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Catholic Voice

 May 11, 2009   •   VOL. 47, NO. 9   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers

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Build new high school

As a parent, I have been patiently waiting for the building of the new Catholic high school for the Tri-Valley area. The original date for the school opening in Livermore was 2009. This was delayed due to fund rededication to the Cathedral of Christ the Light. This project is now complete.

Then a new bishop had to be announced to make the decisions. This is now also complete.

I am hoping that as a patient Catholic parent that one of the bishop’s first priorities is to see to the building of this new school so my children can experience the same upbringing and qualities that were provided to me.

I have talked to many parents like myself who have to send their children to other Christian schools that do not teach the Catholic values. They all agree with the hope that the new bishop will get this project jumpstarted and start it with all four levels, grades 9 through 12.

Robert Boultier
Livermore


Increasing the risk


Pope Benedict was right about condoms.

Contrary to what the pope’s detractors would like you to believe, his statements on the inefficacy of condoms in combating the African AIDS epidemic are spot on. There are many, many scientific reasons why the world should listen to our wise pope; I will bring up just one.

It is a popular assumption that condoms take the risk out of casual sex, which does actually increase promiscuity. The increased promiscuity leads to increased exposure. This is a scientific phenomenon known as “risk compensation.” As soon as we think we are protected by technology, we are willing to take more risks, relying on the perceived safety net. This leads to a statistically higher chance of contracting the disease.

If you are inclined to disagree, try a little test by driving to work tomorrow without using your brakes. Does it change how closely you follow others or how fast you drive?

If you need to be told by doctors that Benedict XVI knows his stuff, try these: The Lancet Medical Journal (which also criticized the pope’s recent comments) published a study in December 2007, stating that condoms were ineffective in stemming the epidemic.

Dr. Edward Green, a Harvard AIDS prevention expert, was quoted as saying “The pope is actually correct.” A little open-minded investigation of the facts will show you that our pope speaks with wisdom and we would do well to listen.

Ed Wanat
Livermore


Worsening the problem


Pope Benedict XVI was correct when he said, “The scourge (of AIDS) cannot be resolved by distributing condoms — in fact, doing so risks worsening the problem.”

Since Robert Zanger (Forum, April 13) does not respect the pope’s position on this issue, then perhaps he will accept the position of the director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies.

Dr. Edward C. Green, the director, stated, “We have found no consistent associations between condom use and lower HIV-infection rates, which, 25 years into the pandemic, we should be seeing if this intervention was working.”

This is the best, most recent and most encompassing information that is available on this subject.

Dan and Margie Horan
Lafayette


Speaking in many tongues


In her letter (Forum, April 27), Susan Batterton protests the use of any language other than English at the Chrism Mass. I did not attend that Mass; I am told that readings were in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. Ms. Batterton feels that not to present the readings only in English, “the language that most of the participants can understand,” misses the point of the liturgy.

I don’t believe this writer understands the demographics of our diocese. Spanish is now the “home language” of close to half of the Catholics in our diocese, and, at the present rate of growth, will soon overtake English. Vietnamese was used because of a large portion of the cathedral parish. The logical alternate to readings in several languages might be Spanish only.

Neither my Spanish nor Viet-namese is any better than Ms. Batterton’s apparently is; but to do readings in three languages in our cathedral diocesan liturgy is not “politically correct”. It is absolutely correct.

Paul Sporer
Albany


Help disabled students


Wildhorse! is a therapeutic and abled riding program in the Hayward Hills. We need volunteers, especially for our most disabled students. Please come and help on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Training is available to learn how to lead the horses, support the riders while they are in the saddle and to groom and saddle up the horses.

Community service hours are available. This is a great community project for teen groups who love animals. Please read about our program at http://www.kariannowen.com/Wildhorse_.html. or email the director at penomee@yahoo.com.

Kari Ann Owen, Ph.D.
Director, Wildhorse!
Hayward


Praise for Miss California


As a 23-year-old Catholic woman, I commend and I thank Miss California Carrie Prejean, 21, for accepting the crown of thorns at the Miss USA pageant before not only American TV viewers, but the world via internet. Perez Hilton scoffed and spat his malice (Ps 73:8) but Carrie didn’t let the fleeting nature of political correctness constrict her expression of conviction — like so many of us do everyday in our ordinary interactions — that marriage is between a man and a woman.

It is inspiring to see other young Christians boldly proclaim the Gospel in the face of adversity, when it often seems there is no real freedom of speech or even freedom of conviction in our Land of the Free.

We as individuals probably won’t have the chance to proclaim Christ before a national television audience. But if we 67 million Catholics in the U.S. made this proclamation right now to a friend, to a stranger, or perhaps more importantly reaffirming it to ourselves, more souls than the 5 million who viewed the live broadcast of the pageant would be given a glimpse of the mercy they search for.

Ginamarie Lopez
Berkeley


Boycott graduation


Wouldn’t it be uplifting if the upcoming graduates of the University of Notre Dame did not show up for their commencement, thereby giving President Obama (ultra supporter of abortions including partial birth),who is to be the commencement speaker and recipient of an honorary degree, no audience to speak to?
If you know students there, you could encourage them to do this.

Lonn Hendren
Hayward


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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