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placeholder March 14, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 5   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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Out of context

I take exception with the letter writers who castigated Pope Francis for his comment about building bridges not walls (Forum, Feb. 29). First of all, these writers took the pope's comments out of context. They did not quote his entire statement.

The pope was asked: "Can a good Catholic vote for this man?"

Francis responded: "A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the Gospel. As far as what you said about whether I would advise to vote or not to vote, I am not going to get involved in that. I say only that this man is not Christian if he said things like that. We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt."

If Donald Trump had not immediately fired back at Pope Francis, 90 percent of the people now aware of the pope's comments would never had known what he said. Trump brought the attention on himself. But then he usually does. He is trying to be elected president and in his mind there is no such thing as bad publicity.

As Catholics I believe we should pray for God's guidance on where and for whom to cast our vote.

Sharon F. Svitak
Dublin





Pray for conversion

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church met with Pope Francis in Cuba Feb. 12. Afterward, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church said we must unite to fight ISIS in Syria or all the Christians will flee from the Middle East.

Let us pray to Our Lady of Fatima that Russia and the Catholic Church may be united in faith and love. Just as the valiant Jews defeated the followers of Baal, so we can conquer the armies of ISIS if we believe in and obey God, because there is no limit to God's power.

Cathy Clark
Alameda






Hornet's nest

Man alive! I certainly ran into a hornet's nest. I thought I was bringing something into this discussion that I hadn't heard about or read in The Catholic Voice or any other publications and I ran into a buzz saw. I have struck some raw nerves (Forum, Dec. 14).

I didn't know I was peddling hate of homosexuals or anyone else. I respect and have no quarrels with anyone's opinions and comments. I agree that God only is our judge.

I've been around for many years. I still remember when seeing a pregnant woman in public was frowned upon. I still enjoy life, I'm still not through learning so thanks for your help. Our family discusses anything and everything without anger, hate, hurt feelings or grudges. But that's us.

Based on the current atmosphere on this subject I have one last question. Is the Catholic Church's position, as reported in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a hate statement? Finis.

William R. Delucchi
Newark





Communion presence

At a Mass in the Vatican, members of a Lutheran Group were allowed to receive Holy Communion!

Why? What lessons regarding Catholic Church teachings are our Catholic leaders promoting?

Martin Luther, the ex-Catholic priest excommunicated by our Church for his anti-Catholic teachings, started his own church prompting many Catholics to leave the Church. He believed the Blessed Sacrament was not the real presence, and Luther allowed communion in the hand because this was Luther's message of denial that Christ was not present in the Blessed Sacrament. Several synods also forbade the reception of Communion kneeling in order to avoid any suggestion that the host was venerated!

I was taught in the Catholic schools I attended, and newly Baptized Catholics are taught, to understand the Catholic Church teaches to confess our sins, and out of respect for the Blessed Sacrament we are taught to fast before we receive Holy Communion.

But the most important message taught is that Christ is present in the Blessed Sacrament, and we are taught and believe and respect this most important aspect of the Mass, the consecration of bread and wine, which through the consecration becomes the Real Presence, the Body and Blood of Christ.

But now, (how much more of this is allowed by other priests?) we read this incredulous report that our Church leaders in the Vatican are allowing non-Catholics to receive Holy Communion.

No wonder many Protestant groups now believe "the Catholic Church is no more than a joke." We no longer practice what we preach!

Recent studies show 70 percent of Catholics no longer believe in the Real Presence, 70 percent of Catholics aged 18-44 believe the Eucharist is merely "a symbol" of Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament. An August 2003 Regina Coeli Report finds, "The Church has experienced a sharp falloff in attendance at Mass ... and a real cessation of belief in the Real Presence among a clear majority of the laity ..."

Our Catholic Church leaders have to do a better job in our Church teachings. We have all heard the terrible stories of "the weak and feeble Church teachings" that are now going on in some Catholic schools.

God Help us …

Rich Peterson
Concord

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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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