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placeholder November 18, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 20   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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Council a mistake

Re: "Remembering Vatican II at the end of the Year of Faith," (Voice, Nov. 4). No one asked my opinion, but I believe Vatican II has proven to be a disaster for our Catholic faith.

The first 10 years of Vatican II, 60,000 to 70,000 priests left the Church; there were hundreds of Catholic Church and school closures; many seminaries and convents closed; hundreds of children were abused and molested by priests and bishops; a film produced by priests, "The Living Presence" reported that 70 percent of Catholics do not believe that Christ is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament."

A January 2007 Gallup Poll, found "fewer than 45 percent of Catholics who receive Holy Communion at least weekly acknowledged that they were receiving the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord under the appearance of bread and wine; a November 1997 survey reported "a mere 35 percent of Catholics still believe that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist; and a New York Times/CBS poll in summer 2003 found 70 percent of Catholics aged 18-44 believe that the Eucharist is merely "a symbol" of Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament.

We have watched the falling off of Church attendance — Boston reported, 17.3 percent going to Mass; Chicago, 21.5 percent; Newark 17.1 percent.

When does it stop? When will our pope and bishops admit Vatican II was a very serious mistake?

Rich Peterson
Concord





Chosen people

The letter (Forum, Nov. 4) in reference to the chosen people is not Catholic teaching, but rather Christian Zionism. The state of Israel came about as the result of theft, which is never according to God's plan.

In the Douay-Rheims Holy Bible Book of John Chapter 8, verses 42-47, Jesus tells the Jews "If God were your Father, you would indeed love me. For from God I proceeded, and came; for I came not of myself, but he sent me: Why do you not know my speech? Because you cannot hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he stood not in the truth; because the truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof. But if I say the truth, you believe me not. Which of you shall convince me of sin? If I say the truth to you, why do you not believe me? He that is of God, heareth the words of God. Therefore you hear them not, because you are not of God."

In John, verses 37-40, Jesus also said to them: "I know that you are the children of Abraham: but you seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and you do the things that you have seen with your father. They answered, and said to him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith to them: If you be the children of Abraham, do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill me, a man who have spoken the truth to you, which I have heard of God. This Abraham did not."

Since Jesus is the new Logos, the new order, we in the Catholic Church are the new chosen people.

Moreno Navarrini
Pleasanton





Catholic school needs

Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. A glance at your map of Catholic elementary schools (Voice, Oct. 7) will hopefully grab the attention of whomever is planning to put John Paul II High School near the Altamont Pass.

There is obviously only one and at most two Catholic elementary schools anywhere remotely near that location (let alone public transportation). Perhaps serendipitously, major work on that planned high school has been on hold due to an earlier financial albatross.

But, if funds become available, wouldn't it make more sense either to swap that location for one closer to existing or hopefully new Catholic elementary schools or to earmark those funds to revitalize the steadily shrinking inner-city Catholic schools? That's where there are tens of thousands of Catholic families who can't afford full tuition and/or haven't yet been convinced of the value of a Catholic education.

Bob Norris
Oakland





Appeal for life

I woke this morning with a call to write an urgent appeal on behalf of the unborn whose blood is crying out for justice to our God and Father.

God is love and merciful. He will forgive anyone who repents from evil. Yet love is not love if there is no justice. Make no mistake; we are accountable for our political choices or our negligence to choose. We, our children and nation, are suffering the consequences of our choices.

I have listened to friends whom I love dearly justify voting for pro-abortion political candidates. Their reasoning is that they seek to vote for candidates whom they believe will do the greatest good for our nation, while neglecting to realize that if we would unite on the pro-life issue across the board, we would collectively irradiate the pro-abortionist agenda.

United in Christ, we have the power to resist and defeat this evil. And thus bring blessings back to our land and our children!

In the name of the innocent, I implore you to unite in the Holy Spirit to defend the life of the unborn. Why does this appeal come now? Because we must unite against evil somewhere and the slaughter of the unborn is most grievous to our brother, Jesus, and our Father in heaven.

I pray you and I will be on the side of those who resisted evil and chose to stand in the truths of our faith. Amen.

Colleen Mendes
Martinez





Include deacons, too

The Most Rev. Michael C. Barber, SJ, shared the writings of Rev. John Jay Hughes (Voice, Oct. 21) in a column, "Come after me — The challenge to respond to the Lord's call." It was a beautiful description of the calling sent and received by many priests and nuns, and the impact, hardships yet sense of meaning and joy they experienced.

It challenged many of us to heed the call, despite our own feeling of being inadequate, as God uses us all, despite our weaknesses.

But I noticed one thing missing from his article. He wrote about the priesthood and nuns, but omitted mentioning the deacons. These are the men within our own communities who answer the calling to serve, as well as the family who support this dedicated calling. They are answering the calling, but is anyone there who is listening?

I know several very dedicated men who began this journey back in 2007 with the SPM, finishing the first three years of study, but have been waiting since 2010 for the next class to begin for the diaconate. There have been phone calls and promises made, yet another year goes by with nothing materializing.

It would be sad to think that their "shouts" to respond to the call to serve would turn into a whisper because nobody is listening!

Nancy Crabtree
Concord


Editor's note: Those who inquire about the Deacon Formation Program are put on a waiting list and are not contacted until the bishop officially calls for a new class. The Diocese of Oakland only runs one class at a time. A class of deacons takes 4.5 to 5 years from start to ordination.

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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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