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placeholder November 21, 2011   •   VOL. 49, NO. 20   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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Enjoys bishop’s columns

I enjoyed Bishop Cordelione’s recent columns on the history of the liturgical movement. While the bishop emphasized the role of papal teaching in shaping the movement, grassroots leadership from dioceses around the world was arguably even more important.

The liturgical movement had its roots in the 19th Century recovery of the biblical image of the Church as the “mystical body of Christ.” This recovery was, in part, an effort to emphasize the organic unity of the Church at a time when Europe seemed increasingly divided by class divisions and hardening national boundaries. Father Lambert Beauduin, OSB, one of the early leaders of the liturgical movement, had been a priest active in ministry to workers and miners.

The movement also spread beyond Europe and North America. At Vatican II, many of the bishops who were most passionate about reforming the liturgy were from Africa and Asia. It became clear at the Council that centralizing all liturgical decisions in Rome would not work for an increasingly global church. One of the most important decisions the Council made was to grant to national bishops conferences the right to decide how to employ the vernacular in the liturgy and to develop and approve the vernacular translations.

This history has contemporary relevance. Whatever the merits of the new English translation of the Roman Missal, the process by which we obtained it represents a return to the kind of Roman micromanagement of the liturgy that the bishops at Vatican II wanted to move beyond.

J. Peter Nixon

Who is bishop writing for?

When I saw the second word “adumbrations” in Bishop Cordileone’s Oct. 17 article I knew he wasn’t talking to me. Just who is his target audience?

Bill Olmo
San Ramon

Confused by changes

I’m confused. The lead article (Voice, Nov. 7) by Bishop Cordileone, titled “Missal changes: Church retains valuable aspects of our identity,” is informative and gives an interesting history of the altar in the Catholic tradition. It in no way helps us understand the new changes in the Roman Missal.

One would think, that this close to the changes being implemented, we could have been shown how the new imagery and scriptural references used in the new translation, especially in the Eucharistic prayers and Collects retain “valuable aspects of our identity.” Showing this connection between the prayers and their scriptural references would have been a way to promote acceptance of the new translation and a way to invite each of us into a more profound and rich prayer experience.

Lorna Shobar

Reflect on what we can do

In October we celebrate the Month of the Rosary and the Month of Respect for Human Life. And this year, on the 22nd, we celebrate for the first time, the Feast of our new blessed, the Pope of Divine Mercy, John Paul II.

We often take for granted the treasure we have in Church teaching. Please read this excerpt from The Gospel of Life:

“We are facing an enormous and dramatic clash between good and evil, death and life, the ‘culture of death’ and the ‘culture of life.’ We find ourselves not only ‘faced with’ but necessarily ‘in the midst of’ this conflict: we are all involved and we all share in it, with the inescapable responsibility of choosing to be unconditionally pro-life.” (The Gospel of Life, 28)

May we take the time to read and reflect on the beautiful letters addressed to us by our recent Holy Fathers, including: On Human Life; The Gospel of Life; On the Dignity of the Human Person; The Dignity of Women; The Splendor of the Truth; God Is Love and Charity In Truth. In this “age of the Internet” they are all easily accessible, including from www.ewtn.com.

Let’s ask ourselves: What will I do? What influence will I offer? How will I be “salt for the earth?”

By virtue of our sharing in Christ’s royal mission, our support and promotion of human life must be accomplished through the service of charity, which finds expression in personal witness, various forms of volunteer work, social activity and political commitment. (The Gospel of Life 87)

David Zarri

Isolate, counsel pedophiles

As a lifelong Catholic, I was brought up to have great respect for the Catholic Church and those dedicating their lives to God. I taught in Catholic School in Oakland in the ‘60s and have enjoyed strong friendships with both nuns and priests.

I have had discussions with Catholic and non-Catholic friends regarding the pedophile priest problem. These discussions often ended with comments regarding the two egregious wrongs perpetrated by the Catholic Church — the shifting of these priests from parish to parish and the attempted cover-up of their crimes.

I have a suggestion that could help restore some credibility and respect to the Church while simultaneously helping the community at large. Since experts tell us that pedophiles cannot be rehabilitated, it seems we should do what we can to isolate them for the safety of our children.

