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placeholder February 23, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 4   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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Serra: Trail of tears

Junipero Serra and his compadres, the Spaniards, while establishing the missions, created a "Trail of Tears" for the California natives. Missions built with the blood and tears of natives should be monuments to the builders rather than a basis for sainthood of an individual.

If the pope can waive sainthood requirements, then The Vatican is in trouble. We, as Catholics, must remember "the Lord works in mysterious ways."

Bill J. Marin
Member of the Washo Tribe

Divorced Catholics

It's sad that many old school Catholics still believe that we still must be refused communion and remain in the dark. Catholics should not turn their backs nor close their doors to us. I know our Lord does not close his doors, so why do we?

Our Lord and Pope Francis and many priests are trying to open closed doors so we can receive communion and start acting like Catholics again. Most of us, through no fault, have been put into this situation and are trying to do the right thing by going through the long, expensive process so we can receive.

Each situation is different so it should be reviewed individually. I pray for all of you who are blind to our Lord's work and ideas and start to understand our feelings. I am 69 and still Catholic.

Manny Rosario
Bay Point

Archbishop Romero

According the Catholic Voice Events Calendar, the film 'Romero' "chronicles the transformation of Archbishop Oscar Romero from an apolitical, complacent priest to a committed activist." When did political activism pave the way to sainthood? But reading his Pastoral Letters in the book 'Voice of the Voiceless,' we find a Romero who, in my opinion, remained apolitical and priestly.

Beginning with his introductory Pastoral Letter on Easter Sunday, 1977, Romero's understanding of the dignity of the human being is prophetic. His Second Letter celebrates the nation's namesake on the Feast of the Transfiguration. He states that the Church of Our Savior is the Body of Christ within the history of transcendence and transformation to bring forth the kingdom of God. Constantly naming Vatican II and other documents, he sees Christ in every human being, especially the poor.

He sees the death of Pope Paul VI on the following titular feast (Aug. 6, 1978) as another call for pastoral leadership for the transfiguration of humanity. In his Fourth Letter dated again on Aug. 6, 1979, he reiterates the call for the Easter Church to liberate the human being from being used for commercial and political purposes. He echoes the then new Pope John Paul II's call for evangelization through the truth about Christ, his Church, and humankind within the kingdom of God.

The book begins with introductory essays by Jon Sobrino and Ignacio Martin-Baró (both belong to the Society of Jesus), and ends with other statements by Romero, including his last homily being said when he was killed. His last words were said as he was celebrating the holy Mass:

"May this body immolated and this blood sacrificed for humans nourish us also, so that we may give our body and our blood to suffering and to pain—like Christ, not for self, but to bring about justice and peace for our people."

Carmen Hartono

Learning faith

The Catholic Schools Week edition (Voice, Jan. 19) was very informative and thorough.

At the weekday 8:30 a.m. Mass at St. Michael in Livermore, the classes take turns in attending, sitting in the first three rows. It is heartwarming to see these attentive students from kindergarten to eighth grade with their dedicated teachers learning and practicing their faith.

Mary McMahon

Church for all

The news today has regular articles by some bishops making statements to restrict or exclude this or that group of people. They are sinners, they say. They are not worthy.

Jesus had the same problem with the Pharisees. They make their pronouncements, enjoy the comfort and adulation and pomp of those around them. They say they don't understand Pope Francis and want the holy father to explain himself.

I suggest perhaps the bishops' egos are obstructing their understanding. They need to pay closer attention to what the pope is saying. Who is imitating Christ and who is imitating the Pharisees?

We are Catholics, our church is for all. We should accept people where they are and walk with them as Christ did. To paraphrase Pope Francis, the Church is like the moon, it has no light of its own to shine, it can only reflect the love of our Creator.

Wayne Mortensen
San Ramon

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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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