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placeholder November 10, 2014   •   VOL. 52, NO. 19   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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Kudos on Mass

The anniversary Mass at the Cathedral in Oakland was reminiscent of Pope Francis' celebration where several hundreds were married.

But the celebration on Oct. 19 celebrated more than 5,000 years of love and affection. Kudos to whoever thought of it. I believe the idea was inspired by our dear Bishop Barber.

Lillian Silver
Walnut Creek

Synod controversy

There has been some controversy in the news related to the recent Synod on the Family regarding a push back by some cardinals, bishops and groups against the open dialogue and the consideration of change in Church pastoral responses to divorced and remarried couples and to gay and lesbian people. Pope Francis himself has been blamed.

These reactions remind me of the distress and anger of the chief priests against Jesus in the gospels. He was accused of welcoming and eating with tax collectors and sinners, of breaking laws like the Sabbath, and of extending boundaries to include women, Gentiles, lepers and other outcasts.

I believe the Holy Spirit is at work in these times in the Church through Pope Francis. He needs our prayer, support and trust.

Rev. Jim Schexnayder

Tradition can change

In response to Rich Peterson's woeful plea: "I ask Bishop Barber and all our priests to promote the true, traditional Catholic Church." (Forum, Oct. 27). I invite him to consider what the former pope, Benedict XVI, had to say:

"Not everything that exists in the Church must for that reason be also a legitimate tradition. In other words, not every tradition that arises in the Church is a true celebration and keeping present of the mystery of Christ. There is a distorting, as well as legitimate tradition … and … consequently tradition must be considered not only affirmatively, but also critically." (Joseph Ratzinger, "The Transmission of Divine Revelation," in "Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II," Vol. 3, ed. Herbert Vorgrimler (NY, Herder and Herder, 1969), page 185).

One of the worst enemies of Tradition is traditionalism. Real tradition lives by changing and dies by simply repeating itself.

Jim McCrea

Thanks to diocese

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you and the people of the Diocese of Oakland for your contribution to Catholic Relief Services. Your generosity and compassion make education available to children around the world, allowing them to realize their potential and hone their God-given gifts. Your gift will help CRS to break the cycle of poverty and improve the lives of the people we are called to serve.

This letter serves as a formal acknowledgement of your recent donation to Catholic Relief Services for the following gift(s) from the diocese: $24,498.88 for Typhoon Haiyan and $32 for Programs Around the World.

Because of gifts like yours, Catholic Relief Services is able to change lives for the better in 93 countries around the world.

On behalf of CRS staff and those who will be helped by your generosity, I thank Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, for leading the faithful in the Diocese of Oakland to live in solidarity with our brothers and sisters overseas.

May blessings overflow and thank you for your continued generosity.

Carolyn Y. Woo, president and CEO,
Catholic Relief Services Baltimore, Maryland

[Editor's note: So far in 2014, the people of the Oakland diocese have contributed almost $500,000 to CRS.]

Let us in

As a practicing Catholic for more than 60 years, I hope The Vatican can do the right thing by allowing individuals like myself to receive communion. I've been divorced for more than 30 years and civilly married, and continued to serve my parish until I was told I could no longer receive — that I would need permission from my diocese in order to receive.

I've done everything asked of me: documentation, reference letters and completed the process, with negative results — being held a prisoner for almost three years.

I don't think this is what our Lord meant. That is why people are losing their faith and leaving the Catholic Church.

We are being convicted without being given the opportunity to make things right and allow those of us who are truly good Catholics to participate in the Mass and be allowed to receive our Lord.

Manuel Rosario
Bay Point

St. Anthony of Lisbon

May I correct something? St. Anthony is not from Padua. He died there after a storm took his ship to France and then to Italy.

St. Anthony was born in Lisbon around 1191 and died in Padua June 13, 1231. His name was Fernando de Bolhões and he started with the Order of St. Augustine, and in 1220 became a Franciscan. He was canonized May 30, 1232. You can verify he is St. Anthony of Lisbon, not Padua.

Manuel C. Rodrigues

Spirit of marriage

I am very exclusive when it comes to my relationship with my mate. I cannot even imagine a divorce and then mating with someone else. Truly, I find the thought repulsive. So when marriage and family life became news, I decided to help spread the good news by writing a book about my 40-year marriage. I believe that a good discussion about marriage begins with thoughts about marriage.

René Descartes told us that human existence begins with a thought. I think about marriage, then I become a married woman. Descartes lived around the same time as King Henry VIII, who got us to think about divorce. Living in a Protestant culture and being bombarded with thoughts of divorce, I've had difficulty focusing on my marriage. But fortunately, the spirit of marriage has kept me focused.

When we think about it, all of existence began with a thought or the Word. God says or thinks of light and then there is light. We are created in the image of God. But sadly, because of original sin, we not only think good, but we can also think evil. And so is my life and marriage. I try to focus on the Good News, but the media bombards me with bad news.

I pray that with the media focusing on divorce and homosexuality, my church will remain strong in her discussion on the beauty of marriage and family life.

Carmen Hartono

Why people quit

I think Rich Peterson (Forum, Oct. 27) is reading the room incorrectly. I, too, know many people who were raised in the Catholic Church and now no longer attend Mass or participate in any Catholic activities.

Not one of them left because the Mass is in English, or there is no longer an altar rail or the tabernacle has been moved to the side altar. These are all superficial changes, "staging," to use a real estate term.

No, my friends left because the Catholic Church stubbornly clings to antiquated and discriminatory practices regarding women, divorce, birth control or homosexuality, with no "wiggle room" for compassion or compromise.

My friends want to believe in and belong to a church that accepts them, works with them and acknowledges them as flawed but striving individuals, worthy of God's love.

Josephine Soublet

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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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