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placeholder  January 5, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 1   •   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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Torture unjustified

According to a Pew research poll conducted after the recent release of the Senate Report on CIA interrogation methods, 51 percent of the American public says they think the CIA methods used as reported were justified.

In light of this, I urge The Voice to publish letters from Bishop Richard Pates to the Senate Committee on Intelligence, and from Bishop Thomas Wenski to the entire Senate stating the position of the US Catholic bishops on these methods, their definition as torture and the clear moral prohibition which that definition implies.

In addition, The USCCB has published "Torture is a Moral Issue: A Study Guide" on its website to help Catholics form their conscience relative to these activities. I would urge those who believe that CIA interrogations that used methods historically defined as torture are justified to read the USCCB study guide in order to gain insight into these matters.

As Bishop Wenski states in his letter, "importantly, prisoner mistreatment compromises human dignity. A respect for the dignity of every person, ally or enemy, must serve as the foundation of security, justice and peace."

Jim Ahrens

Time of peace

We cannot give Vladimir Putin control in Eastern Europe. Putin claims to be a devout Russian Orthodox member. But we can love him and his followers and appreciate what is good about Russian Orthodoxy and what our religions have in common.

Rev. Joseph Homick of the Contemplatives of St. Jose in South San Francisco has a wonderful article on icons in his order's Dec. 2 newsletter, "The Spirit and the Bride Say 'Come.'" There are wonderful icons in color in the article.

Rev. Rafael Duda, parochial administrator at St. Margaret Mary's Church in Oakland says in his Christmas newsletter that Christmas should be a time of peace and hope.

Catherine Clark

Bad editor

I don't have the faintest idea why some editors think that illiterate mindless effusions that happen to be in rhyme are poetry. They aren't — and the piece of gobbledygook you printed (Forum, Dec. 15) isn't either. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Tom Savignano

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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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