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placeholder April 22, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 8   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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Thank you for your prayers
and support after school shooting

On behalf of our community and parish, we extend our gratitude to each of you who remembered us in prayer following the events of Dec. 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School. We quickly realized the universality of the Church by the outpouring of support and concern that was shown to us by so many in our faith communities.

The cards and letters from staff and students in Catholic elementary schools, high schools, colleges and universities reminded us of the faith to which we are called to witness through the tradition of Catholic education. No less important were the number of cards from parish religious education programs, especially the sacramental programs.

We were also contacted by many Catholic organizations and groups on both the local and national levels. The list of parishes, Catholic based groups and dioceses who contacted us is an overwhelming one.

We are also very appreciative of the number of donations sent to us to assist our parish in our continuing ministry to the community, to help pay the expenses of the victims' funerals, to support counseling programs, to provide direct aid to the families and so on. Your generosity reminded us that we are not alone during this very sad and challenging time.

We also want to thank our brother priests, deacons and religious sisters and brothers for their letters of support and encouragement. Spiritual bouquets, Mass cards, hours of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament and remembrances by many prayer groups have lifted our spirits knowing that our intentions are ever before the Lord.

We also received a number of rosaries, prayer shawls, religious works of art, memorial vestments, reliquaries, books focusing on grief and healing, original and recorded religious CD's and a variety of poems, spiritual reflections and meditations to help guide us in providing comfort and support.

While we tried to acknowledge every letter and gift sent to us, it became an overwhelming task, so please accept this letter as a thank you to every person who remembered us in prayer during the days immediately following the tragedy to these days of recovery and healing.

We know that the road ahead of us will be a long one, but we are given great hope by the outpouring of generosity and love shown to us. We are truly blessed by your many acts of faith and kindness. Please know that you continue to be in our prayers of gratitude for the goodness you have demonstrated to us in so many ways.

God bless,
Msgr. Robert Weiss, pastor,
Saint Rose of Lima Parish
Newtown, Connecticut

Christians under attack

We have to search to find any information in the major news outlets but Christians are under vicious, deadly attacks almost daily by radical Muslims in many Muslim countries around the world: Egypt, Kenya, Iraq, Nigeria, among others.

Our weak-kneed government chooses to look the other way. Their governments choose to do little or nothing to protect their Christian populace, and in some, as in Egypt, allow their security forces to stand aside and watch, and sometimes participate, in the violence.

Europe does nothing unless its trade is being harmed. Europeans should look toward the future as their Muslim population slowly grows to a majority.

We Christians should join with others who have suffered similar hatred in the past to take action, when our government will not, in order to force those governments that will not protect their minorities to change their policies.

We should stop any tourist visits to those countries, our business leaders should cease all trade with those countries and investors should withdraw all investments in those countries as they did to force the end of discrimination of blacks in South Africa.

We should organize protest organizations to force our government to: speak out forcefully in protest, demand the UN impose sanctions, apply our own economic sanctions, deny tourist, student, work, visas to any applicant who has any history or contact with radical groups who preach, advocate, practice or support violence and support any group that is under such attack.

Whether you choose to agree that radical Muslims are waging war against Christians and others or not, it is happening and will worsen unless they are forced to stop.

Clifford Wiesner

Pray for Korea

Let us pray for our sisters and brothers in Korea. Let us pray that war clouds don't come on them. Did you know that Korea has the second most saints? The Italians have the most.

Lillian Silver
Walnut Creek

Teach the truth

Having recently celebrated Divine Mercy Sunday, may we contemplate Our Lord's unfathomable love for each one of us. May we also come to realize that love and truth are one. But alas, with little exception, the truth has not been taught for decades.

We see the devastating consequences to faith and family. May we always remember that whatever else we believe we are called to do in this life, our main goal is the soul — the salvation of ours and others.

Let us pray and fast for our bishops and priests. When we get a chance to speak with them, let us ask them, "Bishop, do you love me?" and "Father, do you love me?"

Then say, "Then I beg you to teach the truth."

What is the central truth, the heart of our faith? Jesus Christ has bestowed upon His Church in the Magisterium, the charism (gift) of infallibility in matters of faith and morals. Please read "Dei Verbum" ("The Word of God"), the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation promulgated by Pope Paul VI.

So many of our brother and sister Catholics do not see the evil of contraception, and the terrible evils that flow from it! Widespread dissent for decades has obscured the truth and blinded many.

Remember, sin weakens the will and darkens the intellect.

For our own sakes and for our children, please read and study these teachings of a true son of the Church, Rev. John Hardon: "Contraception: Fatal to the faith and to eternal life" at www.therealpresence.org/archives/Chastity/Chastity_004.htm, and "Catholic tradition on the morality of contraception," at www.therealpresence.org/archives/Abortion_Euthanasia/Abortion_Euthanasia_004.htm and "Either stop contraception or destroy the family," at www.therealpresence.org/archives/Family/Family_007.htm.

And please read the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

David Zarri

Stop erroneous teaching

How pleasing it would be to express excommunication in a public way to our elected officials who desire to scandalize the teaching of Holy Mother Church. This decree — removal from the Sacraments and the rites of the church — needs to begin with one, not all. It would clearly tarnish their outrageous platforms among their constituents and would protect many of the faithful from the consequences of erroneous teaching.

I firmly believe mercy triumphs over justice, for the eternal worth of their soul is so great in the eyes of God, charity is the virtue whereby scandalized individuals would be given the most Holy Mother Church has to offer.

Take note God would have saved Sodom if he found at least 10 innocent people within it. If one conversion should be effected from this, how many vulnerable innocents do you suppose would God find in our land.

Peter C. Burkard

A youth's perspective

The vocation to the priesthood is born in the liturgy, which must be centered on the Eucharist. When the liturgy becomes focused on something else, not of the Holy Sacrifice of Jesus Christ made once again present, vocations to the priesthood will die away.

In what way are our liturgies not centered on Christ? Firstly, the feminization of the liturgy. We institute altar-boy girls and female lectors to create a false inclusiveness, thus decreasing the attraction of young men to the altar, thus decreasing their attraction to Holy Orders.

We have diminished due reverence to our Lord in the Eucharist by the way we receive Him (standing and in the hand), by allowing everyone to become a Eucharistic minister (thus diminishing the holy hands of the priest who alone has a right to touch our Lord), and also by the liturgy itself which has been shaped on becoming more congregation-oriented, feel-good and in plain language, mundane.

We have replaced Gregorian chant and orthodox hymns (music distinguished for the liturgy itself) for jazz and "hymns" worthy of a hippy-drum circle.

The reason why young men are attracted to the Marines is because of the serious challenge and unique nobility one attains by entering. The liturgy therefore must parallel the Marines in offering the serious challenge of priesthood but also its unique nobility in retaining the super power of bringing heaven to earth.

Display a liturgy exemplifying the nobility of priesthood and voilà — young men will once again exhibit interest.

Giorgio Navarini

Kudos Archbishop Brunett

How refreshing Archbishop Brunett's columns are. I have been closely reading his less pious, more applicable articles and not once have I seen him repeatedly reference the Holy Father.

Archbishop Brunett has his own ideas and does not need to repeat every word of the pope. I have to believe it's not just because he's already an archbishop; he is capable and intelligent.

Mark Gotvald
Pleasant Hill

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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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