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placeholder April 7, 2014   •   VOL. 52, NO. 7   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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Good Friday collection

Christians around the world are united in a special way during Lent, Holy Week and Easter. Our hearts, minds and prayers are also especially aware of the Holy Land.

Parishes, once a year on Good Friday, are called on to support Christians in the Holy Land. Many Christians in the Holy Land depend on the collection for their lives.

As a pontifical collection requested by Pope Francis, the annual Good Friday Collection offers a direct link for parishioners to be witnesses of peace and to help protect the Holy Places. When you donate on Good Friday, you are supporting Christians in the Holy Land.

Franciscans and others in the Holy Land are housing and feeding the poor, providing religious formation and education, maintaining shrines and parishes, and conducting pastoral ministry. For more information, visit www.MyFranciscan.org.

The Good Friday Collection is requested by the Holy Father. Please be as generous as your abundance allows.

Commissaries of the Holy Land in the United States
Washington, D.C.

Many life issues

Many say that any public figure that has endorsed the right to choose should not receive communion. I don't understand how Christians can agree that anyone should be denied the "body and blood" of our savior. In recent letters to the Forum, there seems to be a battle going focused on this subject matter.

I understand and agree that this subject is a worthy cause to fight. What I don't understand are the people that are suggesting that elected officials that support this life issue should be condemned for it by not allowing them to receive Holy Communion.

While these letter writers have appointed themselves as a judge for Christ, they only speak on this issue and not on other life issues. War, the death penalty, immigration, the right to affordable health care, the right to own a submachine gun, distribution of wealth, climate change, nuclear weapons ... Doesn't any Catholic Christian think Christ would agree that there are several "life issues" that we, as people, are neglecting?

One writer went as far as to say she could not understand any Catholic Christian that would support a candidate that votes for the right to choose. I would advise these people not to vote at all because there isn't one candidate out there whose beliefs or platform doesn't contradict one of Jesus' teachings about a "just life." Jesus did not say one sin is more important than another. I understand the passion one feels to protect an unborn child. But there are many life issues that need to be addressed to protect our Lord's makings. To suggest or single out one "life issue" is wrong. I believe it is neither right nor Christian to neglect the other "life issues." Most importantly, it is not the right of any person to deny another the "body and blood of Christ" to me — that is not Christian. In my opinion, no human being has the right to make choices for others or to judge another for his or her. Let God be the judge.

Joseph A. Maraccini

Who were these men?

Your editor's note (Forum, March 24) that the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1385, says "we must prepare ourselves" to receive communion by examining our conscience, being worthy and if "conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to communion."

I must ask you — Did they who hurt our children before they said Mass receive this Sacrament? Did they absolve themselves?

Were they the ones who excluded the politicians from receiving Holy Communion who passed legislation permitting abortion? Were they the ones who didn't allow freedom of choice yet ruined the babies after they were born? Were they the hypocrites who believe they are the men of God who care for our children when they have no regard for them and then refuse Holy Communion "conscious" of their grave sin? Were these the men who refused to administer the Sacrament of Holy Communion to the many truly holy men and women who would protect our children?

Paula Hart

Uganda report understated

I was taken aback by your short story on Uganda's Anti Homosexuality Law (Voice, March 24) reporting that Uganda's "Catholic bishops ... reserved judgment on the bill, which imposes harsh punishments for homosexual acts." The law certainly does impose harsh judgments for homosexual acts — life imprisonment for homosexuality and death for aggravated homosexuality.

But the scope of the law is far more extensive than that. It imposes a maximum imprisonment of seven years for the "promotion of homosexuality" which includes any act or attempt to promote "or in any way" abet homosexuality and related practices.

The law defines homosexuality, a definition which requires a physical act or an attempt to commit a physical act, and this definition should to some extent restrict the meaning of "abet." But the law does not define "promote" and it leaves Uganda's police, prosecutors and courts wide scope to arrest, charge and convict individuals for, among other things, speaking or writing in a manner to suggest or state that homosexual orientation is natural and not nurtured and to contend that homosexuals have or should have a basic human right to express their attraction to and love of members of the same sex. In short, the law would curb rights of speech and expression which Americans, and one would hope the Catholic Church in America, and The Voice would consider fundamental attributes of freedom.

Your story significantly understates the Draconian nature of Uganda's laws and the fact that Uganda's bishops would "reserve judgment" on this law speaks ill of the Church in Uganda.

Daniel J. Leer
Pleasant Hill

Lukewarm leaders

I am somewhat confused at the subtle lack of enthusiasm that priests and nuns show toward the unborn.

For a few years I noticed priests, sisters and the religious drive by Planned Parenthood while a group of us is praying the rosary on Friday mornings, and look away. Their lack of concern is disheartening. Most people just drive by, but of those who comment, six of the seven people who drive by Planned Parenthood are favorable to us saying the rosary. We usually get a "thumbs up," a honk or a kind word. One out of seven will say something caustic, inflammatory or give us the unholy peace sign.

What is sad is the lukewarmness of our religious leaders. In Revelation 3:16 Jesus says, "You are lukewarm, neither hot or cold, I will spew you out of my mouth."

Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro, a Catholic, said once that "Ask your nuns how they feel about abortion." I know she was wrong, and I respect these deeply spiritual disciples of Christ. But what prompted her to say this? Maybe she felt the Church has no concern or power over her and other Catholic politicians.

I hope someone will respond why there seems to be a problem here. I asked a priest why abortion isn't addressed and talked about from the pulpit. His reply was, "I would lose part of my congregation."

Jim Crabtree

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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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