression. And their people are the
sole victims of this conflict. Does Hamas promote the continued warfare
against its people? Or do they implement means to obtain a lasting peace?
When Israel stopped the war to negotiate for peace, Hamas just took the
time to regroup and rearm. Is it only Israel who uses force? Is Hamas
I thought The Voice would not be biased. But two articles promoting the
work of Hamas, leads me to think that the editorial board of this paper
is one-sided. Or are you that naive?
Bush’s pro-life record
I would like to address Father Jim Schexnayder’s letter (Forum,
Jan. 19) of actions that he claims and “suspects” were not
evident. You can see the Bush’s pro-life record at www.cns.com where
8 years of his pro-life work is highlighted. Just to name a few:
In 2001, President Bush declared that federal funds could not be used
for embryonic stem cell research, which requires the destruction of human
embryos. Instead, Bush promoted adult stem cell research, which does not
In the same year, Bush reinstated a Reagan-era mandate known as the Mexico
City Policy that had been removed by President Bill Clinton in the 1990s.
The policy requires all non-governmental organizations that receive federal
funding to refrain from performing or promoting abortions in other countries.
In 2002, Bush’s Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy G.
Thompson implemented the “unborn child rule.” It requires
the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) — a
federal program that gives funds to states to provide health insurance
to families with children — to define the term “child”
to include from conception to birth.
Also in 2002, Bush signed the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which
extends legal protection to infants who survive induced abortions by providing
them with identical legal protections as babies who are born prematurely.
In 2003, President Bush signed into law the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban
Act, which prohibits late-term abortions.
In 2004, Bush signed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which defines
a child “in utero” at any stage of development as human, and
accords the child the legal rights of the victim if subject to certain
crimes that involve death or injury.
In 2005 and 2006, Bush appointed two pro-life justices, Justice John Roberts
and Justice Samuel Alito, respectively, to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 2007, both justices voted to uphold the federal Partial-Birth Abortion
Ban Act of 2003, which was challenged in a lawsuit.
In 2007, Bush also sent congressional Democratic leaders a letter threatening
to veto any bill that weakened existing pro-life policy.
In 2008, Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt issued a regulation
to protect the rights of federally funded health care providers to decline
to participate in services to which they morally object, including abortion.
“Bush has achieved more than any other pro-life president,”
Darla St. Martin, co-executive director of National Right to Life, told
CNSNews.com. “Bush was just outstanding. He was very dedicated from
the moment he came into office. He was a tremendous pro-life president
and he will be very much missed.”
And so it begins. President Obama in using the Roe v. Wade anniversary
overturns the G.W. Bush ban and will allow non-governmental organizations
working abroad to use U.S. funding to give counseling on or provide abortions.
I hope The Voice will take note of the initial day-one policy actions
of the Obama presidency and write a feature story about it to contrast
the positive hopeful story about his inauguration in the Jan. 19 issue
where you featured the specific Catholic schools festivities in full support
of the pro-abortion/late-term abortion president.
Name withheld upon request
Sophistry at its worst
The letters by Charles Coyle and Father Jim Schexnayder (Forum, Jan. 19)
are lacking in truth, honesty, and good reasoning. To equate the unintentional
killing of innocents in war to the planned, deliberate, slaughter of millions
of unborn babies is sophistry at its worst.
Please gentlemen, name me one of our national political leaders who have
advocated or condoned the killing of innocent civilians. I can name many,
starting with President Obama, Vice President Biden, Speaker of the House
Pelosi, who passionately advocate the killing of the innocent and defenseless
unborn babies and hide behind it as “freedom of choice.”
If they truly believe in that freedom why do they support laws prohibiting
women from choosing to rent or lease out those same bodies for sex?
Incidentally, please note that Planned Parenthood is a misnomer. They
are a multimillion dollar operation receiving millions of taxpayer dollars
to operate their abortion mills while they dole out hundreds of thousands
of dollars to support their friendly politicians and put or keep them
Clifford R. Wiesner
Attack against children
I’m sure it was not intentional, but you have powerfully armed critics
of the Church and at the same time scandalized our youth by giving high
praise to a Catholic school graduate who makes a hero of a so-called “hit
man for the Vatican,” a thing that never existed. But anyone who
read your article (Voice, Jan. 19) could easily, and falsely, assume the
idea was based on history.
Sadly, you also highlighted the “celebration” in Catholic
schools of the most pro-abortion, even pro-infanticide, anti-marriage
president in history.
This is not a victory for African Americans. It is a confirmation of the
declaration of war against African American children launched by Planned
Parenthood, which locates most of its abortion clinics in minority neighborhoods
and contributes toward the death of 1,400 African-American children every
Now, with the repeal of the Mexico City policy that war has been greatly
escalated throughout the world. The president’s promised attack
against marriage is also an attack against children, who desire and need
the love of a father and a mother.
Our Lord had dire warnings for those who lead His children astray. I suggest
the Catholic schools and The Catholic Voice take those warnings to heart.
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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