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placeholder March 28, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 6   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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Variety of teaching

One letter (Forum, March 14) seemed to be a little overly troubled by the variety of Catholic Church teachings and some of the detailed beliefs of some members. In this day and age we need to remind ourselves that Martin Luther was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church, not Christianity.

The essence of Christianity, "all the law and the prophets" (Mt.5) is to love God above all things and your neighbor as yourself. How we go about achieving that differs from sect to sect. All seem to manage to produce some persons who love those who hate them and do good to those who persecute them. Many have members who have died for their Christian faith. We must not forget that.

Our Catholic Church has an elaborate system of seven Sacraments, a wonderful liturgical and prayer life and many theological concepts. But all are directed towards helping us learn to love our neighbor as ourselves. If we achieve that, we are fully Christ-like no matter how we got there.

Frank Nieman
Pleasant Hill

Games' isolation

Pete DeLisi's article (Forum, Feb. 29) about electronic media taking over our lives was excellent. By using an electrical device people are not in tune with what is going on around them.

My concern is with little preschool children totally alone playing on these. They need to hear language and be read to every day to be ready for preschool.

The isolation of solitary playing on an electric game deters from their learning to be with other children. Mothers who are pushing strollers have the ideal opportunity to tell their children what they are seeing along the walk instead of talking on a cell phone. Language development in children is far more important than any silent game they may play alone.

Mary McMahon

Admonition deserved

I must inform Arnold Ziccardi (Forum, Feb. 29) that the pope is definitely not "hypocritical." I ask Ziccardi "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" (Matthew: 7:3)

Sure, the Vatican IS "surrounded by a wall" but it has an open door, Donald Trump's wall doesn't.

Daniel Burke, CNN's Religion Editor wrote on Feb. 18 that, "Vatican City may have walls, but the front door is always open, said the Rev. James Martin, a Catholic priest and editor at large at America magazine."

Let's look at the intents of these walls. Trump's wall is designed to separate people from one another, to shun the poor. But Burke notes, "The fortifications were built a very long time ago," Martin said. "This Pope didn't build them — and he certainly didn't build them to keep out poor migrants." Pope Francis hasn't closed doors of the Vatican to anyone, making Ziccardi's accusation mistaken.

Trump deserved the Pope's admonition; Ziccardi politicizes this discussion by calling Pope Francis, "the vicar of socialism" as if that's bad.

Hypocritically, Ziccardi cares more for candidate Trump's hegemony than the hopeful words of Jesus who said, "sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me." (Luke 18:22)

Sounds to me like Jesus Christ's words are "socialist" and the pope is following Him.

Ed Chainey

Political issues

Several recent contributors have complained about The Voice publishing letters involving political issues. What they do not seem to understand is that some issues are not simply political but also have a moral and ethical aspect that cannot be ignored.

Jesus did not hesitate to criticize the Scribes and Pharisees when they were wrong. We are free to do the same with our politicians.

A number of political leaders advocate and strongly support policies that are un-Christian and/or at odds with Catholic beliefs. No politician who advocates abortion on demand, assisted suicide, hatred of others based upon race, religion, education, social or financial standing, purposely lies to the people and abuses their powers and position, should ever be elected to office regardless of his or her other promises.

We have ignored this in the past and our nation and culture have suffered because of it.

Cliff Wiesner

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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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