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Pope Francis' reflections:
'Abortion, euthanasia, IVF sins 'against God'

placeholder November 24, 2014   •   VOL. 52, NO. 20   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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Like the Pharisees

As a Christian who belongs to the Roman Catholic denomination, this is for the Roman Catholic priests, bishops and hierarchy who disagree with Pope Francis regarding welcoming gays and lesbians into the church, welcoming those co-habitating and giving Communion to divorced Roman Catholics.

Stop acting like the Pharisees and teachers of the law of Jesus' time. Jesus welcomed everyone — he ate with sinners and tax collectors (remember Matthew was a tax collector), he associated with a Samaritan woman who had a past and a present, he did not condemn an adulteress, he fed the hungry, he touched lepers, etc. He was not a conservative — he was a radical and he was confrontational toward the Pharisees and religious leaders of his time who were obsessed only with rules and regulations.

If you have ever read your Bible and the Gospels, you would know that Jesus would never treat certain people the way the rigid Roman Catholic religious leaders treat them. He did not turn people away.

My observation is that the rigid leaders are more interested in the correct rules and regulations, rather than in behaving like Jesus did and treating people with compassion, love and mercy. Wake up, smell the coffee, read your Bible and start behaving like Jesus did toward those whom you don't want to welcome into the Church.

Ramona Krausnick

Good book

Do not read "The Way of Serenity" by Father Jon Morris unless you are ready for an immediate change in your everyday life. Based on the familiar serenity prayer, Father takes the three words serenity, courage and wisdom and expands them to logical applications for you. (The book is not about addictions.)

With short scriptural passages you feel you are not alone in your thinking. It will be wonderful Advent reading, giving yourself a Christmas gift of peace.

Mary McMahon

Veterans Day

Why are Oakland diocese schools demeaning the observance of Veterans' Day on Nov. 10 instead of Nov. 11?

Has the diocese set aside the day to honor our veterans to provide a three-day weekend? Our bishop is a Navy Reserve officer. What does he say?

What's next? Will the diocese authorize the change of the celebration of July 4, New Year's, and Christmas for a long weekend?

How do I justify this to my non-Catholic friends? I'm a retired Army Reservist, a volunteer to the Girl Scouts and the Boy Scouts, and a member of American Legion Post 117 in San Leandro.

Mike Sequeira
San Leandro

[Editor's note: Some schools celebrated the day on Monday, some on Tuesday, mostly to accommodate parent or community needs.]

Pew survey

I would like to respond to the article "Public doesn't think Catholics are discriminated against," (Forum, Oct. 27). It was about the Pew Research survey.

I think most people base their opinions on what the government tells them. This is what the mainstream news media communicate to them. The government says Muslims are discriminated against the most. In the survey 59 percent of people (the most) said Muslims are discriminated against. The smallest percentage, 19 percent, said Catholics suffer discrimination.

In my view the opposite is true. However, it is not only discrimination but also persecution directed against the Catholic Church by the government. In the California Legislature a bill was proposed in 2014 to remove the statute of limitations on cases of suspected child abuse. It was directed mainly against the Catholic Church and excluded public schools where many more cases of child abuse are now publicized. I wish to commend Gov. Brown for vetoing this discriminatory bill.

The Catholic Church is about the only religious group openly mocked by some comedians, actors and musicians. Also, the United Nations a few months ago denounced only the Catholic Church for having priests who abuse children. Ironically, the Catholic Church is doing the most now to eliminate such behavior within!

The Church may rejoice to be subjected to such treatment by the world. It was Jesus who promised his followers would be treated this way. It is a sign of the true Church for the entire world to witness. Perhaps the Gospel of John, Chapter 18, verses 18 and on prove this to be true?

Joe Trevors

Synod responses

Three letters (Voice, Nov. 10) discussed "pastoral responses" to divorced and remarried couples and homosexuality. One letter coincidentally mentioned the recent Synod on the family, the Final Document of which was published in English two weeks after the Synod ended on Oct, 19 and which I have read twice.

Church tradition on the aforementioned issues was challenged at the Synod by a group led by some German bishops who scandalously sought to change Church teaching. The hope was that Pope Francis would go along with the dissident Fathers but that didn't happen. Church teaching on same-sex "marriage," remarriage and Communion, and contraception, was upheld.

One letter writer appealed to changing tradition and inaccurately referenced a 1969 book that quoted then-Cardinal Ratzinger. There is a difference between tradition, with a small t and Tradition with a capital T. Small t tradition relates to disciplines that can change. Capital T Traditional Church teaching (doctrine) isn't going to change, regardless of the confused and wishful thinking of these letter writers and the German bishops.

It isn't the challenging teachings of the Church that drive people away, but the lack of understanding and accepting them. People are attracted to a challenge, not discouraged by it. Pastors are challenged to clearly and strongly present the unchanging truths of the faith in order to stop the confusion and exodus of some Catholics.

Jack Hockel
Walnut Creek

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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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