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'Who am I to judge?'

placeholder June 8, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 11   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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Letters' new low

Contributors to the Forum have in my opinion reached a new low in the May 18 edition. Judgments, generalizations and stereotypes do not make for truth. Statements that many immigrants are "drug and sex traffickers, terrorists and criminals," that compare Cardinal Walter Kasper and other German bishops to Nietzsche, Freud and Hitler and that imply that most of those convicted of child abuse "followed a gay lifestyle" are erroneous.

Robert Brame, a professor of criminal justice and criminology at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and the lead author of the study, indicates that researchers and observers, aware that widespread concern over crime committed by immigrants can boil over into hate crimes committed against them, rarely hesitate to note that the majority of immigrants are law-abiding.

Often, they go further, adding that immigrants commit fewer crimes than the native-born. A 1997 paper jointly sponsored by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Urban Institute typifies this view: "Few stereotypes of immigrants are as enduring, or have been proven so categorically false over literally decades of research, as the notion that immigrants are disproportionately likely to engage in criminal activity. (If anything) immigrants are disproportionately unlikely to be criminal."

Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, stated in The Catholic Voice, "I am calling on Catholics to be part of a special immigration initiative, launched by Catholic Charities of the East Bay called 'Helping Our Neighbors,' which finds its purpose in the U.S. Bishops' Justice for Immigrants Campaign."

Finally, the American Psychological Association stated in its 2001 website article Understanding Child Sexual Abuse: Education, Prevention, and Recovery: "Studies on who commits child sexual abuse vary in their findings, but the most common finding is that the majority of sexual offenders are family members or are otherwise known to the child. Despite a common myth, homosexual men are not more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexual men are."

Rev. Jim Schexnayder

Too extreme

It is one thing for a newspaper to print various points of view, even ugly, contrarian ones. But the letter (Forum, May 18) by Jack Hockel comparing Cardinal Kasper and "other German bishops" to Nietzsche, Freud and Hitler is beyond unacceptable. This is hate speech pure and simple. It may be protected by the U.S. Constitution but it has no place in a Catholic publication. If this kind of letter is covered by your editorial policies, they need to be revised.

Rev. Basil De Pinto

Respect the law

According to Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, "the Catholic Church is a church without borders," (Voice, May 18).

Good for the Catholic Church. However, the United States does have borders and laws regarding those borders and they should be respected.

Margaret Gregory

The full picture

We hear a lot today about social justice, about love, mercy and compassion, which are all very good things if properly understood. For if we don't see the full picture, we can easily fall into false compassion and a lack of charity.

This "missing part" we so seldom hear about is "truth." Jesus tells us, "I am the way, the truth and the life" and "The reason I came into the world is to witness to the truth. He who is committed to the truth hears my voice." We find ourselves attracted to the truth! Our Lord tells us it will set us free!

Only what is true can be loving, compassionate and pastoral. As we work to alleviate poverty, let us remember the words of Mother Teresa when she visited our country, that amidst the material wealth, she saw great spiritual poverty.

May we see the full picture — that as we help people out of their material poverty, and their emotional poverty (being a true friend), we keep in mind that these are stepping stones to help them out of their most serious poverty. Our "end goal" must be to help them know Christ better, and to make Him better known (the motto of our diocese).

Foster this conversation. Urge our pastors to talk about this, to bring in orthodox speakers and to facilitate study and discussion. Where can we find the truth? How do we know? How do we properly form consciences? What is the solution to the terrible crisis in the Church, that the great majority of Catholics don't know even the basics of the faith?

Do we see that the root of the great evil that destroys life in the womb is contraception? Do we see that this is the same root which has led to the breakdown of marriage and the destruction of the family, the lack of understanding of God's beautiful gift of sexuality and the blindness to the truth about the homosexual condition?

Let's begin the conversation!

David Zarri

No news?

I can't believe The Catholic Voice has made no mention of what the liberals in San Francisco are trying to do to Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone. They published an open letter in a San Francisco newspaper calling for Pope Francis to remove him for standing up for Catholic beliefs.

This has been a national story and yet our local Catholic newspaper has not seen fit to print anything about this regrettable situation.
There was even an article in the last CV about Jordan Spieth winning the Masters Golf Tournament but nothing about Archbishop Cordileone?

Merle Good

No news II

Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone is being attacked by dissidents for his efforts to protect the Catholic identity and reinforce Catholic principles in San Francisco schools by asking faculty and staff to witness to their Catholic faith inside and outside of the classroom.

The dissidents, who retained a professional to manage their campaign against the archbishop, include pro-abortion politicians and representatives from Call to Action, Dignity USA, New Ways Ministry, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Catholics for Choice and the Human Rights Campaign. The Church has excommunicated some of the people affiliated with these groups and publicly opposed others.

Public calls for Pope Francis to remove the archbishop reflect actions taken in Kansas City that led the Vatican to remove faithful Bishop Robert Finn who had similarly taken over a diocese known far and wide for being a hotbed of heterodoxy and dissent. Bishop Finn's reforms displeased many who managed his removal, just as Archbishop Cordileone's efforts to do what he is obliged to do as a pastor of souls have upset his detractors.

Unfortunately, not all pastors support him, some critics going so far as to prevent their Knights of Columbus Council from supporting him and accusing the archbishop of acting "outside the mainstream of Catholic life and pastoral practice!" Parishioners have been told that "a group of wealthy conservative Catholics" wanted him as "their type of man" and got him appointed through "political shenanigans."

This type of invective doesn't belong in the Catholic Church. What is needed now more than ever is faithful bishops and priests who will, as Archbishop Cordileone said, "proclaim the truth — the whole truth — about the human person and God's will for our flourishing — especially the truth about marriage and the conjugal union of husband and wife." This faithful man commands our respect for his humility, charity and patient resignation in the midst of the attacks on him.

Jack Hockel
Walnut Creek

Father Serra

I find it hard to believe that the pope who wants us to be the "church of the poor" wants to canonize Father Serra in spite of protests by Native Americans.

I have read accounts of the brutal treatment of Indians in the missions, how they were forced to stay in the missions after conversion, how they were forced to abandon their culture, how they were beaten for infractions of rules or trying to leave the missions.

Surely there are other more deserving candidates for canonization, such as Dorothy Day, who are much more appropriate saints in a "church of the poor."

Jim Schnitter

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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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