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The Christmas Presence

placeholder December 15, 2014   •   VOL. 52, NO. 21   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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Contributions to Reader's Forum should be limited to 250 words. Letters must be signed and must include the writer's address and phone number for verification purposes. All letters are subject to editing.

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A great present

If you are looking for the right gift for someone who is sincerely searching for answers in his or her spiritual life, or if you know someone who might value an authoritative reference on the teachings of the Catholic Faith, your search is ended:

"Here it is — the first new Catechism of the Catholic Church in more than 400 years, a complete summary of what Catholics throughout the world believe in common. The Catechism of the Catholic Church draws on the Bible, the Mass, the Sacraments, Church tradition and teaching, and the lives of saints. It comes with a complete index, footnotes and cross-references for a fuller understanding of every subject. Using the tradition of explaining what the Church believes (the Creed), what she celebrates (the Sacraments), what she lives (the Commandments), and what she prays (the Lord's Prayer), the Catechism of the Catholic Church offers challenges for believers and answers for all those interested in learning about the mystery of the Catholic faith. Here is a positive, coherent and contemporary map for our spiritual journey toward transformation."

What an amazing bargain for an 848-page hardcover book. Add it to your reference library and share copies with your family and friends.

Merry Christmas!

Mike McDermott

We are all sinners

I think Ramona Krausnick (Forum, Nov. 24) misinterprets the pope's position.

The Catholic Church is a Church for sinners. We are all sinners. That is the reason for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. That is why Catholics are obliged to go to confession once a year and encouraged to go much more frequently.

The pope has a lot of power but he does not have the power to change what constitutes a sin. The moral law, natural law and Church doctrine have determined that.

The sacrament obliges us to confess all serious sin. It further calls us to a firm purpose of amendment to avoid those sins in the future. Catholics engaged in serious sin and not repenting and amending their lives are in obvious ignorance. One of the spiritual works of mercy is to counsel the ignorant. That is why it is incumbent upon bishops, priests and the hierarchy to counsel people professing to be Catholic and living in obvious sin.

Art Crosetti

Thanks, Oakland diocese

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, and to 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 serves as a formal acknowledgement of your donation to Catholic Relief Services for the following gifts from the diocese:

$74,298.84 for CRS Rice Bowl

$1,500 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 you 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

Interfaith Veterans day

I read the letter (Forum, Nov. 24) about Veterans Day with interest, and the recent interfaith efforts between Catholics and others.

I am a Marine veteran. Our bishop is a Naval Reserve chaplain.

Nov. 10, the day before Veterans Day, is the Marine Corps' birthday. It is a holiday Marines have celebrated every year for the past 143 years, whether in the air, on land or at sea.

I wonder if somehow a committee was formed to have a non-denominational Veterans Day celebration at the Cathedral of Christ the Light every Veterans Day, and a brunch afterwards.

Or if every parish in the diocese invited the non-Catholic churches in their communities, their ministers and veterans alike to participate. I bet such a celebration could fill the house.

Felix Guillory

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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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