I propose that the Church provide a large existing (remote) monastery where such priests, as well as repeat lay pedophiles, are cloistered. The Church would be responsible for all expenses, including security and counseling. Residents could have opportunities to grow their own food, maintain the property, do all cooking and housekeeping, and gradually become less dependent upon the Church. The Church could also provide motivational speakers encouraging the residents to lead productive lives with the support of those who share their problem. Hopefully this lifestyle would enable these residents to regain some self-respect and help restore their relationship with God.

Kay Collins

Adoption and bishop’s letter

On Nov. 2, on behalf of the United States Conference of Bishops, the teaching authority of the United States Catholic Church, Bishop Cordileone wrote the following in a letter to the United States Senate:

“Even when a marriage is not blessed with children, all husbands and wives can model for society the possibilities and potential for mutual collaboration between the sexes. They can teach children generally by their witness and exemplify for other men and women what it means to be husband and wife. They also can provide an essential service to society through adopting children, who need the care of a mother and a father.”

It is disappointing that Bishop Cordileone, on behalf of the U.S Bishops, would write a letter that states that a couple who is “not blessed with children” can “teach children generally” and can adopt.

Adoption is not some secondary option. To the contrary, a marriage is profoundly blessed with children through adoption. It is equally unfortunate that Bishop Cordileone would equate adoption to “service to society.” Adoption is not a service project. It is the creation of a family unit.

The fact that these statements were made as a spokesman for the U.S. Catholic Bishops is even more disturbing. It is either a very poor choice of words, which is unlikely as it was in a letter to the U.S. Senate, or a profound misunderstanding of the dynamics of a family.

If the U.S Catholic Bishops wonder why Catholics are disenchanted and abandon practicing the faith, they need look no further than statements like these. Thank God for the sacraments, prayer, service, the Scriptures, the Jesuits and the other meaningful aspects of the Catholic faith. It is statements like these that cause the United States Bishops to be increasingly irrelevant.

Sean Nalty
Castro Valley

Still the devil’s world

This is still the devil’s world. Jesus said He would be with us until the end of time and that the gates of hell will not prevail.

The enemy of Jesus is not so much outside of the Church, but within.

In 1965 at Garabandal, Spain, Our Lady said to the four girls that many cardinals, bishops, priests and some souls are on the road to perdition. That is why we must pray for the Church and the world.

The article (Voice, Oct. 3) about the Diocese of Phoenix was very disturbing. Is this what Our Lady has referred to? We can change. If it’s God’s will you cannot stop it. If God wants married priests or women priests and communion under both forms, who can stand in His way? In the Diocese of Oakland we are losing it. What happened to the Ministry to the sick, shut-ins and hospitals. Why not work on abolishing all parole boards and reform the jail system?

One thing we all can do is pray and ask Our Lady for His help.

John Marquette

Stand with the bishop

I write in opposition to Paul Quinlan’s letter (Forum, Oct. 17) challenging our bishop to do certain things concerning violence.

My opposition is that we Christians are called to stand with our bishops, not to challenge them publicly.

As Ignatius of Antioch said in 105 AD on his way to Rome where he would be martyred, “Stand with your bishop as you stand with Jesus Christ, for there you will find the Catholic Church.”

Thomas P. Greerty

Parish busy bodies

I have heard of a disturbing trend in some parishes — parishioners attacking their priests. Not because of a lack of sanctity in the priest, but for personal reasons. It seems there is a lack of humility and more pride, a lack of charity and more arrogance, in these attacks.

Unfortunately there are always some discontented souls in every parish, who are unhappy about one thing or another. They forget our Catholic faith is a theocracy. It is run by God’s will through his chosen religious. It is not a democracy, directed by the whims of men. We do not vote on how the Church will be run, the rules we will live by, the Commandments we will obey.

God has chosen who will become priests. He calls them to serve Him. When we attack our priests, we are going against the will of God. Those among us who are doing so should not only be ashamed, but fearful. God is offended by such behavior. Is your discontent so great that it is worth offending God?

Our parish, like many, has a lot of busy bodies, malcontents and egomaniacs. They think they are better at running the parish, have better ideas, greater skills, better ability to lead. This is not the way to please God. If they feel that the spiritual life of the parish is in danger, they should pray, not attack the vicar of Christ.

Yvonne Estrada

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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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