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placeholder September 4, 2012   •   VOL. 50, NO. 15   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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Aid for the poor

Recently, a Democratic House member, Debbie Wasserman Schultz of the Budget Committee, sent me an appeal for money to defeat the Romney-Ryan campaign. I did not send her money because the appeal was made in the name of women's abortion rights. However, I am with her in everything else.

I think Paul Ryan's budget attacks just about everything federal and state governments should be doing in these hard times, including Medicare, Medicaid, work and food for the poor and improved education and infrastructure for all of us.

I am glad that the Catholic bishops expressed disapproval for the budget and Paul Ryan's treatment of the poor.

Their statements will make a difference in how people like me will fulfill the moral obligation to vote in November. In the meantime, I will continue to make contributions to Democratic campaigns.

Justine Hume
Berkeley




Attacks on Ryan

It is disappointing to hear some Catholics attack the reputation of Paul Ryan, a fellow Catholic and Mitt Romney's choice for vice president.

Paul Ryan has clearly explained the critical need for reform in order to save Medicare for current retirees and assure good care for future generations. He has worked in a bipartisan way to put plans in place that would allow everyone age 55 and older to keep their Medicare benefit as is, while allowing younger workers more options to secure good quality medical care in retirement.

Paul Ryan is pro-life, a defender of the traditional definition of marriage and an outspoken critic of the Health and Services Administration mandate — which attacks Catholic freedoms and liberties at their core.

In contrast to the Romney/Ryan ticket, President Obama and Joe Biden are both on record in support of state funded abortion, gay marriage and the anti-Catholic HHS mandate.

Some Catholics argue the Obama administration deserves re-election because it has done a good job in support of the poor.

True, President Obama has encouraged millions to sign up for food stamps, but who honestly can say the poor are better off now than they were four years ago? By almost every measure, the poor and the young have suffered most under this administration.

It is time for hope and change (again). Paul Ryan is a serious Catholic who will help Mitt Romney unite America around our common values of faith, family, fairness and freedom.

Mike McDermott
Concord




Christian Stewardship
Prior to the 2008 election, Catholics were propagandized by various speakers to believe that Barack Obama was the "real" pro-life candidate because his anti-poverty measures would reduce abortion. Abortion wasn't reduced and all his anti-poverty program gave us was a tripling of food stamp users. But the lie handed him the Catholic vote.

Catholics are now being fed a new mantra in the run-up to the 2012 election. It has to do with compassion for the poor. We are being told that fiscal plans that cut some programs for the materially poor run counter to Catholic social teaching, which is not true. Christian Stewardship recognizes the limitation of our resources, a responsibility the current administration has ignored. Pope Benedict chastised governments who live "at the expense of future generations," and we should be discussing our stewardship of resources or we will soon be a bankrupt nation in the manner of Greece.

Jack Hockel
Walnut Creek




Little difference

I have been following the politics of this election cycle and carefully listening to the opinions of our bishops. The condemnation of Obama's health care mandate concerning birth control and the condemnation of Paul Ryan's budget proposals leaves me thinking that choosing between the Republicans and the Democrats is no better than choosing between the Pharisees and the Sadducees.

M. White
Martinez




Our bad

While the article on Rev. Stanislaus Poon (Voice, Aug. 6) was excellent, I must point out an error.

Father Poon worked with Cardinal TIMOTHY Manning not Henry Manning. Cardinal Henry Manning was a contemporary of Cardinal John Henry Newman, in the 19th century in England.

Both Cardinal Manning and Father Poon are a credit to the Church. Wish we had more like them.

Kearney F. Sauer
Livermore




Good Voice

Your Aug. 20 issue is an excellent edition. Congratulations! Much of it is about purity: in marriage, out of marriage, for young, middle aged, old.

My favorite article: "Youth's growing notion: I can have Jesus and my favorite sin" by Christopher Stefanick. Thank God the author is a popular youth speaker. He doesn't mince words.

Cathy Clark
Alameda




Scripture rules

Vatican II, in Dei Verbum VI, 21 states: "Therefore, like the Christian religion itself, all the preaching of the Church must be nourished and regulated by Sacred Scripture." Is anyone in the Catholic Church aware of this? Or is this what many Catholics object to. It may sound a little too fundamentalist or "Sola Scriptura" for many, but it does codify the obvious.

Shouldn't the Catholic Church, with its historic continuity to the beginnings of Christianity, preserve the original intent of its Founder and His apostles; or does it outsource this function? The official Church needs to maintain doctrinal standards among the faithful, otherwise it is not doing its job. When it does this, it also indirectly informs the secular culture that there are objective standards to be maintained for the good of society; and that when the society goes off into left field, there are unpleasant consequences, personal conscience notwithstanding.

A balance between the objective and subjective needs to be maintained. The official Church is not out of line when it scrutinizes the beliefs of groups within the Church because it is not a virtue for any group to go along with the corruption of the culture in order to be accepted by the society at large. The Church is supposed to confront and inform the culture. It is not supposed to be corrupted by it.

Peter Aiello
Oakland





Support sisters

Re: "What the dispute with the sisters is about" August 20, 2012, Page 12.

Had Cardinal William Levada appointed a woman religious, preferably the head of a major order, to conduct the "review, guidance and approval" of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the reaction would have been muted and the 15,000 members of the LCWR would not feel they were being bullied. If this woman were also a standing member of the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith, she would have brought a level of authority and respect that would have enabled her to deal effectively with the LCWR.

This is not about ordaining women as priests. A woman does not have to be a priest to be a member of the CDF. This is about developing women and elevating them to positions of responsibility within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church so they can deal with difficult issues without the backlash that occurred in this case.

James M. Dempsey
Walnut Creek





Now is the time

Due to the bishops' clear articulation of the Church's teachings these last few weeks, the truth can no longer be ignored by politicians who claim to be "personally opposed" to abortion yet vote to legislate and finance the legal slaughter of innocents.

In no way do I wish to reproach our bishops; however some people will not obey laws or follow teachings unless an external factor exists to convince them.

But if the bishops' latest teachings are ignored, a new scandal will develop: The faithful will perceive that there is no governing authority behind the bishops' teachings, and pro-choice politicians will continue to cause scandal and to eat, drink judgment upon themselves (cf.. I Cor. 11:29).

Each bishop in his own diocese should issue a clear statement that all Catholic politicians who support abortion should not present themselves for Communion.

It is long past time that Church members stop supporting candidates who advocate policies that are intrinsically evil.

Jim Crowley
Walnut Creek

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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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