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placeholder August 8, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 14   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
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Children of God

I read the remarkable letter written by Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ (Voice, June 27),

Because I personally know some Catholics who condemn gays and yet receive the Sacred Host faithfully every Sunday along with every member of the Church, I actually found it difficult to believe that each and every one of them were in a State of Grace while I just sat in my seat. I did in fact let my Church attendance lapse because of that.

I admire Bishop Barber for his wonderful words. I am so pleased to read words that have reignited my faith! His letter should be read in its entirety in every Catholic Church. So called "Christians" that love selectively should reexamine their conscience before they dine at the Lord's table.

All of us need to embrace all our brothers and sisters regardless of race, creed or sexual preference.

We need to remember we are all Children of God. World peace cannot be achieved unless we truly believe that.

Pope Francis and Bishop Barber are certainly moving us forward in that direction.

Again, thank you very much Bishop Barber for your beautiful words.

Renee L. Adams

Mass language

I was sad to read (Forum, June 27) about the person who was upset by a service that was done in Spanish. A service can be for a specific community or it can be multicultural and/or bilingual.

Services can be anything from exposition of relics, healing, adoration, reconciliation, etc. but they are not a Mass. Hopefully my brother in Christ can work with his parish leadership to develop services that are more inclusive for him.

I was even more troubled to read in the last paragraph of his letter where he stated, "You go to Mass and leave wondering, why did I bother going?"

I recommend the book, "Supper of the Lamb" by Scott Hahn. In it he illustrates how, when we are at Mass, we are truly in Heaven with all the angels and saints worshipping our Lord. He shows how the Mass setting with an altar, robed priests, candles, etc. are exactly how in the Book of Revelation John describes Heaven. And he shows how the liturgy, with the Gloria, the Sanctus, etc. are taken directly from John's Revelation.

Finally, at Mass we receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord. So no matter if the choir is off key or the homily dull, none of that is important because at Mass we are truly with all the angels and saints to worship and receive Jesus. The Mass could be in any language on earth, but the setting is truly in Heaven.

Roger E. Martin

Reconsider pacifism

In Rev. Ron Rolheiser's column (Forum, June 27) titled, "Guns and pacifism: The child is forever threatened," he implies that maybe we should all become pacifists and disarm ourselves.

He speaks like most of the elite today that expect us to be martyrs while they hire others to protect themselves.

He speaks of monks and vowed religious celibates. Most of us are not monks We have not taken vows of pacifism.

Maybe if armed home invaders entered his house and held his 3 year old son at gun point while they raped his wife and all he had was prayer, maybe he would reconsider his stand.

Or if his country shipped his people by trains to concentration camps after disarming them he would reconsider.

Or maybe after the pope disarms the Vatican and martyrs himself and becomes a role model in this subject we will think disarming ourselves is an acceptable course of action.

Kim Dicker

Bad Voice

I am writing in response to a supposed news article (Voice, July 11). The so-called news article (which was actually one person's editorial) was titled "Priests navigate armed forces as chaplains." Contrary to the article's claim that some peace advocates see a conflict, numerous "peace activists," not just Fr. McCarthy, oppose the idea of priests being part of the military.

As for Dorothy Day's "popularity" diminishing because of her stand against war (and particularly World War II), what is important is that there are somewhere around 200 houses of hospitality following in Day's footsteps, Pope Francis has spoken of her as one worthy of respect and the Church is considering her a candidate for sainthood. It saddens me to see this editorial comment presented as so-called article in The Catholic Voice.

Kara Speltz

Living Church

I have had an amazing week as I have been blessed to have been attending a class at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. I have had the privilege of learning alongside some wonderful people representing a myriad of faiths. Clearly we all love Jesus. We are all Christians.

I have to say as a woman in the Roman Catholic Church I am feeling very dissatisfied. This is most difficult for me as I have been fairly devout most of my life, and my children are enrolled in schools in our diocese and I regularly attend Mass.

I feel certain that Mother Mary would like to see the Church change and become a living, vibrant Church that can meet the spiritual needs of many seekers in this age. I am deeply saddened that women cannot preside over Mass and that being a member of religious order is not considered a holy order for women in our church. We are in desperate need of clergy. I am certain that allowing the ordination of women, and allowing all priests to marry would alleviate this issue and more of our disenchanted Catholics would return to a more progressive and inclusive church. This most certainly would be more attractive to younger generations who are missing in our pews.

Here's to a Vatican III and the breath of change so direly needed in our Catholic Church.

Teresa Bolla

[Editor's note: Biblical passages and the traditional teaching of the Church is that women cannot be ordained. In Pope St. John Paul II's letter, "Ordinatio Sacerdotalis" ("Priestly Ordination") of May 22, 1994, he writes: "Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church's judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force. Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Luke 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful."]

Library porn

Now that public libraries are getting DVDs featured on a pornographic website it is time for the government to step in and instruct the American Library Association that its policy of the right of all ages to all its material no longer works; nor does holding parents responsible since teens do not need a parental signature. These institutions believe that children cannot be removed from a computer when the screen has pornography on it. Children can be seriously hurt by a wrong click.

The other suspect problem is the libraries' avid promotion of urban fiction since New York librarian Megan Honig published her book "Urban Grit: a guide to street lit in 2010."

I had this book removed from the teen shelf by proving to the Berkeley Public Library that it was a reference book. Chapter Five is to help find erotica for teens. They use the word erotica as if it has nothing to do with pornography, yet the New York Public Library has an Erotica Collection that is actually a history of pornography (New York Times, Jan. 3, 2016).

Thomas Lynch

Deaf ministry

I was touched by the beautiful picture of two "90-somethings," Victoria Cotter and Willie Cotter Hall (Voice, June 27). It was especially poignant in light of the current discussion around California's End-of-Life Option Act.

An article in that same issue of The Voice (Physician-assisted suicide unwelcome change) states that: "Every human being possesses inherent dignity, which deserves our respect. Each of us should feel loved, worthy and cared for at every moment of our lives, especially when our earthly journey is nearing its end."

It is obvious the Cotter sisters love one another and that Victoria's love extends beyond her sister to the deaf and hard of hearing to whom she ministered for so many years. Willie's love is quite evident as well and I happen to know it has been throughout her life as a mother, teacher and grandmother. "See how they love one another!"

Margaret Ann Kennedy
San Leandro

Only hope

Some say the upcoming election will determine the moral direction America will take, but I don't think America can be fixed by mere national elections anymore.

It seems our great republic has lost any semblance of common sense. For instance, the pro-choice crowd argues that government cannot force a woman to make decisions regarding her own body. But then they see no problem when the same government forces everyone's health insurance to include abortion and contraception.

It is unconstitutional to say "God Bless America" in public schools. Our national motto "In God We Trust" and the phrase "One nation under God" have become politically incorrect. Why do we constantly oppose God? Why are people offended by His name? The greatness of America did not come from being politically correct.

I believe America is in need of a spiritual revival. Franklin Graham said it well: "The only hope for America is not the Democratic Party, and it's not the Republican Party. The only hope for America is God. We as a nation are in trouble and only God can fix it. If God becomes irrelevant, he will not preserve us as a nation.

We need to repent and pray. But we should also be informed and vote. More than 10 million Christians did not vote in the last presidential election.

We need a president who will defend our religious liberty and the God given right to life of all people, from conception to natural death.

Jim Crowley
Walnut Creek

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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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