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Listen to gospels
Regarding the letter on "Christian Stewardship," (Forum, Sept. 4). Is it really good Catholic Stewardship to deny food and health care to the ones in need among us?
How can we who generally are so well fed and cared for become so upset at the idea that more folks are receiving food stamps? Who do we imagine these people are? We are so afraid of being taken advantage of by the poor when we may far more likely be defrauded by the affluent and powerful.
Denying food to the hungry and health care to the sick cannot in any way be considered pro-life and Christian if you pay any attention to the gospels.
My wife and I attended the symposium on the Diocese of Oakland: Born from the Second Vatican Council, honoring Bishop Emeritus John S. Cummins on Sept. 9. We truly appreciated Archbishop-designate Cordileone for hosting this event that discussed the antecedents to the Second Vatican Council, the themes of Catholic development that would bring us closer to our calling as Christians, and how this was readily incorporated in our newly-formed diocese under Bishop Begin. Archbishop-designate Cordileone, as he takes on his new position, gave our diocese a gift of reflection on us as a diocese and areas in which we may find need for growth in keeping with the spirit of Vatican II.
The speakers were refreshing and thoughtful. They included Rev. Joseph Chinicci, OFM; Sister Rose Marie Hennessy, OP; Mary Ann Mattos; and Rev. John Coleman, SJ, with introductions by Bishop Emeritus John Cummins. Each of the speakers was interrupted by applause, but when Mary Ann Mattos was asked by Sister Rose Marie Hennessy, what now gives her pause with regard to the spirit of Vatican II, her answer of worry for the LCWR brought a standing ovation from the attendees of the event.
For me the most remarkable thoughts were two from Father Chinicci, where he discussed the Second Vatican Council imparting an importance of a "pastoral" vision, whereby doctrine and life experiences are bridged resulting in an "opening to our neighbors," and an "affirmation of human dignity." The second was of "colleagiality," that is providing a horizontal relationship among the religious, and between the clergy and laity in exploring our faith and responsibilities.
Our diocese began with Bishop Begin, but much of who we are has been through the pastoral and collegial hands of Bishop Cummins. To him we offer our deepest appreciation.
It was refreshing to read the letters by Peter Aiello and Jim Crowley (Forum, Sept. 4) supporting the teachings and ethical and moral standards preached by the Catholic Church. The Church has been attacked ever since its beginnings because it will not shirk this responsibility.
Many times it has been subject to derision and even condemnation because of this. This is happening now. The human side of the Catholic leadership can, and does, slip into error, but the Holy Spirit always leads it back to God's truths. Unfortunately, many of our leaders find those truths uncomfortable or unpopular.
When was the last time you heard a priest speak the truth about abortion on demand, gay relationships equated to the marriage of a man and woman, all the "if it feels good do it" materialistic and self-serving license accepted, the need to help and support the truly poor and needy, the truth of the "real presence" in the Eucharist, etc.
Our political leaders have reached the point of paying lip service to being practicing Catholics. Vice President Biden, Minority Leader Pelosi, Senator Kerry, and many others accept votes and donations as their pieces of silver to betray their faith.
I agree with Crowley, it is time to call them out. They are Catholics only to get Catholic votes. They are charlatans who should be exposed and rejected. I applaud and totally support any bishop/priest who has the spiritual strength to do this.
When President Clinton was preparing to veto a bill to prohibit late term abortion he expressed concern about losing the "Catholic vote." He was assured that there was no such thing; went ahead and did so, and suffered no political damage. It is not only our Catholic leaders who may lack the necessary convictions.
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