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placeholder April 11, 2011   •   VOL. 49, NO. 7   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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Same-sex subversives

Bishop Cordileone’s insightful column (Voice, March 7) correctly characterized Barack Obama’s undermining of 1996’s Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as a separation-of-powers incursion, since it’s “not the role of the executive branch to decide which laws are unconstitutional.”

Bishop Cordileone also highlighted Obama’s 180-degree hypocrisy: Campaigner “Obama . . . favored preserving marriage as the union of one man and one woman.” President Obama then supported DOMA’s repeal — but via legislation, not litigation. Deceiver-in-chief Obama now seeks cynically to facilitate DOMA’s courtroom overturn.

Jim McCrea (Forum, March 21), apparently wanting the Catholic Church to become just another politically driven, vote-on-values institution, cites Pew Research Center’s March 3 poll announcement that 45 percent of Americans favor homosexual marriage, while 46 percent oppose it — a virtual tie!

Sensible citizens, rejecting radically amoral, as-you-like-it redefinitions of marriage to begin with, will also repudiate Pew’s skewed methodology. 1,021 of 1,504 respondents (not necessarily voters) answered landline calls asking for “the youngest adult . . . now at home.” 483 other respondents answered random cell-phone calls.

48 percent in Pew’s sampling favored Democrats, 42 percent favored Republicans and 51 percent approved Obama’s presidential performance — all in contrast to November’s election results.

Meanwhile, as the bishop observes: man-woman marriage has been on the ballot in 31 states, and traditional marriage has won every time.

McCrea claims no negative effects of “same-sex marriage” (and preposterously, “full complicity of the Catholic Church” with Europe’s own sexual revolutionaries). But by 2004, researcher Stanley Kurtz was already reporting marriage’s un-defining and marginalization — and resultant child-harmful 60 percent out-of-wedlock birthrates — in “gay marriage”-friendly Denmark.

A separate March 21 Voice letter favoring homosexual “marriage” asked “What would Jesus say?” Well, St. Paul — nearly 2,000 years closer to Christ’s earthly ministry — warned of God’s response to “degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural and the males likewise gave up relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males,” receiving” in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity” (Romans 1: 26-27).

So the Church rightly identifies homosexuality as both an objective disorder and a trial for those so afflicted, characterizes sodomy and other dangerously unhealthy homosexualist behaviors as “acts of grave depravity” and recognizes that normalization of such licentiousness delivers its own devastation.

Michael Arata

AGs should defend Prop. 8

I was surprised to learn, upon reading the bishop’s column (Voice, March 7) concerning same-sex marriage, that Jerry Brown, when he was attorney general, refused to defend Proposition 8 because he was personally opposed to it. As attorney general, he was legally obligated to defend all the laws of the state of California.

He refused because he agreed with the opinion of a lower court judge that the law was unconstitutional. But I think a law is not unconstitutional until all legal remedies, including appeal to the US Supreme Court, are exhausted. The present attorney general, Kamala Harris, cannot therefore, refuse to defend Proposition 8.

Frederick A. Arend

A mother responds

As the mother of a son who lives the homosexual lifestyle, I feel qualified to rebut sentiments on the marriage of people of the same sex. First of all, I hate when I hear or read of people saying that, “gee the gay couple who got married were really good or nice people.”

Well, what the heck kind of people do we think they are. Nice or good have nothing to do with the fact that two people of the same sex should, for no reason marry in a Christian and especially a Catholic Church and if they are doing that in the Catholic Church, they are in total disobedience with the teachings of Mother Church as put down by the Vatican. As far as, what would Jesus say? Well, I would bet a whole bunch of money that Jesus would say, “and a man shall leave his Mother and a woman leave her home and the two shall be one flesh.” He would also say, “one man, one woman for life; anything else has its consequences.”

Even though gay couples who want to get married are so very nice, that still doesn’t give them the rights that are given to a man and a woman alone. Once again, I hear Catholics cherry picking their Catholic Faith and Jesus doesn’t like that AT ALL! I’m pretty sure Our Almighty God knew what He was doing when he created man to fit perfectly with a woman, and not two men or two women. That dog don’t hunt. I beg everyone to do some decent research pertaining to alternate lifestyles. Check out a website called NARF and PEOPLE CAN. They give good information. Scripture tells us that people perish for lack of knowledge, so get the knowledge.

Pam Brady
Pleasant Hill

What would He say

Regarding the letter (Forum, March 21) on “loving gay relationships,” the writer states the wedding he attended was beautiful, inspiring and loving. He also states that the couple are devout Catholics. His last sentence seems to justify these arrangements by asking, “What would Jesus say?”

