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Why 'Holy Week' is really 'freedom week'

placeholder April 9, 2012   •   VOL. 50, NO. 7   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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Church under attack

Your last issue dated (March 26) had several fine letters expressing a heart-felt conscientious objection by fellow Catholics against the US government's increasing intrusion in and manipulation of our Church-operated institutions to carry out their missions of ministering to poor, hungry, sick, imprisoned and other disadvantaged people in our nation. Our Church also has a legitimate role to be a teacher and model to the culture at large which seems to be becoming more rapidly paganized each day.

Increasingly we are experiencing more open opposition and even persecution. It is a sign we are trying to do the right thing to witness to our values as we are guided and inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is what our Lord promised would happen and has happened for the past 2,000 years of Christianity a great sign of contradiction to be hated by the world for trying to follow the Lord.

Our Church leaders have also opposed war.

How long can our nation continue to break God's laws and avoid the consequences? In thinking again about all of the wars our nation has waged since Desert Storm in 1991, I come to the conclusion that the judgment of the United States is already occurring. The war-making process is in itself a judgment.

Richard Trevors

Compensation, death

Bishop Cordileone calls for replacing the death sentence by a sentence of a life in prison without parole, unfortunately, writes L. Foster in his letter (Forum, Feb. 21), "the latter sentence doesn't do justice to the enormity of the crime."

I agree in some cases the crime is so gruesome and horrendous that a stiffer sentence than life without parole would seem necessary. The Polly Klass case leaps immediately to mind. But why stop at 12 years old? Doesn't reversing a baby in the womb and dragging it down until its head is outside its mother's body and then inserting surgical scissors in the back of its neck and snipping its spinal cord qualify as a horrendous crime? In fact, two crimes, because the woman's reproductive tract is injured as well?

Suppose as well, that the victim has a large family and the murderer is a productive member of society, wouldn't compensation also serve as part of the sentence in lesser crimes? Of course we don't often think of murderers as having large fortunes, but don't drug dealers sometimes have a lot of money?

Fredrick Arend

HHS rule propaganda

It has been very interesting to observe the different misinformation strategies that the progressive secularists have put forward in support of the HHS mandate. Although several strategies were rapidly and thoroughly refuted, it is instructive to witness the coordination of propaganda.

For instance, every liberal politician and news source simultaneously claimed that "there has already been a compromise." There is no evidence that a compromise was ever intended. That all these sources concurrently claimed a falsehood speaks to a high level of coordination. Many of these sources, one of my Senators included, continue to include the fictitious compromise in form letter responses and public statements about the mandate.

Although the bald-faced lies are interesting, it is also important to identify and disarm the subtler ruses as well. For instance, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-SF, a noted Catholic, has been arguing publically that because some unverifiable high percentage of Catholic women use contraception during their lifetimes, Catholics cannot argue that the mandate would not provide beneficial service without hypocrisy.

Catholics believe that contraception is a sin. All Catholics are guilty of various types of sin throughout their lives. The Catholic prescription for szin is confession and reconciliation. Nancy Pelosi's prescription for sin is to reduce the out-of-pocket cost to the sinner. The administration proposes to lower the cost to the sinner by forcing Catholic institutions to chip in along with everybody else.

It seems nonsensical that the administration would announce this mandate during an election when the mandated services are currently already available for free from the in many cases unwilling or unknowing tax payer. The obscuring apparent irrationality of this action only truly melts away when this action is understood as an attack on the Catholic Church. That this attack is conducted during an election season indicates that the administration believes that Catholics are susceptible to either the attraction of sin or are so poorly catechized that they would accept the theological direction of politicians in preference to the theological direction of every US bishop of the Catholic Church.

Stephen Donnelly

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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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