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Abortion: out of sight, out of mind

placeholder February 8, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 3   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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Rethinking position

I attended Rev. Walter Hoye's Conversations4Life dinner at St. Stephen's in Walnut Creek. I was touched by the message delivered by Alveda King (niece of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life) of compassion and love for women who, like her, have had abortions.

Imagine my surprise when I came home, opened up The Catholic Voice, and read Peter Wilson's letter (Forum, Jan. 18) suggesting that "the hottest place in hell is reserved for" Rev. Hoye and others who oppose Obamacare. Wow, that's not exactly a message of compassion and love.

I'm sure Rev. Hoye does not wish to deny health insurance to anyone. He opposes Obamacare because it funds abortion; the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has voiced similar opposition, calling the funding requirement an "unjust and illegal mandate."

Abortion ends more African American lives than all other causes of death combined, totaling a staggering 14.5 million since legalization. It is destroying the African American population, and Rev. Hoye's calling is to protect his community from further destruction.

Seen through that lens, I'm sure Rev. Hoye's position can be given a more charitable interpretation, which should be our aim as Christians, for, in the words of our Lord, "the judgments you give are the judgments you will get" (Matthew 7:2). I wish Mr. Wilson the best, and I hope he is the one who "rethinks his position" on Rev. Hoye. As for The Catholic Voice, in the future, I hope it will consider not publishing letters that suggest fellow Christians who oppose our political positions deserve hell.

Karen Seto
Pleasant Hill

Abortion tragic effects

Peter Wilson (Forum, Jan. 18) alleged a "bizarre and potentially cruel quotation" by Rev. Walter Hoye, reporting that "Rev. Hoye says 'I'm all for ... repealing Obamacare.'"

Wilson then attempted a statistical defense of Obama's "Affordable Care Act" (ACA), echoing misleading administration talking points. Wilson's abridgement of Hoye's statement is itself grossly misrepresentative. Actually, Hoye said "I'm all for reversing Roe. I'm all for electing a pro-life president, repealing Obamacare. ... We've got to find a way to impact the communities of color."

Rev. Hoye, himself a courageous pastor jailed for 18 days in 2009 on a railroaded abortion-protest sentence (overturned on appeal), understands the horrendous dimensions and tragic effects of abortion in general, and abortion's genocidal consequences for black communities in particular.

His Issues4Life.org website recognizes abortion as "the defining issue of our time, in the same way that slavery was in the 19th Century and segregation was in the 20th Century."

In 2010, Obama persuaded Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., and other hesitant pro-life Democrat legislators to endorse Obamacare via an executive order supposedly prohibiting federal health-exchange funding of elective abortion.

But Obama's promises regarding abortion exclusions were no more reliable than his systematically deceitful assurances that Americans could all keep their health plans and doctors (eventually named Politifact's "Lie of the Year").

So by 2012, Stupak (having already left Congress) was "perplexed and disappointed that ... not only does [the HHS abortion-drug] mandate violate the Executive Order but it also violates statutory law."

In September 2014, the General Accounting Office itself reported widespread funding of elective abortion by Obamacare exchanges. As the US Conference of Catholic Bishops announced in response: "Despite repeated claims by President Obama and other supporters that the ACA would not promote abortion, the report identified over a thousand health plans eligible for federal premium subsidies that cover elective abortions."

The list included 86 of 90 Obamacare-eligible plans in California alone.

I'm grateful to Rev. Hoye for a forceful defense of life. And I congratulate him on a successful, informative pro-life rally and march in Oakland.

Over the angry, vulgar shouts of would-be disrupters from the pro-abortion "Revolutionary Communist Party, USA," Rev. Hoye's lineup of prominent pro-life African American speakers offered their powerful, joyful testimonies, observing that ALL lives matter, including those of black BABIES in their mothers' wombs.

Camille Giglio
Founder, California Right to Life Committee Inc.

Catholic cremation

We read (Voice, Dec. 14) that prior to Vatican II, cremation was not permitted for Catholics. That might have been because the practice was alleged to deny the doctrine of the resurrection of the body, possibly a false allegation. It seems that the prohibition was only for Catholics. Since it was not applied to the general population, there was no question of moral law, only obedience to a regulation, which may be amended.

Body fragments, or relics of the saints are kept by the Church and placed in altar stones. They are necessary for the sacrifice of the Mass even though the authenticity of such a relic might be suspect.

I find it strange that the Church may collect fragments of a body and venerate them during the Mass, while next of kin of deceased persons are denied that privilege. Does the Church hold that the placing of ashes of a loved one in a special location in the home shows a lack of respect for the dead? I believe that private disposition is at least as respectful. As long as public health is not compromised and there is nothing to suggest commission of a crime, there should be no objection to private disposal of remains. These matters should be left to civil, not ecclesiastical authorities.

John Kearney

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