Jesus threw the money lenders out of the temple. What indeed would He say about the events in modern society that certainly have far greater consequences than the exchange of a few coins. Yes truly, what would Jesus say.

Marie Louise Fiatarone

Religion, politics distinct

While I agree with Bishop Cordileone’s position on Proposition 8, applaud his efforts to defend marriage and hope he will continue to promote this sacrament, I feel compelled to draw a firm distinction between religion and politics. In his column (Voice, March 7) “Future prospects of marriage, democracy go hand-in-hand,” our bishop forgets the dangers of a political leader following the will of the people.
Case in point, in trying to quiet social unrest, Pontius Pilate followed the will of the people to crucify Our Lord.

In matters of public policy, U.S. citizens have to hold the U.S. Constitution above Divine Law. But as Catholics we hold natural law and God’s law above man-made law. For example, Congress can pass legislation to outlaw the law of gravity, but that would not change this reality. But if God wills a holy man to levitate, that saint will levitate!

So how do we address the problem of adultery? We first must remember that this sin is not limited to homosexual acts. In Africa, polygamists convert and come into the Church with many wives and children. Would it be Christian for this man to abandon his other wives and children? Likewise, we have to accept the fact that in the U.S., homosexual couples have legal custody of children. What should we tell them? Would it not be better to try to catechize with love than through legalities?

Carmen Hartono

Religious freedom in danger

Catholic religious freedom is in very grave danger. If same-sex “marriage” become the law of the land, all Catholic employers, teachers, doctors, landlords, and many other professions will be expected to apply or implement provisions of the law that are in direct conflict with Catholic moral principles.

Parents will face agonizing choices over how or if to expose their children to public schools. Catholic schools will be asked to use texts that are designed to corrupt the most innocent young minds. Pastors may be prohibited from preaching against homosexuality from the pulpit or in catechetical classes. In Sweden and Canada pastors have already been censored and fined for doing just that.

The marriage of a man and woman embraces not only their sexual complementarities as designed by nature but includes their ability to procreate. We know that marriage unites a man and a woman with each other and any children born from their relationship.

It is critical that the law promote a clear understanding of the reality of marriage and its value to children and society. For Catholics, and all Christians, that reality is summed up in this scriptural passage: “God created man in his own image . . . male and female he created them. . . . And God said to them, Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:27-28). The first blessing of God on humankind was the fruitfulness of the man and woman. Their fruitfulness was the genesis of the first communities.

Jim Crowley
Walnut Creek

An affront to society

Bishop Cordileone’s landmark column on marriage (Voice, March 7) brought out the predictable letters of objection. Opinions were voiced in the March 21 issue on loving gay relationships, objections to the bishop’s legal sophistries and how public opinion is changing toward legalizing “marriage” between homosexuals. The flash-point was “same-sex” marriage. Yes, marriage has now been defined in online dictionaries: there are two types: traditional and same-sex. What an affront to society!

The bottom line in the discussion is how homosexuals fit into society and what the Catholic Church — the last moral bastion — teaches. Homosexual orientation has never been the issue; the problem is how it is acted out. Sexual expression belongs in (traditional) marriage. Sexual orientation, that oft-used term, refers to feelings, not behavior. This is not to say that people with same-sex attraction can’t have loving, but chaste, relationships.

Statistics that show a growing acceptance of same-sex “marriage” attest to the successful brainwashing of our public educational system and the immoral agenda of Hollywood and corrupt politicians. Nevertheless, there have been more than 30 state initiatives and never once have voters elected to support same-sex “marriage;” respect for natural law is alive and well! It is the responsibility of Catholic homilists to teach about this issue, but I won’t hold my breath; we hear about everything except the important moral issues, like same-sex “marriage” and contraception, from the pulpit.

Jack Hockel
Walnut Creek

Support for Bishop Cordileone

I am a priest of the Diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and I recently read His Excellency’s column (Voice, March 7) and enjoyed his simple address and statement of the facts. Know of my prayers for you, The Catholic Voice and Bishop Cordileone.

Father Andrew Dickinson
Director, Pius XII Newman Center
SDSU, Brookings, S.D.

Unafraid to speak truth

Thank God for our bishop who is not afraid to speak “truth to power.” Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone rightly points out the ironies of our political progressive establishment in his article (Voice, March 7) “Future prospects of marriage, democracy go hand-in-hand.”

It should have been on the front page, not on page 3!

In this article he urges people to inform themselves of the facts; “to inform their conscience from the natural moral law and church teaching.”

We should do just that and not depend on the secular, progressive mainstream- media that see religious moral values as relics of the past that do not belong in the public square, and where moral relativism is the in thing while traditional values are out and the natural laws of nature are ignored.

