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placeholder March 9, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO.5   •   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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Synod survey

I find it very disturbing that the Oakland diocese did not encourage Catholic members to complete the 21 question survey they created based on the 46 questions presented by the Vatican. It is very ironic to finally find information about it in the Feb. 23 issue of The Catholic Voice that also notes that the deadline for completion is also on Feb. 23! Work quickly folks!

Fortunately earlier, I was aware that all US dioceses were asked to have their members provide this information and I was persistent in my search for it on the diocese website. This was no easy task— no information or link on the home page and nothing I could find on a menu page. Of course, my conclusion is that the powers that be in Oakland, really didn't want to get feedback/input from Catholics who actually live or lived in a family setting, are in a relationship and maybe have given birth to or raised children. Do these single men really believe they have all the answers or are they afraid of what they will hear?

Carolyn Priest
Walnut Creek


[Editor's note: A front page story explaining the survey and how to submit comments was in the Feb. 9 issue of The Voice; the Feb. 23 item was indeed a last-minute reminder. Most parishes also had some notice in their weekly bulletins in advance of Feb. 23. It was also noticed on the diocesan and Voice websites and Facebook pages; and the diocesan Weekly email newsletter. Those Internet notices were taken down with the expiration of the survey.]




Marriage chaos

Silver token of matrimony

I read articles in regard to the subject of so-called same-sex-marriage. I am heterosexual, I believe in the Holy Bible, I am a Roman Catholic and I regard marriage not only as a legal ceremony but also a "Sacrament" or "covenant" between the spouses and the Creator who is Almighty God who instituted marriage in the beginning.

Having said that, I am cognizant society has diverse people. I may not condone what they do. However, many things such as "partnership rights" have existed for centuries. I have hesitantly grown to see some tiny bits of merit between say, two lesbians who want spousal benefits such as insurance or hospital visitation rights. It is obvious that most U.S. states are approving so-called same-sex marriages so there won't be "legal chaos."

Although I frown on the states that approve it, it is obvious where our national trends are heading. Chaos could arise if some states legalize it {which they have done} and other states attempt to throw a monkey-wrench into the mix by vainly attempting to call it void. Civil laws must be uniform and reciprocally recognized ... even if they are laws we don't like.

While "marriage" has been corrupted, in my view, Holy Matrimony still carries weight since it implies a spiritual bond beyond the reach of man.

The silver marriage token has the inscription, "Quod ergo Deus conjunxit homo non sepabit," Latin for: "What God has joined together, Man shall not separate." Almighty God instituted the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Let us focus on retaining the purity of that phrase.

James A. Marples
Longview, Texas

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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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