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placeholder October 6, 2014   •   VOL. 52, NO. 17   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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Jesus, pacifism

I'm always puzzled when I read that Jesus was a pacifist. Jesus does not appear to be a political pacifist in the gospels. Why would Peter have a sword to cut off the ear of the high priest's servant in the garden of Gethsemane if Jesus had organized a band of political pacifists (see John 18:10)? This happened at the end of His ministry.

Why would Jesus use warfare imagery in His parables (Matthew 22:7 and Luke 14:31), and why would Jesus talk of buying a sword (Luke 22:36)?

These don't sound like the actions and words of political pacifists; but Jesus did not even hint at proselytizing with the sword, and neither did His immediate followers after His death and resurrection.

You can force someone to go to church on Sunday, but you can't force someone to have faith in the Biblical sense. Using force in preaching the gospel is antithetical to real Christianity unless you are looking for nominal Christians.

Jesus was definitely a spiritual pacifist. The New Testament has much to say about the inner peace that comes from trust in Christ; but forget about outer peace because there will always be opposition to the gospel (Matthew 10:34).

The servant is not greater than the Master. The Prince of Peace deals in the real thing.

Peter Aiello

Get the message

Isn't it sad that Cardinal Peel (Voice, Sept. 22), continues to think in the ways of the past doctrine of the Church rather than Christ"s message to welcome all and forgive all.

The cardinal's philosophy and time to lead the Catholic Church is over. It truly saddens me (a cradle Catholic with 16 years of Catholic education) that some of these elder men, who have dedicated their lives to spread Christ's message, cannot follow the true message of Jesus which is to welcome all to His table.

I do so pray and hope to see the time when these Church "elder statesmen" will accept and join in the promulgation of what St. John XXIII laid out for us in Vatican II.

Anne Louise Van Hoomissen

Illegal immigration

Professor Donald F. Anthrop (Forum, Sept. 8), is mistaken in his characterization of the bishops' position on illegal immigration. The bishops are instructing us to love one another, and I think we can all agree with Jesus' words in Matthew 25:40.

Professor Anthrop may be right about this recent wave of child immigration, but I think the cartels (financed by American drug addiction) are more likely the organizers of this human diversion. He may be right that the most recent student amnesty has encouraged this influx and in his assessment that the 1983 amnesty simply encouraged more illegal immigration.

However, Professor Anthrop is categorically wrong in opposing the Church's teachings in Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life).

Our exponential population growth is a fact, but let's take an inventory on what we know. First, a region the size of Nevada built up like Manhattan would fit the entire world population. Secondly, human innovation roughly tracks population growth. For example, we had domesticated animals at population 1 million, we had writing at population 10 million, we had civilization at population 100 million, we had the Industrial Revolution at 1 billion, and we landed on the moon at population 3 billion. This makes sense that the more minds we have thinking and the more hearts we have caring, the more innovative solutions we find.

Where Professor Anthrop foresees apocalypse, I see hope in Jesus Christ and His Church. The Church is right in Genesis 1:28! Freedom is found in following the Shepherd. Therefore, I say to any man who has been called to be a father, "find your wife and love the children that God gives you." Sacrifice your life for your wife and children as Jesus sacrificed his life for the Church. Live my dear man, and as St. John Paul II said "may the prayer of the Church, the prayer of families as "domestic churches," constantly rise up."

Mark Gonzales

Do our homework

As a long time parishioner at St.Agnes, I was very disappointed in your article (Voice, Sept. 8) about the 50th anniversary of St. Agnes Parish.

You mentioned certain pastors but neglected two pastors and one principal, who worked very hard to make St. Agnes the viable parish it is today: Fathers Jan Rudzewicz and Vince Cotter and Miss Karen Mangini. To say the least, this is very disheartening and I would suggest you do your homework in the future.

Ron Latteri

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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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