George Bertuccelli

Energy wasted on trivialities

The recent grand jury report in Philadelphia spells out a story of coverup of abuse at the highest diocesan levels. The district attorney, a lifelong Catholic and former altar boy, says, “What we found were not acts of God, but of men who acted in His name and defiled it,” speaking not only of low-level abusers, but of high-level diocesan officials. For example, the former Secretary of Clergy for the diocese is charged with felonies for allegedly helping the cardinal cover up abusers and transfer them to unsuspecting parishes. The full report is available at the district attorney’s website (www.philadelphiadistrictattorney.com/images/Grand_Jury_Report.pdf). Besides many disgusting case histories, the flavor can be gathered from a few section headings:

• Archdiocese leaders employed deliberate strategies to conceal known abuse.

• Archdiocese leaders conducted non-investigations designed to avoid establishing priests’ guilt.

• The cardinals transferred known abusers to other parishes where their reputations were not known and parents could not, therefore, protect their children.

• Archdiocese leaders made concerted efforts to prevent reports of priest abuse to law enforcement.

• Even in 2002, Cardinal Bevilacqua continued to mislead the public and give false assurances.

The vast majority of our Catholic priests are true servants of God and good role models. In this season of Lent when individual Christians reflect on our failings and strive to follow the path of Jesus more closely, perhaps it is time for the institutional Church to do likewise. I find it ironic that, instead, so much energy is spent on instituting language like “consubstantial with the Father” and “send down your Spirit like the dewfall” into the liturgy.

Michael Feit

Gun lovers go away

I am distressed to find that some rabid gun fanciers have brought their views on gun ownership into The Catholic Voice, and that these apologists for gun violence are now attempting to justify their desire for weapons as consistent with the Church’s teaching. How absurd this is. If Christ taught us anything, it was to love one another, not to live in fear. Please, gun lovers, take your opinions elsewhere.

James Puskar

Making life issue political

I was very disappointed you published responses (Forum, March 7) to Karen Arntzen (Forum, Feb. 21) who suggested our Church join Faiths United Against Gun Violence.

Rather than take five minutes to read the intentions of the Faiths United campaign, you chose to put in two rhetorical letters about the Second Amendment. The Faiths United campaign is not about the right to bear arms. It is about responsible gun ownership. I would think the Oakland Diocese would want to join, considering the amount of violent gun deaths in its own neighborhood. You turned a pro-life suggestion into a political issue.

Patricia Hamlin

We can defend ourselves

It is my understanding that the Church has always taught that we have the right to defend ourselves with lethal force when necessary. Therefore, the Church wishes us to have the means necessary when the police are not available. This happens around 21⁄2 million times a year in this country. This, in addition to the injustice of treating everybody in a given area as a dangerous criminal strikes me as one of several good reasons as why the Catholic Church should not join Faiths United Against Gun Violence.

Also, I would point out the National Rifle Association welcomes people of all political beliefs as long as they believe in defending our rights under the Bill of Rights in general with special emphasis on the Second Amendment.

William Ellis
Walnut Creek

Grants to aid volunteers

I saw your edition on the web concerning: Local non-profits earn CCHD grants for empowerment Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the U.S. bishops’ domestic anti-poverty initiative.

We have started transitional housing that provides housing for single parents who are in recovery, 501(c)3. Once a parent completes a six month to a year treatment from a program they are able to move into our building with their children. We provide 24-hour support, parenting and counseling classes.

We also have two buildings that have been operating very well without grants or government funding. The problem we are faced with is that we have volunteers that have been working and doing a great job. We would like to provide some type of payment for them to continue their work. We are desperately looking for grants that would help us continue our work.

Any help would be greatly appreciated: www.changetocome.org.

Tracy Creer
Change To Come
San Leandro

What Lent is about

Lent is a time for prayer, fasting (from food) and almsgiving. Nowhere is it said that we must agree that the scam of (anthropogenic) global warming, which has been widely renounced by reputable scientists and has been shown by the release of the East Anglia University e-mails to have been hatched by connivers against humanity, is any part of our just stewardship of God’s blessings.

It is appalling that spokesmen for the U.S. bishops would twist Lent for some political purpose in this way (Voice, March 7). The goal of the “global warming” scam” is to get control of a frightened public and to reduce human population.

I hate to think the Church is now speaking out against human freedoms and joining with the voices who rail against humans as “polluters.”

Margaret McCarthy
Libertyville, IL

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Letters to the editor provide a forum for readers to engage in an open exchange of opinions and concerns in a climate of respect and civil discourse. The opinions expressed are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the Catholic Voice or the Diocese of Oakland. While a full spectrum of opinions will sometimes include those which dissent from Church teaching or contradict the natural moral law, it is hoped that this forum will help our readers to understand better others’ thinking on critical issues facing the Church at this time.

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